December 15, 2021

Taken to task: The Mayor’s Climate Emergency Action Levy

CHATBOX is your chance to eavesdrop on Gordon Price and Sandy James Planner as they joust over our region’s features and foibles. Go to Patreon to join the debate. 

On November 24, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced a $9million/year Climate Emergency Action Levy as part of the approved Capital Planning budget process. Was this a smart political move? And where is all that money actually going to land?

GORDON: Political Rule of Thumb: If you’re gonna slap on a tax increase at the last moment, it better be associated with something concrete, not something vague and wonkish like ‘adapting to climate change’. Vancouver has been adapting since 1990, with the NPA’s Clouds of Change report, and every Council since. But I’d bet there is actually something literally concrete that the public wants to see for their extra tax dollars at this moment: upgrading the defensive infrastructure we need. A levy for levies? But what is Kennedy’ Stewart’s climate change money actually for, if not things we’ve been doing already (like dare I say, bike lanes)?

SANDY: Well, remember earlier in November when the City wanted to enact a parking charge for curbside parking, that meant those that parked off-street escaped paying the climate tax? It’s back, but I would say this time it’s more equitable—kicking the tires of every property owner in Vancouver…


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