(This is an updated version of an article we originally published Aug. 14, now that contending parties have published their campaign platforms.)
Vancouver’s current Mayor and all ten City Councillors are running for re-election on October 15, 2022, under various parties. How they voted on the Broadway Plan and Vancouver Plan (adopted by majority votes on June 22 and July 22, respectively) shows clearly what direction each of them and their respective parties want to take the city if re-elected. Below is an analysis of the voting records (of incumbents seeking reelection), plus the election platforms all parties contending in this election.
ABOVE: Current Council is Mayor Kennedy Stewart (Forward Vancouver, mayor candidate) in center, with Councillors (from left) Rebecca Bligh (ABC), Christine Boyle (OneCity), Colleen Hardwick (TEAM, mayor candidate), Pete Fry (Green), Adriane Carr (Green), [Stewart, in centre], Melissa De Genova (NPA), Jean Swanson (COPE), Michael Wiebe (Green). Lisa Dominato (ABC), Sarah Kirby-Yung (ABC). All are seeking re-election this October, with their current party affiliations as indicated.
The Broadway Plan and Vancouver Plan are both a major departure from Vancouver’s historic, award-winning, neighbourhood-based planning reputation and respect for community participation. Both of the newly adopted plans create just a handful of housing typologies, mostly in tower forms of up to 40 storeys in station areas, and up to 12 – 20 storeys in areas surrounding stations. The plans randomly distribute these typologies across the city, without any meaningful relationship to local neighbourhood context. They override decades of neighbourhood plans and community visions while promoting land speculation and demoviction.
If implemented, the Broadway Plan will be incorporated into the Vancouver Plan, which will be adopted as the Vancouver’s Official Community Plan (OCP). This OCP would then become part of the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) to 2050 under Metro Vancouver.
If the Province follows through with its threatened legislation, any rezoning that aligns with the OCP will not require a public hearing, which would mean a development application could go directly to a Development Permit, a process that barely allows for public input, if any at all.
The new City Council elected on October 15 will decide if these plans are to be implemented or not. That means this election will define the future of Vancouver. Will it be a city of towers? Or a city of distinct, liveable, sustainable neighbourhoods?
The Broadway Plan and Vancouver Plan will affect major site developments citywide. For example, the Broadway Plan scale of development will be extended to UBC to justify the current 40 storey plans at Jericho Lands now that a subway station is planned for the site. Current neighbourhood plans such as the Grandview Community Plan are ignored to increase the Safeway site at Commercial and Broadway to 40 storeys now that the Broadway plan has been approved. And all of these plans will go forward without public hearings if the province follows through with their threats.
Only TEAM for a Livable Vancouver, with Colleen Hardwick for mayor, have policies to withdraw both the Broadway Plan and Vancouver Plan, and to accommodate growth in the local context through neighbourhood-based planning with meaningful community involvement in the process.
Below, we first go into the Council voting records of the incumbents and the positions of their related civic parties on the Broadway and Vancouver Plans. Then we will go into more detail about what these plans mean if they are implemented.
1. Voting Records of the Current Council
Both of the Broadway and Vancouver Plans brought out hundreds of letters and speakers over multiple days, primarily in opposition. By majority votes, Council approved both plans, albeit with many amendments. While the votes on various amendments were mixed, the focus here is on the approval of the overall plans as amended by the majority of each party represented on Council.
Broadway Plan:Continue reading