Mystery: Pre-2011 election info webpages vanish from City of Vancouver website. Why?

(Update 1-Feb-2016: We received a response from the City. Within a day or two of our original post, the links to past elections were working again, but not the Ward and Olympic vote web pages. But as of today (Feb 1), all links are working again. See bottom of this post for details. Did attention from CityHallWatch produce this result? If we had not noticed and not reported publicly, would that information have been gone from the City website forever, with no one ever noticing? We may never know. But we do know that it is important for the public to be vigilant and engaged.)

What is going on here? Is the keeping detailed records of previous elections sacrosanct in a democracy?
The webpages for City of Vancouver elections prior to 2011 have recently been taken offline. The following is a screenshot to the webpage with (now broken) links:

election results page

Anyone can these clicking on these links; as of this writing, the links are all redirect to the a generic City of Vancouver, “Your Government” webpage:

2008 Civic Election:
2005 Civic Election:
2002 Civic Election:
1999 Civic Election:
1996 Civic Election:

The current City of Vancouver website only contains a single link to the 2011 Election webpage. Why are the webpages for the 2008, 2005, 2002, 1999 and 1996 elections no longer unavailable? Who made the decision to take these pages offline? Is this part of the City’s Digital Strategy and $3 million plus makeover of the webportal?

“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” (George Orwell, 1984)

Ironically, today (January 20, 2016) you can now click on the web page to read Vancouver mayors’ inaugural speeches back to 1996. But you can only get back to 2011 for the election information.

CoV elections website screenshot 20-Jan-2016

CoV elections website screenshot past elections 20-Jan-2016


Apart from the old election webpages, information about “Other votes” is also no longer available. Here is one concrete example of how concealing this information puts the public at a disadvantage. City Council today (January 20) is supposed to hear speakers on the topic of a proposal to create a new system “Neighbourhood Liaison Councillors” — whicgh some people say is a move toward creating a virtual system of wards in Vancouver. To prepare their words and thoughts to address Council, people may find it useful to review the results of the 2004 plebiscite on an at-large system or wards in Vancouver. But that information is gone. Below is a screenshot of what has been removed (as of today, Jan 20):

other votes (Decision 2004: At-large or Wards?) (2003 Olympic Vote)


Digital Strategy in Vancouver: Plenty of room for improvement (CityHallWatch, August 30, 2015)



Shortly after we posted this post online, the @CityofVancouver responded by Twitter.

What do we think about that?

The other links seem to point to the correct pages now. They had been broken for a week or more.

These webpages still ddn’t work when we checked at the time of writing on January 20: (Decision 2004: At-large or Wards?) (2003 Olympic Vote)

(Update: As of February 1, 2016, they were back online again.)

It is interesting that it took a web post and Tweet to get the City to fix what had been broken. Do they realize they are breaking links and just wait until someone points it out?

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