Greetings from City Hall! This week marks the mid-term of our mandate, and I’d like to share with you a progress report. In my State of the City address last January, I outlined a set of Five Goals to guide my government’s service to its citizens.
The Five Goals for a Better Vancouver are:
- Becoming a world leader in environmental practices & sustainable transportation
- Developing the strongest local & regional economy in Canada
- Ensuring civility on our streets & compassionate solutions to challenging social issues
- Ensuring that Vancouver is the most accessible & inclusive city in Canada
- Making Vancouver a premiere destination for the celebration of arts, culture & heritage
We are making real progress on the issues residents care about most – including housing, the economy, the environment and celebrating our culture & heritage. We have established a strong foundation for more achievement and success in Vancouver’s future.
Since the State of the City address, there have been many positive developments in support of the Five Goals. These include:
- Helping to secure one of the largest affordable housing investments in Vancouver history – in partnership with BC Premier Gordon Campbell. Approximately 1300 permanent, transitional and sheltered housing units will be established for vulnerable people suffering from mental illness and addiction;
- Hiring former BC Attorney General Geoff Plant as the new Civil City Commissioner;
- Launching the EcoDensity Initiative with our first public consultations on what kind of sustainable city we want to see. EcoDensity demonstrates our willingness to undertake the political challenge of actively supporting and encouraging increased density in Vancouver, while maintaining the liveability our city is known for;
- Voting to freeze taxes on Vancouver’s small businesses to 2006 rates, and sending a message that Vancouver is a place where small businesses can thrive and succeed;
- Approving a $60 million upgrade of the city’s civic theatres – including Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and approving bonuses for redevelopment of Vancouver Playhouse production facilities.
Additional announcements regarding the Five Goals are expected in the coming weeks. You can read a summary of achievements related to each of the Five Goals, which are linked below.
I want to thank all City Councillors, staff, and citizens of Vancouver for their hard work and participation in the on-going community dialogue. It is their effort and dedication that helps set the stage for an exciting and successful second half of our term.
Mayor Sam Sullivan
To preserve our health and quality of life, we have made environmental leadership one of our five goals. Mayor Sullivan and Councillor Suzanne Anton have introduced the new concept of EcoDensity to reduce urban sprawl and minimize Vancouver’s environmental footprint.
While challenges exist, Vancouver’s economy continues to exhibit many positive trends. Employment has reached 30 year highs and construction continues to drive growth to 2010 and beyond.
Goal: Ensuring civility on our streets & developing compassionate solutions to challenging social issues
City Council is working hard to address our community’s most difficult challenges. We will continue to provide leadership and work in partnership with senior levels of government to deliver positive change for all our citizens.
The comprehensive public involvement plans around EcoDensity & Project Civil City demonstrate our commitment to making Vancouver the most inclusive and accessible local government in Canada.
Vancouver’s aging arts infrastructure is in need of repair and replacement. When compared to cities such as Toronto and Montreal that have received millions of federal dollars in the last decade to revitalize their theatres and cultural institutions, it is clear we have much work to do.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger meets with Mayor Sam Sullivan, Councillor Kim Capri and Councillor Suzanne Anton.
Recent news from City Hall
Progress report, national drug strategy and supervised injection site extension to be discussed
Mayor Sam Sullivan announced his intention to convene the City of Vancouver’s Four Pillars Coalition for a strategic planning session next month. The announcement is further to the Mayor’s commitment to introduce new consultation measures for the second half of his first mandate.
Resolutions support goal of stronger economy: Sullivan
Mayor Sam Sullivan announced he will support measures being proposed to strengthen Vancouver Port operations. Vancouver Councillor Kim Capri has proposed three City Council resolutions for discussion and vote this month.
Mayor Sullivan also recognized the outstanding work of the host event committee for organizing the most successful Memorial Cup ever.
What the media are saying
“Innovative”â€¦”interesting”â€¦”and above all environmentally smart” – National Post comments on Mayor Sullivan’s EcoDensity Initiative >> read more
Tri-City News: Review for homeless – Vancouver mayor
“Mentally ill people living on the streets may one day be able to call Riverview Hospital home.”
Globe and Mail: Sprawl is our ‘inconvenient truth’
“Increasing densities do not have to compromise livability. Look at Vancouver”
The Province: Visitors eye Vancouver’s density plan
“Vancouver’s EcoDensity initiative is attracting admirers from abroad â€” 115 U.S. politicians and planners from Georgia, to be exact.”
Vancouver Sun: Shift in tax burden should be a wakeup call for homeowners
“Vancouver city council took a tiny step in the right direction last week when it began the long overdue process of rebalancing the tax burden borne by businesses and residents.”
Vancouver Sun: Vancouver needs to keep jobs close at hand
“You can quibble about the details — and it is clear that some people are digging in to endlessly do so — but the nub of Mayor Sam Sullivan’s EcoDensity vision is a no-brainer.”