On January 16th, Mayor Sam Sullivan delivered his first State of the City address during the first Council meeting of 2007, reviving a New Years tradition in which Vancouver Mayors make a formal speech on the priorities of the year ahead.
Focusing on Five Goals for a Better Vancouver, Mayor Sullivan urged Council to work together to provide leadership in addressing some of the most difficult challenges our City faces. Noting that Vancouver is “emerging on the world stage as a City of the Future,” Mayor Sullivan outlined several initiatives he intends to undertake this year.
He then urged Council to work together to provide leadership in addressing some of the most difficult challenges Vancouver faces, saying: “My focus is on achieving Five Goals for a Better Vancouver.”
The Five Goals for a Better Vancouver are:
- Ensuring civility on our streets and developing compassionate and long-term solutions to our City’s most challenging social issues;
- Becoming a world leader in environmental practices and sustainable transportation;
- Developing the strongest local and regional economy in Canada;
- Making Vancouver a premiere destination for the support and celebration of arts and culture;
- Ensuring that Vancouver is the most accessible and accountable City in the country.
Noting that Vancouver is “emerging on the world stage as a City of the Future,” Mayor Sullivan outlined several initiatives he intends to undertake this year, including:
- Working with senior government representatives as Chair of the Project Civil City Leadership Council, to meet aggressive targets to reduce homelessness and to support new treatment options for people addicted to drugs;
- Improving transportation networks, by championing the completion of the Millennium Line along Broadway; expanding and improving the accessibility of the ferry system linking False Creek and Coal Harbour; adding new energy-efficient taxis; and, recommending that Council approve development of the first phase of the Downtown Street Car network connecting Granville Island, Science World, Chinatown and the convention centre;
- Advocating for federal funding for the arts, including revitalization of Vancouver’s aging theatres;
- Exploring density as a means of reclaiming much of the industrial land that has been lost over the past 25 years, and supporting local businesses by championing a proposal to introduce a
- region-wide business license; and,
- Supporting the development of the EcoDensity Initiative, and inviting former Vice-President Al Gore to bring his message about global climate change to Vancouver.
“I am excited about the sense of optimism and the resolve of our citizens to work together to meet the challenges before us as an Olympic and Paralympic host city,” Mayor Sullivan said. “Vancouver has an important role to play in the world. Our innovative approaches to public safety, the environment and drug addiction could have an impact on how other cities deal with these issues, especially as we prepare to showcase Vancouver on the world stage in 2010.”
The Mayor’s State of the City address was given at the first regular Council meeting of 2007, and is available online at www.samsullivan.ca.