Mayor’s Communiqué: Clinton praises Green Vancouver; Recognition for Clr B.C. Lee

In this edition:

  • President Bill Clinton recognizes Vancouver’s leadership on green building design
  • City Council Update – Preparing Vancouver for 2010
  • Groundbreaking Addiction Research in Vancouver
  • Councillor B.C. Lee
  • Dr. Jane Goodall coming to Vancouver

Clr. B.C. Lee and Mayor Sullivan in 2008 parade to celebrate Lunar New Year

President Bill Clinton recognizes Vancouver’s leadership on green building design

Recently I had the honour of spending some time with former United States President Bill Clinton. He was in Vancouver to attend a conference about corporate social responsibility. President Clinton loves Vancouver.

I am pleased to report that during his presentation, he praised Vancouver’s leadership on developing stringent green building standards. Earlier this year, our Council passed the strongest green building design plan in North America in association with EcoDensity.

Mayor Sam Sullivan & Bill Clinton by mayorsamsullivan.

City Council Update – Preparing Vancouver for 2010

This week, City Council will meet for the last time before the upcoming municipal election. There will be one more meeting of the current Council following the election.

Among other things on the agenda next week, we will be considering a series of measures to help Vancouver prepare for 2010, including:

  • installation of Olympic lighting for Yaletown & sections of the Cambie Street corridor
  • $2.5 million for streetscape improvements along Cambie Street & beautification of the Oak and Granville Street gateway entrances to Vancouver (“Welcome to City of Vancouver” signs)
  • approve issuance of 122 more taxicab licenses by 2010 – with at least 15% wheelchair accessible
  • development approval for 70 new units of social housing at 3595 West 17th Avenue
  • licensing approval for construction of the 2010 Aboriginal Pavilion at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
  • award of $3.6 million contract for construction of track work and power systems on Downtown Historic Railway corridor by 2010
  • award of $15.8 million contract to help complete Granville Street reconstruction by 2010
  • By-Law Improvements for 2010 related special event facilities
  • funding to construct directional signage around the city & create Olympic overlay maps at various locations

Among other things, these initiatives represent an investment of close to $25 million in the local and regional economy – including $6 million for the social housing project on West 17th.

I will provide a full report on other Council items later this week.

Groundbreaking Addiction Research in Vancouver

Last week, Vancouver researchers released the results of an historic research study on addiction treatment. The North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI) is a scientific clinical trial funded by the Government of Canada to explore new ways to treat drug addiction.

The findings determined that medically supervised injectable, pharmaceutical grade heroin can benefit people suffering from chronic opiate addiction who have not benefited from other treatments. The report also establishes a strong foundation for more substitution drug treatment and research as some participants  responded well to a legal substitute for heroin without knowing it.

I want to congratulate the NAOMI research team, staff and participants for their commitment to this project. In addition to helping making Vancouver a more civil city, they have further cemented Vancouver’s international reputation as a world leader in innovative drug policy.

Councillor B.C. Lee

One of the best things about the past three years for me as Mayor was the opportunity to work with outgoing Vancouver Councillor B.C. Lee.

In addition to leading our government’s goal to make Vancouver the most accessible and inclusive city in the world, Councillor Lee has worked closely with city staff to ensure our new 311 Department is in place for its launch next year.

Clr B.C. Lee & Mayor Sullivan
Clr. B.C. Lee and Mayor Sullivan with the Olympic Torch from the Torino Games

Last Tuesday, Councillor Lee and I were pleased to report that the city is on-schedule for full implementation in 2010 and we are slightly under-budget. The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association hosted a special session with local community organizations to update our progress on the implementation of 311.

The next day I was honoured to represent the City of Vancouver at a Metro Vancouver Leaders’ Summit on Immigrant Employment. The meeting was convened by the Vancouver Foundation and the Mayor’s Task Force on Immigration. Councillor Lee played a very significant role is shaping the final report of the Task Force report that was released earlier this year.

During the Summit, we announced the creation of a new BC Immigrant Employment Council to coordinate strategies that address the challenges of immigrants finding and retaining appropriate employment.

In addition to developing 311 and working to improve immigrant services, Councillor Lee has been a big part of our success on many other initiatives to promote inclusion and accessibility in Vancouver, including:

  • secured $10 million funding commitment from provincial government to upgrade Chinatown, Japantown, Gastown and Strathcona in association with British Columbia’s 150th anniversary
  • more accessible buses and taxis
  • helped to develop a comprehensive Chinatown revitalization program
  • secured free parking for veterans in association with Remembrance Day
  • worked with provincial government to develop $1 million accessible tourism strategy
  • significant annual funding increase over 2005 civic budget for Vancouver culture & heritage projects
  • renewed three-year funding agreement with Vancouver Heritage Foundation
  • arranged for Canadian participation in 2008 Beijing Paralympic Torch relay
  • established a Triple R (Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships) panel to modernize Vancouver’s volunteer civic agencies
  • established regular online interactive surveys to gauge public opinion on important civic issues – resulting in over 4000 survey responses submitted
  • initiated community roundtables on multiculturalism, accessibility & immigration
  • introduced Citizenship Ceremonies to Vancouver City Hall
  • introduced YouthPolitik to encourage youth participation in local government
  • conducted hundreds of hours of community meetings and public consultations
  • approved a plan for guided tours of City Hall with the goal to educate newcomers and familiarize citizens with Vancouver, and its array of public services
  • supported measures to encourage record numbers of special events and community celebrations to celebrate diversity – including expanded Pride Parade, funding for 2009 World Police and Fire Games and enhanced Chinatown Festival

Councillor Lee has also been a strong advocate for lower taxes on small business, more support for our police department and improved relations with senior levels of government. We all wish him the best in his future endeavours. He has helped to make our community a much better place.

Dr. Jane Goodall Coming to Vancouver

This week, it will be an honour to welcome Dr. Jane Goodall to our city. Dr. Goodall is one of the world’s most recognizable humanitarians and environmentalists. She is a true messenger of peace. Here is some information about an event planned for the Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts on October 30.

Jane Goodall event

As usual, if you have questions or comments about any of these items, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Send us your feedback by emailing

Yours truly,

Sam Sullivan

Sam Sullivan
Mayor of Vancouver