Mayor’s Communiqué: Vancouver Recognized for “Green” Initiatives

In this edition…

Lynn and I hope you are looking forward to Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family. We both want to thank you for all the support you have given us over the years. It does not go unnoticed. In this edition of the newsletter, I have focused the environment. As you know, ensuring the City of Vancouver does its share to protect the environment for future generations is one of the five goals we have established for our government.

Also, further to my commitment to keep you posted on developments related to the CUPE strike, please find a statement my office released earlier today – along with a news release from the City of Vancouver.

Vancouver Recognized for “Green” Initiatives

I am pleased to report that last week at the Union of BC Municipalities convention, I was presented with a $200,000 cheque from Premier Gordon Campbell in honour of the work the City of Vancouver is doing to help our environment. The Green City Award recognizes Vancouver for the quality of its planning and programs that result in a liveable and more sustainable city.

Did you know:

  • Despite significant growth pressures, such as an increase in provincial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 30% and an increase in Vancouver’s population of 24% (since 1990), Vancouver’s community-wide GHG emissions peaked around the year 2000 and declined to 5% above 1990 levels by 2006.
  • Vancouver’s 4.9 tonnes of GHG emissions per person were the lowest of all the comparison cities in North America.
  • Emissions from the City’s own operations have been reduced to 5% below 1990 levels and the City is on track to meet its operational reduction target of 20% below 1990 levels by 2010.

Municipalities possess two of the most powerful tools to combat climate change and become greener cities: zoning and building regulations. By introducing new sustainable development initiatives like EcoDensity, we will continue to look for innovative ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, live healthier lives, protect our natural setting and save money while doing it.

For more information…

Mayor’s Film Task Force Report Released

"Greener" productions and improved communication with residents & industry recommended

Mayor Sam Sullivan released a special Task Force Report on ways the City of Vancouver can improve management of the city’s film industry. The task force was Chaired by Shawn Williamson, CEO of Brightlight Pictures and supported by Councillor Elizabeth Ball.

>> Read more

Al Gore Visit

Former Vice-President Al Gore paid a visit to Vancouver last week to discuss the serious issue of climate change. I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Gore and discuss with him the many initiatives Vancouver is undertaking to battle climate change. I spoke to Mr. Gore about the impact suburban sprawl is having on climate change in our region, as well as the challenges municipalities face in protecting our local environment.

EcoDensity Update

Many of you have asked for a status update on Vancouver’s EcoDensity initiative . The goal of the initiative is to support density that is high quality, attractive, more energy efficient, and respects neighbourhood character, while lowering our ecological footprint. EcoDensity is also intended to support our efforts to expand our public green spaces and community amenities.

Later this year, City staff will introduce a new EcoDensity Charter that Council will review. The Charter is being developed with the feedback obtained by the thousands of Vancouver citizens who participated in our consultation process over the last year.

The new Charter will form the basis for altering some City policies, bylaws, incentives and zoning to reduce barriers and promote ideas that will create communities that are sustainable, liveable and affordable. It is expected that this report will come back to Council by no later than Spring 2008.

I would encourage all of you to log onto the EcoDensity website at and provide your feedback on how you would like to help reduce urban sprawl and help fight global climate change. Every response will be reviewed and taken into consideration as we move forward into the implementation phase.

Times Have Changed

Ten things that make Vancouver more sustainable than it was 25 years ago…

  1. Adding over 40,000 residents downtown close to jobs
  2. Developing neighbourhood centres outside the downtown to have new housing near shops, services and transit
  3. New rapid transit and rapid buses
  4. 200 additional kilometres of cycling routes
  5. Car sharing cooperative with 3,000 members
  6. Increasing non-market housing units (now over 23,000)
  7. Urban gardens, ‘green streets’ and greenways
  8. Composting, recycling and yard trimmings programs
  9. Pricing for waste removal and water supply based on amount used
  10. Pesticide ban on parkland and private land

Transportation Update

Supporting public transit and transportation alternatives is one of the ways our Caucus is achieving our goal to protect the environment. I would particularly like to recognize the work of Councillors Peter Ladner and Suzanne Anton to ensure Vancouver priorities are heard at Translink. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on three particular files we have been working on:

Millenium Line – Completing the Millenium Line down Broadway and eventually to UBC is the top transit infrastructure priority for the City of Vancouver. Last month, I confirmed plans to initiate a series of roundtables to ensure local residents, businesses and community organizations are involved in the early stages of project development instead of after the fact. In a few weeks we will be holding our first roundtable meeting with officials from TransLink and the City of Vancouver to discuss next steps. We will also be inviting members of the general public to provide their thoughts on Millenium Line completion. Stay tuned for more details.

Canada Line – Construction of Canada Line is nearing completion and much of the road reconstruction work through Cambie Village is expected to be completed by early in the New Year. In July, at City Council, our Caucus supported plans to initiate various streetscape improvements in the Cambie Village once construction is complete. I am pleased to confirm for you that City of Vancouver will invest $2 million to create the kind of public realm legacy to which we aspire for the benefit of residents and businesses along the corridor. We have asked the provincial government to consider matching our contribution so we can go the extra mile on this wonderful gateway into Vancouver.

Supporting Alternate Forms of Transportation – Last month, I contacted provincial Ministers concerning reports that the provincial government may be considering the application of a tax on car share co-operatives across the province – including Vancouver’s Co-operative Auto Network. Innovative initiatives like the Vancouver Co-operative Auto Network represent an important element of the solution to many of the environmental challenges we face as an urban centre. This is critically important as we all work to help achieve the Premier’s ambitious targets to battle climate change over the coming years. I am pleased to report that the provincial government responded very quickly with assurances that the application of passenger vehicle rental tax (PVRT) to co-operative car sharing services will be reviewed during the preparation of Budget 2008. The review will consider providing a PVRT exemption for car sharing services.

If you have any questions or comments about these items – or any other issues of concern to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Sam Sullivan

In the News

Maverick Vancouver, B.C., mayor faces Olympic-size challenge

By Greg Bishop
Seattle Post Intelligencer

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Sam Sullivan’s city spreads from the windows of his 16th-floor Yaletown condominium, his life mapped behind, below, beyond.

Born and raised on the city’s Eastside. Paralyzed in the mountains. Depressed and suicidal in subsidized housing. Saved by a self-help book and an epiphany.

Emerged from the darkness, the old Sam gone. Invented ways for disabled people to hike and sail and even, yes, wave the Olympic flag. Became first a city councilor and now mayor of everything below his window…

>> Continue reading article

Gold medal city will work even harder

In a letter to the Vancouver Sun published today Mayor Sam Sullivan answers opposition criticism, and states objectives for the days ahead.

>> Read the letter

Citizen Sam airs Sunday

Passionate EyeThis Sunday CBC Newsworld is broadcasting Citizen Sam, the documentary film about candidate Sam Sullivan on his 2005 campaign for mayor.

Local air times:
CBC Newsworld, Oct. 7th, 7pm & 10pm PST