The NPA: an election explainer
Current school trustee Ken Denike and administrator Fraser Ballantyne are running for school board, along with Stacy Robertson, Sandy Sharma and Sophia Woo. And on the parks board side, there are six new candidates including Melissa De Genova, daughter of former Vision mayoral nominee, Allan De Genova.
Perhaps the most talked-about addition to the NPA team is the market research and consulting firm Campaign Research – an alliance that has earned Anton some unappreciated comparisons to Toronto mayor Rob Ford.
A look through the NPA’s website and campaign materials reveals three simple words that form the core of their agenda: neighbourhoods, prosperity and accountability.
The discussion around neighbourhoods hinges on the idea of public consultation and establishing a real connection between the government and citizens. In keeping with their attempt to discredit the current administration, they say their focus will be on “repairing the damage Vision Vancouver has done to the relationship between City Hall and the taxpayers it represents and is supposed to serve”.
The second item on the NPA priority list is “prosperity”, which is really just a nice way of saying that the party disapproves of Vision Vancouver’s spending habits. The emphasis is on job creation and tax relief, and this means cutting down on big city expenses like creating separated bike lanes – an effort Anton says costs downtown businesses up to $2.4 million. At the start of October, she announced that her party’s platform would officially include a moratorium on bike lanes downtown.
“Vancouver NPA Mayors and City Councils have created hundreds of kilometres of bike lanes across Vancouver over the past two decades without any neighbourhood turmoil,” Anton said in a statement. “Gregor Robertson has destroyed that goodwill by imposing new separated lanes downtown. We need to hit the pause button on these controversial trials, re-engage neighbourhoods and businesses and regain the community consensus we enjoyed before Vision Vancouver mishandled things so badly.”
As is evident from their repeated jabs at Vision strategy, the NPA’s platform will also address the issue of accountability. Promoting herself as the “Common Sense” mayor, Anton pledges to improve on Vision’s “poor fiscal management” and demand that current leaders accept responsibility for events like the Stanley Cup riots.
November 3, 2011 - A Taste of Vancouver NPA Gala Dinner
The party’s major fundraising event, featuring local cuisine said to “represent our diverse city”. The gala will be held at the Hellenic Community Centre, starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $225.
November 7, 2011 - Mayoralty Debate on Homelessness and Affordable Housing
Gregor Robertson and NPA’s Suzanne Anton go head to head on two of the biggest election issues. The debate starts at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church. It will be moderated by CBC host Stephen Quinn and features panelists Patrick Stewart, Mike Howell and Frances Bula.