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Vision Vancouver unveils environmental platform

photos by Jenny Uechi

Vancouver Civic Election 2011: At the bustling and noisy Broadway-Commercial SkyTrain station, Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver team announced its environmental platform today. He advocated for more bus service, a bike-share program, and curbside composting, as steps toward making Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020. 

“These are the results of our Greenest City Action Plan: we've achieved the lowest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in North America,” the mayor said, of the measures taken since 2008 to increase sustainability in Vancouver.

“We were named the second greenest city in North America by The Economist, and the most sustainable city in Canada for two years running by Corporate Knights.”

In addition to bike-sharing and increased bus service, the mayor highlighted the following points in Vision's environmental platform:

  • A safer network for cyclists in all parts of the city

  • Improved rapid public transit on Broadway corridor

  • Enhanced walking infrastructure for pedestrian safety

  • More green spaces and new parks

  • Support for high-paying jobs in clean technology, green building, digital media and renewable energy 

Robertson told the Vancouver Observer of Vision's focus on creating economic growth through the green economy, where he feels the NPA has lacked leadership.

“The NPA hardly has an economic plan,” he said. “There's no focus, no sense of industries that are growing rapidly in Vancouver. We need to focus on areas on sectors with promising job growth such as clean technology. My background is in business, and I understand how best to focus the city's resources to have the greatest impact to create jobs.”

“The Greenest City Action Plan puts us in the position of global leadership,” said Vision City Council candidate Andrea Reimer. She said that Vision had a comprehensive view of how to achieve sustainability, and criticized NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton's election promise of a $100 million streetcar linking Canada Place to Granville Island, saying it was not a long-term solution to environmental problems.

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