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City Hall liveblog: Yale Hotel, Pearson Dogwood Policy Statement, and election reform

Liveblogging the decisions that shape Vancouver. Making you care about local politics.

Andrea Reimer (Chair of Council on Planning, Transportation and Environment Standing Committee) prepares for today's proceedings.

Live from City Hall

This is a liveblog from City Hall on January 22, 2014; where the Council on Planning, Transportation and Environment Standing Committee is meeting to discuss the status of the Yale Hotel, the future of the Pearson Dogwood medical complex in Marpole, and how much money should be thrown around during municipal election campaigns. Also, we'll hear how much Vancouver's real estate is worth. I'm guessing... more'n a hundred dollars?

The meeting kicks off at 9:30am. The most recent updates will appear at the top, so refresh this page often to read the latest updates. Also, keep an eye on the Vancouver Observer’s Twitter feed.

5:43pm– Recaps:
The Yale Hotel: New lessee for SROs above iconic Vancouver jazz bar
Pearson Dogwood Policy Statement recap is pending.

5:43pm– "Motion to adjourn?" "Moooooved!" This meeting is adjourned.

5:42pm–By-law to amend Sign By-law No. 6510 (639 Commercial Drive - York Theatre) (pdf)PDF is carried unanimously.

5:40pm– Motion carries unanimously. Council votes to recommend contribution limits as per the item linked further below.

5:38pm– Reimer "This motion is cut-and-paste in terms of content from the UBCM motion." (That's Union of British Columbia Municipalities, folks.)

5:35pm– Reimer warns Stevenson from speculating on a corporation's motivations in pouring boatloads of cash into an election "Obviously," said Stevenson, "they're trying to buy an election." Corporations, however, are people, too. Stevenson: "I thought that was only in America."

5:31pm– Clr. Louie: Hopefully this will lead to changes at the provincial level. This is turning into a plug for Vision Vancouver, but since they make up most of the bodies in this room, it's not necessarily necessary. Affleck agrees, but Reimer counters that he (Affleck) also mentioned his own party during the introduction of the amendment.

5:27pm– Meggs is pacing behind his chair. I know that feel, bro.

Jang is going through the progress made so far. What seems like a Vancouver-only issue actually can crop up elsewhere. The first phase is disclosure; the second is actually limiting contributions. A lot of the work, he says, is "Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition..."

5:25pm– Affleck and Ball support the strike-and-replace; all others oppose. So I typed all that out for nothing. Back to the main debate.

5:20pm– Reimer: Victoria knows exactly how the City feels about campaign finance reform. "We're quite specific on the ban on corporate and union contributions."

5:18pm– Jang: "Not in favor of this [amendment]... because it's difficult to understand" Deal also opposes. Ball supports the amendment. Carr doesn't support it as an amendment, but supports its intent.

5:16pm– Affleck: The Province is looking for more specific direction from us. Suggests clearer language for the motion.

"Be it resolved that the City of Vancouver submits that the cost of campaigning in civic elections is significant, and this prohibits qualified candidates and/or political organizations from competing against other well-funded candidates and/or political organizations.

"That the City of Vancouver as a large community in the province, submits that candidates and parties do have access to more resources, such a funds, volunteers and major media outlets, which results in more publicized campaigns compared to campaigns in smaller communities, which can therefore unfairly place more attention on candidates and/or political organizations with access to more funds.

"That the City of Vancouver reiterates the relevant poits from its previously submitted request to the Local Government Election Task Force in 2010 for changes to the Vancouver Charter as outlined in Appendix A."

5:11pm– [Victoria has requested feedback from City Hall on municipal campaign finance reform (pdf). This was introduced yesterday, and referred to today's committee.]

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