For Immediate Release: Saturday, November 5th, 2011
COPE’s ‘neighbourhood’s first’ philosophy is being exemplified in their most recent platform announcement: the creation of Vancouver neighbourhood councils. The party is looking to bring democracy back to the grassroots level by supporting local area councils to represent each Vancouver neighbourhood.
“Nobody knows what’s best for a given community better than the people who actually live there. Let’s let them have a say in how their communities develop,” said COPE City Council candidate, RJ Aquino.
Modeled after advisory boards such as the Urban Design Panel and the Vancouver Food Policy Council, the boards would advise the city on matters regarding their respective communities.
The councils would be given input on rezoning applications and development proposals, and their signature of approval would be important for project validation.
“It is important however, that if these advisories are going to have legitimacy, they are inclusive councils, that accurately reflect the make-up of a given community,” said COPE City Council candidate, Tim Louis. “The last thing we want to see is a council that only reflects a small group of interests within a given community.”
“This initiative has the potential to change the face of city planning and local politics – empowering communities to play a leading role in helping shape their neighbourhoods,” said COPE City Council candidate, Ellen Woodsworth.
“You can count on COPE to put neighbourhoods first by allowing them to decide what their communities look like, what direction they move and how they develop over time, ” added COPE Park Board candidate and former president of the West End Residents Association (WERA), Brent Granby.