COPE released their full election platform this morning at SFU’s Harbour Centre. City Council candidate RJ Aquino, along with Park Board candidate, Donalda Greenwell-Baker, and School Board candidate, Jane Bouey, outlined the party’s plans to create a Vancouver for everyone.
Their comprehensive platform spoke to a number of issues ranging from transit, housing affordability and the economy, to democracy, justice, the arts, schools and parks.
Some highlights included their plans to tackle housing affordability through the creation of a City Housing Authority, an arms-length authority charged with making affordable home ownership a reality.
“The authority will create semi-market housing – units that can only be sold at pre-determined rates. The Authority will also support non-profit developers to build and sell new units at the cost of construction. Finally, it will be charged with monitoring the state of housing affordability in the city, and ensuring inclusionary zoning laws are applied to all new developments.”
The party also emphasized the need to support small, local businesses through a tiered business taxation system.
“Small businesses shouldn’t be paying the same tax rate as a big corporation. Its not fair and it’s killing small business,” said Aquino. “Small businesses create local jobs and keep our economy thriving, and without them, communities loose their character.”
Finally, they advocated for electoral reform and changes to elections spending. “COPE also wants to see big money taken out of Vancouver politics by limiting election spending and donations,” said Aquino.
Park Board candidate Donalda Greenwell-Baker highlighted COPE’s opposition to park service fee increases and called for more public washrooms around the City. “Parks and recreation facilities are community hubs that foster connections among Vancouver residents. COPE is opposed to fee increases for services, unless used to create a more sustainable option, and is committed to keeping our parks and services accessible to everyone,” said Greenwell-Baker.
Jane Bouey, School board candidate running for re-election, stated: “COPE will support and advocate for a strong, public school system that meets the needs of every child. This means smaller class sizes, support for children with special needs and more English as a second language instruction.” She also underlined the need to keep Vancouver kids safe and healthy through seismic upgrades and an emphasis on environmental sustainability.
The entire COPE platform can be found here.