“People think homelessness increases all by itself but it’s actually taken council years of diligent work through literally hundreds of individual votes” – Stuart Parker

For immediate release
October 8th, 2013

Responding to today’s report showing that half a decade of government by Vision Vancouver has yielded an overall increase in Vancouver’s homeless population, COPE spokespeople slammed the City government. “Vision Vancouver has been truly dynamic and innovative in its breakneck destruction of affordable housing stock, removal of social housing requirements for the developers that fund it, and taking other cutting edge measures to get more Vancouverites than ever living in temporary shelters in time for Christmas,” stated Stuart Parker, a director of the Coalition.

“What we are seeing,” Parker explained, “is a project far more focused and larger-scale than the previous great demolition waves of the early 70s under Tom Campbell and the early 90s under Gordon Campbell. I don’t know how the NPA can show its face anymore. Once upon a time, they were the masters of driving people into alleys to die. But no more.”

COPE notes that there are a number of ways that Vision has outmanoeuvered the now-obsolete NPA in delivering not just development but development at the maximum human cost. Major innovations include:
• redefining “affordable housing” to refer to “something that somebody can afford”, such as a $2000/month bachelor suite
• delivering up-zoning and zoning variances to corporate donors at a fraction the commission rate charged by the NPA
• incrementally redefining “homeless” in the last three annual counts so as to artificially depress statistical measures and justify service cuts

“Don’t be fooled,” Parker added. “There is a plan; it’s being carried out by experts; and it requires not just cross-departmental collaboration at city hall but long-term planning and innovative public-private collaboration.”

For more information, please contact:

Stuart Parker
COPE Executive Member
778-928-9431
cope@cope.bc.ca

COPE slams Vision Vancouver for increasing homelessness