GM Feb 16 2013
14 Feb 2013
This Saturday, the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) is holding its annual policy conference. For over 40 years, COPE’s election platform has been developed by the membership through such meetings. COPE is the only major civic party in Vancouver whose policy is created democratically.“Power is becoming more concentrated at City Hall, Community Centre Associations are under threat and the Parks Board itself is being phased-out. As the ruling party Vision Vancouver becomes increasingly exclusionary and secretive, people are naturally turning to COPE as the truly democratic and progressive alternative,” said COPE Executive member Ifny Lachance, chair of the Policy and Constitution Committee.The meeting will focus on pressing issues faced by Vancouver City Council, School Board, and Parks Board, highlighting the ways in which the erosion of civic democracy further undermines affordability and access to public services. Attacks on the democratic authority of Community Centre Associations and the School Board facilitate the imposition of greater financial burdens on community centres, schools, and libraries to self-fund through increasing user fees and other hidden, regressive taxes, fees disproportionately borne by marginalized groups.

Membership will also further develop COPE’s Housing Affordability policies. COPE’s Tim Louis said: “Developer money has undermined democracy at City Hall, and that has hampered attempts to make real change. Everyone knows the housing affordability crisis is only getting worse. People with regular salaries, recent immigrants, indigenous people, students, seniors, are being driven out of the city. COPE is the only party that is going to fight day-in and day-out until every single person has a chance to build a life in Vancouver.”

Transportation planner Eric Doherty, who will present at the meeting, said: “Vancouver has started creating high quality routes for people to ride bicycles, next we need to do the same for people riding buses. Vancouver is lagging behind even American cities like New York in transit priority.”

February 16th, 2013
Registration at 10:30am | Meeting 11am to 5pm
Alma Van Dusen and Peter Mackay Room, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, 350 West Georgia Street (at Hamilton)

Other issues to be discussed:

  • Vancouver’s Transportation Plan – guest speaker Eric Doherty, Council of Canadians
  • Urban Aboriginal Issues – guest speaker Herb Varley, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council
  • Violence against women and against sex-workers – guest speaker Alison Clancey, Living in Community

For more information contact:

Sean Antrim

COPE’s annual Issues Meeting to discuss Community Centres, Sustainable Transportation, and Affordable Housing