For immediate release
October 28th, 2013

Today, the Coalition of Progressive Electors, Vancouver’s only progressive civic party, responded to Mayor Gregor Robertson’s trumpeting of a consensus he claims to have won at the Big City Mayors’ Caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Ottawa. “Today,” COPE director Stuart Parker explained, “an ad hoc caucus of an advisory body with no legislative power asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to renew their $1.7 billion commitment to fund housing for low-income people. And they issued a statement about it as though it’s news.”

In recent weeks, Vancouver’s Vision-NPA council majority has been similarly self-congratulatory in getting another advisory body without legislative power to pass a resolution endorsing an equally non-binding resolution by the city asking the BC Liberal government to solve the city’s massively corrupt corporate donation system.

“When governments are out of gas,” Parker explained, “they often blame higher levels of government for their failures; and they claim that the issues on which they have promised action are issues on which only these higher levels can deliver. But what makes the mayor’s statements so remarkable is the degree to which Vision hasn’t merely failed to act on affordable housing but has actively destroyed the city’s stock through a systematic, multi-year policy agenda.”

Not expecting the federal government to replace its existing funding or any largesse from the province, COPE will be campaigning for the following made-in-Vancouver measures to create affordable housing:

• creating a strong public Housing Authority that builds and maintains city-owned housing, managed by residents
• creating an official definition of housing affordability, based on the commonly held definition of 1/3rd of an occupant’s income
• creating firm definitions of ‘homelessness’, which includes people who are unsheltered, emergency sheltered, provisionally accommodated, and at risk of homelessness
• enabling and bolstering alternative forms of land and housing tenure, so as co-housing and co-operative housing

For more information, please contact:

Stuart Parker
COPE Executive Member

Robertson continues to place blame on housing crisis, pass buck in Ottawa