Vision Vancouver People Moving COPEward

-- Download Vision Vancouver People Moving COPEward as PDF --

The COPEward drift will not end any time soon. I suspect it will pick up in pace over the next 6-8 months.

Helesia Luke was elected to the COPE board on Sunday after having run for a Vision Vancouver nomination in 2008.

Charlie Smith wrote about Jenny Kwan’s former support for Vision in 2005 turning into her current support for COPE as “the only civic party that is truly committed to being an effective representative of the grassroots in Vancouver”.

Update [2pm, 9.22.10]: Jenny Kwan has characterized the above quote as an editing error, so we can’t necessarily characterize her as shifting to COPE.

Smith’s piece also contains a long, fascinating list of things COPE has stood for in the last 2 years that Vision didn’t support. See that whole list below.

Generally, beyond citizens shifting support to COPE, I don’t think that Luke and Kwan will be the last people to drift towards COPE over the next 60 weeks, especially as Vision spends more months governing with a “vision” that doesn’t seem to include real people.

If Vision doesn’t get rid of their tax shift from business to residents, and if they actually increase it instead, we will all continue to know who they really represent, regardless of their rhetoric.

Every time we buy something and pay the HST, it is a reminder of the massive tax shift from global corporations to BC citizens and that the BC Liberals and Vision Vancouver like tax cuts for businesses combined with tax increases for human beings.

I wonder if this similar view of a tax shift from corporations to human beings is what motivated the Vision Vancouver mayor to cheer for a Gordon Campbell three-peat almost two years ago.

What distinguishes COPE from Vision Vancouver:

* Only COPE opposed the tax shift from businesses to residences so homeowners and renters would be protected.

* Only COPE called for the Campbell Liberals to commit to a timeline on the 14 affordable-housing sites they keep promising.

* Only COPE stood with the residents of Little Mountain and housing advocates to demand 224 units of affordable family housing be reopened.

* Only COPE brings international leadership on climate change and waste management.

* Only COPE proposed a two-bike-lane solution for the Burrard Street Bridge.

* Only COPE brought forward a motion to restore investment in the arts for the social and economic health of our city.

* Only COPE brought forward innovative motions such as installing wireless internet services in civic buildings, starting a citywide “freebie” give away program, and increasing scooter parking.

* Only COPE brought forward motions on campaign finance reform to cap the extraordinary election expenses in Vancouver.

* Only COPE stood in favour of preserving the iconic Bloedel Conservatory and Stanley Park farm and preventing privatization.

* Only COPE brought a motion to council against the B.C. Liberals’ “kidnapping act”.

* Only COPE brought a motion to the Vancouver Board of Education on the International Day for Climate Action.

* Only COPE is committed to putting electoral reform on the agenda for the 2011 election and is carrying out a neighbourhood engagement process.

* Only COPE has called parents, teachers and labour together to fight the devastating education cuts coming in the next provincial budget.

* Only COPE has stood up for amateur sports at Empire Bowl.

* Only COPE opposed the redevelopment of Hastings Park, which reduces green space promised to the neighbourhood.

* Only COPE stood up and gave back unnecessary Olympic tickets.

* Only COPE proposed a real West End consultation and voted against spot rezonings done without real participation.

* Only COPE voted against the mayor’s task force on the West End, because it’s not the consultation the community is looking for.

* Only COPE is proposing models for transparent neighbourhood engagement.

* Only COPE is proposing changes to the rate-of-change bylaw to preserve rentals.

* Only COPE is requesting that all untendered city contracts over $30,000 be approved by council and posted on the city’s Web site.

* Only COPE has consistently stood up for civil liberties and in defence of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the face of repressive Olympic security plans.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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