Agendas for two Vancouver City Council meetings this week include reports on plans for two of Vision Vancouver’s top 2011 election promises. But neither of these reports are attached to the agendas.
“Failure to provide reports in advance of meetings thwarts full scrutiny not only by non-Vision Councillors but also by the media and, most importantly, the public,” says Councillor Adriane Carr, Vancouver’s first Green Party City Councillor.
On Tuesday July 8, 2014, Council will consider a ‘Plan to End Street Homelessness’. Vision’s top election promise in the 2008 and 2011 elections was to end homelessness in Vancouver by 2015.
“I have no idea whether there will be anything new in this plan,” says Carr, “but I do know that having a more effective plan than we’ve had in the past is critically important given that street homelessness doubled this past year (from 273 to 538) and homelessness itself increased to 1,715—higher than the 1,576 when Vision first formed a majority on Council in 2008.”
At the Standing Committee of City Finances and Services meeting on July 9, Council will receive the 2014 progress report on the Greenest City Action Plan, focused on another of Vision’s top election promises.
“It’s difficult to properly scrutinize reports, debate plans and amend motions when you’re hearing them for the first time in meetings,” continued Carr. “Informed debate is a cornerstone of democracy. This begs the question: is Vision Vancouver withholding information deliberately to stonewall the democratic process?” asks Carr.
“This is simply the latest in an ongoing approach by Vision in not fully disclosing important information to anyone outside the Vision circle,” says Carr. “No wonder trust in Vancouver City Council has plummeted.”
A Justason Market Intelligence survey (Public trust in municipal organizations down since last election - May 1, 2014) reveals that trust in City Council has declined from a 62 percent trust rating just before the last election to a record-low 34 percent today.