VANCOUVER, BC / September 12, 2017: The Green Party of Vancouver today unveiled its by-election platforms for the October 14 by-elections for Vancouver City Council and the Vancouver School Board.
The party is running longtime community advocate Pete Fry for the single Vancouver City Council seat, and the Party's platform for that race can be found here.
Three candidates have been fielded by the Green Party for the Vancouver School Board by-election taking place on the same day. The platform for that race can be found here.
Vancouver City Councillor Adriane Carr said at the announcement of the platforms; "We are running four fabulous Green candidates. We have a solid platform that puts public interest first. We are polling ahead of all the other parties in voter support, increasing our lead from two percentage points to 17 percentage points in the last month. The polling shows an obvious public desire for change."
Highlights of the Green Party of Vancouver platform include:
Tackling the housing affordability crisis:
Tying the definition of "affordable" housing to median local incomes;
Increasing inclusionary zoning requirements to increase the supply of non-market housing;
Creating a City Tenants' Office to support tenants and prevent renovictions;
- Use municipal bonds and leverage the City's surplus land holdings to build public, affordable housing in cooperation with developers;
- Streamlining building codes and zoning bylaws to help develop "missing middle" ground-oriented, multi-family housing options like townhouses, perimeter housing, freehold rowhouses, and low-rise apartments through genuine consultation with communities.
Making people a priority:
Providing resources and money to tackle the opioid crisis;
Supporting investments in arts, culture and public spaces;
Moving for the development of a city-wide plan: the only process by which residents can come together on decisions that affect the city as a whole and on multi-neighbourhood issues like transit and equity;
Creating democratic and inclusive City-funded neighbourhood councils, allowing communities to provide input at the start of land use and development projects;
Building a Smart, Sustainable City:
Reducing the red tape currently bogging down thousands of small- and medium scale city-building projects;
Vigorously enforcing the Standards and Maintenance bylaws to prevent health and safety emergencies such as the residents of the Balmoral were subject to;
Move more quickly to update regulations with respect to short-term rentals and ride sharing, equipping bylaw officers with the resources needed to adapt to rapidly changing technologies and to work in multiple languages;
Establishing a Vancouver Carbon Trust that would use carbon offset revenues to help building owners retrofit energy-leaking buildings;
Protecting small business and local arts:
Creating a strategy and office for small business - a strategy to enhance our local economic security and connect Vancouverites to good jobs, creating stronger businesses and building thriving neighborhoods across our city.
Expanding the Vacant Homes Tax to also target empty commercial space being kept off the market for speculative and tax purposes, thereby creating a blight on commercial districts and depriving local entrepreneurs of affordable commercial space;
Moving to attract investment in the emerging green economy;
Protecting our economy and environment against the threat of bitumen pipeline and tanker expansion though our local waters.
(Candidate bios follow below)
Pete Fry is a long time community advocate, and self-employed in strategic and creative communications. Pete has worked with hundreds of local small businesses, arts and non-profits, and volunteered his skills to support AIDS, food security, animal welfare, and cultural groups. He is a frequent public speaker on issues of land use, heritage, and community.
Fry is a coordinator with Our Place at Ray-Cam developing and facilitating collective impact and land use strategies for vulnerable inner city families and youth, a board member of the City's Community Economic Development Strategic Action Committee, a member of the Hogan's Alley Working Group, and works with community groups across the city to empower citizens on urban planning and land use issues.
Fry was a community representative on the City of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan, a founding member for the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods, and former chair of the Strathcona Residents Association.
Inspired and frustrated by his experience with local area planning, Pete first ran for City Council with the Greens in 2014. Collecting some 46,500 votes, Pete missed being elected to council but topped polls in Strathcona, Mt Pleasant, and Commerical Drive with a grass-roots campaign on issues of development, community, poverty, and affordability. Fry received a number of high profile endorsements, and was recommended for council in the Georgia Straight editorial board’s “Straight Slate”.
In 2015, Pete was certified by the National Design Charrette Institute—an internationally recognized collaborative facilitation technique he feels can better empower citizens in the planning and decision-making process.
Fry has lived in Vancouver since immigrating to Canada as a child, and currently lives in Strathcona with his wife and assorted animals.
Dr. Janet Fraser was elected as a Vancouver School Board trustee in 2014 and served Vancouver’s students with commitment and integrity. She worked hard to build and maintain good relationships with VSB stakeholders, staff, community partners and other levels of government. She always made her decisions based on the best interests of students, for example not approving the 2017/18 balanced budget as the cuts too deeply impacted students and her successful motion to not sell any entire school sites.
Born and educated in the UK, Fraser received BSc and PhD degrees in chemistry from the University of Bristol. On immigrating to Canada she has worked in Vancouver as a scientist, project manager, at home parent, program administrator and trustee. Fraser and her husband live in Marpole and have three teenage children, two in Vancouver’s public schools and one in post-secondary education. She is active in the local community and served on school PAC executives for ten years.
Estrellita (Estie) Gonzalez was born and raised in Metro Vancouver and has resided in Vancouver since 1992. She has a BBA in Human Resources Management and is a small business owner, author, speaker, and mother to an energetic and talented teenage boy. Gonzalez has had a senior management and consulting career (HR/Marketing) in Canada and Asia. In 2012, she launched Derma Bright Clinic, a wellness centre and medispa based on her health and wellness values. As a Wellbeing speaker and writer, she passionately shares ideas on ways to detoxify your life. She is a volunteer with the CHILD Foundation, Eric Hamber Secondary’s Studio Co-Treasurer and was a VANOC NOC Assistant in 2010.
Gonzalez joined the Green Party of Vancouver because she is passionate about our planet and wellbeing for all, values she shares with the Greens. As a School Trustee she will work collaboratively so our children are well-served by a system that meets their needs and the future of our great city.
Dr. Judy Zaichkowsky was born and raised in Vancouver. She attended Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School and Killarney High School and then attended UBC for a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. Her first professional job was in the Vancouver Secondary School system, teaching mainly at Eric Hamber and Templeton High Schools.
She is currently a University professor of marketing in the Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA in marketing, with minors in psychology and statistics. She holds a Masters degree in Consumer Studies from the University of Guelph from which she has been named a notable alumni. She has been a Big Sister here in Vancouver and also an active member of the Minerva Foundation. Her main interests in the Vancouver School Board are around the principles of health, safety, social interaction, maximum intelligence stimulation and achievement for pupils and teachers alike.
Zaichkowsky chose to join the Green party and vote Green in the last election because of their proactive approach to creating legislation which enhances the well being and equality of all British Columbians.