BREAKING: Team Behind Savio Volpe Opening New Restaurant in Cambie Village This Winter
Burdock and Co Is Celebrating a Decade in Business with a 10-Course Tasting Menu
The Frozen Pizza Chronicles Vol. 3: Big Grocery Gets in on the Game
Recipe: This Blackberry Bourbon Sour From Nightshade Is Made With Chickpea Water
The Author of the Greatest Wine Book of the Last Decade Is Coming to Town
Wine Collab of the Week: A Cool-Kid Fizz on Main Street
10 Black or African Films to Catch at the 2023 Vancouver International Film Festival
8 Indigenous-Owned Businesses to Support in Vancouver
5 Things to Do in Vancouver This Week (September 25- October 1)
Protected: Kamloops Unmasked: The Most Intriguing Fall Destination of 2023
Dark Skies in Utah: Chasing Cosmic Connection on the Road
Fall Wedges and Water in Kamloops
Attention Designers: 5 Reasons to Enter the WL Design 25
On the Rise: Meet Vancouver Jewellery Designer Jamie Carlson
At Home With Photographer Evaan Kheraj and Fashion Stylist Luisa Rino
How did you first come to run for the park board? I worked as a Crown prosecutor from 1986 until 1999. During the 1999 civic election, I thought, “I should be doing something more.” Some people want to be in politics when they’re 10 and help their mom deliver flyers. Others are like me: I had no personal connections to politics, though I was chair of my kids’ preschool, chair of the school PAC. And I’m a jock-I was president of the Kerrisdale Soccer Club, vice-president of the Vancouver Field Sport Federation-so I ran for the park board. My only regret is that that switch didn’t go on earlier.
How did you find public office? In 2002 it was a COPE board, and the COPE people are very political. I don’t think this partisan approach is effective. It was rewarding, though: this city is very gracious. There’s a certain anger, but the people love their parks and were supportive of the work we were doing.
What moved you to run for council? You get drawn into the bigger issues. I’m fundamentally an infrastructure person. How this city gets built is, to me, one of the most interesting things that parks and the city do. That’s really my key interest as a politician: build a good city, and people will live well-but that takes you to how to pay for this development, do we have enough affordable housing, how do you build enough housing so pricing is not sky-high?
And what do you think of our infrastructure? When I was elected with Sam Sullivan, I led the EcoDensity initiative to embrace density as a goal for the environment and the economy-we need enough people paying taxes so we can pay for great things like the art gallery. Speaking of which, I’m extremely disappointed by the choices this council has made to put low-rise-no, stubby-little buildings on the Cambie and Georgia site. It’s a travesty, a complete waste. I would build the tallest, most interesting, most beautiful building there-80 storeys. I’m very pro good development that helps the gallery, the symphony, our soccer teams. Look at Chicago or New York, how culturally rich they are. Good development will do that for Vancouver too.
Is it frustrating to be the sole NPA member on a Vision council? My greatest disappointment with Mayor Robertson and his team is that he ran on a so-called “take the petty politics out of City Hall” platform; in fact, he’s intensified petty politics. For example, there are a couple of councillors, like myself, who are assigned to no committees at all. But I’m pretty self-generating, and not being on a waste-management committee actually frees me up and keeps me more grounded in the community.
There’s talk of you running for mayor in November. What are your plans? To put together a really good NPA team. It isn’t settled just yet as to who that leader will be. I’m open to a third party-a marquee candidate-coming in, if they’re qualified. We’re going to have a lot of people running for council, and we’re open to anyone being leader.