1 min

Aim is ‘international city’

Alan Herbert is quintessential 'Funcouver' candidate

Credit: vcaTEAM

Alan Herbert is no newcomer to Vancouver politics. He sat on council with the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) from 1996-1999, before losing his bid for that party’s re-nomination. Then he ran as an independent in the last municipal election, without success.

Now he’s running with a new party he helped form a few months ago: the Vancouver Civic Action Team (vcaTEAM)-which draws approximately 45 percent of its membership from the gay community. If elected, Herbert says he’ll focus on cutting red tape, improving transportation (the future is rail, he says) and implementing a ward system.

“We’re badly in need of wards,” he says. Most Vancouverites don’t even know who they’re electing to council.

“Anyone who wants to run for city council has to become intimate with 550,000 people,” Herbert told Xtra West in January. It’s impractical-and it doesn’t translate into reasonably-sized constituencies for councillors to consult and represent.

Herbert is also eager to resume his work cutting the red tape surrounding this city’s liquor licences. Last time he sat on council, he was instrumental in helping the Fountainhead Pub get its licence. Now he wants to keep an eye on the gay pubs’ expansion requests to make sure city hall treats them fairly.

“Vancouver is mired in red tape,” Herbert says. City hall should encourage new proposals, not tangle them in applications and regulations.

And above all, he says, make it fun.

If Herbert gets elected, he’ll push for more festivals and, most importantly, a vibrant night life every night. “Festivals are great,” he says, “but I want to know what I’m doing on Tuesday at 8 o’clock.”

If Vancouver is going to be an international city, it should start acting like one, Herbert concludes.