News
34 min

Q & A with the council candidates

On the Village, housing, safety, Pride and The Centre


David Cadman, COPE


If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?

You can ask for all sorts of things from a developer that is seeking some sort of rights that they don’t have under their current land use, and one of the things that we could do within the West End context would be to ask for space for a Centre. I think quite frankly we should have done it in this last term, and I think we need to do it in this next term for sure.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Well of course. It is the gay neighbourhood and it’s where we celebrate the Pride days, and in terms of gay tourism, helping people to understand that this is the place where the gay community lives, works and plays is a good idea.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?

Well I think the first thing we’ve got to do is say we’re not prepared to see rental accommodation converted into condos. Number two, we have to absolutely make sure that we prioritize rental accommodation in the West End. Otherwise what we’re going to lose is the key rental area in this city, and if we do that, then all of the people who work in the service industry, be it restaurants, bars, entertainment, what have you, are going to be displaced.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
We have what’s called [a] Property Endowment fund, it’s worth about $1.6B, and what we need to do is look at shifting some of that investment into holding properties that are currently available for rental and prioritizing the use of those properties for rental, particularly for low and moderate income people.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?

I think the next chair of the police board has to say, when a homophobic comment is made at the time of an assault, it should be prosecuted as a hate crime.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
We can work around the tourist industry, bringing tourism in from around the world for it. We need to look at the way in which certain of our celebrations are given a lot of public support, for example the fireworks. We pay for the cost of policing and the cost of cleanup. Well, why is that not possible as a way of helping the gay Pride?

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
My preference is that it stay where it is because its HIV/AIDS program is a very critical element in terms of where it is right now. It should stay where it is and serve the densest community we have in the downtown core.

 

 

 

Ellen Woodsworth, COPE

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I think it is very important that if elected, that I continue the work that I did when I was an out lesbian city councillor with Tim Stevenson to do everything we can to support the queer community. And that includes helping the Centre find either land, or find a space where we can have an accessible, community centre.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Certainly. I’d like to do more than that, quite frankly. When we had a majority on council we celebrated Pride in the council chambers and filled the chambers with people to talk about what the key issues were in this community and we kicked off Pride on city council steps. I think we need to take really strong affirmative actions at City Hall to let people know that we support LGBTQ rights.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
I think that we need to keep the banners up, I think that’s critical. Anything that we can do to support Davie Village and get some understanding of this as the heart of the community is a really good idea. Maybe we can talk about what’s been done in Chinatown, in preserving heritage sites, they put up that incredible arch.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
I think that we need to put in place the affordable housing strategy that was set up when we had a majority, which means creating 800 units of affordable housing per year, purchasing one SRO [single room occupancy] a year. We need to pass an anti-conversion bylaw, and we need to say that every unit of housing that’s built in the downtown area of market housing should be matched with a unit of social housing.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
I think the city needs to speak out, I think the mayor should have been at our Holding Hands for Justice event. As chair of the police board, he needs to send the word to the police that this is not tolerable and that we need to call a hate crime a hate crime.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
I think it should be a civic event. I think we should kick it off at city hall. We celebrate a number of events inside city hall, traditionally we have done that, and we should do that for Pride activities.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I think St Paul’s should stay where it is, it’s needed in the West End for the queer community and it’s needed by the seniors in the West End. I’m not opposing that to what’s needed in the Downtown Eastside; we need both.

 

 

 

George Chow, Vision

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I think we will see from our land holding whether there is actually a space. We have a lot of holdings in our property endowment fund, maybe we could look in from that and see if there is vacant land that’s available.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Yes, I think that would be a very good idea.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
Well I think we need to actually make sure the zoning bylaws are such that we allow people to be able to stay there with affordable housing. I think that’s probably one of the problems is that people are being displaced because of all of the new development. So I think we need to look into that, just like all over the city of Vancouver.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
Bring back co-op housing on public land. What the city could do is lease the land to the group so they could build affordable housing; this is not social housing, this is actually housing for working people, so I think that needs to be done.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
Increase the police presence by having more patrol officers. At the same time we need to beef up our education program and prosecution in terms of prosecuting the people [under] hate crimes.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
Well I think it’s a very important celebration, and as an organizer of the Chinatown New Year parade, I think the Pride parade has actually drawn more people than the little parade that we have in Chinatown, and I think one of the things maybe is to make it a civic event.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
The St Paul’s hospital should essentially stay where it is, particularly with the emergency response that we’re trying to work on in the city in case of disasters and earthquakes and all that. I think we need to have hospitals in that part of town, [it is] so densely populated.

 

 

 

Heather Deal, Vision

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
Well, we need to look at city-owned spaces and whether or not there’s anything available. We also need to work with anybody doing development in the area to see if they could put in The Centre as part of their community amenity because certainly the Centre would be considered, in my eyes, as a community amenity.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Absolutely.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
If you recognise that this is a place that is celebrated, really worldwide, as a centre for LBGT, I think that that’s a cultural amenity that we have to value in this city. And I think that one of the ways of doing it is by designating it the Gay Village and supporting Pride to a greater degree, and just ensuring that that is seen as one of the great values of the neighbourhood. Renter’s protection and small business protection I think are important as well.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
A lot of people in the West End rent and we just need much stronger protection for renters. And we need to make sure that any time rental space is lost it’s replaced at at least a one-to-one ratio. I’m a little bit frustrated now because the last few proposals like this that we’ve seen have only had a 10-year covenant on the rental, which means that 10 years after it’s built it can be flipped to being condos, and I don’t think that there can be any less of a need for rental space 10 years from now.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
We need to work with the police. It has to be seen as a hate crime. I also think it’s a matter of awareness and education. It just confounds me that people still do that in this day and age. People have to be shamed for acting or even thinking of acting in that way.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
We should look into making it an official city event and certainly given the size and importance of it, I think we do need to look at that. There’s a huge number of people that come down there. That and the fireworks are our two biggest events of the year.
 
What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I think we certainly need to keep many of the amenities in the West End. There’s no question you need ER, there’s no question you need HIV and AIDS clinics, and there’s no question you need senior facilities.

 

 

 

Kashmir Dhaliwal, Vision

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I will help The Centre find a new space. I will try my best and will consult my co-councillers and whatever their response will be, I will cooperate with them.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Yes I would.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
People are moving because of violence and skyrocketing housing prices. We should have affordable housing in that area to support people in that riding.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
The previous council under Larry Campbell [decided] that we need one third marketing housing, one third middle income housing and one third low income housing. Plus we have to cooperate with the private sector and the city has to buy land and build houses using the contingency fund. Also we have to save the existing stock of low income housing.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
There should be a strong and immediate response from the police and the crime should be immediately investigated. In my whole life, I’ve always condemned violence. It doesn’t matter if it’s aimed towards gay people or any other community. I strictly condemn the violence.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
Any parade that attracts over a hundred thousand people should be considered a civic event. We have to support those kinds of parades and respect those cultural values. I will try my best to support those kinds of celebrations.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
St Paul’s Hospital sees a necessity to move, however the ER department should remain, as should the Centre for Excellence in HIV and AIDS. Also, as the provincial minister has said, St Paul’s Hospital will stay for at least 10 years.

 

 

 

Kerry Jang, Vision

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
Well I’d find it a new space. It’s very similar to the issue that the Chinese community had in trying to find a space for a new Chinese Cultural Centre. I think there’s a lot of parallels between the issues in the gay community and the Chinese community, where I’m from, just happening at a different time. So certainly I would be directing city staff to help find space.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Oh, totally, yes. You know we have a Punjabi market, a Chinatown, a Little Italy, you know, it’s about time. It’s important to have these things because it sends the message, and it gets people who don’t understand the gay community to know gay people are people too and they are a community and they’re a legitimate community.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
Well it depends on if the gay community wishes to move, or if they’re being pushed out. I think I would consult with the gay community. I think it’s important to have a liaison between the gay community and the mayor’s office. If the gay community wishes to stay there we’ve got to find ways ensuring that, like calling it the gay village or something like that, is put into place to stake out the territory.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
Build suites, ensure that with new developments that there are actually living spaces for different groups, families, new couples, or whatever. Currently as I see it, all the new housing is commodity housing and it’s being used to make money as investment vehicles. We need actual living spaces.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
I’d like to say, the police especially under Jim Chu have done a great job. I think that they work really hard to come down on hate crimes. I would like to see improved 911 response times, I know they’re slow not only [for] those types of hate crimes, but they’re slow for other crimes as well for the lack of officers.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
The city should be doing as much as it can to promote the parade, like providing real discounted rates on policing services, real discounted rates for insurance and liability and things like that. It’s a civic event. This is Vancouver, we have to support it a lot more than we are. It’s not just a place for politicians to go and try to buy a vote, but actually to go and understand what’s happening.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I think parts of St Paul’s can move, I think some types of patient care can be located elsewhere. I know that it’s the home for the Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and it makes sense for that to stay there because it’s serving the population that lives down there. The emergency ward should definitely stay there.

 

 

 

Raymond Louie, Vision

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
Well it’s important I think for all communities within our city to have dedicated space, whether it be the LGBT community or some of our ethnic communities, seniors as well. I would hope that we would facilitate the location of new facilities within new developments that possibly would be coming on stream in our city and making those available to our various communities.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
I’d support that.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
Well like most other communities in our city, what I would like to do is to strengthen the identity and the infrastructure of those communities. Specific to the LGBT community in the downtown Westside area, our support for instance, of things like the Pride parade, has been consistent, and we’ve worked hard last term at least to promote issues like Stonewall and these things are things we continue to try to work on to give the community presence and feeling and knowledge that we support them.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
The issue of rental housing is key to that situation, both the provision of it and the preservation of it as well, specifically in the West End where there’s such a high percentage of renters. That’s why Vision Vancouver has moved a number of motions in order to protect and enhance the rules surrounding rental accommodation in our city.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
We need to continue to speak out loudly and clearly that this type of behaviour, bashing, is not appropriate. We need to ensure that people understand that it’s not acceptable and if in fact people are perpetrating these crimes, that we prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
Obviously there’s certificate costs involved with that and we should be looking at reducing some of those costs. When we have such a large economic generator such as the Pride parade and others like the Chinatown parade and the Vaisakhi parade, we should look further at supporting these significant community events in our city.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
What I would say [is] as much of the services that can be maintained onsite, such as an ER in St Paul’s, should be maintained. With the densification and the addition of so many more residents into the downtown peninsula it’s important that we maintain the highest level of quality services as possible in a close vicinity.

 

 

 

Geoff Meggs, Vision

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I would sit down with city staff and see what kind of work they had done to identify possible city locations in appropriate areas, and if they’d been unsuccessful I would then work with people in commercial real estate in the private sector to do a scan as well to determine what was out there.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Certainly I’d support a proclamation to that effect. A city proclamation is easy to do.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
I think displacement’s occurring on two levels. One is the West End is a really important place for renters and tenants and everybody, queer or straight, is being heavily affected by problems with the Residential Tenancy Act, and the marketplace, and so on. But past that, I think it’d be important to sit down with the BIA and try to determine what kind of queer-friendly business and community institutions we could support and encourage in the area.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
The one most specific to the West End is stopping the conversion of rental housing to other purposes and really advocating strongly for changes to the Residential Tenancy Act to protect tenants. The city could do a whole series of things. The city has to take a strong policy commitment to generate affordable housing and rental housing.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
I think the city should take a public stance calling on the judiciary to treat these crimes as hate crimes so that there’s a greater inclination on the part of prosecutors to charge these crimes as hate crimes, and make sure that they are identified as such and condemned as such.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
Anything that large merits more formal city support in terms of treatment as a civic event. I mean we really see a much bigger engagement by the city in the Celebration of Light, but we need to take a look at whether we need to give similar kinds of engagement to the Pride parade, without letting it lose its community oversight and direction. It’s not to be taken over by the city but to be supported by the city.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I think it’s time to redevelop St Paul’s hospital, but I don’t think the West End should lose key services, particularly the emergency services, geriatric services, and HIV/AIDS services. Having said that I think it’s time to take a look at whether we can get more value out of that site and generate new hospital services in the city as well, so closure is not an option.

 

 

 

Andrea Reimer, Vision

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I’ve always thought that the space where the high school is in the West End, and the West End Community Centre and the library, is a bit of an underutilized space, certainly an aging space, so it would be interesting to talk about that. Space pressure is so huge in the West End that you have to be a little bit creative about how you do things.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Yeah, absolutely. Obviously I’d want to consult with the community, both the BIA and the community leaders… I’ve heard a lot of support for the idea, so why not just do it? 

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
The West End’s been hit very hard. It’s an epidemic of property flipping out there. I’ve been working with one group there, the people who live in an apartment and the building’s been sold, and what we’re investigating right now is if they can buy the building and turn it into a co-op. I think that’s not the solution for every building, but I think for some of the low-rises that are really important to the character of the West End, I think that is a possibility.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
I’m a big fan of cooperatives generally, as one of the housing solutions, but there’s a huge spectrum right? I think there’s an opportunity for the city to take its property endowment fund and to use that, not to spend it, but to use it as a backer for financing some of these creative solutions and then over time it gets paid back into.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
There’s some very specific technical things the city can do, like ensure the police have a queer community liaison and also have programs that work with the queer community to develop relationships. I think at a broad level you need a city council that models compassion: if you expect your citizens to model compassion and engagement and continued learning and development, you need a city council that models that behaviour as well.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
I think the Pride celebration is by far the funnest of the events that we have in this city so I think it’s simply important that the city make it a civic event and work with the Pride society, not against them.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
There’s particular needs in the West End because of populations that have concentrated there. So you absolutely need an emergency room at St Paul’s, and because there have been the services there for people suffering with HIV, they’ve moved into the area, found stable housing, and the last thing you’d want to do is to move those services and create havoc in their lives.

 

 

 

Tim Stevenson, Vision

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
It’s my hope that after I’m elected that I will again be appointed by Gregor Robertson as the mayor’s liaison to the GLBT community. In that role I would continue to advocate for The Centre and help in any way I can, as I have in the past, to finally get a new Centre.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Yes I would, absolutely, that’s something that I have been fighting for. I am an advocate for Davie St to be established as the gay village, the centre of the gay community. I think it needs to be anchored and seen as such by the city.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
I think that is hand in hand with what I’ve been saying about having a centre here where gay people from the West End and other parts of the city can call as their own. I think it’s also important to make sure that we have affordable housing in the West End. The whole of the West End needs to be seen as a friendly environment for our community and there are initiatives that the city can take. Maintaining the rainbow flags…

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
Housing, first and foremost, is a provincial issue and a federal issue, and they have abdicated their responsibility. They are letting these landlords and developers bring about changes. I would like to see an ombuds housing department in city hall where people can go and we’ll help fight for people and take on the provincial government.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
It takes excellent law enforcement who respond quickly and fairly and let these people know that these kind of actions will not be tolerated at all. Beyond that, we need much more education; there are lots of young men in this society that seem to feel that it’s their right to come cruising down into the West End and harass people.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
I’ve said for a long time that I would like to see it designated the same as the Festival of Lights as a city event. We are now up to being the largest parade in the history of our city and I think that the city should be giving it far more support because the city benefits enormously from the number of people who come.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
There may be part of St Paul’s that needs to move to the other place, False Creek. They do need to modernize. But I believe that site should remain for things like emergency and for the Centre for Excellence for AIDS, maybe the Centre for Heart & Stroke.

 

 

 

Suzanne Anton, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I think their best opportunity for new space is in conjunction with a development. There’s not a lot of big developments proposed for the West End because a lot of the West End is pretty much built out. So it would be a development maybe around Burrard St and some of those areas or on Denman St or some such thing.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Probably, but the mayor doesn’t just proclaim without making sure that the community is generally onside, and if the community was generally onside, sure, why not?

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
It’s pretty tough for a city to tell people where to live. If it’s a question of affordability, that’s an issue all around the city, and it’s faced by people in lots of neighbourhoods in the city. I think you’d need to know why people are leaving; I guess that’s something that I’d be interested in.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
Well throughout the rest of the city, more supply, and I think that helps the West End too. We have the laneway housing piece coming out to council this week and this is a new initiative for the city of Vancouver, and I think that that will be a pretty good source of affordable housing.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
Some people focus on policing; I like to focus on community wellness. I’m really interested in the city doing what it can to have healthy families and healthy communities and to try and stop kids from going down that road.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
I think it’s probably the biggest celebration in our city right now, it’s so fun and glamourous and it fulfils such a fundamental role. I think the city completely backs it, our staff back it, and I think that the Pride Society can take it wherever the Pride Society wants to take it.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I think something needs to stay there, some kind of facility. I do know that it’s a big economic generator in that neighborhood and so I do appreciate the concern with it leaving, but at the moment I think it’s pretty hypothetical. I would be surprised if we make any decisions on St Paul’s in the next three years.

 

 

 

Elizabeth Ball, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I think it’s a very important project, and one that obviously I moved early on the feasibility study and was very involved and enthusiastic about. I think that given all the activities and everything they have to offer, they should be much better housed. And you want a street-front presence.
 
Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
I think it’s not great for politicians to impose something on somebody or on a neighbourhood, but I would support something that came from the neighbourhood. I’m not a top-down person.
 
What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
I support the policies that our housing centre has put forward to try to slow the rate of change in the West End, to slow the loss of rental accommodations. But I also support going to the federal government to try to encourage the building of new rental accommodations.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
We used to have these amazing tax policies that allowed for rental housing to be built. I think it’s really important for the city to sit down with the federal government and say it’s critical that we have a tax policy that benefits the building of rental housing, because otherwise developers can’t do it.
 
How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
We used have a wonderful liaison officer and I do think it’s really important to have a liaison officer who specifically deals with issues of gaybashing. I think public education is critical in our city.
 
How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
We have to see how much money we do have, but I think we have to support it in all the ways weíre supporting it now. I think it’s by having an attitude, a leadership, that says this is good in our city.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
A lot of it is just crumbling and crotchety, and I get treated there all the time. I think it’s important that they continue to provide the really critical services to both the gay community and the seniors community in that area. How they choose to do that, I will leave to the medical professionals.

 

 

 

Sean Bickerton, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
What I’ve done already is talk to my caucus and everyone supports The Centre having a new space, and from Peter Lander on down, everyone’s agreed; we’ll work to make that happen.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Absolutely, in fact I think it has to happen. If you look at the number of gay businesses on Davie St now, and especially if you look at the bars that we can lay claim too that are exclusively ours, it’s a shrinking pool. And so I really think what’s important is to preserve in place what we have, and a declaration would make a big difference to doing that.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
My concept would be to get all the stakeholders, residents, businesses, community organizations —get everybody together and proactively, probably over a year, develop a vision document for the Davie Village. Then come up with a plan that reflects that identity, so it would be a living history of the gay community and gay rights in BC; all along the street there’d be places where people can learn about, for instance, Trudeau’s declaration that the government doesn’t belong in the bedrooms [of the nation].

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
It seems to me there’s two elements that are crucial. One is seniors, particularly, being able to stay in place. And the other aspect is the ability of people to temporarily evict residents while they do renovations and then jack up the rents for them to get back into their own homes. So I think that’s where we need to begin.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
Number one, we can educate people in the queer community that times have changed, that the police are our friends today, and to report every incident even if it’s not a major assault. Second thing, community-based, neighbourhood-based, community policing with foot patrol policemen on the streets, on bicycles, in the West End.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
To be honest, I think the parade doesn’t need more help. But I just think that the city has to put its full support behind it, everybody in the council should march, there should be a city presence in the parade that reflects council, staff, and everyone united, not under party banners but all just coming to support the parade as the city, all together.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
The loss of St Paul’s to the West End would be a major tragedy; culturally, financially, and historically, it’s been the heart and soul of the battle against AIDS in Vancouver. For most of us it’s a symbol of that fight and the fight of the survivors. I think we should do everything we can to keep St Paul’s in situ, acknowledging the fact that they need a modern facility.

 

 

 

Kim Capri, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
This council supported the feasibility study and so I’d like to see what the results of that are in terms of identifying location, and then we’d have to work with our director of real estate services and the planning department to move forward on the next steps in identifying the best site.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
I would love it. One of the things that we have to do is make sure that all of the interests are supported in a community, but I think people do recognize that Davie Village is the heart of the gay community. So I’d want to make sure that that was something that was promoted and supported by the various interests, but my initial reaction is absolutely.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
First of all I’d want to understand the source of the concern and whether it’s the question around affordable housing, if it’s changing populations. Like most Vancouverites, the whole question of loss of rental stock and affordable housing is a reality and a concern to everyone, and if that’s the source of it, I don’t know that it’s unique to the GLBT community.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
The biggest piece where I think we’re going to get results is through partnerships with both the federal and provincial governments. One of the things that I think has been successful is looking at smaller suites, so rather than having the one bedrooms be 600sqft, where you’re charged per foot, people are actually looking at living in 400sqft apartments and entertaining more in the community, so doing dinners out rather than entertaining in the home.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
I think that there is a significant problem out there, and one of my concerns right now is the level of underreporting. The big piece that I think we can play a role in is in public education: welcoming different lifestyles and what this means in communities, the more acceptance there will be out there. I think that having a liaison officer would be helpful.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
The way that we can continue to support it is though our department services, the coordinating that we do with the festivals department, with engineering, to make sure that the streets and the management of the blocks are handled appropriately through the communication with the neighbourhoods.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I’m very aware of some of the facility’s challenges for the medical profession, operating out of that building. I appreciate that there needs to be some relocation of services. I think this is something that’s going to happen a long way down the road, but definitely there needs to be some level of service provided in the West End.

 

 

 

Leanore Copeland, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
First of all, I’m president of all the community centres, so I do understand funding and I did visit that centre and we did talk about exactly that. What I know is that, generally speaking, nowadays you need to go to four places. You need a little bit of federal, you need some provincial, you need some civic and you probably need some community/private sector as well in order to fund it.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Does Davie Village want that? Because I know Davie Village well and there’s a lot of back and forth, and up and down. I think if Davie Village requested it, absolutely, but the request would have to come from Davie Village for sure.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
I’d like to know what the underlying reasons are. I don’t want to start guessing. I need to ask, and I’m a very, very good listener.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
You know, you’ve got to do it city-wide. In fact, I think we even have to do it region-wide, because it really does boil down to choices, that there be choices available. It’s always supply and demand, and the more supply you have the healthier it is for the renter or purchaser.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
One thing that I honestly think is going to help is, because I know one of the issues is lack of reporting — 311. So rather than calling 911 and feeling that they’re not going to do very much, what you’re doing is saying this is what happened and I want to speak to the appropriate person. Maybe that appropriate person is not the police. This is an entire shift in how the city will respond to things.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
Oh! The Pride parade — I was a peacock and I loved it! I think we make sure that we do nothing that restricts them. We should encourage them. We should provide the services that they need, because I do realise that there’s a cost to the city, but you know, they are so valuable to this city. It’s up to Pride. I mean, whatever they want.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I know that there’s a lot of concern at St Paul’s that they are going to be shut down, and I truly, truly hope that that is not necessary. I just truly hope that there is another answer and that we can retain that city facility in the West End, in the downtown core.

 

 

 

Michael Geller, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I would explore lots of different options, but based on my past planning and development experience, I would find a developer of a suitably located building who wants to create a community space as a public amenity. And this would help offset the costs and help make it become a reality and I would point to the Vancity Theatre on Seymour St. as a successful example of what I’m talking about.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Oh yes, if that’s what the community wants. At some point in the future, I’m hoping that 25 years from now, there will be predominantly gay neighbourhoods throughout the region, not just in Vancouver.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
My understanding is that the queer community is experiencing very similar problems to many people in Vancouver. And that is the cost of housing is too high, and there are redevelopments, pressures, that are affecting different neighbourhoods. I believe there are ways of encouraging developments to renew affordable housing as well as creative ways to help preserve the existing stock.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
On my website, I’ve listed 10 things that the city can do without any assistance from the other levels of government to encourage the creation of more affordable housing. And it includes things like significantly revising the city’s parking standards because the cost of parking can make smaller affordable units non-economically viable.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
I do think that a more positive attitude on the part of the police is very helpful. That is something that is within city control. But the other thing that needs to be done is to get harsher penalty from the courts and there I think everybody is going to have to work together to raise, to basically shame the courts, instead of shaming the johns, shame the courts, into giving more appropriate, tougher sentences for hate crimes of any kind.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
The Pride celebration has grown exponentially since I became first aware of it. But last year I was in Amsterdam for their Pride celebrations and realized that there is still lots of room to grow. I’d like to think that people can count on me for supporting such a wonderful, exciting, colourful event.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I know that a lot of people would like me to say it should stay where it is. But I don’t think I have enough information to be able to say that. I think over time a new site such as False Creek Flats may have to be found for the major hospital. But that doesn’t mean that a significant community health care facility can’t remain in the West End serving that neighbouring population.

 

 

 

Korina Houghton, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I think if they need to get a new space I’d be happy to work with The Centre to try and find a new location. It might not be city property. It might be something outside of the city’s purview, I don’t know, but I’d be certainly happy to try and facilitate that if The Centre needs a larger space.
 
Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
I think I would be happy to do that as long as we had a public consultation process that showed that the majority of the neighbours in that area were in favour of that.
 
What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
I think probably down in that area, the rental housing issue sounds to be like one of the biggest problems. Affordability. And that’s something the city has to address, not just for that area, but for the entire city.
 
How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
I think that we really need to look at that issue on a city-wide basis and we need to look at different solutions in regards to laneway housing or densification or whatever. It’s one of Vancouver’s big issues and we need to make sure people can afford to live here.
 
How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
I think education, certainly, is one of them. I think that the West End and Davie Village have gone a long way to increasing the public acceptance of the gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual lifestyle. Basically doing what the folks are doing now. They’re not hiding it.
 
How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
Obviously the gay Pride parade is a huge one, and we always participate in that. Maybe a proclamation of the Gay Village on Davie St if, again, because I know the population in the Davie St area isn’t just a gay population, so you want to make sure you leave it open to public consultation.
 
What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I think it should stay where it is. I think it’s an important institution there, quite frankly. I actually live in the downtown area and I’m going to be having my baby there, so there’s a bit of a personal attachment.

 

 

 

David Lee, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
My answer would be that I’ll do what I can.
 
Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
Why not? Toronto has a neighbourhood similarly recognized.
 
What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
I think people leave for a number of reasons and we have to know more.
 
How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
The economic crisis is solving that for us right now. What’s been happening to the world for past few weeks, the stock market, the banks, and the real estate markets are already softening, and I don’t think we have to do more.
 
How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
I think it’s being accepted more and more every year. People just have to learn to accept it. It’s a part of life. I think this just takes time, but I think we are embracing it.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
Well I read somewhere [that] even the policemen and firemen participate in those parades. In my case, one of my brothers is gay and this is 100 percent accepted because this is a part of life. I think you should participate and be a part of it, and that shows your support.
 
What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
St Paulís is in a prime location. Maybe the facility is old, so they should tear it down and rebuild it on the same location. I know they’re thinking of moving to Terminal but if I had the choice, I think it should stay where it is.

 

 

 

Daljit Sidhu, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
I will work with them and will try to do whatever is in my power. I think the community centre, for everybody, is a beautiful thing.

Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
I have to look at it more clearly but I think it sounds okay to me. Personally I think people have the right to enjoy their lives the way they want to.

What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
I will listen to the community and see what we can do.

How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
The city council has already put the new [laneway] houses throughout the city. Through the new proposal, it will help create more houses and people will be able to live close to the facilities and enjoy the community they want together.

How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
The gaybashing is something that shows we need tolerance. There is no place on earth, especially in Vancouver and Canada, to hate anybody because of their orientation, background, colour or creed. We have to educate people. They should learn how to live side by side and live with their differences.

How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
I think they are doing quite a bit now and it’s growing every year, so we can look into more things. Those who work on the celebrations know more than the councillors do, so they can recommend more that can be done.

What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
I don’t have a position on that. But certainly if we can keep it where it is, that’s fine, but if we can create a much better facility, then we should look more at that option.

 

 

 

Kanman Wong, NPA

If elected what would you do to help The Centre get a new space? What would it look like?
Frankly speaking, I’m not really familiar with that case in the first place. I would need to look at it more, but under the principle of supporting community buildings, I would say it’s important to have a functioning centre.
 
Would you support a city proclamation of Davie Village as Vancouver’s gay neighbourhood?
For that, I would definitely need to look more closely into it before I say yes or no.
 
What would you do stop the community’s displacement from the West End?
Every individual has different reasons for moving. Without further study I have no way to answer this question.
 
How can the city best solve the affordable housing crisis in the West End and throughout Vancouver?
I can only understand the issue through talking to the people, but I would say that there’s a demand bigger than the supply. But we really don’t have any means to increase the rental units there. We should encourage more rental units out of those strata-owned apartments.
 
How can the city curb the continuing problem of gaybashing in the Village and beyond?
I think it has to do with the education side of it. From my experience, I’m from an ethnic minority and I would say that we have to have bullying and discrimination education.
 
How can city council best support Vancouver’s growing Pride celebrations?
I believe it has been growing on its own and it has been really accepted at this moment, and I’m not really sure what else we can do. It has been successful already.
 
What’s your position on whether St Paul’s Hospital should close, move, or stay where it is in the West End?
Well, I would say it should stay where it is now for the reason that there is no hospital downtown. I think we need to have the hospital, especially since it is a high-density area, and without a hospital, I don’t think it’s right.