How Vancouver's mayor and council voted on big issues this term

·5 min read
Vancouver's mayor and all 10 councillors are seeking re-election this election, a marked departure from 2018 when just three of them did.  (City of Vancouver - image credit)
Vancouver's mayor and all 10 councillors are seeking re-election this election, a marked departure from 2018 when just three of them did. (City of Vancouver - image credit)

It can be hard to keep track of all the candidates running for Vancouver council.

In 2018 voters were asked to choose between a record-high 71 people for the city's 10 council slots, and it's possible this year will see an even higher number of contenders.

And while most will be running on what they promise to do if elected, 11 of them will be partly campaigning on what they've done.

All 10 councillors and Mayor Kennedy Stewart are running for re-election, with one of the 10, Colleen Hardwick, running for mayor.

To help understand what they've achieved during their time in council, we put together this spreadsheet, looking at how all 11 voted on 25 motions across their term that attracted attention from media. You can click on each of the descriptions to find further details about the story.

We also asked all 11 candidates which motions they were most proud of bringing forward during their terms, and which motions they were disappointed didn't get acted on.

Below are their answers, with the exception of Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung, who did not respond to several requests for comment.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart 

Motions proudest of: Raising the empty homes tax to five per cent, declaring an opioid emergency task force, and a pilot project for allowing homeowners to build six strata units on a single lot.

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: "None of my motions failed. It's important not to waste council time."

Coun. Colleen Hardwick (running for mayor)

Motions proudest of: Establishing an independent auditor general, strengthening representative democratic practices in Vancouver, relief for commercial properties affected by the Broadway Subway construction.

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: Recalibrating Vancouver's housing strategy. "We are still waiting for the housing data that council directed staff to deliver at the end of July 2020 … yet staff continue to advance policies seemingly uninformed by data."

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

Coun. Rebecca Bligh

Motions proudest of: removing of the Alma building line, enabling a recovery community centre, advocating for the requirement of side guards on heavy trucks in urban centres.

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: "This question doesn't apply as all of the motions I put forward were acted upon by council and almost all of them were unanimously supported."

Coun. Christine Boyle

Motions proudest of: Declaring a climate emergency, improving transportation safety around Vancouver schools, and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: Reduce barriers and deepen affordability for non-profit, co-op and social housing in every neighbourhood. "The motion would have significantly reduced the time it takes to build badly needed non-market housing, and would have saved each project hundreds of thousands of dollars, resulting in lower rents in these new non-market homes."

Coun. Adriane Carr

Motions proudest of: Changing Vancouver's housing bylaws to achieve real housing affordability, aligning Vancouver's capital plan with increased climate emergency action, launching a citywide plan.

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: "None of my motions were rejected by council. Some of them haven't yet been acted on by staff. I'm most disappointed that implementation of my motion to change Vancouver's housing by-laws, policies and budgets to achieve real housing affordability has been delayed by staff to let council decide on whether we want to pursue the kind of action I'm calling for: to ground our plans in delivering on housing to meet the real needs."

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

Coun. Melissa De Genova

Motions proudest of: Expediting development and building permits to improve affordability, extending around the clock childcare for Vancouver families, weddings at city hall
Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: Sustaining public safety as a core service in the City of Vancouver. "Instead of making public safety a priority, most of council amended this motion removing the timeline and changing my recommendations for a public meeting to an exclusive, invite-only town-hall meeting that has not yet happened."

Coun. Lisa Dominato

Motions proudest of: Clearing Vancouver's permit and licence backlog, cutting red tape for accessibility retrofits in homes, considering youth housing needs within the city's housing strategy.

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: Mental health and addiction reform: An expert-led cross-jurisdictional task force. "Council passed this motion; however, I am disappointed in the province's lack of leadership on addressing the mental health and addiction issues we are seeing play out in our communities. There continue to be gaps in service and care, and a lack of integration and urgency."

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

Coun. Pete Fry

Motions proudest of: Establishing a city renter's office, animal welfare in Vancouver's procurement policy, a ban on consumer fireworks.

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: Saving lives with community defibrillators and first aid. "It sort of went nowhere with our staff even though it was a simple enough request to explore the placement of AEDs [automated external defibrillators] as a public benefit in new development projects. The motion inspired other municipalities to work with the St. John Ambulance Start Me Up program for placing defibrillator kiosks in the public realm and I know of at least one life saved by this program."

Coun. Jean Swanson

Motions proudest of: Slowing the loss of low-income SROs in Vancouver through vacancy control, saving lines with the community led compassion club model for safer drugs, decriminalizing poverty and supporting community-led safety initiatives

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: Asking for a change to the Vancouver Charter to allow the city to levy a progressive property tax. "We have to find the money to pay for everything with just one regressive tax while people with property get richer by doing nothing. The city could do so much more for its residents if we had the ability to tax fairly, and we could do it so those who can't afford to pay more could defer."

Coun. Michael Wiebe

Motions proudest of: A shift in how Vancouver partners with local businesses, a new city framework for community safety and well-being, the shore-to-shore greenways plan.

Motion disappointed that council didn't act on: Keys to housing affordability. "It was ruled out of order before council had the ability to hear from a great lineup of speakers on some creative solutions to address our housing affordability crisis."