Remember that civic party?
The same party that won a landslide in 2002 and crushed the NPA?
Well, COPE is not exactly dead, although school trustee Allan Wong is the party’s only elected official.
Like every party or candidate that wants to knock off Vision Vancouver in the 2014 election, COPE needs a wedge issue or issues to differentiate itself from Gregor Robertson and his buddies.
So what is COPE on about with a little more than a year before voters go to the polls?
Homelessness and news this week that 1,600 people are still without a permanent home in this world-class city.
After reading what I’m about to write, you’ll be quite clear who COPE blames for the homeless problem and where the party firmly leans on the political spectrum. Hint: I’m not seeing any dinners or harbour cruises with developers in the party’s future.
Not when Stuart Parker is writing press releases, anyway.
Take it away, Mr. Parker…
“People think homelessness increases all by itself but it’s actually taken council years of diligent work through literally hundreds of individual votes,” he began a release that COPE issued Tuesday.
Parker, by the way, is an executive member of COPE. I’ll provide more background on him after you get through the remainder of his attack on Vision Vancouver.
Please continue, Mr. Parker…
“Vision Vancouver has been truly dynamic and innovative in its breakneck destruction of affordable housing stock, removal of social housing requirements for the developers that fund it, and taking other cutting edge measures to get more Vancouverites than ever living in temporary shelters in time for Christmas.”
And there’s more…
“What we are seeing is a project far more focused and larger scale than the previous great demolition waves of the early 70s under Tom Campbell and the early 90s under Gordon Campbell. I don’t know how the NPA can show its face anymore. Once upon a time, they were the masters of driving people into alleys to die. But no more.”
He goes on to say that Vision has “outmaneuvered the now-obsolete NPA in delivering not just development but development at the maximum human cost.”
- Vision has redefined “affordable housing” to refer to “something that somebody can afford” such as a $2,000 a month bachelor suite.
- Vision has delivered “up-zoning and zoning variances” to corporate donors at a fraction of the commission rate charged by the NPA.
- Vision has incrementally redefined “homeless” in the last three annual counts so as to “artificially depress statistical measures and justify service cuts.”
“Don’t be fooled,” he added. “There is a plan. It’s being carried out by experts and it requires not just cross-departmental collaboration at city hall but long-term planning and innovative public-private collaboration.”
More background on Parker as promised: He was the founder of the B.C. Green Party’s youth wing in 1998. He also served as the party’s “second leader” from 1993 to 2000, according to a bio I found online.
That same bio also included this info: “Since being prescribed the Basic Dungeons and Dragons boxed set by a child psychiatrist at the age of nine, Stuart has been an avid player of tabletop roleplaying games and still runs a weekly game.”
The election is November 2014.
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