To help you get familiarize with some candidates, here are five questions we asked Shauna Sylvester. I am very impressed by the length and thoughtfulness of her platform many of which are realistic to achieve. She is also an independent candidate meaning there is minimal bureaucracy and external pressures influencing her role as mayor of Vancouver.
Truly a very considerable candidate for mayor. If you’re left-leaning Shauna Sylvester should be considered for your vote – I trust she will fulfill her platform if elected. While political lines shouldn’t dictate our votes, in reality it does.
Once again, regardless of who you vote – please get out and vote! It only takes a few moments and it provides opportunity to have your causes and concern get heard by voting for a candidate who best aligns with your leanings! Each vote counts.
Here are five questions that we thought would help you understand Shauna Sylvester as Vancouver mayoral candidate better.
Vancouver Election 2018 – Question 1:
In your opinion… What are three (3) most pressing issues in Vancouver AND how do you intend on dealing with these concerns, if you’re elected as mayor of Vancouver?
Shauna Sylvester – Vancouver Election 2018 Question 1 Response:
The three most pressing include housing, inequity and transportation.
Housing: The housing crisis affects all of us and we cannot rest until we have a 3% rental vacancy rate with prices matching no more than 30% of income. We have spent too many years embroiled in a conversation narrowly focused on building more supply. We need to build more purpose-built housing to create thriving neighbourhoods for our children, working professionals, seniors, and businesses. My housing plan includes a) Using City land and assets for housing and support services, b) Making Vancouver the North American capital of co-ops and co-housing, c) Encouraging purpose-built housing through faster permitting and specific fee waivers, d) Creating targeted housing authorities to enable workers to live where they work, e) Fast-tracking and cutting down red tape for affordable housing, f) Working with the public to complete community plans across the city. I highly encourage you to see my website – www.shaunaformayor.ca – for more details.
Inequity: A great number of people in Vancouver are hurting and feel like the political system does not work for them. If we look through an intersectional lens we see further inequity based on gender, race, class, ability, age, indigeneity and immigration status. Vancouver’s middle class is being priced out of the city, and remaining residents struggle to maintain a decent standard of living while facing rising costs. As this continues, we observe a toxic cycle of apathy that leads to a lack of representation and further struggle.
Transportation: Vancouver is a beautiful city to live in and we should be proud of the fact that we have a walkable city with a diversity of mobility options to get around. However, we also have a significant congestion crisis due to a lack of infrastructure capacity and planning to support this mobile population. Broadway is one of the most congested motorways in North America. Seniors in this city need improved HandyDART service. Nighttime service remains a significant gap.
To address these three most pressing issues, I will:
- Implement my six-point plan to address the housing crisis and get us to an affordable state.
- Build the Broadway Subway all the way to UBC in a single phase.
- Work with Translink to improve HandyDART service availability and look into late hour services.
- Build 2800 units with support services to address homelessness, with 1000 units reserved for women and children.
- Return to the four pillars approach to address the opioid poisoning crisis and treat the situation as a public health emergency rather than a criminal issue.
- Address senior isolation and make sure there is a crosswalk close to every senior living facility.
- Improve the accessibility of city infrastructure.
- Take bold steps to treat Vancouver’s No Fun City reputation by improving city arts and culture support, and back initiatives like responsible consumption of alcohol on the beach.
- Support electrification infrastructure that will prepare us for the ongoing transition from fossil fuel vehicles.
Vancouver Election 2018 – Question 2:
In your opinion… What are five (5) things you love about Vancouver AND how do you intend on continuing, or enhancing these benefits of Vancouver, if you were elected mayor of Vancouver?
Shauna Sylvester – Vancouver Election 2018 Question 2 Response:
Here are a few of my favourite things about this city:
1) Diversity: We live in one of the most diverse cities in the world. The makeup of who we are has been shaped by indigenous people and the waves of immigrants who have settled on this land. This diversity is reflected in many ways: in our food, languages, cultural festivals, music and literature, models of economic development, the way we live as families, and different forms of organizing. This diversity is one of our greatest assets as a city. As mayor, I will support the small businesses that reflect our diversity, the public activities and festivals that celebrate it, and the vibrant character of our various neighborhoods that result from it. I have developed a series of platforms that address these issues, but I’m highlighting my arts and cultural platform here because it is key to preserving the soul of our city. Read more at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/arts.
2) Environment: Our city’s natural environment is unmatched. Vancouver’s commitment to livability and its respect for nature is one of the reasons why I call this city home. I am committed to building on Vancouver’s climate leadership while preparing the city for the coming effects of climate change. As the founder of two initiatives, Carbon Talks and Renewable Cities, I have spent the last 10 years working on climate change issues with cities in Canada and have worked with the City of Vancouver to advance their climate solutions. We have made progress, but have so much more to do. I have made a number of commitments to build a greener, healthier, more resilient city, which are outlined in my environmental platform at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/environment.
3) Innovation: Vancouver has an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. As Mayor, I am committed to nurturing this energy and passion, particularly with our young residents who have so much to offer to our city. The challenges we face as a city require innovative approaches. We need a Mayor who sees our government as a platform to support people to bring their best ideas and solutions forward. I bring decades of experience engaging and seeking solutions from community partners, academia, the public, and industry. We will transform our risk-averse culture into one that supports new startups and ideas. We don’t just need innovation to solve local issues; we need to ensure Vancouver is a place that can export its innovation and creativity through enterprise.
4) Community spirit: I love the many ways that the people of this city come together in association with one another to do things. From neighbourhood houses, collective daycares, credit unions, universities, non-profit organizations, informal book clubs, and social enterprises, we have a vibrant and healthy civil society. I have spent years volunteering and as Mayor, I will help to nurture and deepen our community connections as a means of addressing isolation and creating stronger social ties among the people who live and work in our city.
5) Democracy: I love living in a democracy. I believe this is a trait of our society that shouldn’t be taken for granted. But democracy is fragile and can only be strengthened through constant work. We need to move beyond polarization and fragmentation, and explore what connects us as citizens. We need to create trust and confidence in government. Within my first 100 days as Mayor, I will deliver a financial report to the public on where our tax revenue has been spent. I will create a lobbyist registry for City Hall and treat departing staff and elected officials as related parties with a one year ban on doing business with the city. I will also introduce a 5 by 5 Hybrid Ward Electoral process to strengthen local representation and democratic engagement with City Hall. For more information please review my commitment to Building Trust and Accountability at City Hall here: https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/accountability
Vancouver Election 2018 – Question 3:
What qualities do you think are more important in finding a mayor for Vancouver? AND what makes you best qualified to be mayor of Vancouver?
Shauna Sylvester – Vancouver Election 2018 Question 3 Response:
I believe there are a number of qualities that are key for anyone wishing to be Mayor of Vancouver: leadership, vision, compassion, the capacity to collaborate, the knowledge of our city and how it functions, and the ability to get work done. Vancouver needs a truly independent mayor who can bridge understanding across divides and who can bring the best of our elected officials, our staff, and our community forward to solve the challenges we face as a city.
I also believe that the Mayor of Vancouver needs to be someone who can mobilize resources, people, and relate to other levels of government while remaining rooted in community. Great ideas also need to be accompanied by experience and robust networks to turn a platform into policy. The next Mayor of Vancouver needs to be someone who knows how to provide resources for people and strategically turn ideas into action.
I bring years of experience working closely with community-oriented groups and as Mayor, I will draw on that deep experience to support my passion for helping our city thrive, innovate, and expand. I grew up and worked in a small family business, have founded five social enterprises, and have served on the boards of various Vancouver organizations in both executive and financial-management roles. These include Vancity, Vancity Capital Corporation, MEC, and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. As Mayor, I will put into action my networks and my 30 years of experience working with federal and provincial governments to leverage their support and move our city forward.
We are likely to have one of the most politically diverse city councils in our history. As an independent candidate and an experienced facilitator, I can get City Council to bridge differences and to work together for the people of Vancouver, rather than political parties. I have worked in many countries across the world, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Ecuador, and have dealt with conflict situations to bring people together and identify common ground. I can do the same here. As the Executive Director for the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at SFU, I have experience as a facilitator and a convener of groups of people to find solutions to move forward on issues.
I encourage you to check out more of my work in conflict resolution and facilitation on my page https://www.facebook.com/shaunaformayor.
Vancouver was incorporated in 1886 on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. In that time period, women have been an active part of society and have helped build this city into what it is today. But women in this city face particular struggles. Some women who live in poverty couch surf, or live in dangerous conditions to avoid living on the streets. A woman above the age of 65 is twice as likely to live in poverty as a man of that age. Many women, including indigenous women, single women, and women of colour, face abuse or worse without culturally safe support. A lot of these problems can be traced back to the fact that women have not been adequately represented at City Hall. In fact, in its 132-year history, Vancouver has never had a female mayor.
I encourage the people of this city to take a look at my background, experience, and passion. You can learn more about me at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/bio-shauna. I am asking you to vote for me not because I am a woman. I want to be your mayor because I am qualified, I know the issues, I can get the job done, and I can bring a perspective that has never been shared in the mayor’s office. I want Vancouver to address these issues so that our women are treated better.
Ultimately, I would be honoured to serve as your mayor because I understand we need to build a city for the people. Vancouver needs to be a place that current and future generations can be proud to call home.
Vancouver Election 2018 – Question 4:
Please tell us anything else you think would be important for voters to know about you! This could be your motivations, your qualifications, ideologies, platforms, believes, family, or approach to management/mayor.
Shauna Sylvester – Vancouver Election 2018 Question 4 Response:
I first moved to Metro Vancouver when I was 4 years old. I call Vancouver home. I share the same passion that many of my friends at Vancity have for this city. From 2003 to 2009, I served on the boards of Vancity Capital Corporation and Vancity Credit Union. I also served on the organization’s community and investment advisory committee, and have devoted my life to supporting others to get the resources that they need for their families and enterprises.
With 18 years of board experience and 30 years working with all levels of government, voters can rely on a mayoral candidate that has the know-how, experience, and commitment to get things done. This experience, coupled with my years working around the world – including in Asia, Latin America, and Europe – positions me well to understand the diversity of our communities and the potential role that Vancouver can play in the world.
What motivates me is building a Vancouver for the people who live, work, and play here. My platform contains concrete, detailed steps to address 11 key areas affecting our city, including:
- A Six-Point Housing Plan
- Robust Transit Strategy
- Environmental and Green Platform
- Tackling Opioid Poisoning Crisis
- Supporting Small Business
- Homelessness Action Plan
- Helping our Seniors Thrive
- Increasing Democratic Governance
- Strengthening Arts and Culture
- Tackling Money Laundering
- Fostering Innovation
This platform was created by bringing in the best ideas with realistic and scalable solutions for our city. We have the tools, resources, and ideas at our disposal to improve our city. All we need is the political will and a mayor who can reach across the political divides and bring all of us to the table – individuals and groups alike – to build a city for the people.
Vancouver Election 2018 – Question 5:
In recent news… There has been a rise in the world of hatred like antisemitism and racism. What will your response be towards hate groups like antisemitism, B.D.S., and racism?
Shauna Sylvester – Vancouver Election 2018 Question 4 Response:
None Applicable. (Not replied)
Vancouver Election 2018 – Optional 1:
In Point Form… if you become mayor, what are five things would change?
Shauna Sylvester Excellent Reply 1:
I would enact the following measures to bring change to City Hall:
- Drive big money out of politics and improve transparency at City Hall: The people of this city have taken a back seat to large moneyed interests that had the funds to dictate City decision making and policies to their benefit. I want to work with the provincial government to close the remaining loopholes around corporate and union influence in our elections. I also want to introduce a number of measures to rebuild the public’s trust in local government. I encourage you to read more at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/accountability
- Create a reason for people to stay in our community: Our housing costs have skyrocketed, and we need to implement affordability measures to keep Vancouver residents in Vancouver. Many in our population can’t afford to stay in the city, and I will address this through a detailed six-point housing plan. These solutions will allow young people and families to find affordable housing, and allow seniors to stay and age in place in Vancouver. The details of my housing platform can be found at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/housing
- Create a pro-Small Business City Hall: I will appoint a new ombudsperson for small businesses at City Hall. This person would be the full-time advocate for small businesses and would assist business owners with anything they need from City Hall. I will also work with relevant partners to create a new commercial tax rate for small businesses so that local stores are not paying the same rate as big corporations. You can learn more at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/smallbusiness
- Change the culture around the opioid poisoning crisis: I will work with the federal government to decriminalize drug possession and treat this as a public health emergency. By ensuring that we return to a four pillars approach, we can make progress in tackling this issue. You can find more information at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/opioidcrisis
- Develop meaningful community engagement: I encourage you to visit my website as I have incorporated aspects of robust engagement throughout my platform at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/platform
Vancouver Election 2018 – Optional 2:
In Point Form… if you become mayor, what are five things would stay the same?
Shauna Sylvester Excellent Reply 2:
These are the things I would continue and build upon in Vancouver:
- Continue the course as a Renewable Citiy: Our city needs to continue to play a global leadership role in combating climate change and transitioning our communities to 100% renewable energy.You can read more at https://www.shaunaformayor.ca/environment
- Maintain the Vancouver Economic Commission: We need to work with the VEC and set new and ambitious goals to position Vancouver as a global centre for innovation in the green, tech, and creative economies. We also need to enhance how the VEC supports Vancouver in becoming a destination for start-ups and existing companies that can create great paying jobs. You can find more information at www.shaunaformayor.ca/innovation
- Renew a commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples: We need to foster an ever-closer working relationship with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. We need to ensure that we are taking an active and continuous path to reconciliation and recognition of traditional rights.
- Celebrate our Diversity: We are a city of globally connected people. We need to look at ways that we can further embrace our diversity and continue to celebrate it as part of Vancouver’s history and heritage. This includes recognizing the importance of our LGBTQ2S+ culture, and our successive waves of immigrant communities who have played key roles in building our city. By embracing diversity, by creating a culture of celebration, and by teaching young people and visitors to the city about our history in all of its diversity (the good, the bad and the ugly), we develop a better sense of ourselves and our city.
- Maintain a good working relationship with our city employees: Our people are our strength, and our most important asset. Supporting city employees at all levels is critical to maintaining this asset. Providing opportunities for continued workforce training and career support enables them to grow and develop, and transition through their careers.
- Support our robust community assets: We have great strengths in our public and common places and spaces and we must deepen our commitment to supporting those places for generations to come. Our libraries, parks, neighbourhood houses, community centres, public squares and cultural spaces are the places that connect us to each other and our city. It is all too easy to feel isolated, and it is critical to build a sense of belonging for everyone through spaces that make people feel connected.
—End Vancouver Election Question Reponses—
Thanks for reading. Please ensure that you go vote. Whichever candidate you are voting for; be informed and go vote!
Vancouver Voting Information:
The municipal election is taking place on October 20, 2018 but advance voting is already open from October 10 to 17.
Here is where you can vote in Vancouver: