Highlights of the COPE Platform
Parks, Recreation, and Arts
COPE will also immediately work to develop guidelines for the retention and creation of affordable live music venues and art spaces, and will continue to invest in Vancouver’s civic theatres and provide sponsorship to cultural events across the city. COPE will preserve the viability of cultural, educational, and recreational amenities through various measures such as tax relief and zoning relaxations. COPE will also develop a variety of mechanisms to improve funding and supports for Vancouver’s artists, musicians, and performers.
IMPROVED RESOURCES FOR MUSICIANS AND ARTISTS
COPE will create a Vancouver Endowment for the Arts, that would be modelled after both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Vancouver Foundation. COPE will broaden the existing Poet Laureate position to include additional artistic disciplines such as visual arts, new media, music, drama and dance. COPE will improve Arts and Cultural spaces and events funding and will insure that people who are economically disadvantaged have access to those spaces and events. COPE will also strongly advocate that the BC government restore funding from the BCLC to Arts, Culture, and Sports.
ESTABLISH AND PROTECT AFFORDABLE MUSIC AND ARTS SPACES
COPE will undertake a complete audit of all existing artist studio spaces and live performance venues to help provide guidelines for the retention and creation of affordable art and performance spaces. COPE will continue to invest in Vancouver’s civic theatres and provide sponsorship to cultural events across the city. COPE will work with local neighbourhoods to preserve the viability of cultural, educational, and recreational amenities through various measures such as tax relief and zoning relaxations.
OPPOSE THE PRIVATIZATION OF PARKS, COMMUNITY CENTRES, AND CULTURAL SPACES
COPE will give priority to Parks services being done in-house, award services contracts to local business, and avoid corporatizing services in Vancouver’s parks and recreations facilities. COPE will also establish Cultural Land Reserves to protect cultural spaces so that dedicated venues cannot be gentrified to become condos.
DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN SERVICES AND FACILITIES FOR VANCOUVER’S DIVERSE POPULATION
COPE will ensure equity throughout Park Board and Community Centre Associations services and programs, citywide. COPE will work in partnership with Vancouver’s diverse population to identify and develop spaces that can better deliver services to the City’s different and diverse communities, including different cultural and language groups, LGBTQ people, and youth.
To combat the housing crisis, COPE will establish a Vancouver Housing Authority to build affordable social and market housing, use permitting and zoning powers to impose strict rent controls on new large housing developments, and end the ‘renoviction’ of tenants by landlords.
COPE will propose to amend the city’s Charter to empower it to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour throughout Vancouver.
BUILD, PROTECT, AND MAINTAIN AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN VANCOUVER
On its first day in office, COPE will declare a housing state of emergency and will use a variety of policy tools to increase public housing supply and lower rental costs. COPE will create a Vancouver Housing Authority that will build 800 units of city-run social housing per year, construct low-cost rental housing as needed, and lobby higher levels of government for matching funds.
ENSURE THE RIGHT TO AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE AND EARLY EDUCATION
COPE will establish a dedicated child care advocate and develop a comprehensive child care strategy to ensure that all Vancouver residents have access to childcare. COPE will also actively advocate for a voluntary, fully funded, and universally accessible Junior Kindergarten program for four-year-old children.
DEVELOP AN AFFORDABLE AND EQUITABLE TRANSIT SYSTEM
To achieve universal free transit, COPE will work to reduce transit fares toward phasing out fares entirely within 10 to 15 years. In the meantime, COPE will create a universal Vancouver transit pass, or V-Pass, for a dollar a day.
LOBBY FOR LIVEABLE AND HUMANE ASSISTANCE RATES
COPE will band with other BC municipalities to advocate increases in pension rates, disability rates, welfare rates, and the minimum wage, all of which must be indexed to the cost of living.
Right to the City
EQUITY, GENDER, JUSTICE, CHILDCARE
In Vancouver, women earn on average 30% less than men. The real income gap is even wider as more women continue to pay a greater portion of their income for childcare and essential services. COPE will create and implement a city-wide childcare strategy that includes using Council, Parks, and School resources and spaces for the development a childcare system that allows access to childcare for all parents. At the provincial level COPE will continue to support the $10/day childcare plan. COPE will also advocate for the parental rights of trans people.
COPE will also work to develop, promote, and maintain appropriate facilities, services, and programs that reflect the needs of single mothers, women, queer, trans and two-spirited communities, as well as build practical support programs for immigrant and migrant people, particularly women, living in Vancouver.
COPE will take bold measures to end the housing crisis, including establishing a Housing Authority to build public housing, introducing municipal rent control rents and using zoning powers to end the loss of existing low-income housing.
CREATE A VANCOUVER HOUSING AUTHORITY
COPE will create a Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) to solve the housing crisis in Vancouver. The VHA will build and maintain quality social, affordable, and market rental housing. It will operate with a clear definition of affordable housing (30% of household income) and will prioritize non-market housing.
PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS TO REMAIN IN THE DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE
To stop the displacement of low-income residents, COPE will take specific measures to end gentrification in the Downtown Eastside by implementing an immediate moratorium on condo development, prohibiting the upscaling of SRO’s, designating enough land for 5000 units of social housing and replacing 4,000 units of privately-owned housing in the DTES with quality social housing over the next 10 years.
RENT CONTROL NOW
COPE will also create and implement a municipal rent control program to bring rents down across the city
IMPLEMENT OPEN INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR VANCOUVER RENTERS
COPE will create a Landowner and Landlord Registry database that will register and license landlords; list all rental units, rents, and rent increases; and track all health, safety, maintenance, and tenancy disputes.