The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
News

Battleground BC: In Vancouver, a Mayor's Hat-trick at Stake

Two determined challengers flank the incumbent Gregor. An election briefing.

By Bob Mackin 14 Nov 2014 | TheTyee.ca

Vancouver journalist Bob Mackin is a frequent contributor to The Tyee. Find his previous pieces published on The Tyee here.

THE PLAYERS

Mayor Gregor Robertson is seeking a hat-trick at 12th and Cambie. With the extension of terms to four years, the Vision Vancouver leader would have the opportunity to be the longest, continuously serving mayor in Vancouver history.

Political newcomer Kirk LaPointe of a resurgent NPA has something to say about that. So does Meena Wong, the mayoral candidate for COPE, the party from which Vision Vancouver was born.

LaPointe, with a 35-year media career, says he has a longer history as a business manager and political observer than Robertson did before he left the Happy Planet Juice Co. to run as an NDP MLA in 2005. Wong is a former assistant to ex-NDP MP Olivia Chow.

THE ISSUES

Insights West found housing (44 per cent) is the biggest issue, followed by transportation (16 per cent) and poverty (11 per cent). Robertson came to power in 2008 with a promise to end street homelessness in the city by 2015. Earlier this year, he conceded it wouldn't happen. That gave his opponents fuel. Wong set the tone out of the gate, with proposals to stop "renovictions," tax foreign speculators and penalize landlords of vacant houses.

Robertson's campaign has focused on Vision Vancouver's opposition to oil tankers and support for a Broadway subway between Commercial Drive and the University of B.C. LaPointe pointed out that Port Metro Vancouver is a federal body and a $3-billion subway would require provincial and federal funding; such a wish list would require better relations with senior governments.

LaPointe, editor of the Vancouver Sun from 2003 to 2010, made openness and accountability key planks in his campaign, with promises to open a lobbyist registry, hire an ombudsperson and routinely disclose city hall information that does not harm individual privacy. Vision Vancouver came to power with a promise for openness and accountability at city hall. It instead built a provincial government-style corporate communications department that has earned criticism from citizens groups in all corners of the city and reporters, who are no longer allowed to routinely interview bureaucrats and are often referred to the Freedom of Information office and its six-week waiting time to obtain routine statistics and facts.

LaPointe's NPA was the first party to announce it would release its donors' list and did so by its stated Nov. 7 deadline. Vision Vancouver was four days late in its release, after claiming it would one-up LaPointe. The numbers showed Vision Vancouver had outraised NPA $2.25 million to $2.1 million and sparked the campaign's dominant discourse about the influence of big money in politics.

Based on leaked audio from an Oct. 14 meeting of the city's outside workers' union, LaPointe accused Vision Vancouver of cutting a secret deal to not contract out union jobs in exchange for a $102,000 donation from CUPE. Almost two weeks elapsed before Robertson and Coun. Geoff Meggs sued NPA for defamation, but LaPointe brushed it off as an attempt to quash free speech during an election campaign. Wong accused Vision Vancouver of conflict of interest in receiving more than $1 million in donations from real estate developers who rely on city council approvals. She pledged to open an anti-corruption office at city hall.

Is there appetite for change in Vancouver? Insights West's satisfaction poll found Vancouverites rated their city hall 5.9 on a scale of 10, under the regional 6.3 average. One-quarter of respondents said their opinion of Robertson had worsened.

It also found 46 per cent of decided voters were going to vote Robertson, 41 per cent LaPointe and nine per cent Wong, but 27 per cent of people surveyed said they were undecided.

Will turnout improve? In 2011, only 34.57 per cent of Vancouver's 418,878 registered voters cast ballots. The last big election was 2002 when COPE swept to power with a 50 per cent turnout.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll