Sunday, 23 February 2014

VANCOUVERISM - THE ART OF SPIN

The term, Vancouverism, has acquired a new meaning, namely- the art of being disingenuous, deceptive and manipulative at the municipal level.

Mayor Sam Sullivan made an enormous contribution to the deceptive arts with his copyrighted phrase “Eco-density,” an expression that replaced the clumsy “block busting by incompatible developments.” This is spun as Smart Growth in the United States.

Eco-Density was so unpopular that Sullivan failed to get his party’s nomination for a second term. The voters replaced him with Mayor Robertson and his VISION party who, once elected, adopted Eco-Density in its entirety. To avoid the potentially sensitive point that he had deceived the voters, his party, VISION renamed Eco density. It became the Greenest City Initiative.

There is more than one PhD thesis to be developed on Vancouverism as the Art of Spin. What do you do if you have a policy to eliminate homelessness if after several years homelessness seems to increase?

You suggest that those afflicted by homelessness are mentally ill and demand that higher levels of government address the problem of mental illness. Changing the name solves the problem and shifts the costs to another pocket.

How do you solve the problems associated with life in the most overpriced city in the world? You subsidize developers by giving them increased density (see Eco-density or Greenest City), exempt them from usual development charges, and allow them to build rental housing at high market rates that few people can afford? You call the product “Affordable Housing” of course. As a bonus, you insist that you have reduced everyone’s carbon footprint.

How do you spin a land use system that confers enormous discretionary powers on bureaucrats with “guidelines” that can be changed outside of the required public hearing process on an ad-hoc basis without planning?

Call it a Plan, as in West End Plan.

What do you call a scheme to allow large property owners and speculators to reduce payment of taxes on vacant land? Community Gardens of course.

What do you call citywide protests against all of the above?

Community Participation is as good as anything!


How do you describe the protesters?  They are the Disengaged

What do you do about disengaged people? Let them eat cake in restaurants with special,  long community tables.

And, speaking of the Devil:

climate action, food security, energy efficiency: proud of work + City have done

5 comments:

  1. Talk about spin - now Andrea Reimer explains why public hearings are a farce:

    http://www.vancourier.com/news/developing-story-the-truth-about-council-and-public-hearings-1.866627

    Vision has completely nullified the public hearing process. Without notifying all the people and other property owners that will be affected by their decision, they set up specific "policies" for specific pieces of land (such as Oakridge) that satisfy the developer/property owner's desires, and then use the public hearing process to browbeat the public by claiming they are bound by the policy to vote in favour of the rezoning as long as it is consistent with the policy.

    Oh, and did I mention that the developer pays the City for the costs of the planners to develop the policy in his favour, and then that money is then creditted towards the rezoning fees?

    Nothing like rigging the result!

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    1. Dear Anonymous. Don't worry about it. The counselor, though a lovely person, does not know what she is talking about.

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  2. Funny You should mention Andrea. I was just commenting earlier about how, of all of them, I dislike her most. Gregor had a hankering for politics, and quickly learned that to hold power, you had to sell out. Meggs is purely self serving and likely a sociopath, ergo: predictable. Jang is simply not smart enough to matter. Andrea, is intelligent, does think she's doing the right thing & is so blinded by her own privelege that she has her head firmly planted where the sun don't shine. Of all of them, she's the one who is actually capable of doing better & she chooses not to. *Le Sigh*

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  3. Replies
    1. Self importance?

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