City councillor Colleen Hardwick named Vancouver mayoral candidate for TEAM

Mar 14 2022, 10:26 pm

Vancouver city councillor Colleen Hardwick is making a mayoral bid in this year’s municipal election campaign.

Over the weekend, Hardwick was formally nominated as the mayoral candidate for the new TEAM for a Livable Vancouver party.

Nearly a year ago, she was amongst three councillors who suddenly left the NPA, citing disagreements with the party’s internal politics. Hardwick ended her status as an independent in September 2021, when she joined the rebooted TEAM party.

TEAM is intended to be a reboot of The Electors’ Action Movement party, which was formed in the late 1960s. Her father, Walter Hardwick, was amongst the founders of the original TEAM, which fought against the city’s plans at the time to build a freeway through Strathcona, Chinatown, and Gastown.

Hardwick joins a growing list of mayoral candidates, including incumbent Kennedy Stewart, Ken Sim of A Better City Vancouver, Mark Marissen of Progress Vancouver, and Vancouver Park Board commissioner John Coupar of the NPA.

She secured 47,747 votes in the 2018 civic election for her current seat as city councillor, coming in at fifth out of 10 available councillor seats.

TEAM is also planning to field candidates to fill seats for city councillor, park board commissioner, and school board trustee.

According to TEAM’s website, their preliminary campaign platform aims to address a feeling of a disconnect in the city today, and the livability decline for more than a decade.

When it comes to housing, the party wants to use neighbourhood planning and “accurate population growth data” to identify the city’s future housing supply and tenure needs. They state their strategy of ending spot rezonings will slow down inflating home prices and stabilize land values.

New housing will be “planned in partnership with local residents at the scale of each neighbourhood” and to ensure infrastructure and community amenities keep up with population growth. During her term to date as a city councillor, Hardwick has been particularly outspoken against the city’s 10-year Housing Vancouver targets, and the municipal government’s dependence on development-driven revenues to fund infrastructure and community amenities.

For parks and recreation, TEAM’s platform states it will expand and improve the maintenance and sanitation of parks and beaches, enforce bylaws, and increase the number of park rangers and lifeguards.

With transportation, TEAM wants to improve traffic flow by synchronizing traffic lights, adding new turning lanes, and support the transition to electric-battery vehicles for both private vehicles and public transit buses.

They are supportive of the expansion of frequent bus service on arterial streets, but are skeptical over the need for TransLink’s proposed Millennium Line extension from Arbutus Street to the UBC campus. They are promising to hold a “city-wide consultation” on the UBC SkyTrain extension that compares it with other alternatives.

TEAM is also promising to explore opportunities to grow the local film and television production industry, encourage small business growth, and support the tourism industry’s rebound.

As for how the municipality operates internally and governs itself, TEAM will “ensure residents and businesses are getting the value they deserve from their municipal tax dollars,” and will “limit tax increases to what is necessary to maintain services at levels agreed to with the community.”

There will be an emphasis to have the municipal government focus on its core mandate of providing basic programs and services “in the most efficient and effective way possible before carefully considering the provision of services outside its mandate.” Improved efficiencies will also be achieved by utilizing the newly created Vancouver Auditor General’s office.

The civic election will be held on October 15, 2022.

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