Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bill Tieleman interviewed by Erin Airton in City Caucus online publication

I was interviewed by Erin Airton, political commentator on the right side of the fence, for the new online publication City Caucus.

The article was posted today and here's a small sample - check it out:

Erin Airton interview with Bill Tieleman

3 Feb 2009

I sat down with Bill Tieleman, a well-known local political strategist, at a hip Kits eatery during Dine Out Vancouver in January. Our conversation was far-reaching, fueled by a glass or two of wine, Tieleman’s second love, after progressive politics.

EA: What do you see as the two biggest issues facing the City of Vancouver?

BT: Vancouver has two main issues, both are very inter-related.

The first is the different aspects of affordability in the city itself.

The second is dealing with poverty and low incomes. Both are very connected and are challenges that face Vancouver and the whole Lower Mainland. Affordability and housing prices go across the board.

If you look at cities like Geneva and Hong Kong, there is a limited group of people who lives there. Public policy steps need to be taken because most of us don’t want to live where there is just fine dining and expensive shops.

The other challenge is that our city has these increasing land values. These make it impossible for young people to be independent and impossible to have a city with a wide range of diverse and interesting people.

People working in Vancouver, like servers and cooks, are forced to live far away from their jobs. Vancouver is becoming an “executive city”.

EA: What can be done about affordability? There is a limited amount of “Vancouver” available.

BT: That’s right and that’s why we are seeing a disparate amount of people’s income taken up by rent and housing.

People might be shocked by me saying this, but former Mayor Sam Sullivan was right to talk about density – that’s the only way Vancouver can maintain diversity and affordability.

Poverty is related to affordability, but not 100%. We have a real continuum of poverty in Vancouver.

This starts with the true homeless, sleeping on the streets or accessing shelters. Our food bank use is overflowing. We also have couch surfers, occasional shelter users and those who are living in inappropriate or substandard housing.......Continued at
City Caucus


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