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Mike Howell: Any guesses on what Vancouver city council’s budget is for meals on meeting days?

Time for another look at Vancouver by the numbers
The annual budget to feed Mayor Kennedy Stewart, one of his chiefs of staff, 10 councillors and the city manager on meeting days at city hall is $16,000. File photo Rob Kruyt/BIV News

Hey, it’s Friday and I’m out of words.

So in the spirit of the Statistics Canada census dump this week, thought I’d give you some numbers to consider instead.

The following is a mix of stuff I’ve heard, read or reported while on the civic beat this year.

First, to the census numbers…

• Vancouver’s population in 2021: 662,248

• Vancouver’s population in 2016: 631,486

• Total private dwellings: 328,347

• Private dwellings occupied by “usual residents:” 305,366

• Population density per square kilometre: 5,749.9

• Musqueam population on reserve in Southwest Vancouver in 2021: 1,646

• Musqueam population in 2016: 1,652

• Total private dwellings: 584

• Private dwellings occupied by “usual residents:” 615

• Population density per square kilometre: 894.7

Now to some council stuff…

• The number of city councillors who decided this week not to contribute $10,000 of city money to fight the legal challenge against Quebec’s Bill 21: 4

• The two-year budget to build and operate 10 “tiny shelters” adjacent to an existing homeless shelter on Terminal Avenue: $1.5 million

• Percentage of people who recently moved to the city who are renters: 75 per cent

• Number of active Airbnb and other short-term rentals in Vancouver as of Feb. 3: 2,501

• Number of short-term rental business licences flagged for investigations/audits this year: 7

• Number of short-term rental business licences suspended this year: 11

• Revenue collected from the empty homes tax since inception: $106 million

The city gave grants to various organizations last year to help clean up areas of downtown, including Chinatown and Gastown.

Here are some of the stats:

• Number of bags of litter picked up: 29,800

• Number of needles collected: 113,500

• Number of “cumulative feces removals:” 13,000

We received more grim news this week about overdose deaths, with Vancouver again the top city in B.C. hit hardest.

• Number of deaths recorded in 2021: 524 of 2,224 province-wide.

• Number of deaths for which illicit fentanyl was detected (alone or in combination with other drugs) in 2021: 83 per cent.

To some car and bike stuff…

The city collects fees from car sharing companies, with at least one — Share Now (formerly Car2go) — leaving Vancouver in 2020.

• City’s forecasted decrease in car share revenue this year: $200,000

• Number of e-bikes Vancouver Bike Share Inc. expects to deploy by this summer: 500

Some policing stuff…

Police worked a lot of overtime from 2019 to 2021 in responding to homeless camps at Oppenheimer and Strathcona parks, while also assisting park rangers and city crews when cleaning streets.

• Total overtime tab: $970,000

• Number of car break-ins across city in last eight weeks compared to same period last year: 968, for a drop of 22 per cent over 1,241

• Number of break-ins to homes over same span: 201, a drop of 21.5 per cent over 256.

• And reported bike thefts: 81, a 47.1 per cent drop from 153

Finally, some miscellaneous stuff to finish off the list…

• Annual budget to feed 10 councillors, mayor, chief of staff and city manager on meeting days: $16,000

• Number of ambulance stations in Vancouver, excluding Children’s Hospital infant ambulance station: 4 (Downtown Eastside, Kingsway, Arbutus Ridge, Mount Pleasant)

• Number of weeks it will take to scrap the barge stuck on the rocks at Sunset Beach: 12 to 15

• Number of media inquiries the city’s communications department receives per year: roughly 2,500 (not all mine, btw)

• Number of minutes until I make a sandwich and a cup of Earl Grey tea: 2

Have a good weekend everybody.

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