Five Coalition Vancouver city council candidates got out of their cars and gathered at the top of the Georgia viaduct to wave signs that said "HONK TO SAVE THE VIADUCTS" today.
Council candidate Penny Mussio and a few of her cohorts at Vancouver's most right-leaning political party are hoping to whip up support for this cause which has gone through years of consultation and work on behalf of city staff.
The gathering resembled a smattering of Greenpeace protesters hoping to save an endangered species from extinction mixed with a pro-life rally in Dayton, Ohio.
At our debate, V.I.A'.s Lindsay William-Ross asked the party's mayoral candidate, Wai Young, if they had costed out the removal of the bike lanes she wants to rip up. She didn't directly answer that question (because I assume they have no idea), but instead noted that they're going to save the city so much money by not taking down the viaducts that they'd easily be able to afford taking out a couple of pesky bike lanes.
In CBC Vancouver's Election Cycle interview, Young told Stephen Quinn that she thinks taking down the viaducts will save us all $4.5 billion. However, according to CBC's fact checkers "the City of Vancouver's latest numbers on the plan to tear them down finds it will only cost $1.7 billion — including the construction of amenities like child-care spaces, social housing and parks where the elevated roads once stood."
But really, what's a difference of $2.8 billion (BILLION - 2.8 BILLION DOLLARS) when you're making campaign promises?
Coalition Vancouver's resident conspiracy theorist, Glen Chernen, (who is channelling a fictional, greasy lawyer to drug dealers in his campaign messaging), is sure he has uncovered yet another sinister plot, this one conveniently about the viaducts. I'm not sure if he has it all connected on a wall in his garage with pins and string, but it's entirely possible.
It's entirely possible that this angry group, made up partly of disgruntled NPAers close to the far right, will take away a decent portion of votes from the city's oldest party (the Non Partisan Association).
From the looks of this video shared by the Coalition Vancouver team, people were honking out there. They may have been campaign volunteers for all we know; I was not able to make it to the rally to witness it myself.
I still stand by my prediction that Ken Sim will win the mayoral race, along with two NPA councillors and a group of progressives that will make up the rest of council.
That, or Kennedy Stewart will win and six of eight NPA council candidates will make up a majority on council.
Whatever the outcome, it will certainly be as interesting as this campaign has been.
This is Vancouver’s Stupidest Politics Column, informing voters during the run-up to the 2018 election in Vancouver. Check out my election predictions HERE. Read the entire archive HERE.