Candidates canvas for votes on Langara campus

Nine parties were present during a meet and greet in Building A last Thursday


Reported by Mandy Moon

Housing affordability dominated the discussion when parties running in the municipal election came to campus last week.

Nine of the 11 parties running candidates in Vancouver’s municipal election sent representatives to Langara College on Oct. 11.

Students worry about housing supply

Langara student Christopher Gail said one of the biggest challenges about living in the city is finding a place that is above ground, clean and safe.

“Within my price range, it is next to impossible,” he said.

Derrick O’Keefe, a city council candidate with COPE said, “This election is a fight about the future of Vancouver, whether we’re going to continue to see housing as a commodity, or whether we’re going to start to treat housing as a human right, which is what we should do.”

Bruno Baronet, a representative for Vancouver 1st, said mayoral candidate Fred Harding has a plan to build more rental housing by adding rental stock to public buildings.

“One of the ideas that we will work with is for any future schools to be built higher, with lodging on top,” he said.

Green Party city council candidate Pete Fry said the party advocates for rent geared to income. “Affordability should be tied to local incomes, and specifically 30 per cent of one’s local income,” he said.

Tables for two parties left empty

The Green Party, COPE, Vision Vancouver, Vancouver 1st, Pro Vancouver, Coalition Vancouver and OneCity Vancouver all set up tables in the foyer of Building A.

The tables reserved for Yes Vancouver and the NPA were empty.

Stephanie Aitken, chair of the fine arts department said that faculty who organized the event invited all of the  so students could assess for themselves who would best represent their interests.

“The direction that students take now,” said Aitken, “is going to affect them for decades to come,” she said.

The election is Oct. 20.

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