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Mayor Gregor Robertson was sworn in to serve a third term in office today, and outlined an ambitious vision for new heights of Vancouver leadership in the four years ahead in his third inaugural address as Mayor.

“This is a city confident in its mantle of leadership, a mantle that is global in scope and reach – not just confident, but hungry for us to do more, and to do better,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “I am grateful for that vote of confidence. And I intend to work my hardest over the next four years to demonstrate that we’ve heard that call.”

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Mayor Gregor Robertson
Inauguration Address
December 8, 2014

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Thank you all for joining us today.

We are grateful to be gathered on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh territory, and we offer our thanks to the Coast Salish people.

I want to offer my thanks to the outgoing Council, School Board and Parks Board.

And to those who are returning, or joining us for the first time, congratulations. You face very big challenges, but you’re taking on one of the most important jobs public life has to offer. And I’m looking forward to working with you all.

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“The City of Vancouver called for a national public inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls in our September 3rd submission to the Senate of Canada. On the 9th Anniversary of the “National Day of Vigils” it is important for that call to be repeated ever more strongly by voices throughout Vancouver and across Canada.

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“Like so many of us, I was shocked and gravely saddened to hear of Jim Deva’s sudden passing. He was an inspiration to Vancouver and all Canadians, and his irrepressible courage and tireless advocacy for equal rights and free expression played an enormous role in shaping the city that Vancouver is today.

“As Mayor, it was an honour and a privilege to march with Jim each year at Vancouver Pride. He was a champion for the LGBTTQ community, a kind heart who spoke up for the marginalized, and a leader whose uncompromising commitment to human rights echoed far beyond Vancouver to the highest courts of the land.

“On behalf of my colleagues on City Council and the citizens of Vancouver, I wish to offer my condolences to Jim’s partner Bruce and all of his family and friends. His counsel will be sorely missed by all of us at City Hall, but his legacy will continue to inspire our work together to keep building a safer, prouder, more inclusive, and more equal Vancouver.”

- Mayor Gregor Robertson

New data released to the Vancouver Police Board shows that 2014 is so far the safest year on record for pedestrians in Vancouver, dating back to the 1930s when safety data was first collected by the VPD.

“While even one incident is too many, it’s incredibly positive news to see that our streets are becoming significantly safer for pedestrians,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, who serves as Chair of the Vancouver Police Board. “Pedestrian safety has been a big priority for City Council this term, with the implementation of our first-ever Pedestrian Safety Action Plan two years ago and the goal of zero pedestrian fatalities established by Council in the Transportation 2040 Plan.

“The VPD has done excellent work on enforcement of dangerous behaviour that puts pedestrians at risk, and ICBC has worked with the City and VPD as a leading advocate against distracted driving. Together we’re focusing our efforts on making Vancouver a safer city than ever before, and the numbers show our collective efforts are working.”

Data to date shows that there has only been 1 pedestrian fatality this year compared to 7 in 2013, with overall traffic fatalities (both pedestrians and non-pedestrians) down to 5 from 14 this time last year. The City is investing $7.5 million in 44 priority intersections for safety enhancements, including better lighting, wider sidewalks, dedicated left turn lanes and longer crossing times.

Vancouver streets are now also safer than ever from the threat of crime, with property crime and violent crime down over 20% since 2008 and last year resulting in the lowest homicide rate in the city’s history.

The Mayor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Addictions released its first report today, outlining 23 priority actions to improve the health and housing needs of residents living with mental health issues and addictions in Vancouver.

“Untreated mental illness and addictions continues to be an issue that our City confronts, whether it’s through our social services, policing, or schools,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Through the work of the Task Force, the City is committed to mobilizing the support of stakeholders and senior levels of government to address the challenge of mental illness and addictions, and help our most vulnerable residents get the support they need.”

Caring for All: Priority Actions to Address Mental Health and Addictions includes recommendations to:

  • Convene an advisory group to create concepts for Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Centres in Vancouver;
  • Build academic partnerships with SFU and UBC to design a collaborative real-time data sharing model as part of a Collective Impact approach that involves people with lived experience, family members, health and community service providers;
  • Enhance training and outreach with the Vancouver Police Department, working with people with lived experience;
  • Increase community awareness of mental health and addiction by expanding the City Dialogues project to discuss the impact of poverty, and stigma of mental illness.

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