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Mayor Gregor Robertson
Inauguration Address
December 8, 2014

Check against delivery

 

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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City Council approved the development of a new Vancouver Entrepreneur Fund, an arms-length venture capital fund that will raise private investment to support emerging start-up companies in Vancouver. The Fund will give the city’s tech sector in particular an added boost as it competes globally for talent and investment.

“We need to be fostering a competitive tech sector in Vancouver, one with better access to capital so our companies can grow and stay local,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The Vancouver Entrepreneur Fund is based directly on the expert input we received from dozens of local companies and investors, which is that there is a lack of capital available for small and mid-size companies who want to expand. This Fund will help address that gap.

“My vision for Vancouver’s economic success includes local companies growing and expanding right here in our city. With the Vancouver Entrepreneur Fund, we’re improving the conditions for the success of local businesses right here in Vancouver.”

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The City of Vancouver issued a record $1.12 billion in building permits during the first six months of 2014, the highest amount since pre-recession levels.

This is the third year in a row that construction has topped the billion-dollar figure for the first half of the year. Building permit values have increased 6.7 per cent in the first six months of 2014 over the same period last year, continuing a trend in high value construction.

“It’s exciting to see Vancouver’s economy growing at a strong pace,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Low taxes, a highly-skilled work force and reduced red tape at City Hall are helping us achieve the highest levels in building permit values since before the recession, including the construction of significant new rental housing. Vancouver’s economic action strategy is working to create thousands of new jobs, make our city more competitive for investment, and build a forward-looking foundation for sustainable growth.”

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03 Jul, 2014

“Granville Island is one of Vancouver’s most treasured places, and one of the top two tourist destinations anywhere in Canada. It is a national landmark in the core of our city, and a vibrant hub for tourism, world-renowned arts and culture, local food, and small business. Local decision-making and operations are crucial to Granville Island’s revitalization and continued success.

“The City of Vancouver is strongly opposed to Granville Island being controlled by Port Metro Vancouver, and we made our position clear to the Port and the Government of Canada in discussions and correspondence over many months. As Mayor, I have worked to support a transfer or lease to the City, or the creation of an independent local authority with a mandate that is specific to Granville Island’s unique character.

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Today the City of Vancouver stood alongside municipalities from around the region in releasing the Mayors’ Council’s “Regional Transportation Investments – A Vision for Metro Vancouver.” The plan identifies new transportation services to meet the needs of the growing region, enhance our economy, support our quality of life and protect our health and environment.

“Moving forward with this plan after years of input is great news for Vancouver and our whole region. This 10-year plan clearly outlines the priorities for new transit investment that will cut congestion, grow our economy and expand transportation choices,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“We need to prepare for more than one million more people moving into Metro Vancouver in the next 30 years. This plan addresses today’s challenges and lays the groundwork for the strong transportation network that we need to meet that new demand. We simply cannot afford to go backward with reduced transit service and crippling gridlock.”

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Supports new Dragon Boat Facility, secures new opportunity for affordable housing, moves forward with new park planning

A development featuring a total of 620 new residential units was approved by City Council at last night’s Public Hearing, with two new towers to be constructed just west of the Cambie Bridge in North False Creek.

A community amenity contribution of $4.2 million secured from the project will support the building of a new Dragon Boat facility at Creekside Community Centre, fulfilling a longstanding major demand for the popular sport on False Creek. The developer also transferred title to 58 West Hastings (across from Saveonmeats) to the City of Vancouver for use as a future affordable housing site.

Council also directed staff to report back with a timeline on the delivery of a significant new park for Northeast False Creek, in conjunction with the viaducts report anticipated for next year.

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