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We’ve heard from trusted emergency response leaders across our region: Voting ‪#‎YesForTransit‬ will ensure safer roads, safer rides home for our loved ones, and faster response times in any emergency. Help spread the word:

We’ve heard from trusted emergency response leaders across our region: Voting #YesForTransit will ensure safer roads, safer rides home for our loved ones, and faster response times in any emergency.

Posted by Vancouver Mayor's Office on Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council approved the City of Vancouver’s 2015 Budget today, a balanced and forward-looking plan that continues strong business discipline at City Hall while making significant investments in key community priorities.

“Vancouver’s 2015 Budget is an ambitious, responsible and community-driven plan that strengthens our communities today and invests in our city’s future,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We heard from Vancouver that residents want their budget to support new affordable housing, better transportation, public safety, improved parks and action to meet our Greenest City goals. The 2015 Budget invests in all of these urgent priorities while keeping taxes low and enhancing City services, and I’m very proud to support it.”

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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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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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Mayor Gregor Robertson says that with last week’s decision by the National Energy Board (NEB) to reject a request for oral public hearings and cross examination on Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion, Vancouver should hold its own meetings to give residents an opportunity to express their concerns.

“The National Energy Board continues to restrict and reduce public input on Kinder Morgan’s proposal for a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic through Vancouver’s local waters, which is undermining public trust in the process,” said the Mayor. “The approval process for Kinder Morgan has even fewer opportunities for public input than Northern Gateway.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from the residents of Vancouver that they have major concerns about this proposal. If the NEB won’t allow residents to express those concerns, then the City should provide opportunities for the public to let their voices be heard on this important issue.”

At yesterday’s Vancouver City Council meeting, a City staff update identified new gaps in Kinder Morgan’s proposal, including a “worst case” oil spill scenario that assumes calm, warm water and long daylight hours. The 15,000 page proposal also fails to include plans or impact assessments for fires, spills or explosions impacting the City of Vancouver.

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