City Council has unanimously passed a motion from Mayor Gregor Robertson calling on Vancouver to become a living wage employer, ensuring that all City employees and wage earning contractors will earn enough to cover basic expenses such as rent, food, transportation, and child care.
Jobs and the Economy
Saying it is important for the City of Vancouver to show leadership on reducing inequality, Mayor Gregor Robertson is bringing forward a motion to City Council this week calling on the City to become a living wage employer.
Noting that Vancouver will be joining a number of existing living wage employers, including Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, the City of New Westminster, SAP and the United Way, Robertson said the policy is a practical response to the fact that housing, transportation and living costs have been rising in the region while wages have stagnated.
Vancouver is the third-largest foreign film and production centre in North America, due in large part to the expertise and talent that have been developed in the region over the last two decades. The City is a strong supporter of film production in Vancouver, and works with industry to provide access to the city’s variety of unique filming locations. The film industry plays an important role in supporting the Vancouver economy, providing thousands of jobs every year.
Building permits issued by the City of Vancouver in 2014 hit a value of $2.83 billion, exceeding pre-recession levels and marking an all-time record in Vancouver’s growing economy.
Building permit values of $2,825,700,469 in 2014 represent an increase of 28 per cent from 2013, and a 77 per cent increase over 2008.
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."
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.”