Your budget, Vancouver's future

November 28, 2012 | Jobs and the Economy

A note from Mayor Gregor Robertson:
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This morning we posted the City of Vancouver’s draft 2013 budget, and I want you to take a look and tell me what you think.
We’ve come through some challenging economic times in recent years, and had to make some tough choices, but now we’re in a much stronger budget position.This is a balanced and responsible budget that makes crucial investments in Vancouver’s real priorities, like affordable housing, parks and recreation, and public safety.
This budget:

  • Keeps taxes low - just a 2% increase, in line with inflation. That gives Vancouver the 3rd-lowest tax rates for homeowners among 18 Metro Vancouver municipalities.
  • Sets a new standard for financial oversight: for the first time, this year's budget contains detailed service metrics for each City department, tracking everything from garbage pick-ups to ice rink usage to fire response times.
  • Commits $9.6 million for affordable housing.
  • Invests $14.4 million for parks and open spaces, with improvements to playgrounds, sport courts, and Trillium field.
  • Invests $11.8 million to improve bike and pedestrian safety on major active transportation routes.
  • Provides an additional $300,000 for arts, cultural, and social grants.
  • Provides an additional $700,000 for Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, with funding for the Urban Search and Rescue Team and additional firefighters.
  • Invests $2 million for a new VPD Community Safety Program, to prevent break-ins, speed up police response times, and improve neighbourhood safety.

Moving forward on Vancouver's priorities:
Click here to learn more and spread the word
The City has been consulting on the draft budget since early October, through meetings with our Citizen Advisory Groups, an online survey, and 3-1-1 feedback.The budget comes to a special Council meeting next Tuesday, where citizens are being invited to share their input and ideas.A final decision will be made two weeks from now.I hope you’ll take a look.  Send me your thoughts via email or via twitter to @MayorGregor or @VanMayorsOffice.

Together we’ll keep moving forward on Vancouver’s real priorities: building a city that is greener, safer, more livable, and more affordable for everyone.
Thanks for your ideas and involvement,

Gregor Robertson
P.S. Yesterday Council heard from City staff on the urgent need for a subway through the Broadway corridor, BC’s second-biggest employment centre and the busiest bus route in North America. Click here to view their report and spread the word