Future of Vancouver event, December 5, 2012

(Updated 14-Jan-2013, with more video) This page carries video, photos and text from the Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver “The Future of Vancouver” event at the Hollywood Theatre on December 5, 2012.

  1. Opening: Jak King, a published historian
  2. The current crisis at Vancouver City Hall: Elizabeth Murphy presents Stephen Bohus’s slide presentation detailing concrete examples the current crisis in originating at Vancouver City Hall.
  3. Context to the current crisis  – Panel Discussion: Former city councillors (Jonathan Baker, Marguerite Ford and Darlene Marzari) from The Electors Action Movement (TEAM), which existed from 1968 to the mid-1980s and set in place many policies that have helped make Vancouver the liveable city it is today.
  4. What’s wrong with City Hall today and how it can be fixed: Green City Councillor Adrian Carr, now 12 months into her first term on Council, gave concrete and recent examples of how the current majority at City Hall has been eroding democracy in Vancouver. Ned Jacobs spoke about systemic conflicts of interest with the NPA and Vision Vancouver depending so heavily on corporate donations from the development industry. David Chudnovsky, on the executive committee of the Coalition of Progressive Electors gave the COPE perspective. indicating that current regime could do a much better job of addressing housing affordability, and that the influence of big money must be eliminated from local politics. Terry Martin spoke about NSV’s intent to run a winning slate for the November 2014 election. Randy Helten moderated the speakers, and the open mic session.
  5. Open mic session
  6. Closing

The messages are powerful. Major changes are needed in Vancouver.

Speaker bios are at the bottom of this web page.

1. Opening — Jak King has summarized his presentation on his blog. Excerpt: …welcome to our discussions tonight about the extraordinary pressures being put on our neighbourhoods by the imposition of Vision Vancouver’s centralizing, top-down, we-know-best  land use policies.

2. Current Crisis at City Hall – Slide presentation

3. Panel discussion.

Introduction: The legacies of TEAM, The Electors Action Movement

  • From 1968 to 1980.
  • Stopped freeway development and urban renewal projects in heritage districts of Strathcona, Chinatown, Gastown and DTES.
  • Implemented neighbourhood-based participatory planning processes.
  • Established the Property Endowment Fund, and stopped selling off public land to fund operating costs.
  • Built social housing and co-ops with federal funding.
  • Established view corridors.


  • Jonathan Baker: Excerpt: I am old enough to remember in the fifties when the Russians claimed to have invented everything from the telephone to the automobile. VISION with its claims to be the first local government concerned about the environment reminds me of the waning days of the Soviet Union. In spite of all of their claims about democracy and involvement, however, there is a feeling that they have  abandoned planning altogether.  Jonathan Baker at NSV 5-Dec-2012rev
  • Marguerite Ford
  • Darlene Marzari. Excerpt: Along with democracy, two other principles worth talking about are transparency and accountability. Download her presentation to Dunbar Residents’ Assn, basis for presentation tonight. Darlene Marzari, Dunbar talk 19-Nov-2012

Jonathan Baker

Marguerite Ford

Darlene Marzari, Part 1

Darlene Marzari, Part 2

4. What’s wrong with City Hall today and how can it be fixed? 

Adriane Carr. Video, pending.

Ned Jacobs. Excerpt: Now that planning staff and mainstream media are increasingly functioning as servants and public relations hacks for the development industry, public involvement in decision making—once the cornerstone of Vancouver’s CityPlan—is pretty much a farce…Our current city administration is one of the least transparent and accountable in generations….. I repeat, once again, what Jane Jacobs (who I knew very well)  used to say: “For a city to work well for everyone, it must be planned by everyone.” Download: Ned Jacobs, on state of planning in Vancouver, NSV, 5-Dec-2012, Hollywood.

David Chudnovsky (COPE): Video pending

Terry Martin (NSV): Video pending

5. Open Mic Session

6. Closing





Historian of Grandview, a founding member of the Grandview Heritage Group and a director of Grandview Woodland Area Council (GWAC) [but I am not officially representing GWAC at the meeting]. I am also a member of the Public Access and Community Engagement (PACE) Committee of the current Grandview Woodland Community Plan.


Elizabeth Murphy is an urban affairs commentator. She was a former property development officer for the City of Vancouver and former senior development officer for BC Housing; and private sector project manager.


From 1969 to 1975 Jonathan Baker was a Social Planner with the City of  Vancouver, Department of Social Planning and Community Development. Prior to the election of TEAM the Social Planning Department established neighbourhood planning teams in various areas of the City.  He oversaw  the one for the West End. (Darlene Marzari did the one in Strathcona.)  Jonathan was also responsible for cultural planning and was heavily involved with the creation of the Vancouver Academy of music, the Artists Gallery, what became the Childrens Festival, and various other programs. During this time He was also involved with the creation of TEAM and its policy Development. When TEAM  was ultimately elected it fired the city managers and planner and adopted the Social Planning Department model. He left City Hall in 1975 and was then appointed to the Granville Island Trust with 4 other Trustees who oversaw the development of Granville Island. He went into law practice at that time as well. In 1978 he ran for the School Board and was elected.  Then in 1982 he ran for Mayor with the NPA. (TEAM and disappeared) and been replaced by Mike Harcourt’s group. In 1986 he ran for Council and was elected for two terms. Jonathan continues to maintain a practice in municipal law. He is the author of a work on the Vancouver Charter published by Continuing Legal Education. (BC Real Estate and Development Handbook)


Marguerite Ford joined TEAM in 1972, just in time for the nomination of the TEAM group that became the majority on city council. She started going to TEAM meetings and eventually became part of the policy development. They held many Policy Committee meetings on every imaginable subject. Art asked her to run in 1974, but she was not elected. In 1975 she ran against Marty Zlotnik for president of TEAM, because he was rezoning a property, which she thought was not an appropriate image for a Team president. Marguerite was elected President and ran for City Council in 1976 and was elected, and  again in 78, 80, 82, and 84. By this time most of the founders of TEAM,  who were planners, architects and academics, had moved on and the organization had become defunct.

Darlene Marzari was on City Council with TEAM from 1972 to 1980. She was elected to the provincial level from 1986 to 1996, including serving as Minister of Municipal Affairs for 2 1/2 years.

A resident of the West End, Adriane Carr earned a Master’s degree in urban geography from UBC, writing her thesis on the role of citizen groups in creating and defending the neighbourhood of Kitsilano against inappropriate development. Taught for twelve years at Vancouver’s Langara College and spent several decades helping build the Wilderness Committee, a group founded by her husband, Paul George, grow to a membership and donor base of 100,000. In 1983 Adriane co-founded the BC Green Party, North America’s first Green Party, and in 1984 co-founded the Green Party of Vancouver. She led the BC Green Party from 2000 to 2006 and was the first Green leader in Canada to be included in televised leaders’ debates. In 2006, after co-chairing the campaign to elect Elizabeth May as leader of the Green Party of Canada, she was appointed as May’s Deputy Leader. She ran for federal office in Vancouver Centre in 2008 and 2011. In 2011, her eighth campaign for election was victorious. On the last poll reporting, she won the first Green Party seat ever on Vancouver City Council.

Ned Jacobs, who lives in the Riley Park neighbourhood, and has participated in numerous planning processes in Vancouver and other cities, serves on the Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver Steering Committee

David Chudnovsky is a member of the Coalition of Progressive Electors Executive Committee and has been an active member of COPE for more than 30 years. He was the MLA for Vancouver-Kensington from 2005-2009 and was opposition critic for Homelessness and for transportation in the Legislature. David is a retired teacher who was elected to three terms as president of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation.

Terry Martin is a former Chair of the Vancouver Board of Variance. As well as an NSVcandidate for city council in 2011 He has been involved in municipal politics for some 30 yrs. He has been the owner of several small businesses in Vancouver and a renovation contractor for over 20 years.He currently lives in this neighbourhood and is very active in the community