VANCOUVER - City councillors in Vancouver have narrowly rejected a proposal for citywide parking permits and a levy on certain vehicles, with Mayor Kennedy Stewart questioning the fairness of the plan and casting the tiebreaking vote.
Council heard Wednesday night from more than two dozen speakers both for and against the proposal to set a $45 annual fee for overnight street parking anywhere in Vancouver.
Today we heard from staff and dozens of residents on the proposed city-wide permit parking system that would see new fees for overnight street parking and up to $1000 in special levies on all but the most efficient 2023 & newer vehicles.— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) October 7, 2021
I decided to vote against this proposal.
Unfortunately, the proposed permit parking system did not meet this test. It would have asked those renting basement suites or working in vehicle-dependent jobs to pay more while asking homeowners with private parking to pay nothing.— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) October 7, 2021
If it had passed, a few years from now a landscaper living in a basement suite who buys a used 2023 pickup truck for work would pay over $1000 a year while their landlord would pay nothing – even if the homeowner drives a Ferrari.— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) October 7, 2021
That’s just not fair.
The plan, titled the Climate Emergency Parking Program, also called for levies of up to $1,000 on all but the most fuel-efficient vehicles purchased after 2023.
Stewart issued a written statement saying he believes in urgent climate action but voted against the proposal because it asked "those renting basement suites or working in vehicle-dependent jobs to pay more while asking homeowners with private parking to pay nothing."
An effective climate action plan must be just. I’ve asked staff to find a better way forward and I am confident they will.— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) October 7, 2021
But it’s not just about new fees in Vancouver, our partnerships with the governments of BC & Canada are also a key source of investments in climate action.
A social media post from Green Party Coun. Pete Fry says the outcome is disappointing but expected, because the "modest 13-cent per day" fee was branded as climate emergency parking.
Disappointing outcome tonight -but not surprised.— Pete Fry (@PtFry) October 7, 2021
Warned hyperbole of branding modest ($0.13/day) curbside management fee as "Climate Emergency Parking" would get push back as "greenwashing."
Tonight's result, despite previous vote & commitments to #ClimateAction🌎🔥 https://t.co/qsnebh7AWU pic.twitter.com/JzKHPaSwlw
The parking fee and vehicle levy had the potential to raise up to $70 million annually for climate projects.
Stewart says he has asked staff to find a better way forward.