Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

If I am elected mayor of Vancouver, this is what I will do . . .

with 6 comments

Pete McMartin

There is many a true word spoken in jest. Some of these ideas aren’t funny either – but there’s a few I endorse

2. If elected, I will make it mandatory that any elected official, or any unelected official who happens to be a toady of the provincial Liberal government and who finds themselves on, say, the board of TransLink, must at all times take public transit within city limits, so as to see how it feels to take the bus and sit between the guy singing along on his iPod to Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell and the drunk man who smells faintly of urine and who, loudly, engages you in conversation and who says he wants to be your friend, much to the amusement of the other passengers.

A government helicopter or limousine will not be considered public transit.

7. If elected, I will, in the interests of EcoDensity, rezone Dunbar, the Southlands, Shaughnessy, Oakridge, Kerrisdale and wherever David Suzuki lives [Kits – or is it Point Grey – I don’t know where the boundary is] as multi-family residential, because we all have to pitch in to save Mother Earth and, besides, it’s fun watching rich people get mad.

9. If elected, I will pass out free drugs to the downtrodden members of our society — our diabetics, our cancer patients and our chronic pain sufferers. I will build free clinics where these unfortunates can go and have whatever drugs they need administered to them in a safe and clean environment without any delay. I will call these clinics “hospitals.”

10. If elected, I will commission the building of a public square in every neighbourhood, in which the public will be encouraged to hold outdoor dances every Saturday night, because neighbours need to get to know one another and because life is short. Music shall include Motown, disco, polka, waltz, tango, salsa and klezmer, but not country, unless you can square-dance to it — this, on the recommendation of my political advisors who tell me that anything coming out of Nashville these days sucks. Also to be encouraged in these public squares will be games of road hockey, dogs, skateboarding, impromptu soccer games, farmers’ markets, skipping, fireworks at least twice a year and a level of civilized public drinking in the afternoon that is known to induce the feeling of calm, peace and universal brotherhood that comes with slight inebriation, and because this town could use some slight inebriation.

All four of these are actually doable. No 9 is pretty much what we ought to have anyway and is a darn site closer to my definition of “free at the point of service healthcare” than what we have now. No 10 you can argue about the details, but is also pretty close to a workable and very necessary provision. I suspect there will be quite a few Canadians who find the idea of people enjoying themselves in public offensive but they will have to get used to it. Or move to Utah. I would vary No 2 to include any trip on public matters and also commutes, and not restrict it to the city limits. In fact the more these jerks have to get out to the burbs the quicker we might see some actual improvement in transit outside of the hallowed City of Vancouver.

The sad truth is that as a resident of Tsawassen, Pete is automatically disqualified

Written by Stephen Rees

March 8, 2008 at 2:21 pm

6 Responses

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  1. I love the idea of 2. I really really want the Translink board to take public transit. I had a fever last night (been sick for most of this weekend) and could not find a bus to take me home at a still fairly decent hour (12.30 am). This would not have happened in Madrid and certainly not in Mexico City.


    March 8, 2008 at 9:06 pm

  2. It’s not “official”, but Alma is generally considered to be the boundary between Kits and West Point Grey.


    March 10, 2008 at 11:44 am

  3. So which side of that line does Mr Suzuki live on?

    Stephen Rees

    March 10, 2008 at 11:50 am

  4. Sorry, the parenthical comment above read as if you knew his address, but not the neighborhood.

    I wouldn’t have any what the Suziki address is, but thanks to the internet we can see that it’s… a motorcycle!


    March 10, 2008 at 3:54 pm

  5. DS lives on a secluded stretch of Point Grey Road just west of the Kits Pool. Waterfront view, but a magnificently modest shingled house.


    March 11, 2008 at 11:31 am

  6. I like the thought of a public square in every neighborhood very European. Fun!


    April 8, 2008 at 8:59 am

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