Patrick Condon says if he's elected mayor of Vancouver, his goal will be 50 percent nonmarket housing
A UBC academic with an affinity for Sen. Bernie Sanders is the latest entrant into the Vancouver mayoral race.
Patrick Condon has been a professor in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture for 25 years and has chaired the Design Centre for more than 20 years.
He hopes to become the nominee for the Coalition of Progressive Electors.
“This city is fast becoming a pretty place to park your cash and to visit on vacation once or twice, the Monaco of North America," Condon said in a news release. "This is not the city we want for our sons and daughters, a city for the one percent while the 99 percent have to leave town.”
He will officially launch his campaign on Monday (June 11) at Sitka Square in the False Creek South neighbourhood.
It was developed in the 1970s by the TEAM-led council and includes co-ops and social housing on land leased by the city.
Condon said that his goal is to increase the percentage of nonmarket housing in Vancouver from 15 percent to 50 percent.
“With the support of the federal and provincial governments, the city should build sufficient public housing on land made permanently public like they do in many European countries," he declared. "Vienna is a model for what Vancouver could do. If we fail this city will soon become nothing more than a parking place for cash and a pretty place to visit.|
He also called for a rent freeze and amendments to tenancy legislation to outlaw "renovictions or demovictions".
Condon has long been a supporter of street-level light rail rather than the far more costly Broadway subway.
In 2009, he wrote a paper entitled "The Case for the Tram: Learning from Portland".
"Our priority must be affordable housing in sustainable communities," Condon said in today's news release. "Not ludicrously expensive vanity projects that just make our housing problems worse. Such projects only benefit Vancouver’s ‘booster class’ not its middle class."
In an interview with the Straight in 2010, Condon said he was willng to risk being arrested to halt the Gordon Campbell government's Gateway Program, which was a costly series of road-building projects.
It riled climate activists because it was going to lead to the loss of a huge amount of farmland and had the potential to jack up B.C.'s greenhouse-gas emissions by inducing more vehicle traffic..
One component involved widening Highway 1 from East Vancouver to Langley.
According to a Straight article by Matthew Burrows, Condon joined other anti-Gateway activists at a demonstration on a cold night in December 2009.
“Civil disobedience, in the face of injustices of the past—in South Africa or the American South and to some extent the Vietnam War era—was an important thing to do for many people," Condon said at the time. "So I feel similarly moved in this case.”
Condon is the fourth person seeking the mayoralty with a track record of opposing the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The others are independent candidate and Carbon Talks founder Shauna Sylvester, NDP MP and independent candidate Kennedy Stewart, and Vision Vancouver candidate Ian Campbell. All three of them have been outspoken critics of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, with Campbell going to court to fight it and Stewart choosing to be arrested in an act of civil disobedience.