Robertson sets out four goals for Vancouver

Vision mayoral candidate Gregor Robertson was warmly received this morning by the Downtown Vancouver Association, one the city’s senior business and community groups, as he outlined his vision for Vancouver.

Although he had expected to have a career in medicine, he told the business audience, his career headed in a different direction, toward prevention of illness. A concern for people and their well-being was reflected in a business, Happy Planet Juice, that provided a healthy product for modern consumers in a way that reflected a triple bottom line approach: social, environmental and fiscal balance.

Gregor told the DVA that business can and must be a tool for social change, and Happy Planet worked hard to live up to that philosophy. But his frustration at the failure of political leaders to make the choices to solve problems like homelessness propelled him into political life. In the Legislature, however, he found the issues dominating his time, especially the plight of Cambie Street merchants and tenants facing eviction, had solutions at City Hall. That triggered his decision to run for Mayor.

In a lengthy and highly personal address, Gregor proposed four goals for the city:

1. to end homelessness through concrete actions as early as 2015, but certainly by 2018;

2. make our city safer through more police resources and reinvigoration of the Four Pillars Strategy, now with a focus on prevention and treatment;

3. aspire to be the greenest city in the world, with clean energy, zero waste policies and and economic strategy that levers these changes to create green jobs; and

4. emphasize our creativity and innovation to make Vancouver a creative city, an incubator of culture and innovation.

With at least 18 head-to-head debates upcoming between Gregor and Peter Ladner in the coming weeks, these issues are likely to define the municipal campaign.