Vancouver - Today, Vancouver mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart promised new measures to restrict the influence of big money on city hall, as part of his commitment to make Vancouver more affordable.
“People tell me they don’t believe the city is on their side when it comes to making Vancouver more affordable,” said independent mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart. “They are upset by real estate speculators making huge profits, while people living and working here can’t afford to buy or rent a home. People feel insecure about their housing and it is really stressing them out.”
“I want people to know that as mayor, I’ve got their back, and I firmly believe housing is a basic human right – not a commodity,” said Stewart. “Right now, lobbyists have unchecked access to decision-makers and the city’s conflict of interest rules are out-of-date and toothless. That’s got to change.”
“Premier Horgan has taken steps to stop out-of-control spending during local elections,” said Stewart. “As mayor, I will continue this good work, by bringing in new conflict of interest and lobbying rules within 100 days of my election. This will ensure city hall is serving residents, not real estate speculators.”
New conflict of interest rules will:
- Require elected officials and their spouses to proactively disclose assets, liabilities, and financial interests;
- Prohibit elected officials from engaging in employment, practicing a profession, carrying on a business, or holding an office or directorship, if these activities are likely to conflict with their public duties;
- Prohibit elected officials and key staff members from accepting government contracts or lobbying for 12 months after leaving their positions;
- Be overseen by an independent officer; and,
- Allow the public to initiate investigations through the independent officer.
A new lobbyist registry will:
- Require lobbyists declare details of their activities on an online registry;
- Make this information available for the public to view free of charge; and,
- Levy fines for non-compliance.
“It is time Vancouver moved into the modern era. We need stringent rules to get speculators and other big money interests out of the backrooms,” said Stewart. “These accountability measures will go some way to restore citizens’ faith in their government, so we can unite in our efforts to make housing more affordable.”
To learn more and take action, visit www.kennedystewart.ca/end_big_money_influence online.