It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of 2016 – and what a year it’s been! From building thousands of new homes to meeting many of our Greenest City targets, I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished together this year. We know affordability remains a top concern for many Vancouverites, and we’re struggling with a devastating fentanyl overdose crisis in our city, but we’ve got big plans for at City Hall in 2017. But first, let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the highlights from the past 12 months:
Arts and Culture
Today City Council approved Vancouver’s 2017 Budget, which offers a broad range of services using a limited range of revenue sources. The 2017 Budget makes a record investment in affordable housing, provides new funding to improve city services like permits and licensing, and adds targeted funding to address the fentanyl overdose crisis that is putting a huge strain on City police and fire services.
Next week, Council will consider recommendations for increasing base level operating cash grants for seven local cultural organizations, in a report being presented on Tuesday. The funding provides a $110,300 boost in an effort to equalize support among cultural organizations that deliver core civic programs and services.
Mayor Gregor Robertson will support a motion that will see a significant expansion – curatively and financially – to the City’s public and community art program. The motion, put forward by Deputy Mayor Heather Deal, directs City staff to find projects already in process that can be accelerated for Summer 2016 completion, and leverage the City’s Innovation Fund to invest in significant new projects for 2016/17.