With both the Liberals and NDP seeking leadership candidates, one extremely popular figure steps forward and offers to serve as the leader of both parties simultaneously. While the Liberals agree to the arrangement, the NDP does not. Jenny Kwan subsequently runs for the NDP leadership and narrowly defeats Moe Sihota, thus ensuring a Liberal victory in the next election.The Liberals pick one of the two women who ran in the contest. Many delegates claim that it was her honesty, wicked wit and no-bullshit approach to politics that won them over.
The City of Vancouver follows the Receiver’s advice and selects three companies to market the unsold Olympic Village units. Bob Rennie sells Millennium’s 119 rental housing units to his portfolio of investors at higher than expected prices after the city agrees to strata title the building. George Wong’s creative international marketing program for the Erickson ‘sardine cans’ is a great hit with buyers from Singapore to Geneva. MAC Marketing’s highly publicized OV Auction is also a resounding success. Nonetheless, after it is realized the sales proceeds are still not sufficient to cover the city’s outstanding loan and site development costs, one Vision Councillor proposes that perhaps a few of the social housing units could be sold to make up the difference. He is re-elected in November.Following a continuous flurry of accidents, new traffic lights are installed at the north end of the Burrard Street Bridge to guide motorists and cyclists. Although there is a substantial turnover in local businesses along Hornby Street, the Bike Lane Trial is deemed a success. However the Mayor wisely announces a moratorium on any more Bike Lane Trials until after the November election.On April 1st, the Mayor announces that last year’s April 1st proposal for a shelter for homeless chickens was really an April Fool’s Day joke, and he was disappointed that most Vancouverites didn’t get it. He then announces that any residents who turn their front yards into vegetable gardens will get a $200 rebate on their property taxes. Vancouver bloggers are divided over whether this too is a joke.That evening, after 11 nights of Public Hearings, Vancouver City Council decides not to approve the 1401 Comox STIR rezoning, but agrees to allow the developer to add the same square footage to his Telus proposal in exchange for an additional $21.7 million Community Amenity Contribution. After the meeting, outside the Council Chamber, the developer asks the Vancouver Sun’s Jeff Lee whether this might be another April Fools’ Day joke.Vancouver’s first BikeShare Program, orchestrated by Gordon Price and Peter Ladner is a great success after the Vancouver Police Department decrees that those riding the chunky fluorescent green bikes at less than 20 kph need not wear helmets.Coquitlam becomes the first Canadian municipality to convert its minimum parking standards into maximum parking standards. In making the announcement, Mayor Richard Stewart encourages other municipalities to follow suit. “What were we thinking?” exclaims the Mayor noting in light of climate change, society’s goal should be to decrease the number of cars on the road, not increase them.After its directors spend a night sleeping in a city homeless shelter, Vancouver’s Streetohome Foundation decides to broaden the range of its activities. New programs include housing the homeless in scattered apartments around the city, personal grooming, job training, and friend and family reunification.Three Metro Vancouver municipalities agree to participate in a Metro Vancouver Research and Demonstration Initiative to encourage the rezoning of neighbourhood sites to permit small single family houses, duplexes and coach houses. At the announcement, the respective Mayors admit that they grew up in homes of less than 1000 square feet and thought others in their municipalities should now be given the same chance.Urged on by many Vancouverites’ seeking a change at City Hall, Carole Taylor agrees to run as an independent Mayoral candidate, and wins. Following her victory, a number of international companies, including some whose Chairmen served with her on the HSBC Board of Directors, announce their decision to relocate operations to Vancouver.After a year of neighbourhood parties and celebrations, the Vancouver 125 Birthday Organizing Committee holds a very successful New Year’s Eve party for the public at the Convention Centre and surrounding plazas and walkways. After some children complain that all the fireworks were only one colour.... green, Committee Chairman Joel Solomon makes an eloquent public statement explaining the significance of his colour choice. Mayor Taylor assures the children that in 2012 there will be a broader selection of colours!
All being well, I look forward to twelve months from now when we can review just how many of my predictions come true. In the meanwhile, Happy New Year!