It’s been my privilege to serve the people of the City of North Vancouver as a councillor over the last four years. I’m running for re-election in 2022 because we have more work to do to address our housing and transportation challenges. We also have opportunities to build great public spaces like the Shipyards. When addressing issues and opportunities, we must consider how to mitigate the climate crisis and create a more sustainable, resilient city.
Over the last term, we moved forward on projects that increased rental housing and other more affordable options. The city supported not just apartments but also different building shapes and sizes to fit different needs. We locked in 10% of new rentals at 10% below market rates — forever. We also strengthened policies to protect our neighbours displaced by developments. Creating places that allow people who work in the city to live here is critical to help local businesses desperate for staff and will also address transportation challenges.
The only way to eliminate traffic congestion is to provide practical transportation alternatives and to help people live where they work. Transit is the most effective way to reduce traffic. The city has advanced more frequent SeaBus service and the new RapidBus from Park Royal to Phibbs Exchange. Whether you walk, cycle, drive or take transit, you should be able to do so safely, without impeding others, or harming the environment. Expanding safe spaces for people walking and those getting around on bikes, scooters, and other mobility devices is a good move. It decreases traffic, eliminates emissions and improves our health.
Public spaces support mental health, social connection, and local businesses. They are more important than ever in compact urban areas like our city, especially now with so many of us working from home. COVID-19 forced us to use parks and streets in new ways that people now enjoy year-round. In Lower Lonsdale, the Shipyards has transformed our waterfront and is one of the premier public spaces in Metro Vancouver.
The city has attracted a diverse industry base. Along with hospital and related health care industries, our port companies and export terminals offer good local jobs. However, our small and mid-sized businesses can’t find workers. The city needs to research the possibility of workforce housing to foster a local labour pool. Many companies are also struggling to pay sky-high property taxes based on the highest and best use of the properties they occupy. I will continue to advocate for tax reforms that alleviate this pressure.
Throughout this term on council, I have endeavoured to be accessible to all. To make the best possible decisions, I consider the data and talk with people on the ground about their concerns. If re-elected, I will continue to seek your perspective. Together we can create solutions for a more livable city.
Tony Valente brings a unique combination of skills, experience and passion to his role as Councillor in the City of North Vancouver. He is a seasoned project and risk management leader, urban thinker, and community volunteer. A graduate of both St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School and the University of British Columbia (BCom, MBA), Tony spent three years working in logistics and product management for Whirlpool Europe, in Milan, Italy, before returning to North Vancouver.