Blog Entry 34 Election Campaign 2013

Shakespeare’s garden party at H.W. Flesher

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
- Romeo and Juliet (2.2.45-7)

(H.W. FLESHER CO-OP) It’s not every night you get to tour a politician through Shakespeare’s garden. Before you conjure images of nightingales and pansies, lemme clarify: this is Geoff Shakespeare’s garden the vice-president of the co-op that has thrown its doors open to the political candidates running in Vancouver-Kingsway. As I say, he’s not the bard, but he is on the board. But what’s in a name, after all? Geoff is our tour guide as we show Adrian Dix’s representative, Mable Elmore (Vancouver-Kensington incumbent) around the grounds.

And while there are no larks or nodding violets, there are fragrant, blooming lilacs on this beautiful evening. It’s too bad that B.C. Green candidate Greg Esau and Gurjit Dhillon of the BC Liberals couldn’t make it – they’re missing a good show. Between Geoff and CHF BC Executive Director Thom Armstrong, Elmore is learning a lot about the advantages of co-op living, how the co-op model can be used as part of the solution to B.C.’s affordable housing crisis and of course, the looming loss of rent support programs. Elmore is quite knowledgeable about the issues and promises to work with CHF BC post-election on all these challenges.

But she does stop short of committing provincial funds to the rent support programs that currently make homes in Section 95 co-ops affordable for seniors, low-income families and people with mobility challenges. So while it’s good and positive, we can’t quite give Elmore the key to the co-op. We will, however, be asking her to help unlock the solution after May 14...