B.C. municipal elections bring a wave of new mayors and councillors - Retail Council of Canada
Finance & Taxation | Sustainability

B.C. municipal elections bring a wave of new mayors and councillors

October 18, 2022

The City of Vancouver has passed single-use item bylaws banning plastic shopping bags, straws, utensils (in some circumstances), and putting a fee on beverage cups. In addition, high commercial property taxes are a very significant concern for all retail businesses. Violence and crime have also been significant issues in the election campaign – the winning party, ABC Vancouver, committed to tackling crime.

Ken Sim was elected Mayor of Vancouver as part of the ABC Vancouver party. Sim has no prior experience in elected office. Sim’s party now has a majority on council – three of his councillors sat on the previous council as did the three opposition councillors. The ABC Vancouver councillors have been very inconsistent on the beverage cup fee – voting for the fee but speaking against the fee. ABC Vancouver did not make statements about working to reduce commercial property taxes. Therefore, RCC expects that the new council will not result in significant change on either single-use bylaws or commercial property taxes, but are relatively more optimistic in terms of action on policing and crime.

As in Vancouver, the City of Surrey has passed a single-use item bylaw banning plastic shopping bags and has been moving in the direction of further single-use regulation. Again, high commercial property taxes are a very significant concern for all retail businesses. Violence and crime have also been significant issues in the election campaign – all parties have all committed to taking steps to reduce violence and crime – albeit the proposals vary significantly.

Brenda Locke, a popular city councillor, was elected Mayor. RCC expects stability to return to Surrey Council. Brenda Locke has been a reliable partner for the business community. Our expectation is that under her leadership violence and crime will be the council’s highest priority. Our expectation is that policing will take priority over action on single-use items.

Marianne Alto was elected as mayor of the City of Victoria. Many of Victoria’s long-standing council members, including Mayor Lisa Helps, chose to retire this election. Nonetheless, RCC’s expectation is for continuity and stability at Victoria Council. A further single-use item bylaw (beverage cups and food service packaging) is expected to come before Victoria council this fall.
Mariane Alto has served on Victoria Council for 11 years and is a facilitator by trade. Her campaign platform emphasized housing, well-being, climate adaptation, the economy, city services, and reconciliation.

For questions or more information contact

Avery Bruenjes
Senior Manager, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs
abruenjes@retailcouncil.org



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