West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth says she wants to finish what she started in her first term, as she launches a re-election campaign for the district’s top job.
While a number of items have been ticked off her strategic plan over the past four years, some of those have just been approved or have just had contracts put out for them. One such project is an affordable housing complex on Gordon Avenue that’s now being issued a development permit after significant delay.
Going forward, anything can happen. “Contracts can be broken. Votes can be changed, matters can be reconsidered,” Booth said. “I really want to see these projects to fruition.”
But the former Crown prosecutor will face tough competition at the polls Oct. 15, when she’ll face Mark Sager for a rematch. In 2018, Booth beat Sager – who served as West Van mayor from 1990 to 1996 – by just 21 votes.
What are the key issues the incumbent leader will be campaigning on? At the top of the list: housing.
“We are ground zero for housing affordability,” Booth said. “Our median house price is over $3 million. Young people can't afford to move here – young professionals, families.”
It’s an issue council has been “chipping away at.” Booth noted the Gordon Avenue project, which is on a piece of land the district owns.
Also key is upping housing diversity, she said. Over 60 per cent of West Van’s homes are single-family dwellings, which are large and largely unaffordable. Lacking are apartments and “missing middle” housing, which includes townhouses, coach houses and other smaller homes.
Next on Booth’s list is traffic congestion, the number-one issue on voters’ minds. As the chair of North Shore Connects – a joint effort between North Shore municipalities and the two adjacent First Nations – Booth said she’s well-suited for the job.
She said she will reintroduce the push for rapid transit into West Van, a fiercely debated topic which led to a planned B-Line halting in 2019.
“We could do a lot more if we had candidates that had similar values and vision for this community,” Booth continued.
At her campaign launch Thursday (June 2), Booth is introducing new council candidates that will run alongside her in this fall’s municipal election.
Mayor Mary-Ann Booth Campaign Launch
Where: McEwan Theatre, Kay Meek Arts Centre
When: Thursday, June 2. 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Guests had to RSVP by May 30.)