Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson: Canada’s Future. Canada’s Cities.11:45am-1:30pm | Delta Toronto *New Venue* - 75 Lower Simcoe Street, Toronto
Today’s most successful economies are those with cities serving as leading hubs for creativity and innovation, and beacons for talent and investment. Increasingly, the decisions with real impact on economic growth are made not just in a country’s legislature, but also in its city halls.
At a time when Canada is facing economic uncertainty, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson will lay out a vision for how our nation’s cities can provide the path to stable, long-term prosperity. That vision is for a Canada where modern, livable, and entrepreneurial cities are supported as robust economic engines - attracting highly-skilled talent, young families, and new employers from around the world.
Mayor Robertson will highlight the need for all levels of government to work together to build the successful cities of tomorrow, and profile the bold, on-the-ground leadership that Canada’s cities are ready to take to move our country forward.
Gregor Robertson was recently re-elected to his third term as the Mayor of Vancouver and serves as Chair of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
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City of Vancouver
In November 2014, Gregor Robertson was elected to a third term as Mayor of Vancouver.
He was re-elected to continue building upon the progress achieved in first six years of office, on priorities such as:
1. Improving public transit
2. Working to end street homelessness
3. Addressing housing affordability
4. Making Vancouver the greenest city in the world
Mayor Robertson is also a national advocate for urban issues as Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Big City Mayors’ Caucus, focusing on public infrastructure, housing and transit.
Mayor Robertson spearheaded the creation of the city’s first comprehensive Economic Action Strategy, and is committed to growing a sustainable and thriving economy in Vancouver focused on high-growth sectors like digital media, clean technology and renewable energy. As Mayor, Vancouver has seen major investments in its tech sector, with new offices from Microsoft, Telus, Hootsuite, Facebook and Twitter.
Building on the successful legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which has generated over $350 million in economic impact and created more than 3000 new jobs in the Metro Vancouver region, Mayor Robertson has established Vancouver internationally as the Green Capital—a City where going green is good for business. He has also overseen the creation and implementation of the award-winning Greenest City 2020 Action Plan that aims to make Vancouver an environmental leader in everything from energy efficiency and waste reduction to clean air and local food. The Mayor has also been a consistent advocate for new investment in rapid transit on Vancouver’s UBC-Broadway corridor, BC’s second-largest employment centre and the busiest bus corridor in North America.
Under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Vancouver continues to rank as one of the most livable cities in the world, with one of the most competitive environments for attracting new jobs and investment. The City of Vancouver has also been named the Most Innovative Organization in the province by BC Business Magazine for its open data initiative.
He has made affordable housing a top priority, with an aggressive, ten-year plan to provide thousands of affordable housing units for Vancouverites of all ages, while ensuring that existing affordable housing is protected. In 2013 Vancouver had its highest number of housing starts in 40 years, with a second consecutive record year for new rental housing approved and the City surpassing 1,000 new laneway homes.
As Mayor, he has overseen significant progress towards the goal of ending street homelessness by 2015, by opening new homeless shelters while leveraging significant investments in new social housing throughout the city. Since 2009, almost 500 people have moved from shelters into permanent homes, and 600 new units of social housing are opening throughout Vancouver this year.
Supporting the leadership of the Vancouver Police Department, Mayor Robertson has also worked to make Vancouver a safer city in which to live and raise a family. Rates of violent crime and property crime have both fallen significantly over the last five years, and 2013 saw the lowest homicide rate in Vancouver’s history.
Prior to entering politics, Gregor co-founded Happy Planet, a socially responsible company that produces organic juices and promotes health and nutrition. He also previously represented Vancouver-Fairview as a Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly.
Mayor Robertson is a proud father and avid fan of both soccer and hockey. He can often be seen around town supporting Vancouver’s vibrant local arts and culture community – occasionally taking a turn of his own on the tuba or drums.