A closer look at Vancouver mayor-elect Ken Sim’s promises

Ken Sim and ABC Vancouver candidates made a clean sweep during Saturday’s municipal election, earning the mayor’s seat and seven spots on city council.

With Sim set to officially be appointed mayor next month, here’s a look at all of his party’s campaign promises.

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Public safety, mental health, and community wellness

Ken Sim’s promises to address public safety were among his most notable in the leadup to election day.

The mayor-elect has been vocal in his intention to hire 100 new police officers, along with 100 mental health nurses, in what ABC Vancouver calls “a renewed approach to community policing.”

The party has also vowed to look into adding more elected council representation on the Vancouver Police Board, as well as work with the Vancouver Police Department to “enable” body cameras on all officers by 2025.

Read more: Vancouver Mayor-elect Ken Sim unclear about mental health nurse hiring details

There are also promises to develop task forces to address a “dramatic” rise in hate crimes.

Other platform items listed by ABC include working on establishing a 24-hour drug recovery centre, developing a “VPD graffiti abatement” program, and calling a “mental health summit” with stakeholders from multiple levels of government and healthcare on the Lower Mainland.

Meanwhile, Sim received the first-ever political endorsement from the Vancouver Police Union, stirring up even more controversy, with many calls for the city to keep policing out of politics.

Market housing

Incentivizing more “purpose-built” rental units in the city is ABC’s first promise regarding market housing.

The party also plans to eliminate the city’s housing construction backlog with a “3x3x3x1” permit approval system. That means it would take three days to approve home renovations, three weeks to approve single-family homes, three months to approve multi-family and mid-rise projects where zoning is already in place, and one year to approve high-rise or larger-scale projects.

Sim’s party says it is looking to create a greater supply of affordable rental housing in the city, and pre-approve five standard laneway home designs to speed up construction.

There are also promises to review the city’s “missing middle” housing strategy, with an aim to address a shortage of supply for the middle class. The party also intends to support the Empty Homes Tax and “better identify” residents unintentionally affected by it.

Social housing

ABC Vancouver’s platform on social housing begins with a promise to “shift” the city’s housing strategy from a “quantity-first” approach to one of “quality.”

The party is promising to double the number of cooperative housing units in Vancouver over its term and increase housing investments in line with the Consumer Price Index.

There are also promises of housing pilot projects for youth aging out of the care system and for Indigenous peoples. Additionally, the party intends to “encourage” the building of community-directed housing for seniors.

ABC’s platform also includes pledges to lay out a 20-year social housing plan, with the intention to reopen and update the Downtown Eastside Area Plan.

residents unintentionally affected by it.

Design, planning, and transportation

ABC Vancouver says it intends to better align the city’s building code with the rest of the region, with a focus on sustainability.

There is also a promise of making Vancouver a “15-minute” city, by building neighbourhoods with services and amenities within walking distance for all residents.

The party says it plans on supporting the city’s obligations with the Broadway Plan, specifically to increase housing density in the corridor.

Additionally, ABC is pledging to increase the number of public washrooms, water fountains, and showers in the city, along with doubling the number of pedestrian-controlled crossings.

The party also plans on pushing for a SkyTrain extension all the way to the University of British Columbia, and a rapid bus line from the River District to Marine Drive station.

ABC also says it plans to do an accessibility audit of all city-owned assets in the first year of taking office.

Climate action and sustainability

Sim’s ABC majority is promising to plant 100,000 trees in Vancouver over the first four years in office, with a focus on neighbourhoods with a history of race-based zoning.

The party wants the city to partner with BC Hydro and other suppliers to deliver a curbside electric vehicle (EV) partnership program, saying EV charging will be available at all new commercial buildings through a new bylaw.

The new administration is promising to phase out all fossil fuel vehicles in the city fleet in the next six years and reduce the number of motorized watercraft in Vancouver waters.

There is also a proposed tax credit system the party plans to “explore” for Vancouver residents who don’t have a car.


ABC Vancouver says it plans to support the “inherent right of all Indigenous people,” adding it aims to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

The party is also committing to “stronger and more meaningful” partnerships with Indigenous groups, including regular joint council meetings with the leaders of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh Nations.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion

On the topic of equity and inclusion, ABC says it is committed to putting these values “at the forefront” of everything it does. It says that includes appreciating differences in age, gender identity, neurodiversity, ability, and ethnicity.

The party promises to conduct reviews “through an equity lens” in the first 100 days of any major city bylaws.

It also says it will adopt the principles of the World Health Organization’s age-friendly cities framework.

Park board 

ABC will make up six of the seven seats on the Vancouver Park Board.

Some of the party’s promises for Vancouver parks include allowing alcohol consumption in these spaces with proper facilities and a pilot project for alcohol on beaches.

Read more: Vancouver’s ABC promises to make alcohol in parks permanent if elected

There are also promises to establish an “emergency restoration fund” to fix fields and parks in the city.

Finally, the party is pledging to fully audit the board’s operations and finances and freeze any fee increases.


When it comes to childcare, ABC Vancouver is promising to provide 5,000 daycare spaces over the next four years, with plans to make city land available for such facilities.

It says it will also look to work with the provincial government to enable more daycare operators, and make it easier for non-compliant providers to get licensed.

More permit fees are expected to be directed toward new childcare spaces and any new schools built will also have childcare, the party has promised.

School board

Sim’s party will also have a majority on the Vancouver School Board, with ABC members taking up five out of nine seats.

The party is planning on restoring honours classes, reinstating the school liaison officer program, and providing financial literacy, coding, and sustainability classes.

There are also promises to fully fund music and arts programs, invest in seismically safe and accessible school facilities, and give proper support to children with special needs.

Economy, sport, arts, and culture

ABC is promising to make it faster and easier to get permits for festivals, which the party saying its plan will include identifying “blockages and red tape” that currently prevent them.

The party is also promising to expand patios and plazas and to “revitalize” neigbourhoods like the Granville Entertainment District. It also plans to renew the Central Downtown Waterfront.

Additionally, Sim is looking to oppose the previous government’s push for an Empty Store Tax and the highly-controversial idea of a road tax in Downtown Vancouver and the Central Broadway corridor. Neither tax is existing.

There is also a promise to expand the number of sports fields around Vancouver.

Transparency and accountability

ABC is promising to cut the cost of Freedom of Information requests by 50 per cent and “enhance” protections for government whistleblowers.

There are also promises to bring in provincial oversight on City of Vancouver operations, including the city’s budget and lobbyist registry, along with limiting partisan activity from mayoral office staff.

The party is also planning on establishing a city hall office in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood.

Sim and the new council will officially be sworn in on Nov. 7.

With files from Martin MacMahon and Hana Mae Nassar.

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