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Candidates’ release of housing platforms marks the real start of Vancouver’s election campaign

By JEN ST. DENIS for The Star Vancouver

VANCOUVER—From following Whistler’s lead and creating employee-specific housing, to hiring a chief economic officer to oversee land use decisions, some Vancouver mayoral candidates are starting to provide more details on how they would fix the city’s housing crisis.

The lack of affordable housing is a key issue in the first civic election held since real estate prices skyrocketed between 2015 and 2016, and the solutions put forward by various candidates may make or break their chances, said Mario Canseco, the president of local polling firm Research Co.

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“I think part of the problem with so many undecided (voters) is that everyone’s waiting for the policy stuff to come out,” Canseco said. “I’ve never seen an election where you had this level of undecideds.”

Shauna Sylvester, an independent mayoral candidate, has released a series of policy announcement over the past few weeks, and is planning three more. While many candidates avoid making substantial platform announcements over the summer because they assume voters aren’t paying much attention, Sylvester said she’s not worried about doing thing differently.

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