Capital Plan passes, guiding $3.5 billion in infrastructure investments through to 2026

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Mark Hosak
June 30, 2022

On Wednesday, Vancouver City Council passed the 2023-2026 Capital Plan. This is great news – but what does it mean for you as a resident of Vancouver?

The Capital Plan is the city’s financial plan for investments in Vancouver’s physical infrastructure and amenities – everything from parks, to sewers, to libraries, and fire halls. The Capital Plan process is undertaken every four years to determine what facilities need to be renewed, expanded, or replaced, and what level of maintenance those facilities need.

The 2023-2026 Capital Plan allocates funding for many important community projects:

  • $140 million for renewal of the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, including upgrades and renovations to the Aquatic Centre’s pool
  • $49 million to expand the RayCam Co-operative Centre in Strathcona, including childcare facilities and affordable housing units
  • Renovations for Britannia Community Centre, with expansions including childcare facilities, housing, and a recreation centre
  • $21 million to design a library for West End Community Centre, and upgrade the ice rink, fire hall, and childcare space
  • ​​$67 million to construct the Northeast False Creek Community Centre

Housing is the most important issue for many Vancouverites. Despite this, our opponents say that we should slash spending by 20% and eliminate funding for affordable housing. We believe that we should be investing wherever possible to address the housing crisis. The Capital Plan allows the city and its partners to deliver approximately 2875 new below-market homes. Additionally, the Capital Plan will deliver approximately 740 new childcare spaces. These are critical investments that will help us build an equitable city and move Vancouver forward.

The Capital Plan also identifies approximately $720 million invested in capital projects of all kinds that help to advance the Climate Emergency Action Plan, Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and other climate mitigation and adaptation priorities. Our city’s goals are:

  1. Cutting building emissions in half by 2030, and achieving zero emissions by 2050 (energy for buildings accounts for 57% of Vancouver’s emissions)
  2. Ensuring more than half of vehicle kilometres in Vancouver are traveled by zero-emission vehicles by 2030 (gas and diesel vehicles account for 37% of Vancouver’s emissions)

How does the Capital Plan help get us there?

  • Retrofitting city buildings to low/zero-emission standards, incentivizing retrofits to existing commercial and residential buildings, and requiring new buildings to meet carbon emission limits
  • Shifting city vehicle fleets toward zero-emission vehicles and ensuring electric vehicle infrastructure is in place in new and existing commercial and residential buildings
  • Expanding the False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility and moving the NEU to 100% renewable energy by 2030

On a more localized level, the city is investing millions of dollars in everyday services and amenities, in every neighbourhood – expanding fire halls, renovating arts and culture spaces, replacing city equipment like garbage trucks, constructing new accessible sidewalks, and building affordable housing. These investments are all in addition to maintenance of all our city’s assets and infrastructure. You can learn all about the Capital Plan here!

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Executive Director of Forward Together with Kennedy Stewart.