VANCOUVER — City councillors in Vancouver have narrowly rejected a proposal for citywide parking permits and a levy on certain vehicles, with Mayor Kennedy Stewart questioning the fairness of the plan and casting the tiebreaking vote.

Council heard Wednesday night from more than two dozen speakers both for and against the proposal to set a $45 annual fee for overnight street parking anywhere in Vancouver.

The plan, titled the Climate Emergency Parking Program, also called for levies of up to $1,000 on all but the most fuel-efficient vehicles purchased after 2023.

Stewart issued a written statement saying he believes in urgent climate action but voted against the proposal because it asked “those renting basement suites or working in vehicle-dependent jobs to pay more while asking homeowners with private parking to pay nothing.”

A social media post from Green Party Coun. Pete Fry says the outcome is disappointing but expected, because the “modest 13-cent per day” fee was branded as climate emergency parking.

The parking fee and vehicle levy had the potential to raise up to $70 million annually for climate projects.

Stewart says he has asked staff to find a better way forward.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press