Just over two weeks out from the B.C. municipal elections, Vision Vancouver has taken things to a more personal level, releasing a radio ad attacking NPA mayoral hopeful Kirk LaPointe over his home address.
LaPointe lives on the campus at the University of British Columbia, which comes under Electoral Area A, which means he doesn't pay property taxes to the City of Vancouver. His work—at UBC and on the North Shore—is also not within city limits.
In the new ad, two women can be heard having a discussion about LaPointe's suitability for the role of Vancouver mayor, and call him "a big risk" partly because of his lack of residence and tax commitment to the city.
In a press release linking to the ad, Vision Vancouver council candidate Heather Deal criticized LaPointe for a recent statement she says he made on housing affordability and its relative importance in the civic debate.
“If Mr. LaPointe lived, worked, or paid taxes in Vancouver, he would understand that affordable housing and strong city services are top priorities in our city,” Deal said.
LaPointe denounces 'cheap tactics'
The NPA's mayoral candidate told CBC News he sees the attack by Vision Vancouver as a new low in the election campaign, and also as something not wholly unexpected.
"They've accused me of all sorts of things, but hey, this is the way they've rolled for six years, this is what we understand, this is what I expected," he told CBC News. "And hiring actors to make it sound authentic is just another way they mislead people."
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LaPointe also called the ad and the statements made in the press release an attack on his personal life.
"The interesting thing is, I don't ask where the mayor lives. I don't understand why he wants to make it a point of where I live."
LaPointe told CBC News he lives at UBC for family reasons, and said that Vancouver has had mayors who didn't live in the city.
He also said he had more business experience before entering politics than rival Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate Gregor Robertson ever had, and said the personal could just be a desperate measure.
"You know, when you resort to those kinds of cheap tactics, then you're clearly frightened of losing the best job you ever had," LaPointe said.