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City of Vancouver defends itself after being called dirty and unkempt

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A local columnist is ripping the City of Vancouver, saying it looks unkempt. He points to weeds poking through the pavement as one example.

The mayor’s office wouldn’t make Mayor Gregor Robertson available for comment on this story, but City Councillor Kerry Jang is responding to the claims. Jang disagrees, explaining the city hasn’t slashed its maintenance budget.

“The budgets are the same as last year and what we’re doing is focusing on more high-density areas right now. For example: in beaches and parks, where we see a lot of overflow. So, in areas like downtown that used to be cleaned up once a day… in some areas, it’s being cleaned up twice a day.”

He adds abandoned garbage, compared to last year in terms of tonnage, is up 13 per cent over last year. The City also says the tonnage for street cleaning and debris (litter), compared to 2013, is up nearly two per cent.

“Our 311 calls for garbage are up by 22 per cent. When there is an area that needs to be cleaned, we go and clean it. They call us. We pick it up. I mean, isn’t that what a City is supposed to do?” says Jang.

He adds the onus also falls on people to stop being so messy and to clean up after themselves. We hit the streets of Vancouver to find out what you think.

“I think it’s on each one of us to keep the place better than when we found it. Whether it’s a bathroom, a street, wherever it is, if we do our part then the whole place will be better off,” says one man.

Others tells us they don’t think the city looks unkempt at all.

“We walked around last evening and I didn’t notice anything at all. I thought it was fine. There are some weeds, like down by Olympic Village, but in that stretch you sort of just expect that because it’s not developed yet, but dissatisfaction.” adds another Vancouverite.