Politically Speaking

Governing via its own Vancouver Charter, the city’s administration (www.vancouver.ca) comprises a mayor, city council and a professional bureaucracy. The mayor is the chief administrative official and is elected separately from the 10 city councillors. All are elected for three-year terms. Vancouver’s imposing City Hall is located at the intersection of 12th Avenue and Cambie Street.

The city is a key member of the wider Metro Vancouver regional authority (www.metrovancouver.org), an organization of cities and municipalities that co-ordinates common services. TransLink (www.translink.ca) administers the re-gion’s transportation system – including roads, bridges and public transit.

In addition, the Government of B.C. (www.gov.bc.ca) has jurisdiction over Van-couver and the rest of the province from its Victoria base on Vancouver Island, while the Government of Canada (www.canada.gc.ca), located across the country in Ottawa, is responsible for federal political issues.

Following the devastating Great Fire of 1886, the first meeting of Vancouver’s city council was held in a canvas tent at the north foot of Main Street. A makeshift sign attached to the tent read “City Hall.” .