Profile: Vancouver mayoral contender Suzanne Anton
As polls show Suzanne Anton trailing Gregor Robertson in the Vancouver mayoral race, the NPA candidate is doing everything she can to distinguish herself from the incumbent.
Internal Non-Partisan Association polls have Anton at six points behind Robertson, so she's turning to issues like housing affordability to round up votes.
"I guess it's sort of a left-leaning view that you just pour taxpayers' money in to solve a problem. That will not solve affordability," she told CTV News.
The former Crown prosecutor wants to cut red tape to create more density and bring down home prices, and says the Oakridge and Little India neighbourhoods are ripe for growth.
The NPA team is also hoping to capitalize on anger over bike lanes. Anton is an avid cyclist who voted in favour of separated bike lanes, but she wants a moratorium on new ones downtown and a study on those already in place.
"Those downtown bike lanes are a trial. We owe it to the city, to the citizens of Vancouver, that we treat it as a trial, investigate it independently of city hall. We figure out what the problems are and we fix them," she said.
"Pieces of them that don't work might possibly come out."
Anton denies that her position on bike lanes is influenced by her main campaign fundraiser, Rob MacDonald, who is a critic of the lanes. He helped drum up $2.4 million for the NPA campaign, a big jump from 2008 when the party was nearly decimated in the municipal election.
Anton is also banking on the city's handling of the Occupy Vancouver tent city to sway voters.
"Leadership is a key. The failure of leadership on the Stanley Cup riot -- nobody was in charge then -- and now there's a failure on Occupy Vancouver," she said.
Her son Angus says he believes she has a good shot closing the distance and winning the mayor's seat on Saturday.
"From the day she said she was going to do it, we've known that it's going to be an uphill battle," he said.
To make sure Anton gives Gregor an honest run for his money, she's getting a little help on the home front as well. Her close friend Barbara Soulsby moved into Anton's Kerrisdale home six weeks ago to cook meals and manage the household.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mi-Jung Lee