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Vancouver Municipal Election Candidates Coming Into Focus

CATHERINE EVANS, DAVID EBY, KERRY JANG
      Catherine Evans                   David Eby                 Kerry Jang

Well, it looks as if the list of candidates for the fall municipal election is firming up somewhat. And, further, it looks as if any deal between COPE and Vision Vancouver may be out the window. What this would appear to mean for Vancouverites is that COPE and Vision will likely field full slates.

Of course, no deal between COPE and Vision means war between the two centre-left parties, and the likelihood of the NPA's Peter Ladner running up the middle in his bid to gain the Mayor's chair, as well as better prospects for incumbent NPA Councilors Suzanne Anton, Kim Capri and Elizabeth Ball.

In recent days, three, new high profile Vision Vancouver candidates — including Pivot Legal Society's David Eby; president of the B.C. Society for Public Education, Catherine Evans; and UBC medical-school professor and eastside resident, Kerry Jang, have announced their bid for a Council seat.

Longtime politico Geoff Meggs announced for Vision some time ago.

The centrist Vision Vancouver civic party, then, would appear to be looking forward to running a full Council slate for the fall — made up of the four incumbents and, to date, four members who've announced (Andrea Reimer has yet to announce, and recently defeated Vision mayoral candidate, Allan De Genova, continues to be hotly pursued by Vision to run for Council, an entreaty to Mr. De Genova et famille destined for failure it would seem ...).

A full Vision slate for Council leaves no room for any deal at all with COPE.

With significant contributions already in the kitty from some of the more progressive developers in our city, as well as monies from the gambling industry — with even more funds coming in from the better than 13,000 members of the nascent political party — Vision Vancouver will head into the fall municipal election with the most funding and the best chance to gain a majority on Vancouver City Council, come Saturday November 15th.

To date, in respect of COPE, former City Councilor Ellen Woodsworth has announced her intention to run for a COPE Council seat, this November. At the recent COPE AGM, former Board of Variance chair, Terry Martin, and former City Councilor, Tim Louis, announced intention to seek COPE Council nominations. COPE's 2008 Nominating Conference will be held at 2:30 p.m., on Sunday Sept 28, 2008, at the Ukrainian Auditorium, at 154 East 10 Ave, in Vancouver. Martin has not formally announced, thus there is no website available promoting his candidacy, while Tim Louis — who has announced — tells VanRamblings he will kick off his bid for Council in mid-to-late August

The big issue to be decided at COPE's nominating conference is whether the party runs a mayoral candidate against Vision's Gregor Robertson. Should COPE decide to run a mayoral candidate — hardly a foregone conclusion — Vancouverites could very well see a majority Vision Council, and the slimy (yet photogenic) Peter Ladner in the Mayor's chair. Not a happy prospect.

In respect of the NPA, Vancouver's so-called Non-Partisan Association (as if there's anything remotely non-partisan about the NPA), times are hardly glorious for the longtime powerhouse Vancouver municipal party.

As to NPA Council candidates to run in support of Ladner's mayoral bid, first term councilor, Kim Capri, is reportedly being pursued by the provincial Liberals to run in the upcoming by-election in Vancouver-Fairview, a vacancy created when Gregor Robertson resigned his NDP seat to run as Mayor for Vancouver Council. B.C. Lee has announced he won't be running again.

NPA Park Board Chair, Korina Houghton, has announced her bid for Council, as has architect, planner and property developer, Michael Geller. To date, incumbent NPA Councilors Suzanne Anton and Elizabeth Ball have not announced their intentions regarding the upcoming municipal election, nor have any other candidates come forward to announce candidacy for Council.

When Mayor Sam Sullivan lost in his bid to run for a second term as Mayor, not only did that loss create a rift within the NPA, but all of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Mayor Sullivan had raised to support his candidacy went with him. The NPA will have a difficult time raising funds — and matching Vision dollar for dollar when it comes to spending for billboards, and newspaper and television ads — come this autumn election.

In respect of COPE — given that the party will go into the fall municipal election with the least amount of funds on which to run a successful municipal election campaign — COPE will both have to run a mayoral candidate to articulate its vision (if it is to get any press at all), as well as run an effective, relatively low-cost grassroots campaign (because the party is near broke), to gain any definable traction in the fall municipal election.

Throughout the summer and into the fall, VanRamblings will report on the various machinations of the three municipal parties, in the lead up to what many believe to be the most crucial municipal election — given that the issues Vancouverites want to see addressed are development, the livability of the City, affordable housing, increased rental stock, homelessness, climate change, transportation, and civic democracy — in almost 40 years.



Posted by Raymond Tomlin at July 12, 2008 10:16 AM in Vancouver

   

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