John Coupar, Vancouver Park Board commissioner, announces mayoral bid

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Jan. 11: With Gregor Robertson's announcement that he won't run for re-election, the field is wide open in the race for the next mayor of Vancouver. Ted Chernecki looks at some of the possibilities – Jan 11, 2018

Vancouver Park Board commissioner John Coupar is looking for a promotion to the city’s top job.

Coupar is seeking the NPA nomination for mayor in this October’s municipal election, he announced Wednesday.

That turns the party’s search for a candidate into a three-way race.

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The two-term commissioner made the announcement in front of the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park, whose restoration was a long-time passion project for Coupar that became his gateway into politics.

“My father was the first director of the conservatory,” he said. “In my youth he would take me all around the city. I developed an appreciation and a love for Vancouver that has led me to be up here today.”

Coupar’s announcement highlighted areas he intends to focus on, including preserving public and green spaces, improving infrastructure and addressing affordability.

“For the past year I’ve been listening to Vancouver residents, and I’ve been listening very closely,” he said. “And I’m really concerned [about] the present priorities of the city — the uncontrolled spending, the lack of attention to basics.

“There’s lots of work that needs to be done to make sure that we’re working on the priorities that Vancouverites have asked for.”

NPA Coun. George Affleck was on hand to offer Coupar his endorsement. He called him a longtime friend.

“This is really exciting,” Affleck said, before bringing out Coupar. “I’m really excited for him, I’m really pleased for him, and I think it’s going to be great for Vancouver.”

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Coupar was elected to the Park Board in 2011 and previously served as chair. He is currently the longest-serving commissioner on the board.

READ MORE: NPA councillor Hector Bremner to run for mayor of Vancouver

Coupar joins NPA Coun. Hector Bremner and financial analyst Glen Chernen in the race for the party’s nomination. Party members will pick their candidate on May 29.

No candidates have come forward yet for Vision Vancouver’s nomination, and no other parties have announced their candidates.

Former Vancouver South Conservative MP Wai Young has launched her own mayoral run under the Coalition Vancouver banner.

READ MORE: NDP MP Don Davies passes on Vancouver mayoral race to focus on federal politics

Several high-profile candidates have ruled out a run, meanwhile, including NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert and NDP MP Don Davies.

Metro Vancouver will go to the polls on Oct. 20.

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