Vancouver mayoral race wide open, as Vision says it may not run a candidate
When Vancouverites go to the polls this fall, there’s a good chance that no mayoral candidate will represent the party that’s held power for the last four terms.
Vision Vancouver opened nominations for city council, park board and school board on Wednesday, but not for the mayor’s job.
What’s more, the party said it is open to supporting a mayoral candidate who won’t fly Vision’s colours.
“We’re creating an opportunity to collaborate with the other parties for an independent or partisan candidate,” said Vision vice-chair Michael Haack.
“Right now while we are having those conversations with the progressive parties here in the city, we’re not at a place for anybody to say whether or not they’re going to support one candidate over another.”
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The move was driven by the need for cooperative government in a “new era” of British Columbia politics, Haack said.
It wasn’t that no one wanted the job, he added.
“I wouldn’t say so,” Haack said.
“We are currently having discussions with interested candidates on all different levels, council, school board, park, and even on the mayor level where we are having conversations with interested and potential candidates.”
Haack stressed the party was still inviting would-be Vision mayoral candidates to apply by April 16, and he said the party would “announce next steps shortly thereafter.”
Wide open field
The possibility that Vision Vancouver may not field a candidate has opened the door to intense speculation about who might jump into the race to face the Non-Partisan Association [NPA].
Adriane Carr, Vancouver’s only Green councillor, has been publicly mulling a run for months.
She told Global News that Thursday’s announcement could change things.
“I think that it ups the chances of me being a potential mayoralty candidate,” she said.
Carr said she was “ready and willing” to seek the top job but that the Greens were currently weighing support from the public and other parties before making a decision.
UBC urban planner Patrick Condon also confirmed to Global News that he was considering a run, after being approached by members of COPE.
He said that if he did decide to run, it would be as an independent.
“I think people in this city are looking for a unity candidate, and it would only be under those circumstances that I would be appropriate, I think.”
Shauna Sylvester, director of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, has also been floated as a possible candidate.
In March she told Global News she was “giving it the serious consideration it deserves.”
Whoever steps up will face the NPA, represented by either veteran Park Board Commissioner John Coupar, rookie Coun. Hector Bremner, or financial analyst Glen Chernen.
Former federal Conservative MP Wai Young is also seeking the top job, running under the banner of the newly-formed Coalition Vancouver.
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