May 9, 2018 5:16 pm

Would-be NPA candidate denies role in rival’s nomination disqualification

Hector Bremner was disqualified from the NPA mayoral nomination race by the party's board this week.

Global News File

One of three remaining candidates for the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) nomination for mayor of Vancouver is denying he stacked the deck to eliminate a rival.

The NPA board voted this week to drop coun. Hector Bremner and Harold Steeves as potential candidates ahead of its May 29 nomination meeting. Bremner had earned initial support from the NPA’s Green Light Committee.

READ MORE: NPA drops councillor Hector Bremner as possible mayoral candidate

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In an online message to supporters, Bremner pinned that rejection on “a board that was stacked by one of the candidates, the same candidate whose supporters attacked me with false accusations.”

Bremner is facing two conflict of interest allegations relating to his work with a PR firm, both filed by supporters of would-be NPA mayoral nominee Glen Chernen.

Speaking with guest host Jill Bennett on CKNW’s The Jon McComb Show, Chernen said he had no hand in Bremner’s disqualification.

“I didn’t take part in that meeting, and I don’t know how he would know anything about what happened in that meeting because I don’t,” Chernen said.

“I have no control over the board of directors. As a candidate, it’s up to the board of directors to decide their important criteria for candidate selection.”

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

Chernen started an abortive run for mayor in 2014 under the banner of the Cedar Party, and acknowledged that a current NPA board member had been associated with that party at the time.

Wes Mussio quit as a Cedar Party candidate in 2014 when Chernen ended his run for mayor, according to a Georgia Straight report.

At least one other NPA board member appears to be actively campaigning for Chernen; a meet-up group organized by salon owner Franco Peta has posted a series of weekly events titled “Meet Vancouver’s Next Mayor Glen Chernen.”

Asked about the potential damage to the party’s public image in the face of what appears to be party infighting, Chernen said he is not overly concerned.

READ MORE: Vision Vancouver set to run mayoral candidate in October

He said in the 2014 election, the NPA chose its mayoral candidate by acclimation, and that this year there will be real debate between three candidates for the nomination.

“The party is moving forward with more openness and democracy. We had five people that put their hats in the ring, there’s three of us standing now. So I think that’s a far sight better than just appointing a person,” he said.

Not everyone agrees with that perspective. In the wake of Bremner’s disqualification would-be NPA council candidate Adrian Crook withdrew from the party, and on Wednesday another potential NPA candidate, Scott de Lange Boom also withdrew.

Chernen said his focus now will be on winning the nomination, and cutting the ties he said exist between development industry special interests and city hall.

Members will choose between Chernen, NPA Park Commissioner John Coupar and entrepreneur Ken Sim at a nomination meeting at the Helenic Community Centre on May 29.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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