NPA faces defections over decision to drop Hector Bremner from mayoral race

Coun. Hector Bremner was disqualified as a potential mayoral candidate by the NPA earlier this week. Global News File

Vancouver’s Non-Partisan Association (NPA) is taking some friendly fire from the right side of the political spectrum in the wake of its decision to drop Coun. Hector Bremner from its mayoral nomination race.

Bremner, who was elected to council in last fall’s byelection, was rejected by the NPA board over “serious” but unnamed concerns this week, despite winning the approval of the party’s own Green Light Committee.

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Now, former two-term BC Liberal MLA Lorne Mayencourt and former BC Liberal byelection candidate Gavin Dew have taken to Twitter promoting the hashtag #NotMyNPA.

Mayencourt, who re-joined the party after an absence of several years to support Bremner, said he’s tearing up his membership.

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

“I’m quite offended by the way that the NPA treated Hector. He’s a bright young man with great ideas, he’s hard working, he’s a great candidate and that’s why he was elected so handily last year. This is a despicable act,” he said.

Mayencourt said Bremner is widely liked among BC Liberals, many of whom remember him well from his time working on former premier Christy Clark’s leadership campaign.

This comes after two, younger would-be NPA council candidates, Adrian Crook and Scott de Lange Boom also withdrew from the party’s nominations, citing the Bremner decision.

Mayencourt said from where he’s standing, that will cost the party among younger voters.

“Incredibly talented young individuals, very electable, very committed to public service. They just squashed them and the hopes of the millennials that were backing them. It’s done. There ain’t no coming back for the NPA with millennials,” he said.

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

NPA President Gregory Baker directed Global News to a statement that said the concerns about Bremner’s candidacy from the Green Light Committee were not communicated in writing to the board in “an attempt to avoid potentially harming Mr. Bremner’s reputation by restricting the potential for the concerns to be made public.”

It said it is currently seeking legal advice about whether to release that information, after Bremner said he would welcome its publication. It further added that Bremner was green-lit to run for council under party’s previous board and under a less thorough vetting process.

Bremner, meanwhile, hasn’t ruled out a run as an independent candidate, saying he was meeting with supporters to “decide next steps.”

Three potential candidates remain the race for NPA nominee: park board Comm. John Coupar, financial analyst Glen Chernen and entrepreneur Ken Sim.

The party will meet to decide its nominee on May 29.

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