Rejected Non-Partisan Association (NPA) mayoral candidate and sitting NPA Coun. Hector Bremner is moving ahead with plans to start a new political party in Vancouver.
In a message posted to Facebook on Thursday, Bremner said that following a meeting with supporters last week, the new party — dubbed “Yes Vancouver” — has now established a founding board, constitution and bylaws.
Nine founding board members have been appointed, with room for three more after the party’s official launch, he said.
The party has yet to fill the positions of president, vice-president and secretary.
The founding board includes EcoCentury Techonolgies president Kerry Gibson, Musqueam band council member Howard Grant and rental developer Dak Molnar with the Molnar Group.
Bremner was first elected to city council in last fall’s byelection with about 27 per cent of the vote in a crowded field that saw half a dozen left-leaning candidates split the vote.
He had sought the NPA nomination for mayor but was rejected by the party’s board despite being approved by the NPA Green Light Committee.
Bremner has blamed that rejection on allegations of conflict of interest linked to his day job with a communications firm, which he said were driven by his rivals.
The party said it was related to concerns from the Green Light Committee that weren’t made public, but which were sent to Bremner in a confidential letter.
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In the wake of his rejection, several other would-be NPA council candidates withdrew from consideration, and several board members also resigned.
Bremner has previously said that any new party he formed would be heavily focused on housing issues, along with fiscal responsibility and environmental protection.
He said it would be founded on a membership-based nomination process and candidate approval process “based on best practices from across Canada at all levels of government.”
Bremner has yet to formally declare whether he’s seeking the mayor’s job under the new party’s banner.
The new party has already faced criticism on social media for adopting the same name as an existing non-profit group that hosts networking events for Vancouver businesswomen.
The move adds spice to what is already shaping up to be one of the most competitive civic elections in recent Vancouver history, with three-term Mayor Gregor Robertson not seeking re-election.
The NPA has selected entrepreneur Ken Sim to run for mayor in the coming vote, while Vision Vancouver has tapped Squamish Nation hereditary Chief Ian Campbell as its candidate.
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But the field is crowded.
UBC urban design professor Patrick Condon is seeking the mayoral nomination from the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE), while SFU Centre for Dialogue director Shauna Sylvester is running as an independent.
NDP MP Kennedy Stewart also said he’s quitting federal politics to run as an independent. Condon, Sylvester and Stewart are all courting support from COPE and fledgling civic party OneCity.
And former federal Conservative MP Wai Young is heading a newly-formed party called Coalition Vancouver; she’s running on a platform of opposing additional bike lanes and the new school tax on homes valued above $3 million.
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