The disarray at Vision Vancouver continues less than 24 hours before polls open on election day in Vancouver. The once-powerful political party has “revoked the endorsement” of city council candidate Wei Qiao Zhang.
“In light of information brought to our attention regarding recent events, Vision Vancouver has revoked the endorsement of Wei Qiao Zhang,” reads a statement sent on Friday afternoon from Vision Vancouver.
“As a result, Mr. Zhang will no longer be running as a Vision Vancouver candidate for City Council. If elected, Mr. Zhang will not be part of a Vision Vancouver caucus and will sit as an independent city councillor.”
The Vision Vancouver name will still appear beside Zhang’s name on the ballot. The decision will come as a shock to many people who have already voted in the election if they decided to vote for Zhang because of his party affiliation.
Vision has had a tumultuous few months. The party struggled to find someone to run for mayor under the Vision flag after Gregor Robertson announced he wasn’t running again. The party eventually settled on Ian Campbell, but he stepped down after he was interviewed by Global News about charges against him that were stayed.
Vision has provided very few details about the circumstances around dismissing Zhang.
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“Vision revoked Mr. Zhang’s endorsement after a review determined that Mr. Zhang contravened the party’s Candidate Agreement. The agreement requires candidates to abide by Vision Vancouver’s constitution, rules and bylaws,” said the statement. “The review concerned information brought to the party’s attention in recent days, about events that took place after Mr. Zhang had been nominated as a candidate.”
“The party does not take this decision to revoke Mr. Zhang’s candidacy lightly.”
Vision Vancouver is still endorsing four council candidates. It now means that there is no way that the Vision Vancouver caucus can keep the majority of power on council. Vision won six of the council positions in 2014, with the NPA claiming three and Adriane Carr winning as the sole Green councillor.
“There is a great deal at stake for voters in this election, and Vision Vancouver’s endorsed candidates for council, school board and park board remain focused on making life better for people in every neighbourhood of the city,” reads the statement.