Four directors quit NPA board, say it risks becoming ‘irrelevant’

Four members of the Non-Partisan Association's board of directors have resigned. Chester Ptasinski/Global News

Vancouver’s oldest civic political party is facing renewed internal turmoil with the resignation of four members of its board of directors.

In a letter released Friday, Jane Frost, Ginny Richards, Marie Rogers and Corey Sue cited poor communication, and a failure by the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) board to actively build the party as reasons for leaving.

Click to play video: 'Councillor Rebecca Bligh resigns from NPA over anti-SOGI controversy'
Councillor Rebecca Bligh resigns from NPA over anti-SOGI controversy

In the letter, the ex-directors say the NPA board lacks “enthusiasm and energy” and has been “silent and unremarkable” as the city goes through “unprecedented upheaval” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It is inexcusable. It renders the party irrelevant,” the letter states.

Global News has requested comment from the NPA.

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The four go on to say they had hoped to see the NPA working to grow membership and recruit new candidates as the 2022 municipal election approaches.

“We believed that by getting organized, raising a strong voice on social media, helping with potential candidate search and fundraising, the NPA would be in position to win the next civic election,” states the letter.

“However, we are the lone voices on the board.”

Click to play video: 'NPA Vancouver mayoral candidate accuses party of ‘stacking the deck’ against him'
NPA Vancouver mayoral candidate accuses party of ‘stacking the deck’ against him

In an interview with Global News, Frost said the board has ignored attempts to work through the issue.

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“We asked for a board meeting — we haven’t had one for four months — and some board members didn’t even respond,” Frost told Global News in an interview.

“So it’s been very, very disappointing and we’re very sad about this.”

The authors also sought to distance the current board from the NPA party and caucus, which have four city councillors, two park board commissioners and three school board trustees.

A fifth councillor, Rebecca Bligh, quit the party last year citing concerns with the board’s shift to the “far-right,” and support for two members of the executive by the SOGI-movement.

The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification (SOGI) 123 educational program was designed to create a safe and inclusive environment in schools for LGBTQ2 students, and has faced strong opposition from some social conservatives.

One sitting member of the board is a former correspondent with Rebel Media.

“The NPA has always stood for fiscally responsible, socially moderate and inclusive governance, standing up for all Vancouverites,” states the letter.

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The current board of 12 directors was elected in November 2019.

Back in 2018, the NPA faced internal turmoil when it rejected the candidacy of sitting councillor Hector Bremner despite approval by the party’s own “Green Light Committee.”

That move prompted backlash from some members, and the withdrawal of two younger would-be candidates.

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