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Three Vancouver councillors drop independence to join ABC Party ahead of October election

Click to play video: 'Vancouver city councilors throw support behind Ken Sim' Vancouver city councilors throw support behind Ken Sim
WATCH: Several independent Vancouver city councillors are now joining a new alliance in the world of municipal politics, promising a better city. Jordan Armstrong has more details. – Apr 11, 2022

With just six months to go until Vancouver’s next civic election, a trio of city councillors have announced they will run for re-election under the banner of A Better City Party, led by mayoral candidate Ken Sim.

Councillors Sarah Kirby-Yung, Lisa Dominato and Rebecca Bligh announced the news while speaking exclusively on News Talk 980 CKNW with host Jas Johal on Monday afternoon.

The three previously sat as independents after leaving the Non-Partisan Association (NPA).

Read more: Vancouver council considering tax hike to cover $5.7M restored to VPD budget

Bligh was the first one to resign from the NPA in 2019. Dominato and Kirby-Yung made the move last year, claiming they were “blindsided” by the board’s decision to run John Coupar as the party’s mayoral candidate.

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“Vancouverites are looking for a positive alternative for folks who are going to get to work, and that can work together to actually focus on the issues that matter most to residents in the city, and bring some balance back to city hall,” said Kirby-Yung on Monday.

According to Dominato, the upcoming election is about trusted leadership and accountability, which is what ultimately led her to join the ABC Party and endorse Sim.

“They city needs us to be working hard on a number of nuanced, complex issues, and so leveraging one another to be able to really understand is key,” she explained. “ABC represents an innovative, inclusive organization, and for me that was really important from a values standpoint.”

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“Ken is proven to be able to build a team that can look to that future, and solve some of the critical issues that we have in the city right now,” added Bligh.

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Sim, who is the co-founder of Nurse Next Door and Rosemary Rocksalt, ran for mayor in 2018 with the NPA, narrowly losing to Kennedy Stewart.

“We share a lot of the same values, and we said that was this would be the best way forward for the city,” Sim said, welcoming the three councillors, on Monday.

Click to play video: 'Focus BC: One-on-one with Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart' Focus BC: One-on-one with Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart
Focus BC: One-on-one with Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart – Oct 22, 2021

In a statement after Kirby-Yung, Dominato and Bligh’s announcement, Stewart’s recently formed Forward Together party said the incumbent mayor is pushing hard for more rental housing, as well as expanding the affordable housing stock.

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“He’s fighting hard to complex-care housing for the high-need street homeless, and advocating for safe supply to save lives. And he’s leading a strong recovery with major infrastructure projects, like the Broadway Subway Line,” read the statement.

Vancouver voters are expected to hit the ballot box on Oct. 15.

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