Activist claims clear Vision in leaving COPE

Brent Granby ran for Vancouver Park Board in 2011

A longtime community activist, and former chair of the Coalition of Progressive Electors park board caucus, has joined Vision Vancouver.

But whether Brent Granby will seek a nomination with Vision for the November 2014 civic election is yet to be seen. Vision Vancouver dominates council, park board and the school board in the city.

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“At this point all I’ve decided is that my values and priorities align with the party,” said Granby, who added he believes it’s Vision Vancouver that’s most capable of creating positive change. “I’m going to ask around after the holidays to see what kind of support I have.”

In a public statement released this week, Granby wrote in part, “…The policy initiatives that Vision Vancouver has embarked upon have been ambitious… Affordability for young people and their families continues to remain a priority… I want to continue my work with community groups, activists, faith-based communities, academics, the business sector and decision makers to grow our city in a sustainable and responsible way.”

The Courier reported in March 2012 that Granby had resigned as chair of the COPE park board caucus. At the time Granby said he was compelled to resign after "serious reflection" following the civic political party's annual general meeting in February. Granby left the party this past summer.

“But it’s not so much that I left COPE, but that I’m joining Vision right now,” said Granby, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the park board as a member of COPE in 2011. “There’s an election coming up and it’s my own priorities that are important for me.”

Those priorities include civic affairs, parks and recreation, community gardens, homelessness, affordable housing and the ability for his children to ride their bikes to school safely.

“I don’t see that support coming from any other party than Vision,” said Granby.

Granby describes recent protests regarding a proposed 12-foot-wide bike path through Kitsilano and Hadden parks as “political bluster.”

“It’s a grave concern of mine that these groups have organized against safety,” said Granby. “For me that’s big. I want my kids to feel safe riding everywhere in the city.”

COPE’s internal chairperson Tim Louis said Granby’s departure, along with the recent defection of other members, including veteran school board trustee Allan Wong, makes the party’s platform that much clearer.

“They have to be on one side or the other and can no longer sit on the fence and make out as if they’re with one party when they’re really doing the bidding of the other,” said Louis. “Brent Granby has now made it very clear where his politics are at.”

sthomas@vancourier.com
twitter.com/sthomas10

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