Cedar and Vancouver 1st fall short of breakthroughs

Cedar Party leader Glen Chernen says it’s too early to talk about the 2018 civic election, but he vows to continue his quest to make city hall open and accountable.

“What's more important is what I see for the future of the country,” Chernen told the Courier. “Personally I’ll keep fighting until the city's cleaned up. The city's dirty and we have a dirty government ...”

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Chernen was the top vote-getter for the upstart party, with 9,577 votes. He polled better than his brother Nicholas (8,724), but fell more than 47,000 votes short of the 10th and last council seat, which went to Vision Vancouver incumbent Geoff Meggs.

Chernen said he has filed a complaint with Elections B.C. over what he believes were improper election day campaign tactics by Vision Vancouver workers, including campaigning too close to polling stations. He was particularly unhappy that four voting stations temporarily ran out of ballots and were granted extensions beyond the scheduled 8 p.m. closing time.

“I thank all the people that voted for me,” he said. “I have very little faith in the integrity of the voting that happened.”

Chernen originally intended to run for mayor, but endorsed independent Bob Kasting in October. Kasting, in turn, withdrew and supported NPA’s Kirk LaPointe.

Cedar gathered at the Simpatico Greek restaurant on Fourth Avenue. Proprietor Marinos Anagnaostopoulos offered Mayor Gregor Robertson one of his only embarrassing campaign moments when he approached the Vision Vancouver leader and told him he wouldn’t vote for him while TV cameras followed his Nov. 13 walkabout on Fourth Avenue.

Over at Tops on Kingsway, members of Vancouver 1st watched the returns come in over dinner without their star candidates.

“It's not unexpected to see the incumbents doing so well, (Vision Vancouver) had probably one of the best get-out-the-vote organization teams across the Lower Mainland, and probably the province,” said leader Jesse Johl. “That is not surprising. What is surprising is the numbers coming in for the NPA, who spent almost as much money as Vision Vancouver.”

Vancouver 1st school board candidates Sophia Woo (35,011 votes) and Ken Denike (31,545), embraced by Johl after their ejection from the NPA caucus in June, fell more than 22,000 short of the last school board seat. Woo and Denike held their own event at Floata in Chinatown.

For city council, Johl had 7,953 votes. Mercedes Wong was Vancouver 1st’s top council candidate with 17,493 votes.

London 2012 Olympic bronze medal swimmer Brent Hayden was announced as a candidate with much fanfare in early September, but achieved only 15,599 votes. Likewise, Hayden was a no-show at Tops. Johl said he was unavailable for much of the campaign because of out-of-town work commitments.

“The biggest problem we had in this election is that because nobody is politically experienced in terms of the candidates,” Johl said.

Vancouver 1st’s party was attended, however, by National Revenue minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay (Conservative, Delta-Richmond East) and her husband, actor Brent Chapman.

bob@bobmackin.ca

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