Central Park: Stuart Mackinnon running for Greens in Fraserview

Former park board commissioner Stuart Mackinnon has been named the Green Party candidate for Vancouver-Fraserview to run in the May 14 provincial election.

I wasnt surprised by the news because even though Mackinnon had officially left politics, I heard from him regularly about community issues, particularly those affecting the Fraserview/Killarney area. Mackinnon was unsuccessfully in a bid to get re-elected to the park board in the 2011 municipal election.

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Mackinnon will go up against former city councillor Suzanne Anton, who is taking another kick at the can after losing her bid to become the B.C. Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Quilchena. Mackinnon lost no time in criticizing the partys choice of candidate for the riding. I have to admit I was surprised the premier would approve someone from Kerrisdale to run in Vancouver-Fraserview.

Kash Heed, the Liberal incumbent for the riding, is not running for re-election. The Liberals have won the riding in the last three municipal elections by narrow margins. The NDP candidate for the riding is Gabriel Yiu.

Mackinnon, a teacher at Killarney secondary, said he decided to run at the prompting of neighbours who told him they are unhappy with what they perceive as neglect from the city and park board.

Mackinnon told me if elected, his goals include pushing for a long-awaited seniors centre, an item of concern in several past municipal elections. As a resident of the community, Mackinnon says he knows first-hand just how badly underserved the community is when it comes to transit and thats something he intends to work on. Mackinnon notes housing prices are also pushing residents out of the community so he wants more co-op developments built. The Champlain Heights neighbourhood of Fraserview is the citys poster child for how to make co-op housing work and Mackinnon says he wants to expand on that success.

$$ for seniors centre

Speaking of that elusive seniors centre, April 15, the day before the provincial election officially launched, the B.C. Liberals issued a press release committing $1.3 million towards a new facility. Killarney resident Lorna Gibbs, who has been leading the charge for a seniors centre, told me shes pleased the news came in the day before the writ was dropped. What it means for the future, she adds, is yet to be determined.

sthomas@vancourier.com

twitter.com/sthomas10

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