NPA councillor Elizabeth Ball will not seek re-election

Ball’s decision leaves three incumbents to compete in Oct. 20 race

12th and Cambie

Time to get you caught up on the civic election campaign.

First off, NPA Coun. Elizabeth Ball finally let us media types know whether she will seek another term at city hall.

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She’s not.

I got her on the phone Thursday and asked her why.

“I think I’ve done enough, it’s time for somebody else to have a chance and contribute to this city,” said Ball, noting she served three terms on council. “The first term you’re learning, the second term you sort of got it going and the third term you can get done what you really wanted to do.”

Ball was part of NPA mayor Sam Sullivan’s administration from 2005 to 2008, then lost her re-election bid in 2008. She ran successfully again in 2011 and was re-elected in 2014. In February 2017, she tried unsuccessfully to become the B.C. Liberals' candidate for Vancouver-Fairview.

Ball has long been a booster of the arts, seniors and children.

An NPA news release that announced Ball’s departure said she was instrumental in establishing Vancouver’s 125 Celebration, the city’s first tourism strategy, the city’s first poet laureate program, the mayor’s film industry task force and bringing the Juno Awards to Vancouver.

Asked what her legacy will be, Ball said she hoped it would be “a real understanding of the value of the arts to the city.” Also, she added, being able to talk about children and/or seniors at “every single council meeting is something that has affected how people look at the city.”

Ball’s departure from city hall, whether you agree with her politics or not, means another loss of a seasoned politician who knows how the place works.

With Ball on her way out, that leaves only three incumbents on the 11-member council who are seeking re-election Oct. 20. That would be Melissa De Genova (NPA), Heather Deal (Vision Vancouver), Adriane Carr (Green Party) and former NPAer Hector Bremner, who has launched a new party called Yes Vancouver and plans to run for mayor.

Since I last wrote in this space, more council wannabees have stepped forward, including some new faces who joined Bremner’s party. They are Cobs bread franchise owner Brinder Bains, Happy Times Travel operator Glynnis Chan, entrepreneur Stephanie Ostler, music teacher Phyllis Tang and pharmacist Jaspreet Virdi.

The NPA announced it is running nine candidates for council, including De Genova and park board commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung and school trustee Lisa Dominato.

The others are business coach/consultant Rebecca Bligh, public affairs professional Justin P. Goodrich, natural gas supply management firm owner David Grewal, film industry veteran Colleen Hardwick, financial executive Kathy McGarrigle and paralegal Francisco (Jojo) Quimpo, who can be seen on YouTube belting out Journey’s “Don’t stop believin’,” with Mayor Gregor Robertson on drums.

I’m not kidding, check it out.

Former NPA council candidate Robert McDowell announced he will run as an independent. Musqueam Indian Band member Wade Grant, who was previously interested in a run with the NPA and then Yes Vancouver, took to Twitter this week to say that he will not run with a party.

Grant said he needed to work “outside partisan lines.”

“This was not an easy decision,” he wrote. “I am a proud Vancouverite and have spent many hours and days working to bring voices from different backgrounds together because I truly believe that our city is stronger when these voices are united.”

Meanwhile, a political unknown name Steffan Ileman announced he has formed Restore Vancouver and plans to run for mayor. So to keep track, I think we now have Restore Vancouver, Yes Vancouver, Vision Vancouver and Pro Vancouver in this year’s race.

Those wanting to form and run with Maybe Vancouver, Hell Yeah Vancouver! or Meh Vancouver should know the nomination period runs from Sept. 4 to Sept. 14. That’s when you can submit nomination forms to become an official candidate.

There are 27 positions up for grabs.

Good luck, everyone.


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