So you want to be mayor of Vancouver? Take a number

Crowded mayoral field could use YouTube video on how to run a city

Have a kind thought for those pollsters who have been toiling in the field, testing the public mood on the question of which possible mayoral hopeful would be the preferred choice of Vancouver voters. Changes in possible candidates are so frequent they can barely get off the phone to enter their data before it is out of date.

The last publicly announced leader in a publicly released poll was Green Party councillor Adriane Carr. She has since bowed out thinking it would be better to take an almost sure thing and hang on to her council seat than take a flier on the mayor’s job.

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The original scheme agreed to by the handful of left-of-centre parties — Vision, COPE, OneCity, the Greens and Jean Swanson, who was granted her own spot having come a respectable second in last fall’s byelection — was to put forward an agreed upon independent candidate. That went out the window when Vision (seeing I suspect that first-out-of-the-gate independent candidate Shauna Sylvester wasn’t drawing flies) decided it would nominate its own candidate from among those who put their names forward.

That plan didn’t quite work out as planned. One of only two potential candidates, Taleeb Noormohamed, hit a health issue bump leaving Ian Campbell there to be declared Vision’s choice.

Campbell, as you may know, is an Indigenous leader with the Squamish Nation and has been central to their development plans along with the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh for three large chunks of land in Vancouver. Aquilini Development and Canada Lands Company are involved in some of the projects.

While Campbell says he is planning to move to our fair city, he was and may still be a resident of North Vancouver.

His first public outing, a radio interview last week with CBC’s Stephen Quinn proved a bit of a disaster. Campbell was more into skating rather than straight talk. His persistent evasion of the simple question “What do you think of the NDP government’s ‘school tax’ on homes assessed at more than $3 million?” was just embarrassing. By the way, Ian, those houses are mostly on the West Side not the West End.

But Campbell is just one of four (so far) left-of-centre mayoral wannabes who have zero experience of governing at the municipal level. That includes Sylvester, Kennedy Stewart (who at least has run and won federally as an NDP member of parliament) and the latest entry, UBC academic Patrick Condon.

Condon, by the way, was hoping for a COPE endorsement. It is not that he expects to be Vancouver’s next mayor, but it is a simple fact of municipal news gathering that parties with a mayoral candidate get much better coverage than those without.

I have the feeling that a YouTube video on how to be a big city mayor would be welcome. I found the video on building cabinets and small car repairs most helpful. So why not, How to Run a City?

It could also help those other guys, the ones over on the right of centre.

The Non-Partisan Association’s mayoral nominee, Ken Sim, may be a wiz at running a private business, but he may find it challenging to expose himself to public scrutiny.

As for rookie NPA councillor Hector Bremner, he does not take rejection well. I’m told he is no longer attending NPA caucus meetings. He is so far setting out to do everything he can to make sure Sim fails. By the end of this month, Bremner is expected to launch his own political party.

All of this is good news for the left-of-centre crew still scrambling to get its act together. They will also be cheering on former Conservative MP Wai Young who is forming a political party of her own. It is almost becoming like a fashion statement.

That will take a slice of the right-of-centre vote. Her beef seems to be that the NPA discriminates against folks of Chinese heritage who she signed up when she was still part of that party. You may find it hard to reconcile that criticism with the fact that NPA is running a mayoral candidate in Sim who is of Chinese heritage.

But back to my point: Who knows which of these folks will still be standing the next time a poll is taken.


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