LaPointe says NPA is ‘back in the conversation’

Mayoral contender unable to unseat Robertson as NPA makes gains

Kirk LaPointe may have lost his bid for mayor but the Non-Partisan Association will have more representation this term than in any of the previous Vision-led terms.

Newcomer Melissa De Genova won a seat on city council, and incumbent NPA councillors George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball were re-elected.

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Casey Crawford, Sarah Kirby-Yung and Erin Shum — all newcomers — won seats on the park board. Incumbent John Coupar was re-elected as commissioner.

Newcomers Christopher Richardson, Penny Noble and Stacy Robertson were all elected to the school board, and incumbent trustee Fraser Ballantyne was re-elected.

Kirk LaPointe, who was largely unknown to the public before the mayoral race, lost to the incumbent Vision Vancouver mayor Robertson by approximately 10,000 votes.

“I wish him well,” said LaPointe speaking at the Fairmont Hotel on election night. “I consider it a real signature accomplishment that someone can win three races in a row.”

He added: “That call demands that the city listen again to our neighbourhoods, that it deliver an open government.”

LaPointe also called Robertson a “role-model.”

He added that the city has been made stronger with more NPA members on council, park board and school board.

“We have moved our way back into the conversation again,” he said. He added that the NPA’s chance to lead the city was faint, but has now strengthened.

“We’re going to get to that top of the mountain another time.”

Affleck called the results “bittersweet.”

“It’s quite a strange result to see three opposition councillors being on the top, yet we didn’t win mayor.”

Affleck said he is pleased to have more support on council.

“I hope it humbles Vision Vancouver and we’ll see a more pragmatic approach to governing Vancouver moving forward.”

New park board commissioner Erin Shum said she was very pleased to see four NPA candidates elected to the park board.

Shum said she looks forward to getting to work.

“[Let’s] clean up our parks, restore the relationships with our community centre associations and, and lastly let’s build that senior’s home for our seniors in Killarney,” said Shum.

Veteran journalist LaPointe was largely unknown before the mayoral race began.

“Most people didn’t know how to pronounce LaPointe,” LaPointe joked.

LaPointe appeared to gain momentum towards the end of the race.

An Insights West poll released on Nov. 10 put LaPointe only five points behind Robertson.

Vision’s Robertson asked COPE supporters to vote for Vision at a CBC mayoral debate on Nov. 12, after the gap between him and LaPointe appeared to close.

The NPA only released their full platform on Nov. 4.

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