Two hours before the polls closed on the Nov. 15 civic election, Green Party park board candidate Stuart Mackinnon was relaxing at home listening to classical music by Gabriel Urbain Fauré in his small East Side condominium.
"It helps calm me," Mackinnon said.
It must work because, at least by appearance, the high school teacher showed no signs of nerves as the final minutes of this election season wind down. Surrounded by dozens of books, paintings and photographs of Vancouver, more CDs than a thrift store and accompanied by his faithful companion Kiku, the small shiba inu he rescued 11 years ago, Mackinnon was hopeful the Green party will make history tonight by winning numerous seats at council, school board and of course park board. Mackinnon was elected to the park board in 2008, but lost in 2011 placing 12th in the seven seat race with 44,000 votes.
Mackinnon said due to the ongoing dispute between the park board and community centre associations over their joint-operating agreements, more residents than ever are paying attention to this election, which could be one of the reasons for the huge turnout for advanced voting and even on election day.
"These are their communities," said Mackinnon. "While a lot of them don't quite understand all of the nuances of the joint operating agreements, they do recognize there's been a grab for money and power. That they understand."
There are 30 candidates seeking a seat on the park board including independents Roland Clarke, James Buckshon, Jenny De Castris, Eleanor Hadley, Matt Kadioglu and Earl Sunshine. Running for Vision Vancouver are Catherine Evans, Brent Granby, Naveen Girn, incumbent Trevor Loke, Sammie Jo Rumbaua and Coree Tull. NPA candidates include incumbent John Coupar, Casey Crawford, Jay Jagpal, Sarah Kirby-Yung, Stephane Mouttet, Erin Shum. Running for COPE is Ezra Bloom, Urooba Jamal, Imtiaz Popat, former park board commissioner Anita Romaniuk and Cease Wyss. Vancouver 1st candidates include Brent Hayden, Yogi Johl, Massimo Rossetti, Doug Starink and Richard Wong. Meanwhile Jamie Lee Hamilton is running for IDEA. Joining Mackinnon for the Green Party is Michael Wiebe.