Nine people are challenging two-term Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for the city’s top office in the Nov. 15 civic election, according to a list released to the media late Oct. 10.
Forty-nine candidates are vying for the 10 city council seats, 31 for park board’s seven seats and 29 for the nine-member school board. Only 10 candidates for city council and five each for park board and school board are not affiliated with an elector organization. Candidates from nine registered electoral organizations are vying for mayor, council and park board, while six are supporting candidates for school board.
The 119 candidates are significantly greater than 2005 when 96 people were registered. The stakes are higher in 2014, with the winners getting an extra year in office. The provincial government opted to increase local government terms from three years to four, meaning the Nov. 15 election is the last general election for municipalities until 2018.
The candidate nomination office in room 115 on city hall’s main floor closed on schedule at 4 p.m. Oct. 10. Perennial mayoral candidate Golok Zoltan Buday’s application was refused for not containing the minimum 25 signatures. Independent city council candidate David Angus and a member of the Work Less Party were among the last to apply. The list released in an email sent to media at 10:49 p.m. Oct. 10 from city hall’s communications department included Angus’s name, but the Work Less Party was not among the elector organizations.
Past civic elections have had colourful names on the ballots, but few this time. Independent school board candidate Tavis Dodds is listed as Dodds, T. “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the name of one of late comedian Robin Williams’s most-famous characters. COPE park board candidate Ezra Bloom’s form lists the last name Fulford, not Bloom. City council candidate Anthony Guitar is referred to in a B.C. Supreme Court injunction against the Oppenheimer Park protest camp as Anthony Gauthier. COPE city council candidate Audrey Siegl’s Musqueam name will also be included, a first for a Vancouver election ballot.
A Courier reporter was at city hall observing the close of nominations, but city clerk Janice MacKenzie, who is also the chief election officer, refused a request after 4 p.m. to inspect the list of candidates who signed up on deadline day.
IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis said there is no excuse for such a delay.
“In Victoria at 4 o’clock, a city official read out — to all and sundry who were in the spot, who had been invited there — the list of candidates who had been nominated,” Travis said. “No secret to it, no late night news release.”
Nomination forms and financial disclosure statements were online and available for public view at the city clerk’s office Oct. 14. Withdrawal or revocation of candidacy is allowed until Oct. 17 at 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, on the NPA list …
In a show of party unity, all 19 NPA city council, park board and school board candidates for the Nov. 15 civic election signed Mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe’s nomination papers.
The registration files Oct. 4 also lists NPA president Peter Armstrong and his Armstrong Group executive assistant Paula Salloum and office director Ada Lam.
Ex-NPA chair and ex-park board commissioner Alan Fetherstonhaugh, now vice-president of government relations and managing partner of Public Agenda Group, is also on the list. So, too, is Natasha Westover, executive coordinator of the NPA campaign. Westover was constituency assistant to ex-B.C. Liberal Transport, Health and Finance minister Kevin Falcon.
A notable federal Conservative name on the nomination sheet is Michael van Hemmen, a former aide to Transport Ministers Rob Merrifield, John Baird and Chuck Strahl.
He was most recently working in the business planning group of B.C. mining giant Teck.
Armstrong referred questions to NPA campaign manager Douglas Leung, who did not respond.