Allan Wong jumps off COPE executive
The Coalition of Progressive Electors has lost its only elected Vancouver politician from its board.
In yet another indication of internal cracks, the resignation of school-board trustee Allan Wong follows the recent departure of ex–MLA David Chudnovsky and former council candidate Rafael “R J” Aquino from the left-wing party’s executive.
Wong is the only survivor of the rout suffered by COPE in the 2011 election. Its electoral partner, the ruling Vision Vancouver party, got all its candidates elected to council, park board, and school board.
The four-term trustee told the Straight that he “removed” himself from the executive so he can focus on the one thing that interests him the most.
“My efforts have always been with regards with education, and that’s where I would like to spend a majority or most of my time,” Wong said in a phone interview.
The school trustee emphasized that his withdrawal wasn’t coordinated with the earlier resignations. The board is currently controlled by members who want COPE to divorce itself from Vision and run its own mayoral candidate and slates in next year’s election.
The Straight asked internal chair Tim Louis if Wong’s exit is a setback for the civic organization. “I think that we are now moving faster and working harder to rebuild COPE than I have witnessed in the 40 years that I’ve been associated with COPE,” Louis responded on the phone.
The lawyer and former city councillor added that the party recognizes that Wong has a full plate with his full-time job, duties as a school-board trustee, and responsibilities as a father of four.
“We respect entirely the fact that he’s decided to not attend executive meetings,” Louis said. “And that would give him even more time to go to bat for and to be an advocate for the city of Vancouver’s children.”