Veteran school trustee Allan Wong crosses the floor from COPE to Vision Vancouver
The last remaining elected COPE politician has resigned his party membership and joined Vision Vancouver.
Allan Wong, a Vancouver school trustee since 1999, made the move today.
Wong, chair of the board of education's planning and facilities committee, told the Georgia Straight by phone that he has workied well with Vision trustees for many years.
He specifically cited veteran Vision politicians Patti Bacchus, Mike Lombardi, and Ken Clement.
"To me, it's a small transition," Wong said. "I'm still very close to a lot of the COPE ed people."
Wong said he will still attend COPE education committee meetings and remains in close contact with former COPE trustees Al Blakey, Jane Bouey, and Ruth Herman.
However, he said he will leave the room if they decide to discuss political matters.
Wong added that he is eager to continue working on some of the board of education's biggest challenges, including looming Hydro rate increases, seismic upgrades, and the underfunding of education.
He sidestepped a question about whether he left COPE because of its internal divisions, only saying that the party executive seemed more focused on differences with Vision at the council and park-board level.
In a Vision Vancouver statement, Bacchus described Wong as a "passionate supporter of public education".
"His experience, advocacy, and strong record of community service make him a tremendous addition to the Vision Vancouver team, and I look forward to working with him even more closely to support Vancouver students and our public-school system," Bacchus said.
Mayor Gregor Robertson described Wong as one of the city's "most respected political leaders".
"I am honoured to welcome Allan to the positive, forward-looking Vision team working for Vancouver's priorities on the school board, park board, and city council," Robertson said in the Vision statement.
Vision Vancouver now has six of the nine trustees on the board. The three other positions are occupied by the NPA's Fraser Ballantyne, Ken Denike, and Sophia Woo.