Vancouver's governing party appears set to acclaim its sole new candidate for city council at a nomination meeting next month.
While outgoing Vision Vancouver park board commissioner Niki Sharma and former Vancouver Public Library Board chair Catherine Evans were both initially expected to seek a city council nomination, Evans has decided instead to try and get elected to the park board.
It leaves Sharma as the only person seeking a nomination for city council with the party. Vision members have endorsed the current seven city councillors as candidates for reelection as part of an eight-person slate for council in the November 2014 election.
Evans said she didn’t like the optics of having two women competing for the spot, and noted that Sharma already had endorsements from elected Vision officials.
“Once it was clear that Vision was running only eight on the slate and then after the AGM with the incumbents all being reviewed and approved…I said ok, I don’t want to get in the way of Niki, I don’t want to make it hard for her, or create divisions within Vision potentially,” she told the Straight by phone.
Evans added that the switch to park board has been positive.
“I quite like the idea of being involved with parks in particular,” she said. “I have two boys that grew up here and played on a lot of sports teams and so know that world very well. So I’m really happy to be able to contribute to recreation as well.”
Vision Vancouver executive director Stepan Vdovine said the party executive is currently in the process of interviewing everyone who has filed their nomination papers, and will release a full list of official candidates on Friday (May 16).
Party members will be voting in an advance poll on June 18 and at a nomination meeting on June 22 to select four candidates for park board and one more for school board. Vision members endorsed all incumbents seeking reelection at a meeting earlier this month.
“There will be a competitive process for both school and park,” Vdovine said in a phone interview. “The ratio of candidates is roughly in the neighbourhood of two and a half to three candidates per open seat.”
Other potential candidates who have announced their intention to seek Vision park board nominations include former COPE candidate Brent Granby, Vancouver food policy council member Trish Kelly, community organizer Coree Tull, former Vision board member Naveen Girn, community activist Sammie Jo Rumbaua, and tax specialist and political campaigner Mark Mitchell.
Trevor Loke is the only current park board commissioner seeking reelection.