Vancouver real-estate marketer Bob Rennie has blasted the Vancouver NPA board for selecting a mayoral candidate behind closed doors.
In an interview with the Georgia Straight, Rennie said that he agrees with NPA director Ken Charko, who recently slammed his party's process in an interview with the Straight.
The NPA director said that he abstained from voting in what he characterized as a "star chamber" proceeding, in which prospective mayoral candidates were interviewed for the job by the NPA board.
"I'm with Ken Charko," Rennie said. "The system seems tainted that only a board would vote on who's going to be the head of a party."
Rennie, a long-time supporter of Vision Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, said money can no longer determine the outcome of Vancouver elections "because the one percent don't control it anymore".
"And we saw that in the last municipal election," he claimed.
Rennie also questioned why former Vancouver Sun managing editor Kirk LaPointe is being considered as an NPA mayoral candidate.
LaPointe, publisher at North Vancouver's Self-Counsel Press, and former NPA park commissioner Ian Robertson are the two remaining mayoral under consideration by the NPA board. A third possibility, tech entrepreneur Leonard Brody, dropped out earlier this week, throwing his support behind LaPointe.
"Watching Kirk LaPointe, where has he been in my city before, caring for the common good?" Rennie asked. "I feel I'm one of Christy Clark's strongest provincial supporters yet I was not a supporter of Christy Clark to drop into our city [to seek an NPA mayoral nomination in 2005]. It's not the right thing for Vancouver. If Kirk LaPointe's putting on a political suit of armour so that he can carry on and do things elsewhere, go use someone else's city."
Then he added this: "Gregor is doing a wonderful job keeping Vancouver alive on the business front and on the green front. And I don’t see what Kirk LaPointe has done to improve the common good for our city, and now he’s just going to want to drop in because he’s looking for a job.”
But Rennie saved perhaps his sharpest criticism for NPA president Peter Armstrong, who founded the Rocky Mountaineer rail service.
"Peter Armstrong said six months before the provincial election, 'Let's change leaders and not have Christy Clark.' I look at Peter Armstrong as needing to be right more than protecting the common good," Rennie said.
Rennie also revealed that Armstrong approached him when he was speaking with four people and declared that he knew of Rennie's political leanings.
"I said to Peter, 'I've never hidden who I'm with'," Rennie said. "I'm very transparent with my politics. I said to Peter, 'There is no other choice.' "
Rennie added that Armstrong replied that "we have a plan."
"The plan doesn't seem to be what the NPA is planning," Rennie continued. "It seems to be about what Peter Armstrong is planning. And that frightens me. That sincerely frightens me when you see one person having that much control over a party—and then when I see only the board is electing who they're going to choose rather than the NPA at large voting with who they want to choose.
"I'm with Ken Charko," Rennie repeated for the third time in the interview.
Armstrong couldn't be reached for comment late this afternoon to reply to Rennie's remarks.