Left Front gunning for both COPE co-chairs

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      A group called the Left Front is running candidates for both co-chair positions of one of Vancouver’s established civic parties, the Coalition of Progressive Electors.

      According to a list provided today (July 3) by Left Front’s Imtiaz Popat, the group is backing Downtown Eastside activist Herb Varley and current COPE corresponding secretary Heather Gies.

      In a phone interview with the Straight, Popat maintained that his group’s decision to contest the positions is not a challenge to Tim Louis, current external chair of the left-leaning party.

      Based on Popat’s account, which was corroborated by Louis in a separate interview, Popat advised Louis to seek a post other than the chair.

      But Louis refused, setting the stage for a vote at COPE’s annual general meeting on Sunday (July 6).


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      Jul 3, 2014 at 5:01pm

      People want to make space for Tim and he won't even take it? How self-interested can you get?

      Something to get behind

      Jul 3, 2014 at 6:19pm

      That's exciting that COPE's expanding to include diverse activists to take on Vision. Herb's been on the forefront of struggles for social justice and against displacement in the Downtown Eastside.

      Pidgin War Survivor

      Jul 3, 2014 at 6:49pm

      Herb Varley is a solid CCAP follower and original Pidgin protester. Good choice, Left Front....

      Wow -

      Jul 4, 2014 at 12:10pm

      A young committed group, not a cult, and not declaring war? What is this, Christmas? But I bet Tim's ego and misplaced sense of mission won't allow him to be anything but the guiding voice, spokesperson and captain of the drowning ship. I'm not renewing my membership or donating until Tim goes - no way. I'll be watching this with interest. If Tim gets back in, I guess...jeez, I have no idea who I'll vote for.

      What a waste of energy.

      Jul 4, 2014 at 2:35pm

      In case the 'Left Front' and COPE are unaware, people are looking for a change on the municipal political scene, we're not interested in intra-party sectarianism and pissing contests. COPE is rapidly discrediting itself with such silliness. I was hoping that once free of the Vision sympathizers within COPE, that COPE could finally quit fighting within itself and fight Vision. I guess that was too much to hope for. Louis is not innocent in this matter, but for heaven's sake, why should Tim Louis step aside and make for a fellow (Mr Varley) whom, as far as I know, has never attended a COPE meeting? This is absurd.


      Jul 5, 2014 at 11:07am

      Is there anything more entertaining than people who don't see the irony of living in a western capitalist society and wearing Che Guevara shirts? Is there anything more pathetic than those who believe the claptrap he spouted? The anti-capitalist left is almost a corpse, animated solely by the naive new blood of the next generation: most of whom will shift right if they ever earn more than a few dollars an hour. Tim Louis and his dedication to whichever branch of "communism" hasn't been discredited in his mind is cute but laughable. Capitalism is here to stay simply because the people espousing the alternative are incapable of anything more than whining or walking with a sign. Good luck COPE but your relevance to politics in this city died when the softies ran to Vision eager for table scraps from "not NPA." The remaining cult will be "ideologically pure" but completely irrelevant.

      Imtiaz Popat

      Jul 7, 2014 at 11:29am

      Left Front is positive force for democratic change. Any political organization goes to renewal and change of the guard. Tim Louis is no longer the face of COPE. He is now partnered with new growing force in the city that has proposed to most progress policies in Vancouver. The Vision majority in City Council has failed us on the homeless and housing fount and are more concerned about development. Its time for change and bring COPE back to City Hall to the give the good leadership it has always given to this city for four decades.