NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe pledges to resign if party opts for personal attacks

The Non-Partisan Association’s mayoral candidate has officially launched his municipal election campaign, promising a “code of conduct” among the party's candidates to steer clear of personal attacks.

Kirk LaPointe, a former managing editor of the Vancouver Sun, confirmed at a press conference at Jack Poole Plaza today (July 14) that he plans to run against Mayor Gregor Robertson in November.

“I’ve witnessed the politics of division in our city, and I accept that we are not without some role in this,” said LaPointe.

“Our candidates, executive members, and staff, our board, will sign a declaration—a code of conduct to steer clear of personal attacks, the gutter politics that people are fed up with. If they breach that boundary, I will resign as a candidate.”

LaPointe challenged Robertson to do the same with his candidates. He also challenged the mayor to “open the books” on city spending, and said the NPA plans to create “the most open government of any in Canada”.

“I’ve done my best to try and penetrate the budget books, and it’s indecipherable on where dollars are spent, so today I’m asking the mayor: open them up,” LaPointe told reporters. “Let us see the line-by-line budget. What we used to see in this city—let’s see it again.”

The party plans to release details about its other candidates in the days to come. LaPointe said the party will also outline “progressive policies” in the weeks ahead.

“It’ll be a bit surprising for some people,” he stated. “It’s not the NPA that you thought you knew.”

Some of the policies he cited as examples include free Wi-Fi, starting with neighbourhoods that “can least afford and most need it”, a freeze on taxes, efforts to reduce break and enter and other personal crimes, and “an end to the politics of division between cyclists and motorists”.

In a scrum with reporters, LaPointe noted he’s not opposed to bike lanes, and that they serve a valuable purpose. But he added that he’s “not a fan” of the Point Grey Road bike route.

“I don’t think that the process to change that road was an effective way to engage the community,” he stated.

Asked about oil tanker traffic and pipelines, LaPointe said the party will detail its policy on pipelines.

“I think you’ll find that we hold a really responsible position, but it’s not going to preclude, as the mayor has, the process that’s under way in order to identify and articulate the very necessary environmental and legal ramifications of development,” he stated.

Vision Vancouver issued a news release criticizing LaPointe’s “refusal to oppose Kinder Morgan’s oil tanker expansion in Vancouver’s waters”.

“Mr. Lapointe’s NPA voted against the City's plan to address homelessness, against what we’ve done to support affordable housing, and don't support the Broadway Subway line,” Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal stated in the release.

“The only thing they won’t vote against is Kinder Morgan’s plans to bring more oil tankers into our local waters.”

When asked at today’s news conference about a proposed subway line along Broadway to UBC, LaPointe stated that “this is going to cost a lot of money”.

“I do believe that we need a strong transportation plan that’s going to head toward the West Side, and the subway may be the way to do it, but you need a dialogue, and at the moment we don’t have a dialogue,” he said. “We have someone asserting that it’s a done deal, and it’s just not.”

LaPointe is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. In addition to serving as managing editor of the Vancouver Sun, his journalism career has also included positions as CBC ombudsman and founding executive editor of the National Post.

Comments (16) Add New Comment
Boris Moris
I suspect LaPointe, in speaking out against personal attacks, is trying to shelter himself from (rock solid) accusations that his career as a so called journalist was in fact a non stop shill-a-thon for right wing interests.
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spartikus
The code of conduct strikes me as a clear shot across the bows of NPA moneyman Rob MacDonald, whom I think won't be able to keep himself from the outlandish, outrageous and personal in spite of this. But we'll see.
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spatula
Too bad about the ban on personal attacks. I really enjoyed the old NPA attack blog "City Caucus". Can the NPA at least bring that back?
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tedo
will the NPA campaign in a chicken suit like last time

and how hard will they fight to stop gay rights
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Richard
So, he is not a fan of the Pt Grey bike route. Why, too many children cycling on it?

It would be great if he would state what he is for instead of just blind opposition. We need politicians with positive solutions.
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Richard
Serious? There has been years of dialog on the transportation plan and the Broadway subway. The vast majority of people who participated supported the subway and thought it was the best option. After the experience with the under built but very popular Canada Line, people want transit planned for the future.

He should really read and listen to the studies that governments have spent millions of dollars on and the public has spent a lot of time commenting on.
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NPA (Not Peters Association)
If Kirk lives in North Vancouver why is he "moving" into UBC for the election? Why not start off by being honest. Start with you don't live in Vancouver just a thought.
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Save Vancouver
Funny Richard, I was walking on PGR this morning, not a child biking in sight. A few millionaires driving their fancy cars from their expensive houses though.
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Richard
What's your la point? One can stand by a busy street and not see a car with a child in it go by. That does not mean that there are not lots of cars with children in them on that street.

I cycled along there this evening and saw this little guy go by.

http://twitter.com/wrychrd/status/488939543198838785/photo/1
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400 ppm
Elections are spectacles for idiots and oligarchs

Socrates: First, shouldn't we explain how a democracy becomes an oligarchy?

Adeimantus: Yes.

Socrates: The crutical step is that the rich figure out how to manipulate politics so the laws benefit them instead of the public.

Adeimantus: So it seems.

Plato, Republic
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MD
Save Vancouver
"Funny Richard, I was walking on PGR this morning, not a child biking in sight. A few millionaires driving their fancy cars from their expensive houses though"

Oh, well, if all anyone needs in their data set to make conclusions that they are willing to stand by publicly is one observation from a biased observer, then we are all suddenly experts on everything

Save Vancouver?

How about save reason first.
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Steven Forth
Funny Save Vancouver, I was also walking on PGR yesterday morning around 10:00 AM, and saw many (more than 20) children on bikes and was passed by too many cyclists to count. And two cars. Try honesty.
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Steven Forth
I hope the NPA has changed and it will bring forth some real policy alternatives - give more control (not just a voice, but control) to neighbourhoods about their future, reduce the influence of developers (the NPA reduce the influence of developers!), allow more creative design solutions to everything from street surfaces to house and building design to bike lanes to zoning ... we need to imagine new futures, but can the NPA really help us do this?
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White Spot
LaPointe has definitely mastered the cynical arts. Unluckily for Vision, he may capture the right-wing disgruntled while COPE takes the left-wing. Where does that leave Vision? In the mushy middle, pushing policies that are provincially or federally determined, focused on drones, for heaven's sake. Nobody is offering concrete solutions around affordable housing but COPE. The Greens just hope to run on Carr's charisma and refuse to commit to anything but vaguely libertarian policies.

Ugh, this town. Vision and the NPA should just merge already.
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Hermie
Whoever thought we would have to turn to the NPA to deliver us from a mayor and council who are nothing more than shills for real estate developers?

My how times chnage.
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Tim
Highway 99 is "Going to cost a lot of money" as well! But will we get a chance to vote for it? No!!
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