Vision Vancouver won't return Trish Kelly to its election slate for November

The reinstatement of Trish Kelly as a park board candidate is out of the question for Vision Vancouver.

While there are suggestions in the community that Mayor Gregor Robertson’s party didn’t stand up for Kelly, that isn't going to change anything.

“I don’t think it’s a question of reinstatement,” Vision executive director Stepan Vdovine told the Straight in a phone interview today (July 24).

On July 17, Vision announced the withdrawal of Kelly as one of its park board candidates.

That was three days after political commentator Raymond Tomlin posted Kelly’s tongue-in-cheek video about masturbation online.

Tomlin has since called for Kelly’s reinstatement, writing on his VanRamblings blog that it was Vision, and not he, who dropped Kelly.

On July 23, seven women organizers with the OneCity party issued a statement challenging institutions to “meet the courage” of women candidates “with courage of their own”.

“At OneCity, we found it chilling that the decision-makers who hold power at Vision failed to act to affirm their support for Trish Kelly,” declared the statement. “Political parties need to say loudly and repeatedly that a woman’s (or anyone’s) appearance, private life, gender identity and sexuality do not diminish their worth as a candidate. In fact, progressive political parties need to fully embrace the diversity and sex-positive activism of women.”

Cara Ng was one of those who signed the OneCity statement. Asked today (July 24) if she thinks that Vision can make things right by taking back Kelly, Ng told the Straight by phone, “I don’t know whether we can say reinstate because Trish Kelly’s official position was resignation.”

“I do think it’s ultimately up to her to decide what position she wants to take on that,” Ng added.

A day after Kelly’s withdrawal was announced by Vision, the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) issued a statement that read in part, “People of all political parties and all genders must be especially vigilant to ensure that politics is an open and safe space for women and other non-male identified participants.”

That statement was attributed to co-chair Heather Gies. Asked by phone if she thinks that Vision should rename Kelly as a candidate, Gies responded, “The issue here for me and for COPE is that there should be no bullying of this kind in politics, and that goes across the political spectrum.”

Gies continued: “This isn’t really a partisan issue. It’s totally unacceptable for women to be disproportionately targeted in this way, and to be bullied out of politics whether that’s as a candidate or in any capacity.”

Asked whether or not Vision stood up for Kelly, Gies said, “I really don’t know exactly what happened.”

Vdovine maintained that it was Kelly’s decision to drop out.

“We’ve had many long conversations with Trish, and she’s made a decision that it was best, that it was in her personal interest, and that it was in the interest of the party for her to step down as a candidate,” Vdovine said.

He added that the Vision executive will meet soon to determine how to replace Kelly in the party’s park board slate.

Comments (11) Add New Comment
OneCity Skeptic
OneCity who? Seriously, we haven't heard from them in how long - why are they even contacted for comment?

OneCity, One Candidate, One Voice. How embarrassing. A shame to see Cara Ng associated with this mess.
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Dan
She should run as an independent or for COPE. She's famous now. Let the public decide.
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Elliott Taylor
This just provides me with further validation that Vision and NPA are more alike than they are different. Perhaps Ms Kelly is too good for them. I would support her as a COPE candidate, in fact I'd prefer it that way.
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Save Vancouver
Andrea Reimer's silence has been deafening on the issue, as has all the current Vision Parks Board incumbents. Once you're under the Vision bus you stay under the Vision bus apparently.
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Christine
More Trish Kelly talking about her favorite subject, Trish Kelly.
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capper
we are an incredibly sexually repressed society.
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Sharon deLisser
Trish you're better off without Vision. Run as an independent. You'll have my vote.
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OneCity Skeptic
There is no other civic party with One Voice more than the well oiled elitist out of touched party machine than the One Vision party - a Vision for more astronomical profits for developers while unaffordability grows rampant.
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East Van
I find it disgusting that One City would use Tish Kelly's resignation as away to get media attention. Tish decided to resign so she didn't have to spend months being attacked by the trolls in the NPA. And all people do is to try and stand on her shoulders to attack another party and in s doing try and say they are progressive. And Charley, c'mon, you are a better writer than this. You may not like Vision, but to turn this on to Vision and not focus on the larger societal problems where a community activist would even feel like they need to resign because our cultural prejudices that support suppression of our sexuality--that is why the trolls in the NPA have even a leg to stand on. In many ways it is Tish that has shown leadership to us all. Tish's resignation means that instead of months of focus on the should she or not she bow to pressure to resign because of attacks, she resigned and focused it back on the society that wants sex to remain quietly in the closet. So One City, enjoy standing on her shoulders, it speaks volumes for your real politic.
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Save Vancouver
@East Van - the NPA had nothing to do with Trish Kelly's stepping down. Indeed it was someone traditionally affilliated with COPE who caused this tempest in a teapot. And you seem to forget Vision Vancouver threw Trish overboard rather than risk controversy.
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East Van
Actually Save Vancouver. Vision did not throw her under the bus, you and others want to speculate about that. I have read all of Tish's posts, and she is VERY clear. SHE decided to leave, she was NOT pushed out. Tish has said CLEARLY that she continues to support Vision and has asked people to keep supporting them. There may in fact be a bus, but that bus is people like you that want to use this situation and really throw Tish under the bus. She is a strong woman and is not going to take your BS
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