Chinatown leader Syrus Lee to run in Vancouver-Kensington with B.C. Liberals
In aconversation with the Straight in August 2008, prominent Vancouver Chinatown figure Syrus Lee mused about his political choices.
At that time, Lee was being eyed by the Non-Partisan Association as a possible council candidate in last year’s civic election.
Lee didn’t run, but he said then that he might go provincial in 2009, probably in the Vancouver-Kensington constituency. He also said that if he did so, he’d run with the B.C. Liberals.
Well, Lee has been acclaimed as the Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Kensington, one of the most multicultural areas in the city, in this year’s provincial election.
“I think I can do more on the provincial level,” Lee said in a phone interview with the Straight on March 11.
A well known personality in the Chinese-Canadian community, Lee, a longtime realtor, was the charter president of the Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Association Society. He has been a director for the Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association for the past 15 years.
The Vancouver-Kensington seat is currently held by NDP MLA David Chudnovsky, who isn’t running for a second term.
The NDP will hold its nomination meeting on March 22 at the John Oliver secondary school starting at 2:30 p.m.
Two women are running for the nomination: community activists Mable Elmore and Jinny Sims.
Elmore, whose mother was an immigrant from the Philippines, has worked on peace, immigrant, and other social issues for more than 20 years. A bus driver, she is a member of Local 111 of the Canadian Auto Workers and coordinated the union’s “More Buses Now” campaign. Elmore also sits on the Vancouver and District Labour Council executive.
Sims is a former president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. She is actually the successor of Chudnovsky, who also headed the BCTF. Sims led a teachers’ strike in 2005 to press for higher wages and smaller class sizes.