Constance Barnes says she's seeking the NDP nomination in Vancouver–False Creek
Constance Barnes announced today (June 3) that she is stepping down as chair of the Vancouver park board.
The second-term commissioner told supporters and reporters gathered at the southwest corner of the Plaza of Nations that she is doing this because she’s going to seek the nomination of the B.C. NDP to represent Vancouver-False Creek in next year’s general election. She will remain a commissioner.
"I want to make sure that there [is] no thinking out there that I'm using that position to forward any other career," Barnes said.
Her announcement of her political plan immediately drew fire from the Non-Partisan Association.
In a statement, NPA park commissioner Melissa De Genova said that she is “deeply disappointed that one of our fellow commissioners has decided to put her political career ambitions ahead of her work at the Vancouver Park Board”.
“A seat on the Vancouver Park Board should not simply be a stepping stone for seeking higher office,” De Genova said. “It is clear Ms. Barnes has had a desire to run provincially for some time, and she should have made that decision before she decided to add her name to Vision's 2011 park board slate.”
In her comments today, Barnes said that she has had discussions with the ruling Vision Vancouver party regarding her intention to seek a provincial post.
“They’ve been absolutely super,” Barnes said of her civic party.
In March this year, the Straight reported that the daughter of the late MLA Emery Barnes is thinking about following in her father’s footsteps.
For today’s occasion, Barnes wore the NDP’s colour. She was draped in an orange coat and her shoelaces were also orange.
B.C. Liberal MLA Mary McNeil currently holds the Vancouver-False Creek seat. McNeil is minister of children and family development.
In her speech, Barnes identified key issues in the community: child care, schools, and green space.
“I don’t know what they were actually thinking when they developed this community...they weren’t thinking of families,” she said. “They weren’t thinking of child care. They weren’t think green space. They weren’t thinking schools.”
New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert emceed the event. Before the program started, the Vancouver-West End representative told the Straight that Barnes will be able to reach out beyond the traditional base of the party.
According to Herbert, in a constituency like Vancouver-False Creek, that ability is “very important” for the B.C. NDP.
Neil Monckton, a veteran backroom strategist with the party, told the Straight in March that he’s thinking of seeking the B.C. NDP nomination for Vancouver-False Creek.