Former Green candidate Karen Shillington seeks NDP nomination in Vancouver Centre

A former Green party candidate says she wants to run for the NDP in Vancouver Centre.

In an interview at the corner of Thurlow and Davie streets, Karen Shillington told the Georgia Straight that she left the Greens after Adriane Carr ousted Stewart Parker as the provincial leader in 2000.

"The Greens are never going to form a government, bottom line," Shillington said. "It is all about forming a government or coming second, that kind of thing—and be that opposition that keeps government honest."

Shillington, an antipoverty activist, lived in Nanaimo for 30 years and ran for the Greens in the 1991 and 1996 provincial elections. She ran federally for the Greens in Nanaimo-Cowichan in the 1997 campaign.

She said she has lived in Vancouver Centre for two years. In the past, she worked on behalf of a group called End Legislated Poverty.

When asked what issues she would raise during a campaign if she's nominated, Shillington replied: "It’s got to be affordable housing and the lack of a national housing program. The Liberals cut it and the Conservatives, you know, didn’t put it back."

She said that she was trained as a fisheries technician, but also spent 11 years on social assistance as a single mother.

"Motherhood is not valued nearly as much as it should be in our society," Shillington commented. "Things are so much worse now. It was a bit of a hard slog back then."

She also worked on various community initiatives in the Nanaimo area, including opposing a freeway going through her low-income neighbourhood.

The president of the Vancouver Centre New Democrats, Tim Armstrong, told the Straight that the candidate-selection meeting will likely take place by the end of the week.

"At this stage, Karen is the only person who has announced an intention to seek the nomination," he said.

The Conservatives also haven't announced who they will run against Liberal incumbent Hedy Fry in Vancouver Centre.

Fry has held the riding since 1993, when she defeated Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell.

Entrepreneur Rachel Greenfeld was previously nominated as the Conservative, but resigned in February, according to her Facebook page.

The Conservatives' Vancouver Centre website states that a new candidate was supposed to have been nominated on March 24 at an undisclosed location. But two days later, the party hasn't identified a Vancouver Centre candidate on its site.

The Vancouver Centre Green party website states that deputy leader Adriane Carr will run again after coming fourth in 2008 behind Fry, Conservative Lorne Mayencourt, and New Democrat Michael Byers.

Comments (15) Add New Comment
Alex3141
I am glad to see she is putting affordable housing at the top of to do list.
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ds
Good to hear, it's just too bad the Greens and the NDP can't come together on one platform to run together as one party and get rid of these big business parties.
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Ken Lawson
This is enough to make you not want to vote!
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?
Don't waste your vote on the NDP in this riding consolidate behind Hedy Fry to insure that the conservatives do not take this riding. Voting for the NDP in this riding will only provide an opportunity for the Cons to win it, which would be just about the worst thing that could happen.

Find out the results for your riding in the last federal election in 2008 and consolidate behind the NDP or Liberal candidate that has the best chance of defeating the Con in that riding.

Do NOT vote for the Green Party unless you live in the Sanich Gulf Islands riding of Elizabeth May otherwise you are throwing away a vital progressive vote.
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virgil hammer
yeah, lets end poverty!
more dumb platitudes and politcal hedonism. can one candidate acutal pass a lie detector test when asked the reality of the statements they are so quick to fly like hindenberg zepplins ready burst into flames at the first hard look at the praticality of them
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NicS
Congratulation to Karen for coming back to the NDP and congratulation to the NDP for making her welcome. She is the kind of caring, empathetic candidate that best represents our party and the general population.
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Matt D
I think Karen is right on for making Housing her main campaign issue. Vancouver is starting to feel like Victorian London, where everytime you walk down the street you see dozens of homless in desperate situations. END POVERTY NOW!
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Rick
Vote for the NDP or Liberals in this riding as you please - this is NOT a strategic riding, it always goes Liberal with NDP in second. Conservatives never have a chance.

Here's a fun rule: you're only allowed to strategic vote if you know what's going on! Don't listen to hype, read the elections stats yourself, go to the meetings, and make a plan!
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Terry J. Nanaimo
Go Karen! Yes to Affordable housing in Vancouver Centre. Its time to retire Hedy Fry and the Liberals.

@ Virgil Hammer...more immature comments Virgil. Why bother?
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?
If you look at the last election results in 2008 Hedy Fry won followed by Lorne Mayencourt of the Conservatives if we split the vote further with NDP and the Green party it provides an opportunity for the Cons to win. Now is not the time to vote for the party you truly support now is the time to vote for whoever will beat the Cons.

If you truly care about the environment and the future of Canada vote statistically to defeat the Cons our future depends on it now more then ever.
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Bruno15
My favorite comment was, "Motherhood is not valued nearly as much as it should be in our society". That's quite a platform position. Where do you stand on puppies?
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Kim Goldberg
Go Karen! A great person for this job. And although this preliminary news brief couldn't afford her the space to elaborate her platform (which, bizarrely, has led some commenters here to think she has none), I know for a fact that Karen is very politically savvy and has an extensive grasp on all the key issues.
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Damian G.
OMG, the NDP's candidate, Karen Shillington, is the spitting image of Green Party leader Liz May. Too funny.
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Fran S
Karen Shillington, what is your stand on medicare?
What is your stand on corporate tax?
What is your stand our on criminal system?
I need to know if you will represent my view.
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Wha?
ELEVEN years on welfare? I want an MP with a bit more ingenuity and work ethic than that. Sure, the winds of faith are such that anyone could find themselves on welfare for a short while, but 11 years? Please. I'm voting green.
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