Vision Vancouver has diversity, but few women on council slate

Vision Vancouver   members  nominated a diverse group of candidates yesterday, though there is a notable shortage of women on the party's council slate.

Only two of the  eight Vision candidates for council--Heather Deal and Andrea Reimer--are female. There are five women running for council with the rival NPA (Suzanne Anton, Elizabeth Ball, Kim Capri, Leonore Copeland, and  Korina Houghton).

On the Vision slate, two council candidates are Canadian-born Chinese (Jang and Louie), one is a Chinese immigrant (Chow), one is a Sikh immigrant from India  (Dhaliwal), and one is gay (Stevenson).

Unlike some previous COPE slates, Vision will have council candidates (Chow and Dhaliwal) who will be able to  advocate for the party in the non-English-speaking electronic media, which can be a big plus  during election campaigns.

The NPA is in a similar situation, having nominated longtime Punjabi Market Association president Daljit Singh Sidhu, banker David Lee, and former federal Conservative candidate Kanman Wong to run for council. But the NPA bounced its mayor, Sam Sullivan, who has worked hard to learn to speak Cantonese, some Punjabi, some Tagalog, some Chinook, as well as some Italian.

Vision also nominated an urban aboriginal man, Ken Clement, to run for school board. He is from the Cranbrook area and attended a residential school. Clement has pledged to increase support for vulnerable youth, which could be good news for proponents of an aboriginal youth centre in East Vancouver.

For park board, Vision nominated Raj Hundal, a political activist who has dealt with multicultural communities as an  aide to MP Penny Priddy. Vision also nominated park-board candidate  Constance Barnes, who is of African descent and who is the daughter of former NDP MP Emery Barnes.

Vision members did not nominate  Filipino community leader Rey Umlas, who came 12th in the race for the council slate, or Pride society board member Ray Lam, who came 13th.

In addition, Vision members did not nominate Narinder Chhina, the only candidate of South Asian descent who sought a position on the school-board slate. He placed sixth.



David Wong

Sep 22, 2008 at 10:59am

So nice to finally have some CANADIAN born Chinese Canadians. People who actually grew up here, know and lived through the issues, and not worry about impressing friends and relations back in the old home country... because Canada is our only home.

We Canadian borns are a minority in this CC community.

And I, personally, are tired of *some* CC politicians who are intelligence challenged... or worst, ethics challenged (eg. playing the Race card), and have a limelight seeking disorder.


Sep 29, 2008 at 8:59pm

Why is Ray Lam consistently referred to as "Pride society board member"? I understand that he is in fact that...but in my eyes, that's just one step away from saying "the homosexual candidate, Ray Lam".

I've read his website ( he's done, and is currently doing, a lot more than just Vancouver Pride. It seems like an unfair, and slightly homophobic, descriptor. He has an extensive history and there's really no need to focus on the one thing that highlights his sexual orientation.