NPA issues open call for mayoral candidates in advance of October election

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      Think you have what it takes to run Vancouver? The city’s main opposition party has issued an open call for potential mayoral candidates ahead of this October’s civic election.

      “NPA President Gregory Baker says the NPA wants to provide a long runway between the announcement of the mayoral nomination contest and the nomination meeting itself in order to attract as many strong candidates as possible,” reads a January 30 media release. “The ideal candidate leads change, builds consensus, and bridges differences.”

      Baker is quoted there encouraging people from different backgrounds to seek the position.

      “We’re making every effort to improve diversity in our candidate selection by reaching out to a wider group of Vancouver residents,” he said. “We want to get it right and have the best candidate represent a new, revitalized NPA.

      “The electorate has changed and there are new challenges to address,” he continued. “The NPA has to move with the times. We have a new provincial government, and with so many current members of Council not running again in 2018, we’re looking at a substantially new City Council. It’s a great opportunity for the NPA to rebuild and renew.”

      So far four of Vision Vancouver’s current council members have said they won’t seek re-election this year. Mayor Gregor Robertson has also said he’s decided to step away from civic politics.

      The Non-Partisan Association media release states that anyone interested in becoming the party’s candidate for mayor should get in touch and request an application package.

      “A candidate selection committee will be established to review applications and interview prospective candidates,” it reads. “The Committee’s recommendations will then be brought forward to the Association’s members at a nomination meeting sometime in the spring.”

      The NPA currently holds four council seats. Those are occupied by George Affleck, Elizabeth Ball, Melissa De Genova, and Hector Bremner, who took office in a by-election held last October.

      The NPA is Vancouver’s oldest civic party. It was established in 1937. The NPA hasn’t seen a member hold the office of mayor since 2008 but has played a strong role in civic politics since its founding. The NPA’s Gordon Campbell was mayor from 1986 to 1993, Philip Owen was mayor from 1993 to 2002, and Sam Sullivan held the office from 2005 to 2008.

      In the 2014 Vancouver election, the NPA was represented by former Vancouver Sun managing editor Kirk La Pointe. La Pointe captured 40 percent of the vote to Robertson’s 46 percent.

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