A veteran Vancouver councillor is delighted over a rookie colleague’s interest in becoming the next mayor.
Elizabeth Ball, now on a third term, was talking about Hector Bremner, who joined council on October 31 last year after winning a by-election.
“The nice thing about Hector Bremner is he’s spending time on council, learning how council actually operates, what it actually can do, and that gives me comfort, you know, to have somebody who’s actually genuinely informed,” Ball told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview, “because I think that makes a big difference, having somebody who’s been on council before as mayor. So you know, I would look for experience as well as policies.”
Ball and Bremner belong to the opposition Non-Partisan Association (NPA), once considered as the city’s natural governing party.
Ball dismissed the idea that it’s too soon for Bremner to be aiming for the top job in city hall in the October 2018 election.
“Oh well no,” Ball said. “I think … by the time there was an election and everything, that’s a whole year, you know, behind a person, and that certainly gives you enough time to see how things operate, and more importantly, what is the city responsible for, … what can you actually do.”
Without mentioning any particular name, Ball continued: “I hear people making all kinds of promises that have nothing to do with the reality of what the city is or does …It’s really important to have somebody that understands the budget from the inside and what’s happening.”
Ball added: “So you know that’s always my preference is to have somebody who’s genuinely informed, rather than someone who makes promises.”
Bremner was a former ministerial aide in the previous B.C. Liberal government. He’s currently a vice president of Pace Group, a Vancouver-based communications firm.
In a previous phone interview with the Straight, Bremner said: “I have a plan for our city, and it’s clear, it’s credible, and we can deliver on it.”
As for her own plans in this year’s election, Ball said she hasn’t made up her mind yet.
“I’m just watching everything with interest and seeing where things are falling,” she said. “Obviously I think there’s going to be a new direction for the city, and I’m not sure what it is.”
Ball and Bremner are two of four NPA representatives in council.
NPA councillor George Affleck, who had previously said that he’s thinking of running for mayor, announced last year that he will neither run for another term in council nor seek his party’s mayoral nomination.
In a separate interview, NPA councillor Melissa De Genova declined to share her opinion for now about individuals whose names have been mentioned as potential mayoral candidates for her party.
Asked if she would be interested to run for mayor, the first-term councillor said that some have suggested that she should consider that option.
However, De Genova told the Straight that she will be seeking another term in council instead, and pursue an agenda for affordable housing.
De Genova said: “The reason why decided to run for Vancouver city council and put my name forward for that when I was an elected park board commissioner was because of affordable housing in our city. And that is truly what I want to continue to focus on.”