NPA keeps doors open for return of estranged Vancouver park commissioner Erin Shum

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      The president of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) has only kind words about Vancouver park commissioner Erin Shum.

      Gregory Baker recalls that when he and Shum in 2014 ran with the NPA for council and park board, respectively, they probably knocked on 5,000 doors together.

      “I got to know her well. And you know, I consider her a friend,” Baker in a phone interview told the Georgia Straight about Shum, who now sits as an independent. “She’s definitely a hard worker.”

      In December 2016, Shum broke away from the NPA, accusing her then party colleagues at the park board of bullying her.

      According to Shum at that time, sitting as an independent was the only way she would be able to stand for values held by the NPA.

      A municipal election is coming up in October 2018, and Shum told the Straight in a phone interview last year that she’s not sure whether or not she will ran as an independent.

      Baker was asked if the NPA is ready to welcome Shum back.

      “Would we welcome her back? Well, you know, this goes back to building a new party, which is what I’m trying to do, and … I put a call out to get as many great candidates as possible, and … we’ve actually gotten a lot of interest,” Baker said.

      According to Baker, the NPA has not closed the doors to Shum.

      “She’s welcome to reach out, and she would, like all the other candidates, go through a candidate selection process and a green light process, and then assuming those work out … run for the NPA,” Baker said.

      Will Shum’s allegations of bullying against her former NPA colleagues at the park board hurt her chances of coming back?

      “I think that would come out in the candidate selection and green light process. So these questions would come up. They would be asked. Candidates are very carefully vetted. All allegations would be considered and looked at in an analytical way,” Baker replied.

      According to Baker, he hasn’t heard from Shum for some time.

      “Erin has not reached out to me. She hasn’t talked to me in some time, [and] hasn’t certainly reached out to me or the NPA to look at joining the party again,” Baker said.

      Shum did not make herself available for an interview about the chances of her coming back to the NPA.