NPA mayoral nomination kerfuffle creates chaos in the party

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      A sitting city councillor is prohibited from seeking his party's mayoral nomination.

      He lays the blame on another candidate for the nomination, claiming that the party board was stacked with his supporters.

      The councillor alleges that these supporters targeted him with "false accusations"—accusations that were rejected by a party committee that previously greenlit his nomination.

      Welcome to the latest brouhaha within the Vancouver NPA.

      The councillor is Hector Bremner. 

      The other candidate for the mayoral nomination is presumably Glen Chernen, given that his supporters are on the NPA board.

      Chernen isn't the only approved candidate for the mayoral nomination.

      Businessman Ken Sim and park commissioner John Coupar have also been permitted to seek the NPA mayoral nod.

      But the exclusion of Bremner is puzzling. 

      He was allowed to run for council with the NPA last October but is somehow not deemed acceptable to run for a nomination for mayor.

      In the past, Chernen has, at times, been a useful ally of Attorney General David Eby.

      They both made hay out of a deal that the city made with Brenhill Developments. This led to the creation of a new social-housing project on Richards Street, which was given to the city in return for greater density at a site across the street.

      Chernen and Eby both felt that Brenhill received too sweet a deal from the Vision Vancouver-controlled council and B.C. Housing.

      B.C. Housing was then under the control of former deputy premier Rich Coleman.

      And Bremner was once a political assistant to Coleman and is close to many B.C. Liberals in Vancouver.

      Curiously, Chernen spent part of provincial election night at Eby's NDP campaign bash on May 9, 2017.

      Yet Chernen also showed up to speak at a recent anti-Eby rally in Trimble Park to condemn a new provincial property surtax imposed by the NDP government.

      Vision Vancouver is headed by Gregor Robertson, whom Chernen took to court in an unsuccessful attempt to prove that Hootsuite had undue influence on him. 

      B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled at the time that the legal action was "without foundation" and "so irrelevant that it will involve the parties in useless expense".

      So what's really going on here?

      Has the board of the NPA simply decided that it doesn't want a B.C. Liberal crony becoming mayor of Vancouver?

      If so, that's a remarkable turnaround for a municipal party that has been viewed for years as the B.C. Liberal farm team.

      For provincial New Democrats, it's extremely convenient for the NPA to become enmeshed in an internal controversy.

      But so far, there's no evidence whatsoever that Eby played any role in this astonishing political development.