Vancouver councillor Hector Bremner not ruling out bolting the NPA to form new party

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      Hector Bremner says he’s someone who values loyalty.

      The Vancouver councillor also noted that he believes in hanging on to the things he started with.

      That includes the Non-Partisan Association (NPA), the civic party under whose banner he won last year’s by-election for a seat in council.

      But things may change following the NPA board’s decision disqualifying him from seeking the party’s mayoralty nomination.

      Bremner is not ruling out the prospect that he and his supporters may form a new party that will be in contention in the October 20 civic election.

      “The reality is that, you know, what the decision to not accept my candidacy…of course wasn’t about just not accepting Hector Bremner’s candidacy,”  Bremner told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Thursday (May 10).

      “There are thousands and thousands of people behind our movement and you can see it in the intervening days here just how strong it is and how powerful it is,” he continued. “And you know, people want to make sure their voice is heard. So…we’re listening very carefully about what people want to do and what people feel is the right thing and the most integral thing to do. And we’re watching this very closely, and I’m taking my time and… listening to people and going out to meet with a wide range of our supporters.”

      “We’ll be assessing what our next steps are, where do I see myself fit within the NPA,” Bremner continued, “and…whether they want me around and…where we go next.”

      According to Bremner, he has been receiving an outpouring of support after the NPA board decided on May 7 not to accept his application to enter the party’s mayoral nomination.

      Bremner said that he had signed up over 2,000 members, which he claimed to constitute “well over half of the membership” of the NPA.

      He had earlier alleged that another contender for the mayoral nomination stacked the NPA board’s membership.

      “Whatever happens next is going to be very carefully thought out,” Bremner said.

      Bremner earlier dismissed allegations of conflict of interest relating to his work as vice president of public affairs for the Pace Group, a Vancouver communications company.

      In 2014, Vancouver businessman Ken Charko was expelled from the NPA board after he questioned the board’s practices in choosing candidates for the party.

      Charko, who is no longer affiliated with the NPA, noted that Bremner has two choices.

      One is that he sticks with the NPA, and throw his support behind one of the mayoral aspirants.

      “If he does that, he will be the kingmaker and he will have a lot of influence,” Charko told the Straight in a phone interview.

      If Bremner does that, the NPA vote will not splinter and provide the party “some chance of being able to win” the October election, according to Charko.

      Hector’s second option is to form a new party, according to Charko.

      “There’s a pool of people that are centre right constituents, that want to find a home,” he said. “Whichever person gets the message out the best that this is your home, they have the chance of taking the support.”

      Charko’s last reference was in connection with Wai Young, a former Vancouver South MP who earlier indicated interest in seeking the NPA’s mayoral nomination. Young eventually opted out of the race, and a new group called Coalition Vancouver has been formed to support her.