NPA starts selection of candidates to kick off Vancouver election campaign

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      The president of the Non-Partisan Association is putting to rest speculation that NPA Vancouver city councillor Melissa De Genova may jump ship.

      “Melissa is running with us,” Gregory Baker told the Georgia Straight by phone.

      Baker said the NPA board has approved De Genova as a candidate for councillor. However, as of the July 9 interview, there were no others yet on the party’s council slate.

      Baker said councillor Elizabeth Ball has not informed the party if she’s interested in a fourth term. “I don’t think she’s going to run,” he said about Ball.

      In November last year, NPA councillor George Affleck declared that he will not run in this year’s October 20 civic election.

      Hector Bremner, who won a council seat in the 2017 by-election as an NPA candidate, has formed the Yes Vancouver Party and will run for mayor under its banner.

      There had been speculation that De Genova might join Bremner’s camp.

      Baker said park-board commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung has told the party that she wants to run for council. He noted that Kirby-Yung has yet to get the green light on that, and he added that she is already approved to go for another term on the park board. Her husband, Terry Yung, is on the NPA board of directors.

      Park commissioner John Coupar, who sought but failed to secure the NPA’s nomination as its mayoral candidate, has yet to tell the party if he wants either another term on park board or a shot at city council.

      “I’m expecting that it will be park board,” Baker said about Coupar’s probable decision, noting that Coupar is currently on vacation.

      Businessman Ken Sim won the NPA’s mayoral nomination, defeating Coupar and West Side resident Glen Chernen. According to Baker, Chernen has not advised the party if he plans to run for council. Chernen did not return a call by the Straight.

      As with the last municipal election, NPA directors will pick the party’s candidates instead of a nomination vote.

      Baker explained that the party is pressed for time to hold a nominating convention.

      The NPA president also said that the party wants an early start of its election campaign by getting candidates out on the streets.

      Baker said the other approved candidates are incumbent education trustees Fraser Ballantyne and Lisa Dominato, who will seek new terms on the school board.

      NPA park commissioner Casey Crawford has been authorized to go for another term, Baker said.

      Baker also said that people interested in running with the NPA have until July 20 to apply.