Melissa De Genova says her motion addressed Davie Street Party—before Yes Vancouver called for its return

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      After Hector Bremner won a Vancouver council by-election in October and joined the NPA caucus, he and Coun. Melissa De Genova were on the same team.

      But this afternoon in an interview with the Straight, De Genova took aim at Bremner for speaking about the Davie Street Party.

      She pointed out that Bremner absented himself from debate and voting on her motion last month that addressed this very issue.

      "It concerns me that a sitting city councillor did not understand that there's already been a motion passed at council that supports city-led events," De Genova said. "The motion that I put forward clearly spoke to events such as the Davie Street Party, as well as Canada Day and the St. Patrick's Day parade."

      Bremner is running for mayor with a new party called Yes Vancouver. It was launched after the NPA board vetoed his application to seek its mayoral nomination.

      In April, the Vancouver Pride Society cancelled the Davie Street Party during Pride week because of escalating municipal-permitting and policing costs.

      On the Yes Vancouver Facebook page, Bremner said that his party will say "yes" to the Davie Street Party.

      In the meantime, De Genova's July motion obtained council's unanimous support to direct staff to consider the possibility of a special-events fund. It would accept donations from corporations and private donors for free public events.

      The motion also directed staff to "consider providing cost estimates to potential sponsors and donors, and potentially create a schedule of typical fees for large events".

      Bremner absented himself from voting on that motion due to a conflict of interest.

      He left the council chamber before the debate because he's an employee of Pace Group Communications. It's often contracted by event organizers.

      "To me it's puzzling that a councillor would declare a conflict of interest and then speak publicly on that," De Genova said. "It's my understanding if a councillor understands they have a conflict of interest and they declare it, they should not be speaking about it publicly."

      NPA councillor Melissa De Genova has claimed that Yes Vancouver doesn't know what's going on at city hall.

      At the same meeting, Bremner also absented himself from a vote on another multifaceted motion on public events. It included temporary offsets for two years on security and policing costs.

      It also called for additional offsets for event organizers billed more than $10,000 by the Vancouver Police Department and who experienced cost increases of more than 10 percent over the previous year.

      "It's concerning to me that Yes Vancouver doesn't realize what is already happening at city hall," De Genova alleged. "I wonder if taking credit for something that council has already passed is their platform."

      To further drive home her point, the NPA councillor added: "They should research the issues that they're taking a stand on."

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