Labour council VDLC cautions Vision Vancouver against running a new mayoral candidate

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      The Vancouver and District Labour Council doesn’t want Vision Vancouver to field a new candidate for mayor.

      According to VDLC president Stephen Von Sychowski, naming a replacement for Ian Campbell, who has withdrawn from the race as Vision’s standard bearer, is “very unstrategic for the broader progressive community”.

      “My preference and labour council’s preference would be that Vision not field a different candidate,” Von Sychowski told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Wednesday (September 12).

      The VDLC has historically played a major role in Vancouver civic elections. It has endorsed and backed candidates that it deems to represent a progressive agenda.

      For this year’s election, the VDLC had endorsed independent candidate and outgoing NDP Burnaby South MP Kennedy Stewart for mayor.

      The labour association is also backing council, park board, and school board candidates with Vision, the Green Party of Vancouver, OneCity, and the Coalition of Progressive Electors in a bid to prevent the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) from gaining back city hall.

      "Progresives need to unite behind one mayoral candidate to ensure that we don’t have an NPA mayor at the end of this election," Von Sychowski said.

      Campbell backed out of the mayoral race on September 10, saying in a statement that he’s doing so after having “reflected on the political landscape and my complicated personal journey”.

      The deadline for submitting nomination forms with the City of Vancouver is on Friday (September 14).

      In cautioning against naming a new Vision candidate for mayor, Von Sychowski also said that it’s “very late in the game now as well”.

      “We’re almost at the deadline for folks to submit their paper work to be candidates, and to announce a brand new person at this point, you know, who’s going to have to start from scratch campaigning and getting name recognition and so forth… doesn’t seem like a good use of resources,” he said.

      According to Von Sychowski, a better use of Vision resources is to focus on trying to get their council, school board, and park board candidates elected on October 20.

      OneCity council candidate Christine Boyle earlier told the Straight that her party may endorse a progressive candidate for mayor, but it’s not likely going to be Campbell of Vision.

      That means that if OneCity decides to support a candidate, it could either be Stewart of independent candidate Shauna Sylvester, an SFU academic.

      In a new interview, Boyle said that her party is still waiting for Stewart and Sylvester to fully unveil their platforms, especially on housing.

      Boyle said that OneCity remains interested to see whether or not the two candidates will address her party’s preference for a land value capture model in raising public funds.

      Land value capture is a method of a recovering a portion in the increase of private property values due to public investments like transit, which in turn will be used for programs like public housing.

      “OneCity will continue its conversations with the two mayoral candidates before our membership makes a decision on a mayoral endorsement,” Boyle told the Straight by phone.

      In a message to the Vision network on September 11, Vision campaign director Ange Valentini wrote that the party “may still run a Mayoral candidate”.

      “Our internal polling numbers show that if the election was held today, it would be a neck and neck race between Vision and the NPA for Mayor,” according to Valentini.

      Valentini also said that all options are on the table, including the endorsement of an “independent for Mayor”.

      Vision councillor Andrea Reimer is reportedly considering the option of running for mayor.

      Reimer announced last year that she will not seek a new term in council.

      Reimer was among the Vision figures who enlisted Campbell as the party’s candidate for mayor.