Twenty-one candidates enter Vancouver mayoral race, including Connie Fogal, Jason Lamarche, and Roller Girl

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      This year's Vancouver mayoral election has a far more crowded field than the last contest in 2014.

      There are 21 candidates vying for the title "His Worship" or "Her Worship", compared to just nine in the previous election, which was won by Mayor Gregor Robertson.

      One of the latest entrants is retired lawyer Connie Fogal, a blunt-speaking former park commissioner and widow of long-time COPE councillor Harry Rankin.

      Fogal, the former leader of the Canadian Action Party, is running with IDEA Vancouver. She's arguing that there needs to be "livable" accommodation for everyone.

      In one video on YouTube, Fogal describes temporarily modular housing as a way to take poor, downtrodden people from the Downtown Eastside and "stack them up like ants, like rats, in containers, like in the futuristic novels and movies of what we see with the devastated Earth".

      In another video Fogal rips into council for allowing developers to ruin the views of the North Shore mountains by building huge edifices.

      "The role of the developers in making more and more profit is to create more and more and more towers and smaller and smaller units, crushing people into tinier and tinier spaces, putting families with young children and no playing space into crowded conditions," Fogal declares.

      She's particularly critical of new zoning that's coming to Kitsilano and Cedar Cottage.

      She says that amount of space, 900 square feet to 1,200 square feet, is okay for a couple of working people who come home to sleep at night. 

      "But it's no good for families," she insists. "You can't crowd people together like that, take away their gardens, take away their playing space. That is just wrong."

      In this video, IDEA Vancouver candidate Connie Fogal sticks it to the development industry.

      Among the other mayoral candidates is Jason Lamarche, a talkative former NPA council candidate who came under fire in 2011 for creating a controversial "date matrix" rating single women.

      In recent years, Lamarche has drifted away from the NPA and become an ardent cannabis-legalization activist. Below, you can see a speech of him at an NPA meeting in 2011, in which he explains how the party's loss could lay a foundation for a future victory.

      Jason Lamarche reflects on the NPA loss in 2011.

      Yet another candidate for mayor is Roller Girl. She's best known for zipping around the city on roller skates, sometimes directing traffic.

      A transgender woman also known as Angela Dawson, she made news in 2015 by winning a human rights complaint against the Vancouver Police Department. It came after officers continued to refer to her by her former male name and using the pronoun "he".

      Dawson won $15,000 in damages, leading the VPD to adopt more trans-friendly policies.

      She filed an affidavit in the case declaring that she's not violent or aggressive. The decision noted that she had a criminal history, which included a conviction for manslaughter, resulting in her spending at least 10 years in prison.

      "Ms. Dawson says she was raped several times during her incarceration," the ruling stated. "While incarcerated, Ms. Dawson says she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and she began hormone therapy."

      This summer, Roller Girl snuggled up closely to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and tried to ask him questions in Nelson Park in advance of the Vancouver Pride parade. She was shooed away by Liberal Party of Canada officials as Trudeau's security staff and Vancouver police stood by.

      Another Vancouver mayoral candidate who's had a run-in with the law is Maynard Aubichon. He sought the top job in 2014 as "Meynard" Aubichon, and his birth name is Matthew Michael Bristo.

      Maynard Aubichon ran as "Menard" Aubichon in the 2014 mayoral election.
      Shaw TV screen shot

      In an interview with the Straight earlier this year, Aubichon claimed that the ruling Vision Vancouver party is too close to developers. He also accused Mayor Gregor Robertson of thinking that he "owns communities". 

      In 2016 Aubichon was charged with assaulting a bus driver, but he insisted that the transit operator hit him first. Aubichon pleaded guilty to a lesser offence of causing a disturbance.

      Three other 2014 mayoral candidates with their names on this year's ballot are Mike Hansen, Sophia Cherryse Kaur Kaiser, and Tim Ly.

      In 2014, Hansen was an advocate of "applied democracy", in which the mayor issues voting share certificates to the public and elected councillors become "ombudpersons" for the citizens' concerns.

      According to him, voters would authorize extra spending in plebiscites.

      "No more out of control spending on travels, galas, and 'visions of entitlement'," Hansen declared in a 2014 filing to the city clerk's office. "As Mayor I won't travel outside the Vancouver area."

      Kaiser described herself as a concert pianist with a master's of theology. Here's part of a statement she submitted to the city clerk's office in 2014 when she became a mayoral candidate:

      "I live in the utter udder bliss of my Milky Way Universal breast vortex. Pure bliss in the 13th vibration vibrating my quantum signature oom (11v) my genetics DNA Logos Word (10v) which becomes my consciousness (9v) of every breath I've ever breathed."

      Ly, an immigrant from Vietnam, is the most conventional of the returning mayoral candidates.

      His six-part platform in the last election called for direct democracy, an elimination of drugs and violence, respectful politics, transparency in government, cutting off financial ties between the city and developers, and stopping homelessness.

      Below, you can watch a 2014 Shaw TV mayoral debate between Ly and Aubichon.

      Watch this Shaw TV videotaped mayoral debate involving Tim Ly and Maynard (then known as "Meynard") Aubichon.

      Another former mayoral candidate, Gölök Zoltán Buday, is back in the race in 2018 after sitting out the 2014 election.

      This is Buday's sixth run for mayor, and he describes himself as a "philosophical libertarian". 

      "A nice goal is anarchy but Government is a giant time bomb, and clipping the wrong wire can cause things to blow up," Buday writes on his website, "we need people who can clip the right wires an disassemble the time bomb so as to not cause a catastrophe."

      In a statement filed with the city clerk's office in 2011, Buday declared that he sought unity through liberty, trust, and a sense of humour. He also maintained that government must be "restricted & restrained like an an animal".

      His platform also highlighted: "Opposing police state tactics; and no supporter of life, liberty, & property being deprived without due process. No supporter of unwarranted searching even under the mental health act. No political psychiatry tolerable."

      John Yano has ties to COPE, but he's running as an independent for mayor.

      The best-known Vancouver mayoral candidates in this year's campaign are independents Kennedy Stewart and Shauna Sylvester, the NPA's Ken Sim, Yes Vancouver's Hector Bremner, and Coalition Vancouver's Wai Young.

      In the next tier when it comes to name recognition are ProVancouver's David Chen and Vancouver First's Fred Harding.

      The remaining mayoral candidates in Vancouver are Sean Cassidy, Ping Chan, Katy Le Rougetel, Lawrence Massey, Satie Shottha, and John Yano.

      As the Straight reported earlier this week, Yano is listed as a member of the COPE executive and is a former member of the executive of the B.C. NDP.