New Democrats can meet their Vancouver Centre nomination candidates this weekend

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      With fewer than 100 days until the next federal election, four parties have already nominated candidates in Vancouver Centre.

      Dr. Hedy Fry will run again for the Liberals after holding this seat since 1993. This makes her the longest-serving female MP in Canadian history.

      The Conservatives' standard bearer will be TD Canada financial planner David Cavey. He was a spokesperson in the 2018 election campaign for former mayoral candidate Wai Young's Coalition Vancouver's party.

      Meanwhile, the Greens have nominated Jesse Brown, the executive director of Friends for Life.

      The People's Party of Canada, which is headed by former Conservative MP Max Bernier, is fielding small businessperson Louise Kierans in Vancouver Centre.

      So that leaves the New Democrats as the last national party without a candidate in what many see as a marquee riding. It includes Yaletown, the West End, Coal Harbour, downtown Vancouver, False Creek, and the northwestern corner of Kitsilano.

      On Sunday, those seeking nominations will participate in a panel discussion on Sunday (July 21), beginning at noon at the Mole Hill Community Room (1165 Jepson-Young Lane, between Comox and Pendrell streets).

      That will be followed by a meet-and-greet session for the following hour.

      Three people have announced that they're seeking the NDP nomination in Vancouver Centre:

      David C. Jones has devoted much of his life to promoting arts and culture.
      Dominec Chan

      * actor, director, teacher, comedian, former B.C. Culture Days ambassador, and Pride Legacy Award winner David C. Jones;

      Morgane Oger almost defeated B.C. Liberal Sam Sullivan in Vancouver–False Creek in the 2017 provincial election.
      Belle Ancell

      * trans and education activist, tech worker, and former Vancouver–False Creek NDP candidate Morgane Oger, who was a grand marshal at the 2016 Vancouver Pride parade;

      * and Métis lawyer Breen Ouellette, who was among several people who resigned from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2018 because he felt the federal government was undermining its impartiality and independence.

      Lawyer Breen Ouellette is an outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights, including recognition of the Métis people.
      Breen Ouellette

      Ouellette raised genocide issue before MMIWG report

      In 2018, Ouellette wrote a blog post in which he condemned use of the term "cultural genocide" to describe what happened to Indigenous peoples in Canada.

      He declared that this phrase, which was used by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015, "whitewashes Canada's history of violence" and "is a distraction from the fuller ordinary and legal meanings of genocide".

      "The Canadian government knowingly caused the deaths of thousands of Indigenous children in the residential schools system," Ouellette wrote in his post. "The alarm was first sounded around 1907 by Peter Bryce, Chief Medical Officer for the Departments of the Interior and Indian Affairs. He spent years trying to get Canada to respond to the alarming rate of deaths at residential schools." 

      The bureaucrat who oversaw this system for decades, Duncan Campbell Scott, acknowledged that Indigenous children died at a much higher rate in residential schools than they did in their villages. 

      Ouellette noted that Scott also wrote that "this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is being geared towards the final solution of our Indian Problem". [Italics added.]

      "It is well known that 'the final solution' is veiled language for the killing of an entire race of people," Ouellette wrote. "The Nazis adopted this language in relation to the targets of their own genocide. Remember that the Nazi party was established in 1920; it was a Canadian bureaucrat that used the genocidal language first."

      The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls' final report concluded that genocide—and not merely "cultural genocide"—has been inflicted on Canada's Indigenous peoples, stirring up a national debate. 

      The NDP will choose its candidate on July 28 at a meeting at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews), beginning at 9:30 a.m.