Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie is content to bide his time. He may become mayor someday, as then–outgoing mayor Larry Campbell predicted back in 2005. But he’s fine with waiting patiently.
Incumbent mayor Gregor Robertson is showing no immediate interest in playing knight in shining armour to distressed New Democrats, who lost the May 14 B.C. election. As for Louie, he’d be “pleased” to remain a member of the mayor’s caucus after the 2014 municipal election. The next provincial election is in 2017.
“My intention is to continue to run and contest the next election in support of Mayor Robertson and the rest of the Vision Vancouver team,” Louie told the Straight by phone.
That is, “at least for the near term, until the mayor has the decision that he needs to make”, Louie added.
Robertson’s name has been floated among the potential successors to Adrian Dix, the Vancouver-Kingsway MLA who failed to lead the B.C. NDP to victory in the recent provincial election. However, Robertson has dismissed such talk. CKNW reported on May 17 that the mayor is saying he’s “happy” where he is.
Coun. Tim Stevenson indicated that he’s not encouraging the mayor to return to provincial politics. Robertson was previously the B.C. NDP’s MLA for Vancouver-Fairview.
“Gregor has no intention of looking at that,” Stevenson told the Straight in a phone interview. “He’s already declared. He’s running for the mayoralty position again. And he’s very clear and hasn’t wavered and has never given any indication to me or to anyone else I know that he’s interested at all if the [B.C. NDP leadership] spot became vacant. I really don’t think that will happen.”
In 2007, Stevenson openly encouraged Robertson to seek Vision’s mayoralty nomination at the risk of earning the enmity of Louie, who was Stevenson’s colleague in the Vision caucus. Louie sought the Vision nomination in 2008 and lost to Robertson. The latter went on to become mayor and won a second term in 2011.
So is Louie, a councillor since 2002, ever going to become mayor?
“I think that’s a question that needs to be asked when it becomes more evident that the mayor has decided he’s not interested in the position any further,” Louie said. “I know that he continues to have his interest. He’s going to run in the next election.”
Just to be clear about his intentions of becoming mayor someday, Louie said: “I’m not saying no.”