Two First Nations women may compete against each other—and likely other non-Native aspirants—for the B.C. NDP’s nomination in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.
The contest could be entered by Diana Day and Melanie Mark, both known in the First Nations community.
Day, of the Oneida Nation, is Vancouver Coastal Health’s leader in aboriginal community development and engagement.
Mark is Nisga’a and a former president of the Urban Native Youth Association.
Word from the grapevine is that Mark may launch her nomination either on April 25 or around that time. She hasn’t sent out an official announcement.
Day, for her part, wants to take her time. She noted that current Vancouver-Mount Pleasant MLA Jenny Kwan hasn’t said yet when she is leaving to campaign as the federal NDP candidate for Vancouver East in this year’s national election.
Kwan’s departure will trigger a by-election in the New Democrat stronghold.
“Jenny is still in the position,” Day told the Straight in a phone interview on April 16. “And she’s doing a great job. That gives I think some of the possible nominees like myself some opportunity to really think about it.”
Day is delighted about a statement by ex-Vancouver park commissioner Sarah Blyth that if she goes for it, Blyth will back her nomination campaign.
“It’s kind of Sarah [Blyth] to throw support behind me if I should seek nomination,” Day said.
Day ran for school board in last year’s Vancouver civic election. She was the top vote-getter of all candidates fielded for council, park board, and school board by the Coalition of Progressive Electors.
Mira Oreck, a former strategist with Vision Vancouver, the city’s ruling party since 2008, previously told the Straight that she’s considering the option of seeking the B.C. NDP nomination in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.
The names of former Vancouver councillor Ellen Woodsworth and ex-school board trustee Sharon Gregson are also being mentioned in the grapevine. Another is Emma Wan-Chin Lee.