Grandview-Woodland resident Jak King doesn’t doubt that Vision Vancouver members are operating under the cloak of community volunteers in different neighbourhoods.
Vision executive director Stepan Vdovine has admitted that the ruling civic party has “people working” in various communities, specifically mentioning Grandview, Kitsilano, and Mount Pleasant.
“We’ll keep our eyes and ears open,” King said in jest during a phone interview with the Straight.
What he doesn’t understand is that although Vision has openly acknowledged that the West End Community Action Network in another part of town is its “first neighbourhood committee”, it wouldn’t identify the others across the city.
King has a natural interest in these things. He’s the president of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council, a grassroots group that has questioned city hall’s planning processes. He’s also a spokesperson for the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods, a new alliance of 18 associations demanding respectful treatment of communities from the city government.
King said that although everyone is entitled to political association, it’s another thing if there’s some sort of undeclared “caucus” operating in neighbourhoods under a different guise.
“The question Vision has to answer is why they want to keep these things secret,” King said.
Keeping it that way is “certainly underhanded”, according to King, who described Vdovine’s defence that privacy laws bar disclosure of information as “nonsense”.