NPA runs former Vancouver aquarium marketing and communications vice president for park board

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      Later this morning, NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe will introduce four new candidates for park board and four candidates for school trustee.

      One of the park board hopefuls, Sarah Kirby-Yung, was vice president of marketing and communications at the Vancouver Aquarium from 2008 to 2010, according to her Linked-in profile.

      Her nomination comes as the Vancouver park board is evaluating keeping cetaceans in captivity.

      The park board is the aquarium's landlord and in 2015, the agreement is up for review.

      Kirby-Yung is executive director of marketing and communications at Coast Hotels. She was director of marketing and corporate sponsorships at Tourism Vancouver from 1998 to 2008.

      The only NPA park board candidate who's sought office before in Vancouver is Casey Crawford. He has volunteered for several community groups, including the Kerrisdale Soccer Association, the Stroke Recovery Association of B.C., the Canadian Diabetes Association, and the Little Mountain Baseball Association.

      In 2011, Crawford wrote an article on criticizing the Vision-controlled park board for focusing "almost exclusively on non-capital projects like gardens, horticulture facilities, playgrounds, and cycling paths". He argued that the board should pay more attention to "planning for the upkeep and renewal of recreational facilities".

      Jay Jagpal, a sales engineeer at Olympic International Agencies, and Kerrisdale spa owner Erin Shum are the other two NPA park-board candidates.

      They join incumbent commissioner John Coupar on the NPA slate. This means the NPA is fielding five candidates for seven available spots—the same number that Vision had planned to run before Trish Kelly resigned from the ticket.

      Coupar absented himself from the park board's recent special meeting on keeping cetaceans in captivity. Vision commissioner Aaron Jasper said on July 26 that Coupar did this becasue his employer does business with the aquarium and the NPA politician didn't want to be in any conflict of interest.

      The NPA has also announced four new candidates for school board: Penny Noble, Christopher Richardson, Stacy Robertson, and Sandy Sharma. They'll join incumbent Fraser Ballantyne, which means the NPA will field five candidates for the nine spots on school board.

      Richardson is the only one with elected experience, having served as a park commissioner.

      He's an accountant who's often spotted doing traffic control at various evening and weekend events around town.

      Christopher Richardson often does crowd control at Pride parades.
      Charlie Smith

      Noble is a communications consultant and executive director of Bike to Work B.C.

      Robertson and Sharma both ran in the past for school board with the NPA.

      In an article on in 2011, Robertson described himself as "an ordinary, average guy" with "two extraordinary kids and a wonderful wife". He wanted government to work more with the private sector "to develop more adaptable school spaces in growing communities such as Yaletwon, downtown Vancouver, or Oakridge".

      Sharma has taken an active interest in education issues as a parent. As a candidate in 2011, she expressed concern about the lack of transparency and accountability at the Vancouver school board, decrying the lack of an independent audit committee.




      Aug 1, 2014 at 9:29am

      Looks like the NPA has a great group of candidates. We hope you profile all the candidates so as an average citizen can get a good idea who is running, what they have achieved and what they want to accomplish if elected. When do we hear from COPE?