The race for the mayoral seat in Vancouver is on.
Although the next municipal election is a little over a year from now, one likely candidate is getting ready for the campaign.
Former Vancouver South Conservative MP Wai Young is organizing a dinner to rally her supporters.
“Let's start a movement for change!” Young wrote in her invitation for the September 19 event.
Young did not make herself available for a phone interview with the Georgia Straight, but she noted that she is being encouraged by people to run for mayor.
In her invitation to the September 19 event, Young told supporters that the occasion is intended to “gather funds, advice and ideas from attendees who want to see change”.
According to her, it will be a “challenge and a lot of work to win against the machine that is Vision Vancouver”, referring to the ruling civic party of Mayor Gregor Robertson.
“Can we pull ourselves together with the worthy goal of achieving real change at City Hall?” Young continued. “If not, we will face another 4 years of Vision rule.”
Young also noted that many of them have asked about her plans following her loss in the 2015 federal election.
“This spring, I was humbled and honoured by many people who reached out to me to encourage me to run for Mayor of our great city,” Young wrote. “As more people joined in the chorus, I felt compelled to seriously consider this act of service.”
Young is widely expected to seek the nomination of the Non-Partisan Association, the once dominant civic party in Vancouver.
The last NPA mayor was Sam Sullivan, who won the election in 2005. In the lead-up to the 2008 election, Sullivan was challenged by then councillor Peter Ladner for the nomination of the NPA.
Ladner won the NPA nomination, but lost the mayoral campaign to Vision’s Robertson in 2008.
Robertson and Vision went on to win the 2011 and 2014 elections with huge majorities in council. Former NPA mayor Sullivan is currently on his second consecutive term as B.C. Liberal MLA for Vancouver-False Creek.
Young is a Hong Kong-born and Vancouver-raised politician. She was educated at UBC, became a businesswoman, and also worked as a consultant for social programs before entering politics.
Young first ran with the Conservatives in Vancouver South in 2008, and narrowly lost to then federal Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh. She beat Dosanjh in their 2011 rematch.
Young failed to win a second term in 2015, losing to federal Liberal Harjit Sajjan.
In her note, Young told followers that their “support and advice would be critical towards winning back our City Hall in October 2018”.
Leaving no doubt that she could emerge as a serious contender, Young wrote: “Together, we are stronger... and we can win!”