At a meeting of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA), the party membership endorsed their slate of candidates for the upcoming civic election. Mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe introduced each person on the slate. Every candidate had a few minutes to answer questions from LaPointe about their background and to provide more insights about why they are running for office.
The NPA endorsement rally was held at the Polish Community Centre at Fraser Street and 24th Avenue on September 27th. NPA members cast their ballots on whether they endorse the party’s slate for the election at the beginning of the meeting. The candidates were approved with a 228 to 1 vote.
A number of themes came up during the candidate speeches. A candidate said that there is an iron curtain between City Hall and residents of Vancouver. Others noted that the city has gone in the wrong direction for the last 6 years and that there was need for a more transparent, accountable and responsible government. Rebuilding trust between the City and residents was often cited as an important goal.
Kirk LaPointe also shared from his childhood experiences and said that he knows first hand what it is like to grow up in poverty. He said, “It is why I said from day one that we should not have any child hungry in as rich a city as this” and promised to tackle this as a priority since “children also go hungry on Saturday and Sunday, in the summer, on school holiday.” He notes that the City should use its resources wisely “to create affordable, available, extensive child care.”
Making Vancouver the most open government in Canada is a priority for LaPointe. He promised to introduce an independent Ombudsman for the City and to dramatically improve access to information. Kirk LaPointe said that Vancouverites have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent. He identified the frustrations of many residents. “In neighbourhood after neighbourhood, I hear the same thing: We are not seen, we are not heard, we are not understood. We have a moral obligation to meet people where they are, to build their concerns into the ideas for our city. So, we will create a government that finally listens. You have a right to be respected. “
According to LaPointe, the City is looking for leadership and change, and wants better management.
The slate of endorsed candidates are as follow:
Mayor: Kirk LaPointe
City Councillor: George Affleck, Gregory Baker, Elizabeth Ball, Melissa DeGenova, Ken Low, Rob McDowell, Ian Robertson, Suzanne Scott (8 candidates)
Park Board: John Coupar, Casey Crawford, Jay Jagpal, Sarah Kirby-Yung, Stephane Mouttet, Erin Shum (6 candidates)
School Board: Fraser Ballantyne, Penny Noble, Christopher Richardson, Stacey Robertson, Sandy Sharma (5 candidates)
Note: the Park Board slate was recently enlarged to 6 candidates with the addition of Stephane Mouttet