Vision Vancouver race heats up with 8 candidates seeking Council nomination

With Squamish Chief Ian Campbell selected as Vision Vancouver’s Mayoral candidate, the race to be a part of his City Council team is heating up. On July 8th, Vision Vancouver members will choose from eight candidates who are seeking four available spots on the Vision Council slate, joining Vision Councillor Heather Deal on the election ballot this October.

The eight Council candidates for Vision represent the diversity of Vancouver, reflecting different ages, ethnicities, professional experience and political backgrounds within the city. With eight people stepping forward, Vision Vancouver has the largest council nomination race of the year, with the most people interested in seeking an endorsement of any civic party in Vancouver.

“We are very excited about the diverse, talented team stepping forward to run with Vision Vancouver this October,” said Vision Co-Chair Michael Haack. “With Ian Campbell as our Mayoral candidate, we are presenting a new Vision team to Vancouver voters - a team that will put forward new ideas for a progressive agenda this fall. On July 8th, Vision members will have the chance to choose the team running with Ian Campbell this October.”

Vancouver residents can still take out a Vision membership up until June 23rd to vote in the July 8th nomination. The eight candidates seeking Vision’s nomination for Council are:

Diego Cardona: a social justice advocate, Diego is active in a variety of organizations including Fresh Voices, which aims to make BC and Canada a better place for immigrant and refugee youth; most recently he was Programs Coordinator for Kiwassa Neighbourhood House.

Ken Clement: A Vancouver resident for more than 30 years and of Ktunaxa First Nation ancestry, Ken is Vancouver’s first-ever aboriginal school trustee and the CEO of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network.

Coco Culbertson: a harm reduction champion and community leader in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for more than 15 years, Coco is a Senior Manager at the Portland Hotel Society, where she has been focused on fostering employment, combating the opioid crisis, and creating innovative social housing strategies.

Catherine Evans: A current Park Board Commissioner and community advocate, Catherine has been a past Vancouver Library Board chair, business owner, and lawyer, and is passionate about equality, the environment, and inclusive, accessible public spaces.

Tanya Paz is a leader in active transportation, car sharing, sustainability, and community planning — she's also a proud #WestEndYVR resident and advocate for safer streets, better transit, and building our green economy.

Michael Samson: successful business leader and founder of both non-profit organization Ripple Effect Society, plus Founder & President of INSPIRE CANADA.

Margot Sangster: experienced public health professional currently working in residential addictions treatment and previously worked with Vancouver Coastal Health programs in cross-cultural mental health and criminal justice diversion.  


Wei Qiao Zhang: a former athlete, talk show host, community leader, and assistant to Vancouver Member of Parliament, with the skills and track record to shape the future and better the lives of Vancouverites.

The Vision Vancouver nomination meeting will take place Sunday, July 8th at Creekside Community Centre from 10 am to 6 pm.

Ian Campbell is a hereditary Chief with the Squamish Nation, with more than 20 years experience as the lead negotiator for the Squamish with business and senior levels of government. An experienced leader with an EMBA from Simon Fraser University, Ian Campbell has played a key role in the partnership efforts of Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations to build thousands of rental and co-op housing units on their unceded homelands they purchased back from the Federal Government. Unlike most developers, the MSTDC focus is on affordable rental, social and co-op housing, with an emphasis on housing for Indigenous people. He has also been a steadfast advocate on taking action on climate change including opposition of the Transmountain pipeline expansion.

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For media: Michael Haack || michael.haack [at] votevision.ca

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Vision Vancouver acclaims Squamish Nation hereditary Chief Ian Campbell as its mayoral candidate for the 2018 election

A message from Chief Ian Campbell:

I put my name forward to be your mayoral candidate because I see an important opportunity to renew our party, and work together to solve the immense challenges facing our city.

I believe Vision Vancouver continues to be the home where thoughtful, progressive, and passionate voices come together, and it is those voices that need to be heard again - we have a legacy to build upon.

And today, I want to say I am honoured and privileged to be your candidate for mayor.

I also want to say thank you.

Thank you to our members and supporters who share a love for our great city and a commitment to our party.

Thank you to all of our incumbents, and especially to Mayor Gregor Robertson, whose passion and commitment to public service has left a legacy to be proud of - on greening our economy, reconciliation, sustainable transportation, a compassionate response to the opioid crisis, and so much more.

Ours is a record to be proud of. And we know there’s more to do.

Our job is to run a strong election campaign this fall, to ensure we don’t let Ken Sim and the NPA turn the clock back on all the progress we’ve made. We must grow the party, build our membership, raise funds and put forward a strong, progressive agenda for the city we love and the people who call this place home.

I’m here to do that.

But I won’t be doing this alone! We are building a strong, diverse, and passionate Vision team to engage with all Vancouverites in this October election. When I see the candidates seeking our party’s nomination for School Board, Park Board, and Council, I am proud of who we are and what we stand for.

We will work alongside all of Vancouver’s progressive voices to ensure that we can build on the important work we’ve done. Too much is at stake in October to do otherwise.

Vancouver is a great city. Vision is a great party. I am proud to stand as your candidate for mayor. And I look forward to working together on the issues that matter most to our city.

Meet Ian:

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Vision Vancouver signs agreement with VDLC in advance of October election

June 4, 2018

Vision Vancouver has signed onto an agreement with the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC) as part of larger agreement with progressive parties in advance the October election.

“The best course for delivering a progressive majority is for us to work alongside other progressive voices,” said Michael Haack, Co-Chair of Vision Vancouver. “The five parties involved are all distinct - we agree on some things and we may disagree on others - but what we agree on is this: the issues facing Vancouverites are big enough that we need to keep working together to solve them.”

“Our shared goal in this election is to keep progressive leadership at every level of local government to deliver on the issues that matter most, and that’s what this agreement is about,” said Haack.

“Vision Vancouver is proud of our progressive leadership on Council, School Board and Park Board over the past decade,” said Haack. “Unlike the NPA, who have - as they have frequently done in their history - shown they care more about their own personal and party interests and in fighting with each other, we are pleased that progressive parties have decided to cooperate in this manner, and put the future of the city first.”

“The threat posed by the NPA should not be underestimated. Under Ken Sim’s leadership, it will be the same old NPA that want to turn the clock back on affordable housing, sustainable transportation and building a fair and strong local economy,” said Haack. “Vision has accomplished a lot in the last decade, and we can’t stop now.”

Vision thanks the VDLC for its work in supporting progressive parties and its commitment to progressive leadership at all levels of local government.

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For media: Michael Haack || michael.haack [at] votevision.ca

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New Leader, But Same Old NPA

June 4, 2018

After a contentious nomination race, the NPA have elected a mayoral candidate that still represents more of the same old NPA, say Vision Vancouver Co-Chair Michael Haack. 

“The NPA has chosen to run Ken Sim in the fall election," said Haack. "But Sim’s non-existent record on tackling the key challenges facing our city - and his choice to run with a party that has failed to support critical action on housing, the opioid crisis and more, year after year - tells us everything we need to know going into October. It’s the same NPA we’ve come to expect, with the same billionaire backers who want to make sure big money stays in politics.

“There is a reason no one’s heard of Ken Sim. Mr. Sim has no experience in public service, and no record of putting anyone but himself first. The one thing we do know: he has made it clear he will not stand up for Vancouver, or for protecting our coast and the jobs that depend on our environment.

“The NPA is a divided and dysfunctional party, and Ken Sim and the NPA are just not what our city needs. Vancouver is at a crossroads. This is a critical moment in our city’s history, one that requires strong and innovative leadership – not backtracking. And it is clear that the NPA want to take our city backwards.”

"Vancouver has accomplished a lot in the last decade, including massive investments in sustainable transportation, housing, green space and parks, and the sustained growth of our local economy. But we all know there is more to do to ensure our city remains a place people can afford to live and thrive." 

Vision Vancouver will announce next steps in the party's mayoral nomination process in the days ahead.

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For media: Michael Haack || michael.haack [at] votevision.ca

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Statement from Vision Vancouver on Taleeb Noormohamed’s decision to exit mayoral nomination race

May 31, 2018

Taleeb Noormohamed announced today that due to health concerns, he is exiting the Vision Vancouver mayoral nomination race.

While this is disappointing news, the Vision Vancouver Board of Directors deeply respects Taleeb’s personal decision, and wishes him a fast recovery and ongoing good health. Decisions like this are never easy.

In the short time that Taleeb has participated in this race, his passion and commitment to Vision and to Vancouver was clear. His campaign advanced new ideas, and encouraged and facilitated a healthy conversation about a future of our city that is inclusive, sustainable and affordable.

Vision thanks Taleeb for his contribution to our party, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as we move towards the fall election.

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Read Taleeb Noormohaned’s full statement here

For the media: Michael Haack || michael.haack [at] vote vision.ca

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Vision Vancouver opens nomination process for 2018 mayoral campaign

After receiving multiple expressions of interest from potential candidates for mayor, Vision Vancouver announced today that it will open nominations for a Vision Vancouver candidate for mayor in the upcoming 2018 municipal election.

 “Vancouver is at a critical moment, and the out-of-touch NPA are gearing up to take Vancouver in the wrong direction, whether it’s cancelling the empty homes tax or ripping out bike lanes,” said Vision Vancouver Co-Chair Michael Haack.  “Based on the level of interest from candidates committed to Vision Vancouver, our members, and our principles, now is the right time for Vision to open the formal nomination process for a Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate.

“We believe there are potential candidates interested in running as Vision’s mayoral candidate who would appeal to a broad segment of progressive voters in Vancouver and are best positioned to defeat the NPA in October.”

In late March, Vision Vancouver issued a public call for those interested in a run for mayor to inform the party if they wished to seek the support of Vision Vancouver members, including independent mayoral candidates, or mayoral candidates from other political parties.

Haack said the party was contacted by a variety of potential candidates interested in running for mayor, including several considering a run under the Vision Vancouver banner. After consideration and discussion, the Board made the decision this week to open a formal nomination race to candidates who want to run as a Vision mayoral candidate in the upcoming election.

The Board spent many weeks carefully discussing various scenarios, including the options of endorsing an independent candidate, or a candidate from another party, and their ability to run a competitive, city-wide campaign.

"Vision received expressions of interest from independents and candidates from other parties seeking Vision's endorsement for mayor, and considered each one carefully,” said Haack. “However, with less than six months to the election, it is clear that none of the potential candidates has emerged as a consensus choice, and to date have not been able to secure cross-party support, which would be essential to the success of an independent campaign.

“While Vision is launching its mayoral nomination process, we have yet to determine the number of seats we will run for Council, Park and School Board, or to finalize our policy platform. We will continue discussions with other progressive parties on opportunities for collaboration in the upcoming campaign to defeat the NPA in October."

Vision has set a deadline of May 11 for potential mayoral candidates to submit their nomination package. Candidates who would like to run for mayor need to officially request a package through the form on the vision webpage at http://www.votevision.ca/nominations.

Vision Vancouver will hold a nomination vote for the mayoral candidate on Sunday, June 24, 2018. Further details will be announced at a later date.

Vision continues to accept applications for nomination from candidates for Council, School Board and Park Board. A nomination date for Vision members to select candidates for Council, School and Park Board has not been set yet.

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For media:

Michael Haack || michael.haack [at] votevision.ca

Coree Tull || coree.tull [at] votevision.ca

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Councillors who work for lobbyists should have to disclose their clients, says Vision

Vision Vancouver has introduced a motion calling for new measures that require municipal elected officials to disclose potential conflicts due to being employed as lobbyists or at government relations firms.

“Under the current Financial Disclosure Act, if an elected official has a second job working as a lobbyist, consultant or for a government relations firm, they do not have to disclose their corporate clients,” said Vision Councillor Andrea Reimer. “The public has no way of knowing if a councillor who works for a government relations firm is doing work with companies who then will come to him or her for a council decision." 

“This has never been an issue in the past, but given that several members of Council either work for a government relations firm or for private companies that take on clients, the public deserves to know,” added Vision Councillor Heather Deal. “Even if a City Councillor is not working directly with the corporate client of their lobbying firm, the optics are bad and it harms the public trust in elected office. The Financial Disclosure Act should be amended to end this loophole and require full transparency and disclosure.”

A previous motion calling for councillors to disclose potential conflicts from public relations firms, government relations firms, and consultancies came to Council on November 14, 2017. NPA Councillors Affleck, Ball, Bremner and De Genova all declared they were in a conflict of interest on the motion, and left Council chambers. The motion coming forward to council next week on May 1st calls for amendments to the Financial Disclosure Act to ensure that all potential conflicts and financial interests of municipally elected officials are disclosed per the stated intent of the Act.

In the past week, media have reported that NPA Councillor Hector Bremner, who also maintains a job as a VP at the Pace Group, has received not one but two conflict of interest complaints from members of the public. The complaints are now subject to an independent third-party investigator.

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For media interviews: Councillor Heather Deal: 604-375-9413 Councillor Andrea Reimer: 604-719-3920
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Vision calls on NPA to support end of corporate donation loophole

Vision Vancouver will be introducing a motion at the next city council meeting calling on all members of City Council to go on record supporting the closure of a loophole that is allowing the NPA to accept unlimited corporate donations, after the BC Government brought in campaign finance legislation intended to end corporate influence in municipal politics.

“The BC Government was very clear last fall: they introduced legislation to ban big money from municipal politics,” said Vision Councillor Andrea Reimer. “Recent admissions from the NPA that they are flouting this intention and actively seeking corporate cash not only goes against the spirit of the legislation, but goes against their own support of a ban on corporate donations in municipal politics. We are calling on the four NPA councillors to renounce their party’s corporate fundraising and join us in urging the BC government to tighten the legislation.”

To date, the four NPA councillors have remained silent on the admission from the NPA president that their party is actively seeking and accepting unlimited corporate donations. 

Questions the NPA councillors need to answer:

  • How much corporate money has the NPA fundraised? Who donated it?
  • How big were the donations? Has the NPA accepted any donations larger than the $1200 limit?
  • Will you disclose an itemized account of what you spent the corporate money on?

The motion will come to the Council meeting on Tuesday, May 1st.

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Media contact: Andrea Reimer (604) 719-3920
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Vision Vancouver asks BC Government to close fundraising loophole

Vision Vancouver sent a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs today, seeking action to close the loophole in the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act and enforce the spirit of the legislation to remove big money from municipal politics.
 
In a letter to Minister Selina Robinson, Vision Co-Chair Michael Haack said, “Like you, we are now dismayed to discover that the NPA continues to solicit corporate contributions, despite a very clear direction from your government and an abundantly clear public expectation that corporate/union money should never again flow into the coffers of municipal political parties.”
 
Vision is calling for the BC Government to take additional steps to retroactively rectify this matter and ensure Elections BC is given all necessary tools to appropriately enforce legislation.
 
“Vision Vancouver and our elected officials on City Council have fought to change campaign finance rules for over a decade,” said Haack. “The spirit of the legislation introduced last fall is clear: there is no scenario where municipal parties can accept corporate donations. This needs to be enforced now.”
 
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For media: Michael Haack || michael.haack [at] votevision.ca

 

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NPA needs to come clean on accepting corporate cash

Elections BC needs to immediately investigate the NPA for potential violations of the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, following the admission in today’s Globe and Mail by the NPA President that the party is still accepting corporate donations despite provincial legislation specifically banning them.

On October 30th, 2017, the BC Government introduced legislation that would immediately ban union and corporate donations to municipal political parties. The intent of the legislation was clear: there was no scenario where municipal political parties could legally accept corporate or union donations.

“The NPA needs to come clean on how much corporate cash they have accepted,” said Michael Haack, Co-Chair of Vision Vancouver. “Elections BC needs to put a stop to the NPA raising corporate donations through the backdoor. The spirit of the legislation is clear: there is no scenario where municipal parties can accept corporate donations.”

Vision Vancouver will be lodging a formal complaint with the BC Chief Electoral Officer to investigate the NPA’s fundraising activities given the admission in today’s Globe and Mail.

Questions that the NPA needs to answer:

  • How much corporate cash have they accepted since October 31st 2017, when the ban began?
  • Which companies donated to the NPA, despite the ban being in place?
  • How soon will the improper corporate donations be returned?

Under Section 86 of the Local Elections Financing Act, an individual who commits an offence related to campaign contributions can face fines or up to a year in jail. 

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For media: Michael Haack ||  Michael.haack [at] votevision.ca

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