NPA candidates getting ready to run against Vision Vancouver

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


100 yard dash.jpg
Will this be a marathon or a sprint to the finish line for some civic politicos?

As the May 4th deadline fast approaches for interested individuals seeking an NPA nomination for council, school and park board, a number of names are now beginning to surface. At 11 am on Wednesday morning, Francis Wong, a prominent Chinatown businessman with deep roots in the community, will announce his bid to run for council. It's expected he will easily win the nomination and help to strengthen the NPA's support in the Chinese community.

Last fall the NPA held an early nomination meeting and selected Bill McCreery to represent them on their council slate.

Wong will be joined in his quest to win the nomination by former councillor Elizabeth Ball as well as media guru George Affleck, owner of Curve Communications.

Michael Klassen, co-founder of, Sean Bickerton, community organizer for the False Creek Residents Association and Jason Lamarche have already declared they are seeking a council seat. It is anticipated there will be more than 10 candidates vying for 9 open spots on the council slate. Former NPA school trustee Bill Yuen is also expected to re-enter the political world and announce a bid for council.

It is widely expected that popular city councillor Suzanne Anton will also make it official and declare she will go head-to-head against Mayor Gregor this November. However, there are serious rumours swirling that she may have a surprise opponent running against her for the mayoral nomination, but this has yet to been confirmed.

My sources also report that a couple of federal candidates are preparing to make a switch over to municipal politics if their campaigns fall short on May 2nd. The NPA party brass will likely make it all official shortly after everyone has handed in their official paperwork sometime next week.

As for Vision Vancouver and their COPE coalition partners, we still don't quite know exactly what is going on with their nomination meetings. It is assumed all of the elected officials will be automatically given incumbency protection (something they vehemently opposed while in opposition) by their party executives.

Only a few years ago Vision Vancouver was boasting a membership of 16,000 members, but it is doubtful they have anywhere near that many any more. Unfortunately, they haven't provided the public with any update on exactly what their active membership is heading into their nomination process later this year. Judging by the number of empty seats at their recent AGM (see photo), I suspect they have no more than a few thousand active members, if they're lucky.

In terms of the hapless COPE party, word is they are still grovelling to their Vision cousins and begging Robertson to keep three seats open for them on his council slate. Yet again, they will not be running a mayoral candidate. We'll keep you posted as the various nomination meetings unfold.

- Post by Daniel. Follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus


The Thought of The Night

"Fools rush in. Always. That's why, include me out! I'm the King of the Bongo."

After almost 2 and a half years of hearing NPA crickets playing guitar,the majority of them hopefuls are getting ready to bring their egos out into the spotlight.

VISION, COPE, and NPA will enter another marital conjugation of sorts.
Let the Best Liar win.

I still think, that the future of cities lies in the power of independent voices and not in the manufactured, agreed upon, prepackaged political platforms dictated by groups of interests, partisan or not, whose only goal is that of advancing their own agenda and not yours. Go figure.

From one Independent Thinker to another:

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

I like it, GR.

I sincerely wish all the NPA hopefuls the best of luck as they must know so many Vancouverites are fed up with Vision and badly want a healthy NPA slate on offer.

Suzanne Anton has battled solo and deserves appreciation for her tenacity alone. However, I feel I speak for many in saying she is NOT mayor material and the NPA needs to attract much stronger mayoral candidates.

Please remember NPA that Gregor is a Teflon incumbent with big buck backers and this is too crucial a time for our city to risk another Vision majority!

The NPA is dead...long live the NPA.

Can't wait to vote in the municipal election. Looking forward to hearing who the rumoured unknown NPA mayoral candidate will be.

To Gerry, Glissy et al. What I see happening is the NPA getting the components of a good team to take on the Vision Goliath. We don't have US charities in our corner to staff up years in advance of an election. We don't have the formidable election machinery of the NDP on our side either.

What we do have are engaged Vancouverites, including members of the public service, and readers of this website like each of you, who are concerned enough about the direction the City has taken under Vision to do something about it.

This is a long run to the finish line. Vision will throw everything at us during that time. I suspect the dark turn of smear campaigns and personal attacks which Vision brought into the 2008 campaign will feel like a veritable church picnic compared to what Vision will unleash in 2011.

Vision have invested too much money and time into gaining power to let anyone taking it away from them without a fight. 2011 will be a David vs Goliath contest.

I trust you'll all get engaged this year, and join me and the other NPA candidates as we outline our principles and platform for the future of the Vancouver after June 4th.

I agree with you wholeheartedly Mike.

I had an interesting experience yesterday with JMI marketing research.

Not sure who commissioned this particular poll, I have my suspicions based on the questions asked.

What I found very uncomfortable was the last question...

Q: "What country are your ancestors from?"

Profiling at it's finest!


I agree with you. Same old same old.


See what you do there? Vision bad, Vision lies, we need to beat Vision, blah blah blah.

NPA, Vision, it doesn't matter.

Mike - When you and this blog start accusing people, in advance, of personal smear campaigns you lose all credibility. This blog is laced with snide remarks and personal smear campaigns. Way to start off be lowering the level of the campaign. How depressing. I will not be voting for anyone, Vision or NPA, who indulges in this kind of politicking. One reason I am not voting Liberal or CPC in the federal election.

I resent your future remarks!

Need to clarify...
sorry for not being clear.

I agree with Mike that this campaign will be very dirty...

I haven't posted recently because I'm struggling with the changes to this blog..I'm still feeling a bit duped..

I would like to know if the JMI poll I mentioned was from the NPA or Vision camp.

I do realize that perhaps that is confidential, and if that is the case, well just let it be known I was offended by the question being asked.

and yes boo I agree, Glissy has it right...

@Steven. I think Mike might be referring to what happened during the 2008 campaign, which Global TV did a story on.

I hardly think you can accuse him of smearing anyone here. There's a clear track record of aggressive US-style politics being introduced to Vancouver last time around.

I believe it would be a bad decision for Suzanne to run for mayor. She would not win and then her experience on Council would be lost. If necessary, I would encourage the NPA not to run a mayoralty candidate and put the strongest team together for council with the hope of controlling the split.

"One reason I am not voting Liberal or CPC in the federal election"

That is a very principled position. Will you feel the same way after a few months of Prime Minister Layton?

Smears, personal attacks, secret funding, abuse of public money, association with undesirables, leader in a bubble. This could be Vision or the Federal Conservatives, showing that political degeneracy is not confined to any one side of the spectrum.

More independents would be a wonderful thing, but it won't happen in our city so long as such candidates have to make themselves known to an electorate of more than 400,000 rather than a ward of less than 30,000.

My main concern is that turn out may drop even lower. Creating voter apathy seems to be a deliberate tactic by some parties, confident of their own hardcore base, by constant insinuation of the message "They're all the same". In fact I'd even make that another parallel between Vision and the Tories.

so the NPA teaches Vision how to conduct politics in a diplomatic fashion.....

@ Bill - I think that pretty unlikely, but if it does happen I think a minority NDP-led government will be interesting. An NDP government could end up acting like a UK Labour government. I like minority governments better than any majority government at this point. One reason I hope the NPA puts up a strong slate and a strong mayoral candidate and that we get a good mix on the next council.

@ David - OK, that sounds like a pretty good argument for wards, what are the arguments against wards (have never really followed that debate). Maybe CityCaucus could do a blog post where two people debate the merits of wards. Actually, it would be interesting to have a whole series of posts where two people debate each side of an issue.

Something must be wrong, you said something I both understood and agreed with!

"I still think, that the future of cities lies in the power of independent voices and not in the manufactured, agreed upon, prepackaged political platforms dictated by groups of interests, partisan or not, whose only goal is that of advancing their own agenda and not yours. Go figure."

Quite remarkable. You won't vote Conservative or Liberal because of they don't play nice yet you see nothing wrong with a Jack Layton government even though his platform is nothing but fairy tales. Voting against a party because of their attack ads without regard to their platform is no different than voting for them for the same reason.

I have heard the NDP eras in Ontario and BC described in many ways but "interesting" is not one of them.

Anyone seriously considering voting for the "Harper Government of Canada" should read

and reflect very deeply on whether this stew of corporations, the PMO, the thief and the hooker represents the Canada they want, because it's what we'll get if that man gains a majority. In these circumstances I'll take Layton or Ignatieff every time.

@George:".... I'm struggling with the changes to this blog..I'm still feeling a bit duped.."
Are you referencing Mike Klassen's move from contributor to candidate? I am hoping the blog clarifies whether it is a partisan blog for the NPA or a discussion of civic affairs that crosses party lines. It pays lip service to the latter, but remains slanted one way nonetheless. I hope there is established a clear delineation between the site and the candidate who previously contributed to it.


yes, I guess I felt it was a civic blog, so I spoke freely....

now I'm feeling part of the election machine...and I guess I miss Mike the journalist... :-(

Unfortunately you can't vote for Layton and Ignatieff. You can think twice about the plight of working women and avoid dehumanizing them by the gratuitous reference here. Their case for decriminalization is still before the Supreme Court, meanwhile the laws that provided Pickton and others cover for decades continue to make their occupation the most dangerous in Canada.

Common Glissy!
Common Glissy!
Common Glissy!
You Sir are 100 % right.
IMHO also, Mike Klassen - the man, the journalist, etc.(point valid for any aspiring politician BTW)should not have abandoned this blog, or any particular media outlet so that his image shall not suffer in the future. People who think they they can leave their mud shoes , farming overalls and straw hats outside the house and then come out dressed in a blue navy suit, sparkling shoes and policy in hands, and then will have their image 'cleansed' they are mistaken. Think Gregor Robertson. Period. The biggest phony in this city's 125 years history!
Never again. What we need is people who speak out their minds. All the times, and not at particular intervals. This city needs Glissando Remmy.
Common Glissy! (in all honesty when I say this I am as serious and sober as they come) :-)

Hey George...what am I chump change? You may be missing Mike, but that's no reason to fling your arrows at the remaining staff at CityCaucus towers.

As you already know, I ain't running for public office this unless I burnout, you should still be able to continue the civic dialogue right here for the foreseeable future!

Your humble Editor

You won't find any disagreement from me about the hypocritical and destructive attitude of society toward women in in the sex trade. In fact I'm pretty sure I've commented on it here in the past.

Actually I used the term 'hooker' to avoid the more brutal 'prostitute' or some euphemism like 'working woman'. Whatever the term used, however, it is entirely relevant in the particular case cited relating to Stephen Harper's corrupt buddy Bruce Carson.

Sorry (blushing)... with all due respect daniel...

My fear is that this blog is evolving into the NPA newsletter...and for that I feel kind of misled..if Mike intended to run for Council I would have preferred to know sooner rather than later.Perhaps I'm being naive...

So daniel,while I have your attention, can you find out who commissioned the municipal JMI poll I mentioned earlier today....the one that profiled participants? Vision or NPA?

I get why George is feeling misled, but it was a natural move for Mike and I expect we will see a lot more people moving back and forth from social media to politics, so we might as well get used to it. I am willing to give CityCaucus at least a few months to see how this settles, and I was glad to have the posts by Susan Anton and Gordon Price. I hope we see posts by lots of different people on this blog, from lots of different points of view. And the above post was valuable.

From what I've read about that situation, she's got far more integrity than him...

@ Bill - I'd just as soon see this blog stay focused on urban issues and politics, so I won't make a long response. Just note that in the highly unlikely event we get an NDP led government it will be a thin minority government and I don't think they would be able to do much damage. I like minority governments.

@Steven Forth. If you dislike the tone so much here, why do you keep coming back?

Suzanne Anton for mayor? You've got to be kidding me. No fan of the way Vision Vancouver has been running the city, but this woman is a flip-flopping political opportunist.

She can't seem to make her mind up on where she stands on anything: whether it's bike lanes or the expanded casino.

She's one NPA candidate I won't be voting for. If the NPA want to have a chance at dethroning Gregor this November, they need to run someone else for mayor.


Steven's in for the sandwiches. And in the mornings for the home baked muffins. And coffee.

I do agree we may be seeing the integration of social media and politics, and all blogs have spin. That said, there needs to be some clarification on an editorial front in my view.

To whit - I may want to support City Caucus. I like the exchange of various views and am glad these guys got this forum going - its great and informative!

However - I may not want to be as supportive of the NPA (personally - I think they lost last time for a reason and they still have work to do to correct it - how we got subjected to the last 3 years of bozo hell at City Hall).

The rub: if I want to give $ to City Caucus (even if its $20, or perhaps I had a business wanting to buy an ad) to help them keep the dialogue going, am I contributing to the dialogue or to the NPA's new messenger service? Therein lies the dilemma.

This is not un-similiar to a certain ruling party in Vancouver and their cozy links to other organizations. Does my taking my spouse for a romantic all-inclusive tofu weekend retreat at Hollyhock somehow end up in money I paid out funding Vision coffers, for a broad and admittedly poor example?

I think that is one area where clarity is required (there may be others), and its fuzzy right now. I am not saying there's any deliberate intent to mislead, more that there's a fuzziness to it that is coming to light. Still want to keep the dialogues going though.

It depends, perhaps he is in one of the many groups Layton has promised millions or billions of dollars to.

Can't wait for the first tax hike - it was a gas tax hike wasn't it?

Joe Carnagi (lawyer) has also stated as running for the NPA.

At least now we know why the NDP is so against the private delivery of medical health services. If massage therapy had been mandated to be provided by the public system that whole unfortunate misunderstanding could have been avoided. How could ordinary citizens be expected to know that an establishment called the "Velvet Touch" was anything but a bona fide therapeutic massage clinic?

My guess, not Jack's (or is it 'John') first time at the rodeo....


The former Asian crime unit officer, who requested anonymity, details a prior police raid on the "premise currently ID as a bawdy house" looking for underage Asian hookers and a subsequent follow-up visit to the two-storey brick storefront on Jan. 9. (1996)

At first the policemen didn't realize they were interviewing one of the best-known Toronto politicians who was married to Chow, also a Metro councillor and now the incumbent NDP MP for Trinity-Spadina.

The officer's notebook indicates he asked the suspected john: "Did you receive any sexual services?"

He replied: "No sir, I was just getting a shiatsu."

The cop: "Why did you have all your clothes off?"

The suspected john: No answer.

The cop: "Are you aware that there were sex acts being done here?"

The suspected john: "No sir."

The woman, who was from mainland China, denied masturbating the suspected john but when the question was repeated became nervous and replied, "I don't know I only come to work today," the cop's notes show.

His notes also claim he saw the "female dump wet Kleenex into garbage."

I guess he had some extra $$ since Layton and Chow were living in subsidized housing....until they got caught on that one too.

Then they moved.

(Must be an NDP thing - as if I remember correctly, Libby Davies and her partner did the same thing)

It won't change the outcome of the election - if you are gullible enough to buy the NDP platform, it's not much of a stretch to buy Jack's explanation. It does highlight the double standard of the MSM. Do you really think Harper would have gotten a free ride if he had been caught with his pants down? (figuratively speaking)

I agree. But Layton has been promising a lot of money to a lot of groups.

Especially Quebec. $2.2 billion for signing off on the HST in 1995. Yes, I want my tax dollars to fund that. Rolls eyes.

All those $$ need to come from somewhere, which means taxes go up.

Look at it from Layton's point of view- either its a smear tactic and he did no wrong, the electorate figures its a smear job and he picks up a few votes, or its absolutely true. Either way, its a happy ending for Jack.

'...When Layton and his wife Olivia Chow both sat on Toronto City Council they were each earning $100,000 a year, while in TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED housing. They registered their house in the name of Olivia Chow’s mother who was an immigrant and unemployed. For years, they collected off the unsuspecting taxpayer, while Chow and Layton were advocates for the homeless and downtrodden when on council. Only after they were exposed by a news story did they promptly move...'

From AGT's web blog.


"Your guess" when it comes to repeating this kind of tittle tattle is entirely valueless, as are the supposed notes of this cop who has surfaced. You both make vile accusations from behind the veil of anonymity. No more need be said.


You are missing the fact that the main points of the massage "clinic" story were confirmed by Mr. Layton. All that remains is whether you accept his explanation or not. Either way I think it falls into the category of he is not being truthful or is pretty dumb not to suspect anything untoward at the "Velvet Touch". And don't tell me you would feel the same way if the name Layton was replaced by Harper.

"Don't tell me you would feel the same way if the name Layton was replaced by Harper."

Actually, I will.

I think Harper and his agenda are profoundly dangerous to this country but I don't like squalid anonymous character assassination whoever is responsible or whoever is the victim. I think that if you say something that will destroy a man's reputation, deservedly or not, you should at least be willing to put your name behind your accusations. I'll add that it seems unlikely to me that this story was not processed through Tory propagandists and that it would not have been released without the (unattributable) approval of the Leader.


It was not hard to source any of these stories, Google them, there were ample write ups from various media.

And I didn't even mention Layton using a private clinic in the 1990's for hernia surgery and then claiming after the fact that he didn't know it was a private clinic.

So, he didn't know it was a massage parlour (even though the name of the stablishment was the Velvet Touch Massage Parlour) and, he didn't know it was a private clinic.

Goes to pattern and ethics.

As for he and his wife abusing subsidized housing, once that story came out, they moved real fast. After all, Layton was a poverty activist and how did it look him taking social housing away say from a single mom.

I am not an NDP supporter by any stretch of the means, never have been, never will be and I make no apologies.


You carefully avoid the issue. The facts are not in dispute. Mr. Layton has acknowledged that the incident occurred, the police told him it wasn't a good place to be and then he left never to return.

You can't defend him because that would mean you accept his story but you can't criticize him as that would be frowned on in Progressive circles. So you attack and deflect.


In re-reading your response it would seem that it is not the truth of a statement that is important to you but whether or not it is made anonymously. So a true story about Mr. Layton is bad because it arose from anonymous sources yet without a shred of evidence you speculate that the story was released by the Conservatives with the blessing of Mr. Harper but that is ok because you put your name to it. A curious morality indeed.

In short, Happy Jack only went to the Velvet Room for therapeutic purposes. He also reads Playboy, but only for the articles. But in all seriousness folks - so what if he does?


I think my meaning is clear to any fair reading, it's quite simple but I'll repeat it. If a person not facing any threat denounces someone from the cover of anonymity then it is reasonable to treat their accusations with scepticism. We don't admire writers of anonymous notes. We don't allow anonymous witnesses. So excuse me if I do not respect Mr Layton's accuser, because he does not behave like an honest man.

As to my remarks regarding the Conservative propaganda machine's involvement, well I speculated (your word) under my own name, as opposed to asserting speculation as fact from safe anonymity. Perhaps you don't see the difference, I think most people would.

You say this is a "true" story, that "the facts are not in dispute". Clearly that is misleading, certain facts are not in dispute, others, which go the heart of the matter are very much so. The truth may be revealed and if Mr Layton has been dishonest he will have to take the consequences. Not so his secret accuser if he has lied.

I'd be happy to think of myself as 'Progressive", better than regressive at least, but ABC not NDP. As for attacking and deflecting, look in the mirror!

Well as it turns out, Jack Layton's christian name is John....

With that said, did Jack seek
re-imbursement for his 'massage' sessions'.

No where has it stated that this was at the hands of the Conservatives. You seem to rule out the Libs.

And Lord only knows that if this story arose with Harper as the 'john' the NDP would have been all over it like a fat kid on a smarty. There would have been a public buring.

So, letting go of all those sordid, yet documented tales, Layton has made big promises to Quebec. $2.2 billion dollars to start. So I take it as you stand behind Layton you are okay with that.

Perhaps you want to read Harvey Oberfeld's blog: No Man Can Serve Two Masters: Jack Layton Chooses Quebec.

Take a long hard look at our local municipal government and the money Vision has flushed down the drain and tell me you are good with this on a Federal level.


How about commenting on what I wrote rather than what you like to think I wrote? I suppose this is the trick of framing the story and for heaven's sake, when every paper supports you stop complaining about media bias.

ummm, when did I complain about 'media bias'?

You accused me of making 'vile accusations' behind the veil of anonymity, yet I have done neither.

I have provided passages from various and numerous media reports surrounding the incidents of those times.

It serves as a warning to others following a political path, anything you do is public and thanks to the web, up for public consumption.

Or, did david et al forget the public roasting the NDP/socialists gave Campbell after his DUI?

And I will state this again, I can't understand how Campbell's supposed good friends, Kathy and (can't remember his name, radio guy) could knowingly keep filling Campbell's glass - at a private party, yet relish in his DUI after the fact. Slime buckets - the both of them. They looked out for themsleves and their ratings.

Check out!

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