"Effen NPA hack" Helten now de facto COPE mayoral candidate

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Former Vision member Randy Helten wants to become Mayor of Vancouver

Not a lot of people in Vancouver consider mayoral candidate Randy Helten a household name, but that might be about to change. A former Vision Vancouver member, Helten was the guy at the center of the “effen NPA hack” controversy that caused headaches for Gregor Robertson about a year ago.

If you recall, Helten and a few other community activists presented to Vancouver City Hall about their concerns regarding the pace and scale of development happening in the West End. Once the meeting was over and the cameras were off, Robertson was caught on tape slagging the presenters. He said:

Who are all those fucking...who are these hacks man? Are they...Are they NPA hacks? You know?

Amazingly, the infamous audio tape/video now has over 56,000 views on YouTube. Here is a link to the CityCaucus.com story we wrote back in July 2010.

Now Randy “hack” Helten has decided to leave Vision Vancouver and start up his own party called Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver. But more importantly he has decided to take on Gregor Robertson for the top job of Mayor of Vancouver.

What’s most interesting about Helten’s campaign is that he will have loads of appeal to the average COPE voter in addition to disaffected Visionistas. In other words, by default he ends up becoming the COPE mayoral candidate they never nominated.

If you’re a COPE supporter and can’t bring yourself to vote for either Suzanne Anton or Robertson, it looks like you have found your mayoral candidate.

As for Helten and his anti-development group, they likely won’t have enough gas in their tank to elect anyone in this upcoming election. After all, they are facing the Vision & NPA campaigns which will be spending in excess of $4M to secure victory. I suspect they are simply hoping for a good showing in this civic election as a means of preparing themselves for the 2014 civic rematch.

According to the NSV website, they have serious concerns regarding the lack of consultation happening at 12th and Cambie:

Time after time, City Council is approving projects despite opposition from the majority of views expressed from the community.

Helten and his team have a very well laid out set of principles which can be found by clicking here. If you didn't know it, you'd think it was the COPE manifesto! Hence the reason why Helten will have so much appeal to COPE members & supporters.

It will be interesting to see how much of a factor they will actually be in the coming weeks. But more interestingly, will Robertson be prepared to go head-to-head with Helten at a public debate? If so, will he be brave enough to refer to him once again as an “Effen NPA Hack”?

I'll also be curious to see who COPE candidate Tim Louis finally announces will get his vote for Mayor of Vancouver. Something tells me a guy like Helten might have a lot of appeal for him!

CityCaucus.com will be reaching out to Helten in the coming days to see if he is interested in writing a guest post and doing an interview. We'll keep you posted!

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on on Twitter @CityCaucus or you can "like" us on Facebook at facebook.com/citycaucus.


I wonder if he'll be invited to any of the mayoral debates?

Congratulations to Randy!

It is not just the COPE people, there are the Greens that separated from COPE and well, he did manage 11,000 + signatures on the WEN petition to stop STIR.

Neither the NPA nor Vision should consider him behind in the races because of money.

After all, look at what is taking place at the VAG.

Kudos to Randy and everyone running with him. A breath of fresh air from what we've seen at City Hall the last three years. They have my vote!

I too am a former Vision supporter but will be voting for Randy this time! I hope other Vancouver residents do the same. Good luck on election day.

PS just think of David and Goliath over the next 4 wks. U can do it!

Count me in for Randy, too.

I've had enough bs.

Just heard the good news. Congrats Randy. I'll be telling everyone I know that I finally have someone to vote FOR not against.

I'll be voting COPE & NSV & Green for the rest of council. Good luck and keep up with your positive campaign.


Will be voting for sure for Randy for Mayor. Bickerton, Carangi, Affleck (NPA), Louis (COPE), and will look at NSV candidates, independents and review others from trad parties for rest of council. My choices will be merit based--what have they done, what are their skill sets, what do they know about investing in and building cities?

And I need a balance of business people, and those with a social conscience (NOT mutually exclusive, I believe!!) people with good, real ideas, who know how to win over friends and influence people, people who can get things done, people who understand how to use civic funds responsibly (no more using of CAC's to reward friends!), and who can help make a real city--not just a playpen for the retiring wealthy.


This is going to be an interesting election year, to say the least.

Good to see Randy on the ballot. He's got my vote for mayor. I'm also voting for:

All NSV candidates (x4)
Tim Louis
Ellen Woodsworth
Adrienne Carr
Sean Bickerton
Mike Klassen
AJ Aquinno

The above editorial is erroneous in stating "As for Helten and his anti-development group" - WEN is not and has never been "anti-development". It is against development projects that are damaging to the neighbourhood and its residents. It is against building projects that necessitate destroying churches and heritage buildings long cherished by the residents. It is for preserving its "cultural landscape" and against granting rezonings pending a comprehensive community plan that is draughted with meaningful and unbiased community consultation. The West End is a well-established community that demands and deserves RESPECT!

Tired of people running (or advocating)and want to focus ONLY on their neighbourhood.

What about the CIty?

A lot goes wrong in this City because groups focused on their own 'hood' take over.

The DTES comes to mind. Among many others.

Whether they are or not, I think Daniel was referring to NSV as anti-development, not WEN.

The Thought of The Day

"City Caucus... Thinking About It... Could it be? Is It possible to have just stumbled onto Mayor Gregor Achilles's Heel-ten?"

OK then.
Randy it is... or is he?
A few weeks ago Gerry McGuire put his name down for the very same thing. Hello!

BTW, despite, all that brouhaha that started it all, the guy was a man of Vision... wasn't he? In my book, you ate with the vultures at the same social, you are still one... only now , hmm, domesticated?

And I agree with on commentator above, I.m too fed up long ago with people advocating for their neighborhood.

I'll vote only for the wise candidate that follow my platform:

‘I’ll do the best I can, with the resources at hand, for all the people of Vancouver. Period.’

Till then...

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Way to go Randy! Count me in as a supporter. I voted for Gregor last time, but I'm sick of bike lanes. Not voting Vision this time.

I'm sure COPE supporters will flock to someone who refuses to answer questions about what he would do in regards to the rental housing crunch for seniors in the West End. This is a pretty poor attempt at building support for a manifestly unqualified candidate among a group of voters that are much smarter than the NPA seems to think they are.

Agreed. From the response so far in the NPA blog more like the de facto NPA mayoral candidate!

"We believe that the regulators of land use policy, such as Vancouver’s City Council, should not be funded by those they regulate."

I like this, but I am not sure how this could be done. I suppose one answer is not to vote for anyone who gets financing from the development industry. That would leave us with a thin slate in the current election.

The NSV website seems a bit vague on actual policy. More neighbourhood input into planning seems to be the rallying cry. I have some concern that this would lead to a lot of gridlock and NIMBY. I want to know a lot more about what NSV means by "a made in Vancouver” model of sustainability." I want this too, but I wonder if we all mean the same thing.


I like your simple mantra:
‘I’ll do the best I can, with the resources at hand, for all the people of Vancouver. Period.’

If only all this candidates would take a look at it and think about it for a moment. That's all we in Vancouver want. someone to represent us all, not some group.
Vision Vancouver catered to their own, connected or not, touched by Hollyhock or not, they fired people at City hall, Van School Board or at VPBoard for budgetary constrictions, only to hire back their affiliated punks few months down the road. With better benefits, bigger salaries and severance packages. That's Vision!
Robertson will be remembered after this election probably as the most incompetent mayor Vancouver ever! Why is he on the ballot?
Mind boggling!
COPE, and in recent only three years back NPA did just the same.
I'm sick, sick entirely of these liars.
BTW, have anyone noticed the self imposed blog/ social media-tweeter/ facebook/linkedin or MSM interviews that they imposed on themselves recently?
Shhhhhh, no one speaks ill about the opposition, say the truth out loud, points to the chief thief, or say what is really on their minds.
They are saying only what the stupid voter might want to hear. Than after the election, and after elected, they could go and do their business as usual, catering to their neighborhood, party or financiers& developers , American donors...
Could someone really, really, step up top the plate, and do something about it? The era of stupid is over!
Common guys, who do you want to be the wild card.Tim Louis? LOL

I don't know Mr. Helten so I cannot speak about his qualifications.

All I can say is our city is far to large and complex to have candidates of any stripe that are 1 issue wonders. A full understanding of balance sheets, forecasting and taxation should be a minimum requirement. How can you vote for something when you can't grasp the financial implications to your decision. (eg. the Olympic Village) We have a 2 term Councillor that still does not fully grasp how our property taxation system works.

That is frightening.

Check out BCWineLover.com!

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