Here are the candidates for Vancouver mayor and council

·3 min read
Turnout in Vancouver elections typically hovers between 35 and 45 per cent.  (David Horemans/CBC - image credit)
Turnout in Vancouver elections typically hovers between 35 and 45 per cent. (David Horemans/CBC - image credit)

In Vancouver's last election, voters were asked to choose between 71 candidates for 10 city council slots, a record number for the city and the biggest ballot for local voters in Canada.

This October, it might be even longer.

Ten political parties have announced their intention to run candidates in the Oct. 15 local elections, with the majority now having put forward their teams. Mayor Kennedy Stewart and all 10 councillors are seeking re-election.

The deadline for nominations is Sept. 9. We'll update this story as time goes on with the names and websites of every candidate running. Parties are listed in order of candidates elected in the last election.

Non-Partisan Association (6 candidates): Coun. Melissa De Genova is seeking re-election and is joined on the ballot by Elaine Allan, Cinnamon Bhayani, Ken Charko, Mauro Francis and Arezo Zarrabian. John Coupar is the NPA's candidate for mayor.  

Green Party (5 candidates): Current councillors Adrianne Carr, Pete Fry and Michael Wiebe are all seeking re-election and are joined on the ballot by Devyani Singh and Stephanie Smith.

COPE (4 candidates): Coun. Jean Swanson is seeking re-election and is joined on the ballot by Breen Ouellette, Nancy Trigueros and Tanya Webking.

OneCity (4 candidates): Coun. Christine Boyle is seeking re-election and is joined on the ballot by Iona Bonamis, Ian Cromwell and Matthew Norris.

ABC Vancouver (6 candidates): Current councillors Rebecca Bligh, Lisa Dominato and Sarah Kirby-Yung are seeking re-election and are joined on the ballot by Peter Meiszner, Brian Montague and Lenny Zhou. Ken Sim is the candidate for mayor.

Vision Vancouver (4 candidates): Honieh Barzegari, Lesli Boldt, Stuart Mackinnon and Kishone Roy.

Forward Together: The name of the new party led by Mayor Kennedy Stewart, who is seeking re-election. The party says it will announce its candidates to run with Stewart "soon" and may run up to six candidates.

TEAM for a Livable Vancouver: The name of the new party led by Coun. Colleen Hardwick, who is running for mayor. The party says it will nominate its candidates in June.

Progress Vancouver: The name of the new party led by political strategist Mark Marissen, who is running for mayor. The party says it will choose its candidates after August following a vote of its members but will announce some of its potential candidates in June.

Vote Socialist: The name of a new political party without a mayoral candidate at this point. The party plans to nominate its candidates on June 26.

Independents: Last election, 26 independent candidates ran for council, and 16 ran for mayor.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

No ward system

The number of candidates running for Vancouver council has always been high compared to the rest of British Columbia.

But municipal elections in B.C. usually see a much longer ballot than anywhere else in Canada for one simple reason.

Of the 53 largest municipalities in Canada, the only ones where voters directly elect all the councillors for the entire city are in British Columbia. Large cities in the rest of the country elect some or all of their councillors in neighbourhood districts, usually known as wards.

Vancouver has the power to independently change its electoral system, but voters rejected a change to a ward system in 1996 and 2004, largely due to concerns that councillors would focus too much on hyper-local issues at the expense of prioritizing the entire city.

"I just think the ward system would be much better for the City of Vancouver," argued Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

Stewart promised in the 2018 election to institute voting reform in Vancouver but decided against it after determining there weren't the votes on council to make it happen. However, he said he would try again if re-elected in October with a more supportive council.

"Every community would have a local representative just like we have at the federal and provincial level, which brings a lot of accountability to politicians," he said.

"An at-large system really dilutes that, especially in a city of 700,000 people."

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