Vision Vancouver focusing on upcoming 'historic election'

About 100 people packed a small room at SFU last night for Vision Vancouver's annual general meeting, which focused largely on the upcoming municipal election.

Party officials say they're not worried about impact of campaign financing reform on upcoming election

Gregor Robertson was quick to list off all of Vision Vancouver's accomplishments since he began as mayor in 2008. (Maryse Zeidler/CBC)

About 100 people packed a small room at SFU last night for Vision Vancouver's annual general meeting, which focused largely on the upcoming municipal election.

The meeting followed an announcement last week from Gregor Robertson that he won't seek re-election as mayor of Vancouver.

"I think it's a good time to pass the torch," Robertson said. "I'm really excited about who comes next."

While the news of Robertson's departure is still fresh, it is rumour and conjecture as to who's next in line for the job.

Coun. Raymond Louie says he's mulling the possibility and checking in with supporters and family. Coun. Kerry Jang wasn't at the meeting Monday night, but an announcement is expected soon. 

"He's working on the family side of things now," Robertson said.

'A historic election'

Coun. Andrea Reimer and Coun. Tim Stevenson also have said they won't run for re-election.

Outgoing party co-chair Maria Dobrinskaya admitted the party will see a lot of transitions in the next few months, but she said that could be a positive change.

"There hasn't been a lot of opportunity for new people entering the race, council in particular," Dobrinskaya said.

"And in many ways it's going to be a historic election because there's going to be a lot of space."

She admitted the party recently came out of a "tough byelection," which emphasized the need for co-operation from all the city's progressive parties.  

"If we don't work together, the NPA gets elected," Dobrinskaya said.

That was a refrain repeated by Robertson, who said Vision welcomes "anyone who wants to work with us."

He noted that the party's victories in 2008 and 2011 were due in large part to those partnerships. 

Campaign financing

Dobrinskaya said the party expects to open nominations by mid-February, and have all candidates in place by the end of June. 

Whoever takes over the new positions will have to face new municipal campaign financing reforms, which came into effect last fall. 

The reforms include rules that ban union and corporate donations and limit individual donations to $1,200. But Dobrinskaya says she's not worried.

"We've been long-term advocates of campaign finance reform," she said.

"We have the largest individual donor base of any party and we're well positioned to continue to build on that."

About the Author

Maryse Zeidler

@MaryseZeidler

Maryse Zeidler is a reporter for CBC News in Vancouver, covering news from across British Columbia. You can reach her at maryse.zeidler@cbc.ca.