British Columbia

COPE moves to reunite party

The Coalition of Progressive Electors is trying to bridge its split with Mayor Larry Campbell and three city councillors who have been moving away from the governing political party at Vancouver city hall.

The Coalition of Progressive Electors is trying to bridge its split with Mayor Larry Campbell and three city councillors who have been moving away from the governing political party at Vancouver city hall.


Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell
(File photo)
About 200 COPE members voted overwhelmingly at their annual general meeting on Sunday to encourage Campbell's group – the so-called COPE Lites – to reunite with the party.

But Campbell and Coun. Raymond Louie and Coun. Jim Green weren't even at their party's annual meeting.

The only COPE Lite in attendance was Tim Stevenson, who is running for the NDP in the provincial election.

"There were some pretty hard feelings from some people, but obviously people are wanting the mayor to be part of COPE, and at least have a unified force going into the election," he said.

A recent poll showed the mayor has widespread support among city voters. And he has already started to do his own fundraising for the COPE Lites re-election campaign this fall.

The other side of the COPE split – the so-called COPE Classics – were also in a conciliatory mood. Councillor Ellen Woodsworth says party unity is the best way to fight November's civic election.

"We're watching the polls. Everyone's watching the polls. I think what we're all agreed on is that we want to sweep the NPA out," she says.

"If you look at our voting record, 95 per cent of the issues we work together on and we vote together on. So in terms of which way we're going to go, we're all going forward to win the next election. I think that's the crucial issue."