British Columbia

A Vancouver voter's guide to the 71 people running for city council

A look at who's running for Vancouver city council in the 2018 municipal elections.

All the big parties have announced their candidates, but there's also several well known independents

An advanced poll station inside Vancouver City Hall during the 2017 byelection, when nine candidates were on the ballot. (Cliff Shim/CBC)

When Vancouver voters cast ballots for municipal elections Oct. 20, they'll have a crowded ballot to read.

The most crowded in modern history, in fact. 

With nominations closed for next month's vote, 71 people have put their name forward for the 10 spots on council.

That's a 45 per cent increase from 2014, which itself was the highest number of council candidates since 1996, when 58 people ran. 

Here's a brief look at who has declared. The list will be updated if anyone removes their name from the ballot before the Sept. 21 deadline.

  • Non-Partisan Association (8 candidates): Current councillor Melissa De Genova, current park board commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung, current school board trustee Lisa Dominato, and Rebecca Bligh, Justin P. Goodrich, David Grewal, Colleen Hardwick and Francisco (Jojo) Quimpo. Ken Sim is the candidate for mayor
  • Vancouver 1st (7 candidates): Nycki Basra, Jesse Johl, Ken Low, John Malusa, Michelle Mollineaux, Elishia Perosa and Elizabeth Taylor. Fred Harding is the candidate for mayor. 

  • Vision Vancouver (5 candidates): Current councillor Heather Deal, current park board commissioner Catherine Evans, and Diego Cardona, Tanya Paz and Wei Qiao Zhang. The party has no candidate for mayor after Ian Campbell's abrupt departure from the race four days before the nomination deadline. 
  • Green Party (4 candidates): Current councillor Adrianne Carr, current park board commissioner Michael Wiebe, and Pete Fry and David Wong. 
  • COPE (3 candidates): Jean Swanson, Derrick O'Keefe and former councillor Anne Roberts.
  • ProVancouver (4 candidates): Lisa Kristiansen, Raza Mirza, Rohana Rezel and Breton Crellin. David Chen is the candidate for mayor. 
  • OneCity (2 candidates): Brandon Yan and Christine Boyle.
  • Independents (26 candidates): Kelly Alm, Taqdir Bhandal, Sarah Blyth, Barbara Buchanan, Justin Caudwell, Graham Cook, Ted Copeland, Adrian Crook, Hamdy El-Rayes, Larry Falls, Marlo Franson, Hsin-Chen Fu, Wade Grant, Ashley Hughes, Gordon Kennedy, Abubakar Khan, Anastasia Koutalianos, Rob McDowell, Herschel Miedzygorski, Penny Noble, Elke Porter, Katherine Ramdeen, Françoise Raunet, Erin Shum, John Spark and Spike. 

In addition, the following candidates are running for mayor without a council team: Kennedy Stewart, Shauna Sylvester, Maynard Aubichon, Golok Buday, Sean Cassidy, Ping Chan, Connie Fogal (with IDEA Vancouver), Mike Hansen, Sophia Kaiser, Jason Lamarche, Katy Le Rougetel, Tim Ly, Lawrence Massey, Rollergirl, Satie Shotta and John Yano. 

Advanced voting will take place between Oct. 10 and 17. For more information on how to vote, click here

No ward system

The number of candidates running for Vancouver council is high, but that's always been the case compared to the rest of British Columbia.

But the number of council candidates on one ballot is something only seen in B.C. for Canadian local elections. 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. 

"I do think there's lots of reasons to change," said independent mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart, who wrote about municipal voting systems for his master's thesis.  

Stewart said if elected mayor he would push for the city to adopt either a proportional representation system of choosing councillors, or a ward system where people would run to represent different neighbourhoods. 

Vancouver has the power to independently change its electoral system, but voters rejected a change to a ward system in 1996 and 2004.

Frank Leonard, former mayor of Saanich and president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, argues there are good reasons for B.C.'s large municipalities to keep the current system. 

"Given you have 21 jurisdictions in Metro Vancouver, you don't want jurisdictions within those jurisdictions, I would think," he said. 

"I wanted every member of council to care about every vote in every neighbourhood in Saanich. I didn't want them to care about certain votes."

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