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HomeNewsDeveloping: Behind closed doors, Ken Sim’s NPA city council ticket takes shape

Developing: Behind closed doors, Ken Sim’s NPA city council ticket takes shape


Bob Mackin

Almost two months after franchising entrepreneur Ken Sim was elected the NPA’s mayoral candidate for the Oct. 20 civic election, his team is taking shape behind closed doors. 

We know that Coun. Melissa de Genova is seeking another term and that Coun. Elizabeth Ball is on the fence. Park Board commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung hopes to make the jump to city council. John Coupar, who tried to beat Kim in the leadership race, is stuck vying for another term on Park Board. School board by-election winner Lisa Dominato wants a city council seat. 

Who are the new faces that lined up to get the NPA board’s nod for a council run? 

Rebecca Bligh (LinkedIn)

Sources tell theBreaker to watch out for these names. 

East Vancouver Conservative and ex-paralegal Jojo Quimpo and Fraser Valley import/public relations exec Justin Goodrich. 

Ex-Coast Capital Savings COO Kathy McGarrigle. 

Absolute Energy co-founder David Grewal. founder and former Hollywood North producer Colleen Hardwick. Her late geography professor father Walter co-founded The Electors Action Movement and sat on city council from 1969 to 1974.

And, finally, Rebecca Bligh. A self-described “vision and goals coach” whose consultancy Blackpiin (yes, with the extra vowel) counts Sim mentor Chip Wilson’s Kit + Ace and Sim’s Rosemary Rocksalt Bagels as clients. 

NPA-supporting toy store. Arrr. (Mackin)

For a party with a history of infighting (hello, Sam Sullivan, Peter Ladner and Hector Bremner), Bligh’s name would be an ironic addition to the ticket.

Capt. William Bligh helmed the HMS Bounty in 1789 until the famous mutiny. NPA president Greg Baker runs a computer store next to a toy store where the awning reads “No Pirates Allowed.” 

Speaking of infighting. You won’t find a couple of 2014 council hopefuls on the 2018 NPA ticket. 

Rob McDowell, who scored almost 53,965 votes, wanted to run again for the NPA. Late July 30, he Tweeted that he would run as an independent: “After reflection, I’ve decided to run for Vancouver City Council as an independent. Working on the city’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee the past 4 years, following Council closely for 7, my background in diplomacy tells me we need strong independent voices. More to come.”

Ken Low had 54,971 for the NPA in 2014. He, too, didn’t make the cut. 

The 2018 election is crucial for the history of Vancouver’s oldest party. NPA lost its majority and the mayoralty in 2008 to Vision Vancouver and Gregor Robertson. Robertson is not running for a fourth term and only one Vision incumbent, Heather Deal, will be on that party’s council ticket. 

More to come.

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