Who will take on Vancouver's top job? Councillors and others considering options
Published Thursday, January 11, 2018 5:22PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, January 11, 2018 7:10PM PST
A day after Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson announced he won't seek re-election in October, there are few answers to the inevitable question: Who will take on the city's top job?
"I don't hear a lot of other names," civic affairs reporter Frances Bula told CTV News Thursday.
"It's interesting for a job that pays $160,000 a year plus Metro Vancouver meeting fees and so on—it's interesting how there's a certain hesitation about taking it on.”
Coun. Andrea Reimer was among the favourites within Robertson's Vision Vancouver party, Bula said. Reimer, however, announced before Christmas she would not seek re-election as a councillor.
So far, only Vision Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie, who rivalled Robertson for the nomination in 2008, has said that he is thinking about running for mayor, touting his "breadth of experience" in an interview with CTV News Thursday.
"My supporters have already been contacting me and asking whether or not I'd be willing to do it again," he said. "I'll have to spend some time to think about that, but I think what's most important is how I best might serve the residents of Vancouver."
Members of Vancouver's Non-Partisan Association, meanwhile, say Robertson's departure is the first step in a dramatic shift in the city's leadership.
"There's going to be a new mayor and a lot of new councillors and I think that will change the direction of the city," Coun. George Affleck said Wednesday.
"I'm confident that the NPA will win council and will win the mayor's chair. I think people are not only tired of Gregor, they're tired of Vision Vancouver and the obvious choice to me…is the NPA."
Bula said the NPA has an "interesting mixed bag" of potential candidates.
These include Business in Vancouver editor-in-chief Kirk LaPointe, who said in a tweet Wednesday that he will "continue to reflect on encouragement about my political future."
It was my privilege to run against Gregor Robertson in 2014 and I respect his decision to not seek re-election. Today is his day and we need to properly reflect on his service to the city. I continue to reflect on encouragement about my political future. #vanpoli— Kirk LaPointe (@kirklapointe) January 11, 2018
Other potential candidates within the NPA include Coun. Hector Bremner and former Conservative MP Wai Young.
Robertson announced his "bittersweet" decision to step away from municipal politics in a lengthy social media post Wednesday.
"Ten years is a long time in politics and an important part of leadership is to know when it's time to make space for new leaders and new voices, so I'm looking forward to seeing that happen," he told reporters later that day.
And while the mayor maintained the choice was strictly personal, Bula says it was likely politically motived as well, citing internal polling that suggested Vision Vancouver would be unlikely to hold its council majority after the election.
"I'm sure that there were people in the party who were saying things don't look good," she said.
"Mr. Robertson is somebody who likes to make a list and get everything on it done…The idea of being with a council that would be more like herding cats than being able to direct a battleship in a particular direction—that probably played into it, for sure."
Vancouver's next municipal election is set for Oct. 20.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber