There have been a few rumours floating around this week that the Non-Partisan Association approached several Vision candidates in previous weeks and asked them to consider switching parties, since they’d be guaranteed to get a slate spot.
I tracked down everyone whose name I heard mentioned in connection with that story here today and this is what they had to say:
Demetri Douzenis said he hasn’t been approached by the NPA in any way. (The rumour might have started because he’s considered to be one of the liberals/Liberals who may have been feeling shut out by the strong NDP presence in the party.)
James Gill said that Korina Houghton did suggest to him back in the spring that he might want to consider running with the NPA, since he had told her (she’s the liaison commissioner for the West Point Grey community centre he’s involved with) that he’d like to move to the political level. But that was long before there was a flood of candidates to Vision. Gill said he NPA didn’t need to try to recruit any more candidates at park board, since they had a strong slate anyway. Would he have considered it? No, he says. “I’m inherently a centrist. I see a role for government and for the private sector, but I don’t believe the private sector should have uncontrolled input. And that’s a dialogue I haven’t seen from the NPA.” Gill says it concerns him that there doesn’t seem to be any cohesive plan for the waterfront, which the park board owns much of and that’s something he thinks a party like Vision would be more active in tackling.
Finally, Ray Lam, a young gay man who is running for council (and he’s Chinese, in case you couldn’t guess), says he was approached by someone fairly senior in the NPA organization, who did say that he should consider coming over to the NPA since he wouldn’t have to fight for a spot like he is now in Vision. Lam says he was told early in September that if he was interested, he’d have until the 5th to let them know. He said he wouldn’t even consider it. Plus it would look funny, since he’d already made a number of public statements criticizing NPA policies. (Although you’d think that, these days, that would hardly be a disqualifier.)