This municipal election is unlike other municipal elections in the recent past. Progressive party rivals COPE (the Coalition of Progressive Electors) and Vision (originally an offshoot of COPE) are running full slates of candidates against one another which means the “Left” vote could be split and potentially the right leaning NPA (Non Partisan Association) could make gains.
The Vancouver District Labour Council, which represents labour organizations including CUPE for the Metro Vancouver area, has endorsed candidates which CUPE likewise has endorsed. These candidates can be found here
To add to the confusion is the new progressive party OneCity which is also an offshoot of COPE and is running a single candidate for City Council.
This year the local did not give political donations directly to the parties as has been the practice in the past. The decision to give money to parties depends on a membership vote and there has not been quorum at 2 consecutive General Meetings.
However, because CUPE 391 is affiliated with CUPE Metro, which is another labour council for metro Vancouver that includes only CUPE locals, some of the dues we pay to them is set aside for municipal election campaigns and donations. .Metro decided to give money as political donations to COPE ($2000) and OneCity ($1000) based on what we were told the other major locals CUPE 15 and 1004 would likely advocate for..
The donation to OneCity is matched provincially and federally by CUPE so that the $1000 donation turned into $3000 for OneCity.
In the case of COPE, there was no matching of funds, so the $2000 donation stayed at $2000. This was because a policy at the last CUPE BC convention was passed that stated that political donations (from CUPE) would not be allocated to any party running a full slate of candidates against an endorsed progressive party. In this election, the VDLC endorsed Vision candidates across the board and because COPE is running candidates against these endorsed candidates, COPE is not eligible for matched donation funding from CUPE.
The election wraps up this Saturday, although advanced voting is already taking place. Details can be found here.
I should note that COPE as early as last year, but also OneCity, the Greens and Vision have courted the Union and our issues and have made an effort to reach out to us. The NPA as usual are no where to be seen. However if the NPA would have approached us I would have let them speak to the Executive and membership as well. COPE Mayoral Candidate Meena Wong and Councilor candidate Gayle Gavin did speak to the membership at our recent general meeting, as did Councilor candidate Adriane Carr from the Greens and Councilor candidate and current library board member Heather Deal from Vision.
COPE candidates Meena Wong , Gayle Gavin and Park Board candidate Anita Romaniuk spoke to the Executive as did Councillor candidate RJ Aquino from OneCity and Parks Board candidate Stuart MacKinnon from the Greens.
I can’t predict this election though the consensus is a Vision win – the real question is if Vision or COPE don’t win as much between themselves, notwithstanding the presence of the Greens or the one potential OneCity candidate, will that mean an NPA gain? I know people might have issues with Vision currently but I really don’t want to think about an NPA dominated council and what that would mean for our union and the library.
Get out and vote and make your opinion heard.