Last September, a labor organization representing 60,000 workers from more than 100 unions made a bold statement.
The Vancouver and District Labor Council declared that it would not endorse Vision Vancouver candidates for mayor or council.
This week, however, the VDLC has endorsed Vision candidates for school and park boards.
John Irwin, who defected from COPE earlier this year, received the VDLC stamp of approval even though he wasn’t on the list of incumbents endorsed by the labor organization earlier this year.
The VDLC also endorsed Vision Vancouver school board candidates Steve Cardwell (a former superintendent) and incumbent Allan Wong.
But Vision’s four candidates council—Honieh Barzegari, Lesli Boldt, Stuart Mackinnon, and Kishone Roy—are out of luck, notwithstanding their affiliation with progressive causes in the past.
The same can be said for Vision’s three other school board candidates: Aaron Leung, Kera McArthur, and Hilary Thomson, and park board candidate Carla Frenkel.
The big winner in the endorsement game appears to be OneCity Vancouver, with every candidate getting a nod from labour.
All four of its council hopefuls—incumbent Christine Boyle along with Iona Bonamis, Ian Cromwell, and Matthew Norris—received a green light. In addition, the five-member OneCity Vancouver school board slate was endorsed (Rory Brown, Kyla Epstein, incumbent Jennifer Reddy, Krista Sigurdson, and Gavin Somers). And the same occurred with the three One City Vancouver park board candidates: Serena Jackson, Tiyaltelut Kristen Rivers, and Caitlin Stockwell.
The VDLC did not endorse Bill Tieleman, a veteran labor strategist who’s running for TEAM for a Livable Vancouver. Tieleman is a former director of communications with the BC Federation of Labour.
In fact, not one member of the TEAM for a Livable Vancouver slate, the NPA, Progress Vancouver, or ABC Vancouver received a VDLC endorsement.
COPE, on the other hand, received six endorsements, including one for Coun. Jean Swanson. COPE park commissioner Gwen Giesbrecht and park candidates Chris Livingstone and Maira Hassan were also recommended by the labor organization, as were school board candidates Suzie Mah and Rocco Trigeuros.
Green councilors Adriane Carr, Pete Fry, and Michael Wiebe were also endorsed by the VDLC, but none of the Green school board or park board candidates were recommended.
The VDLC endorsed Mayor Kennedy Stewart for reelection and left two spots open on its council recommendations, using the letters TBA. That still leaves open the possibility that anyone who runs for council with Stewart’s new party, Forward Together, could still receive an endorsement.