20 November 2011

Adriane Carr makes Vancouver city council history

Green party candidate squeaks onto council with last poll counted

“A historical breakthrough.”

That’s how the Green Party’s Adriane Carr described her win to the Courier Saturday night after a nail biter of an evening that saw the candidate waffle between 10th and 11th place for the 10th seat on Vancouver city council until the last poll had closed.

Carr, deputy leader of the federal Green Party, told the Courier her win was the result of her hard work and that of her team members, who celebrated her win with tears and cheers Saturday night. The small crowd gathered in the Dominion Building ran the gamut from jubilation to despair to jubilation as Carr’s numbers poured in. And it came down to the last poll before Carr was announced as winning the 10th seat on council after a long, emotionally fraught evening.

This win for Carr was pivotal. In 2000, Carr was elected leader of the Green Party of B.C., which she co-founded and led in the early 1980s. Carr became the first Green Party leader in Canada to participate in televised Leader’s debates and in 2001 led the party to its best ever electoral results. But her failed attempts in previous elections are numerous.

Carr’s previous (unsuccessful) election history include two bids in Vancouver Point Grey in 1983, a run for a school board seat in Vancouver in 1984, two attempts in Powell River-Sunshine Coast in 2001 and 2005, a byelection in Surrey-Panorama Ridge in 2004 and two federal elections in Vancouver-Centre in 2008 and 2011. Carr’s closest bid for office was the one in Powell River-Sunshine Coast in 2001 when she placed 33 votes behind second place finisher Gordon Wilson of the NDP.

It wasn’t all good news for the Greens Saturday night. At about 9:30 p.m., Stuart Mackinnon, the Green Party incumbent for park board told the Courier, “I’m toast,” after polls clearly showed him falling further behind what looked at 9:45 p.m. like another Vision Vancouver majority. Mackinnon told the Courier he’s proud of the work he did in his three-year term in keeping Vision’s “feet to the fire.”

“And especially around community flower gardens and keeping washrooms on the agenda,” said Mackinnon. “What I most regret is not being able to stop Vision from imposing fees for preschoolers.”

With the exception of Mackinnon, the Green Party’s election success in Vancouver has been varied. Roslyn Cassells won a park board seat as a Green Party member in 1999, but was later expelled from the party. Returning Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer was initially elected to school board in 2002 as a Green Party member.

Green Party school board candidate Louise Boutin also clearly didn’t stand a chance as early results showed her trailing the pack of candidates.

Carr told the Courier she was proud to have run this campaign with Mackinnon and Boutin at her side.

“It was Stuart who inspired me to run,” said Carr.

Mackinnon also had some final words.

“They thought I was trouble at the park board? Just wait until Adriane starts on council,” he said with a laugh.


Twitter @sthomas10

Thank you Vancouver for allowing me three incredible years of service

With all the polls closed a result of 44,761 votes wasn't enough for re-election. I have had three wonderful years as a Park Board commissioner and have no regrets. I stood up for what I believed and did the good work I thought needed doing. My congratulations to the winners and my thanks for those who ran and were not successful.

I will miss the service to the public, but I won't miss the partisan shots. I hope the new Board will be more tolerant and more willing to listen to other viewpoints, though I somehow doubt it. Politics has become a very nasty business. I won't miss that. I wish the new Board great success and hope that they live up to their oath of office to preserve, protect and promote parks and recreation in Vancouver.

18 November 2011

Please vote

The campaign is all but over. Just the voting and counting to do tomorrow. Whatever the outcome, I feel I have been very lucky and greatly honoured to have been able to serve the people of Vancouver for the past three years. It is now up to the electorate if I will continue for another three.

Serving is never easy; you truly cannot make all of the people happy all of the time. The 'slings and arrows' are hard but more than made up by the wonderful people who have crossed my path. Being able to help people navigate the bureaucracy, bringing meaningful change to the system, and bringing new idea to the fore has made whatever sacrifice necessary well worth it.

The greatest gift you can give me in return is to get out and vote. Yes, I would like your vote, but more importantly I want you to exercise your democratic right. It only takes about 20 minutes. The best legacy any of us can leave is to have made a difference. By voting you can make a difference.

17 November 2011

Kind words & Endorsements

From: VanRamblings:

Stuart Mackinnon, Green: In the face of an almost constant attack from the Vision majority on the Park Board, Stuart consistently acquitted himself with aplomb, dedicating himself always to the public interest, and the interests of the parks system in Vancouver. Stuart didn't always vote the way I wanted him to, but at least he was able to provide a logical rationale for why he cast a vote the way he did. In some sense, Stuart MacKinnon was the star on the last Park Board, advocating for the public interest, engaged, informed, and very much deserving of your vote in 2011.

From: Michael Geller

1. Stuart Mackinnon-Green Party I met Stuart during the last election, and while I don't know him really well, and certainly don't always agree with his positions, I think he's the most decent and dedicated person I know running for public office. He has a challenge, since he hasn't raised much money, and the Greens have been somewhat shunned by Vision. However, I would like to think that people who know him will support him, and his name recognition will help him get elected. Moreover, running for the Park Board under the Green banner seems a natural, doesn't it?

From: Alex Tsakumis:

On Saturday, save a vote for Stuart Mackinnon–he loves this city and understands the need for REASONABLE means to deal with our environmental issues. And I agree.

He’s a stand up guy, who will do this city proud for the coming term–as he did last term.

Please re-elect Stuart Mackinnon for Park Board.

From: Vancouver Courier:

Another incumbent to consider is lone Green Stuart Mackinnon, who has navigated the ideological divide on the board while acting as a voice of reason.

From: the Mainlander:

2. Stuart Mackinnon – Vancouver Green Party

Over the past three years, Stuart has had the confidence and political will to stand up to dominant voices on Parks Board. When developer funded parties control every elected City authority, the ability to voice opposition is key. Stuart stands in opposition of the privatization of Vancouver parks, the expansion of the Vancouver Aquarium, or any other business taking up more park space. We believe Stuart will continue to stand up against the privatization of Vancouver Parks, which, as budgets at higher levels of government are cut, could become the most important Parks Board issue. As a caveat, we disagree with Stuart’s stance on and attitude towards gentrification.

From Frances Bula:

Those who want to express their opposition to Vision’s handling of park-board finances could consider voting for the Green Party’s Stuart Mackinnon


Edwards Block


16 November 2011

Cost to be a candidate? $100; Cost to run campaign? $1500; Joy of working for the public? Priceless. On Nov. 19 re-elect Stuart Mackinnon

Green Commissioner Mackinnon to Seek 'Salmon-Safe Certification' for All Vancouver Parks


(Vancouver), Green Party of Vancouver Park Board incumbent Stuart Mackinnon will seek ‘Salmon Safe certification’ for all Vancouver Parks. Salmon-Safe offers a series of peer-reviewed certification programs linking land management practices with the protection of agricultural and urban watersheds.

“Keeping our parks and natural spaces safe for all wildlife is important. Making sure we aren’t harming the environment means more than just rhetoric,” said Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon. “We want to make sure our city is really doing what it says it is,” Mackinnon continued.

Salmon-Safe certification begins with an assessment of management issues including irrigation efficiency, stormwater management, pesticide reduction, conservation of native biodiversity, and streamside and wetlands area management. System-wide evaluation of municipal or other public park systems is backed by rigorous assessment of individual sites to evaluate whether management is consistent with best management practices for avoiding harm to stream ecosystems.

“Every park in the city of Portland is now certified. If we truly are going to be the greenest city in the world by 2020 we better start proving it,” said Mackinnon. For more information on Salmon-Safe certification go to: salmonsafe.org

To volunteer or for more information on the Green Party’s campaign, please visit vangreens.ca or call 604-689-9233.

On November 19, add some Green to your vote.


13 November 2011


Here is a little treat for everybody who stops by. I've never seen anything quite like this. Simply amazing. Enjoy.

Use it or lose it: Conspicuous in their absence

I attended the final parks all-candidates meeting today at Douglas Park Community Centre. There were about 25 people in the audience, which for this campaign was a good turn out. Sad. At Britannia there were 11 candidates and 24 people in the audience; at Hastings it was 9 candidates and 14 in the audience; and Coal Harbour I think there were 12 people sitting in the chairs--which is a vast improvement on the week before when only one person showed up for a school board candidates debate.

There is something fundamentally wrong with our electoral process when the public is so disengaged that they stay away in droves for meeting after meeting. Perhaps parks and sewers and traffic lights don't capture the imagination, but they are what we pay our taxes for and I would think people would want to know who makes the decisions to spend the money. It doesn't help when the media takes little notice of the campaign or candidates. My press releases are routinely ignored by the major press and only occasionally picked up by the smaller outlets. If the media won't report then the citizenry doesn't know.

Some think that on-line voting will make a difference. I think this is just feeding into the apathy and lethargy. If only 30% get out to vote given all the opportunities, and less than 1% come to find out who the candidates are, then I doubt voting from your armchair will make much difference.

In Australia they have upwards of 95% voter participation. This is because voting is compulsory, and there are fines for not exercising your democratic right. I think maybe they have it right. We can't take our rights for granted. If we don't participate we all lose. I don't think it is too much to ask for a citizen to take half an hour out their day to cast their vote. Voting is one of the most important tasks a citizens has to do. If you don't vote, you are letting someone else decide for you. As the kids like to say "use it or lose it".

11 November 2011

Can't wait to vote? Advance Polls are open.

Although Vancouver's official voting day is Saturday November 19, you can vote early at the Advance Polls. All polling stations are wheelchair accessible.

Advance Voting Place Addresses

West End Community Centre
870 Denman Street - Bidwell Room
Nov 9, 12, 15 and 16

Renfrew Community Centre
2929 E 22nd Avenue - Room 112
Nov 9, 12, 15 and 16

Sunset Community Centre

6810 Main Street - Multipurpose Room
Nov 9, 12, 15 and 16

Dunbar Community Centre
4747 Dunbar Street - Lobby
Nov 9, 12, 15 and 16

Vancouver City Hall
453 W 12th Avenue - Main Floor
Nov 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

10 November 2011

Park crime riles Vancouver neighbourhood residents

By Sandra Thomas, Staff writer Vancouver Courier

Green Commissioner Mackinnon Challenges Candidates To Rescind Recreation Fees For Preschoolers


Green Party of Vancouver Park Board incumbent Stuart Mackinnon is challenging
all other candidates to rescind recreational fees for preschoolers introduced into the fee schedule two years ago. In an effort to make up budgetary shortfalls due to underfunding by city council, the Vision Vancouver dominated Park Board lowered the fee paying age from 6 years to 3 in November 2010.

“Charging preschoolers to use swimming pools and other recreational facilities is just plain wrong,” said Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon. “We want to instill a lifelong love of fitness and health from the youngest age. We want to encourage parents to bring their kids to the community centres regardless of income,” Mackinnon continued.

Prior to 2010, children under 6 did not pay recreational fees.

“Vision Vancouver now wants to introduce free family days at their convenience – not when parents need them but when politicians think they can gain from it,” said Mackinnon, “I want candidates from all parties to make a commitment to eliminate fees for preschoolers and set the fee paying age back at 6 years.”

To volunteer or for more information on the Green Party’s campaign, please visit vangreens.ca
or call 604-689-9233.

On November 19, add some Green to your vote.

More information, please contact:
Stuart Mackinnon, 778-389-1956 (cell)

w w w . v a n g r e e n s . c a
301-207 West Hastings Street
Vancouver BC V6B 1H7