Incremental change in the still-big field of entrants, as we edge under the 90-day mark on our trudge towards the October 20 polling date.

For those who want to strap into their world-of-wonk survival gear and get on it, the Cambie Report‘s Ian Bushfield continues to maintain his great big spreadsheet of candidates, now expanded to most, if not all, of Metro Vancouver. Hold on tight, because names and parties continue to change daily hourly — get it HERE.

My current, superficial analysis for Vancouver says 60 “confirmed” candidates, and 11 “maybes”…

By position:

  • Mayor – 11 (1 spot)
  • Council – 32 (10 spots)
  • Park Board – 15 (7 spots)
  • School Board – 13 (9 spots)

By party:

  • NPA – 14
  • Vision – 12
  • Independent – 10
  • Greens – 9
  • COPE – 7
  • YES Vancouver – 6
  • OneCity – 5
  • IDEA – 4
  • ProVancouver – 2
  • Coalition Vancouver – 1
  • WorkLessParty – 1

Non-Partisan Association

The venerable NPA announced some candidates, but they won’t be completely done until mid-August, according to NPA’s President Baker. More candidates have applied, but the vetting process is ongoing. (*) incumbent

  • Council: Sarah Kirby-Yung (ex-Park Board), Melissa De Genova (*)
  • Park Board:  John Coupar (*), Casey Crawford (*), Lisa Dominato (*)

NPA’s Elizabeth Ball (*) is a definite “maybe” for Council.

YES Vancouver

Hector Bremner’s political party will hold its Council, Park Board and School Board candidate nomination vote from noon til 8 pm, Saturday, July 28 at the Polish Community Centre (4015 Fraser St., Vancouver).

Emerging Issues

While housing affordability continues to dominate, a related issue is climbing into view:  anti-developer. More than half of 400 respondents to a mid-July Research Co (Mario Canseco) poll said developer influence in the city was worse than in other Metro Vancouver municipalities; Mario discusses this on Monday’s Business In Vancouver podcast.

So who will this hurt? Vision, for certain, as the incumbent, and with a strongly-denied but visible property-development orientation in its mayoral candidate, Ian Campbell. The NPA and its candidate Ken “Silent” Sim look to be historically tied to developers too. Hector Bremner, with a developer-friendly background, seems to have left the NPA, in part, to distance himself from anti-developer hostility.

The issue is a winner, then, for the other parties — COPE, Greens, OneCity — and possibly for independent mayoral candidates. For example, Kennedy Stewart, who promises to introduce a 12-month cooling-off period for Vancouver city staff wanting to join developers or other firms that do business with the city (not to mention the ominous-sounding addendum: “other conflict-of-interest measures to make dealings between private firms and senior city officials more transparent”).

This rising tide of anti-influence sentiment offers a way for candidates to downgrade their voter vulnerability on a nasty political third rail topic (rezoning, density, everywhere) and upgrade to a totally-perfect populist hot button:  them stinkin’ developers. Pushing this hot button carries fewer consequences for budding politicos now that campaign financing rules have changed.

(With thanks to Frances Bula in the Globe and Mail).

Anti-development rhetoric is playing a major role in shaping party platforms as Vancouver prepares for a fall election, threatening to derail the fortunes of candidates with apparent ties to the industry.

“There’s definitely a sense from residents that things are out of control,” said Mario Canseco. “And having any ties with developers, that’s definitely going to hurt people.”

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