Who is running in Vancouver East in the federal election?
The Vancouver East constituency, which includes the Downtown Eastside, Chinatown, Strathcona and Grandview-Woodland neighborhoods, is known for its working-class roots.
NDP candidate Jenny Kwan has held the seat since 2015 and won the lion’s share of the vote in the 2019 campaign, with 29,236 or 52.6%. Liberal candidate Kyle Demes came in second with 10,085 votes or 18.1%.
Voters have, apart from two brief flirtations with the Liberal Party, elected NDP candidates in every election since the party’s founding in 1961.
Liberal Party of Canada
Josh Vander Lives
Liberal candidate Josh Vander Vies is a Vancouver-based lawyer who advocates for Canadian nonprofits, charitable status and charitable giving. He has also served as President of AthletesCAN (the Canadian Association of Olympic, Paralympic and National Teams Athletes) and is a past Director of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Josh won bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in double boccia. He was Team Canada’s Ombudsman at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
A power wheelchair user born without too many arms and legs, he has spent his life identifying individual and collective issues and deciding when and how to engage each. He also helped leaders assemble and defend the BC Equipment and Assistive Technology Initiative (EATI) and was a member of the BC Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility.
Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative candidate Mauro Francis works as a technology analyst at the University of British Columbia. He currently resides in East Vancouver with his fiancee. He has lived in the riding his entire life and attended Templeton High School. His family has lived in the region for over 50 years as well. Its East Vancouver campaign focuses on affordable housing and creating a safer community for families. He is also a mental health advocate
Mauro is an East End Boys Club mentor and is an active Rotarian.
New Democratic Party of Canada
Jenny Kwan is a career politician. She left Hong Kong for Canada as a child and, at 26, became the youngest person in Vancouver history to be elected to city council. In 1996, she became one of the first Chinese Canadian women to sit in the provincial legislature. After nearly 20 years as the NDP MP for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, Kwan easily won the East Vancouver seat in 2015 by over 8,600 votes. Kwan also sparked controversy for playing a key role in the ousting of Carole James as provincial NDP party leader in 2010 and for an expense scandal in 2014 over her ex-husband Dan Small having billed l Portland Hotel Society nonprofit for a family trip. at Disneyland.
Gölök Buday’s quest for public service is now well into its second decade. His Linkedin profile suggests that he is a game developer, actor, illustrator, graphic designer, director and writer. Buday’s platform includes the following: removal of the central banking system, zero tax on workers, dissolution of CSIS, CBC and CRTC, and due process for medical confidentiality
Buday had just under 600 votes in the Vancouver East constituency in 2019, with 562 or 1% of the total vote.
Green Party of Canada
Green Party candidate Cheryl Matthew (Simcw First Nation) is a single, hard-working mother of three. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Carleton, an MA in Leadership from Royal Roads and a BA from SFU in Anthropology and Sociology. She has a long history of community engagement, advocacy and leadership in East Vancouver, regionally and nationally.
Matthew spent twelve years as the Federal Government’s Manager and Senior Policy Analyst with Service Canada and Indigenous Services Canada. She has also held numerous board positions including the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Center in the Downtown Eastside, UNYA and the CCPA – BC Office.
People’s Party of Canada
PPC candidate Karin Litzcke’s latest campaign focuses primarily on abolishing the vaccination passport system. Additionally, she believes other provincial health measures have led to authoritarianism. She joined the party in 2019 and the top of her website reads: “Individual freedom, personal responsibility, fairness and respect”.
Litzcke’s professional experience includes stints as a writer and dietitian, and she holds a BA in Home Economics from UBC as well as an MBA from Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.
Communist Party candidate Natasha Hale is currently a part-time student struggling to find work. Her background is in environmental studies and geographic information systems, and she feels that not all major parties have been successful in dealing with the climate crisis. While trying to navigate the socio-economic conditions of her youth, she says she found out that the Communist Party platform frightened her struggle. She says her party has the tools to denounce the injustices in her constituency and face the climate emergency through an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and decolonialist approach.
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With files from John Kurucz