If you’ve been following along, you’ll have read my previous column about how a candidate that Green Party of Vancouver members had nominated to run for the Vancouver School Board “forgot” that he had a pending lawsuit he had co-filed in 2014 while he was running for city council. The ridiculous suit calls Vancouver Is Awesome (yes, us!) a shady “front company”, and it’s still active in the Supreme Court of BC.
You may have also read about how I accepted the then-candidate’s invitation to go for coffee, and how I perceived him to mostly be sorry for himself for having to meet with me to try and save his run for office.
A story was published in the Vancouver Sun about it last week, and we were waiting to see what was going to happen with Nicholas Chernen, the candidate hoping to get away from his litigious past. Or, that is, present.
Chernen himself told me he was leaving it in the hands of the party, and that they were going to decide his fate. In fact he was quoted saying as much in that Sun piece:
“They’ll make a decision about how to manage this and I leave that up to them”, he told Dan Fumano.
Today Nicholas tweeted out a statement saying that he was “resigning” as a candidate. Allowing someone to take the lead like this is a tried and true way for parties to allow them to bow out semi-gracefully instead of having a forceful ejection hanging over them.
Heaven forbid that a righteous candidate with a squeaky clean record of sound judgement would have something like a political party’s revoking of their nomination tarnish their good name, right?
The press release issued by the Greens shortly after Nicholas’ statement went out announced that they were accepting his “resignation”. It’s below.
In it, Green Party chairperson Anthony Hughes calls Chernen “an amazing person” who has “worked hard to prepare for the upcoming campaign”. He went on to say that he hopes he’ll remain involved in the party “and continues to champion his values of peace, health, good government and environmental stewardship”.
My read on Nicholas Chernen, from the hour I spent with him, is that he’s human.
He seems like a nice enough guy. Polite. Well-spoken. Possibly not a liar.
However the Green party’s vetting committee will have to wear his initial nomination. Even if they were blindsided to learn that this particular case was still active in the courts, even a casual observer of Vancouver politics would have known about the other lawsuit Chernen was involved in, and the reputation that preceded him.
The Chernen name, the word “litigation” and the phrase “abuse of the court’s process” became forever tied in 2014 when a case the Chernen brothers co-filed made the covers of most of the local papers. It was dismissed, and the judge awarded costs to the defendant.
The fact that the Green Party of Vancouver decided to gamble on Chernen’s past not biting them in the ass is poor judgement if you ask me. However they do get credit for what looks to be the forced resignation of a candidate mired in controversy.
I’ll also give credit to Nicholas for offering an apology to me in his “resignation” letter. That was nice.
Next we’ll see how the NPA deals with litigious brother Glen Chernen. He’s already been allowed to run in their leadership race and it’s looking like he may get a nod to run for council. Will the Non Partisan Association double down on their Chernen bet?
This is Vancouver’s Stupidest Politics Column. Further reading:
– Nicholas Chernen Part 1: This Vancouver Greens candidate “forgot” he had a pending lawsuit
Nicholas Chernen Part 2: Here’s what the Greens candidate who “forgot” he had a lawsuit had to say about it