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New Vancouver civic party expected to launch Wednesday

Party will likely include Ken Sim, the NPA’s 2018 mayoral candidate
Ken Sim was the NPA’s 2018 mayoral candidate, but left the party and is taking another run at the mayor’s chair. File photo Rob Kruyt

A new civic political party is expected to launch Wednesday and one of its members is likely to include former NPA mayoral candidate Ken Sim.

Sim, who lost the 2018 mayoral race by fewer than 1,000 votes to Kennedy Stewart, made his intentions publicly known more than a year ago that he planned a second run at the mayor’s chair.

But Sim has yet to say whether he would run in the 2022 election with a party or as an independent.

In a brief telephone interview Tuesday, he said he was “looking forward to taking out a membership” with the new party but was coy about whether he would be the party’s mayoral candidate.

“That’s a great question for the board of this party and to ask them what their nomination process is going to be,” Sim told Glacier Media.

“I haven’t been offered anything. With any organization I join, I want to make sure that there’s a fair, open and transparent process where anyone can run for a nomination.”

Pressed further about who was involved with the party and its name, Sim would only say that “from what I hear, there’s an amazing party that’s going to be launching tomorrow and it has an independent board of people from across this city who wear all different political stripes.”

Added Sim: “Am I launching a party? Absolutely not. I’m just a guy running for mayor.”

Glacier Media requested Sim contact a party organizer to provide more details about the party and the launch, which were not provided before the posting of this story.

This year, Sim has been active on Twitter touting a “movement” that he said in January has attracted more than 5,000 people.

More than $420,000 had been raised, he added, and the “movement” had connected with more than 800 donors, which civic campaign insiders would argue are impressive numbers this far out from the 2022 election.

News of a new party comes one week after the NPA surprised civic politics watchers with an announcement that its executive appointed longtime park board commissioner John Coupar as their mayoral candidate.

The party’s board, which has come under fire for some of its directors’ links to the far-right of the political spectrum, chose to forego a nomination meeting. Sim participated in the NPA’s 2018 nomination meeting, defeating Coupar and Glen Chernen.

Glacier Media reported last week that Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr and former Vision Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer are not ruling out a run for mayor in 2022. The current mayor, Kennedy Stewart, is on record of seeking re-election.

Meanwhile, Mark Marissen set to relaunch the Yes Vancouver party from the 2018 election, which saw former city councillor Hector Bremner run for mayor. Glacier Media sent a direct message Tuesday on Twitter to Marissen to respond to the rumour, but had not received a response before this story was posted.

The election is still 18 months away.

Note: This story has been updated since first posted.

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