COPE announced on Monday that it has negotiated a preliminary agreement with the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC). COPE members will have the final say by voting on the preliminary agreement at COPE’s June 10 membership meeting, which will also include nomination of COPE’s candidates for the October 20 civic election.
COPE was founded exactly 50 years ago by the Labour Council and other progressive groups.
For the past month, the VDLC has hosted negotiations for purpose of limiting competition between five parties: COPE, Team Jean Swanson, the Greens, OneCity, and Vision. COPE has participated fully in these talks, and remained committed to the principles that the VDLC should not endorse a majority of candidates from any one party – that is, no more than four for Council – and that parties should be free to criticize each others’ records and policies.
Under the agreement, COPE would run two candidates for School Board, two for Park Board, and two for City Council plus Swanson should she also seek a COPE nomination for Council. No party will have more than four Council candidates endorsed by the VDLC.
COPE said it has also been having productive conversations with Swanson, who had a strong second place showing in the 2017 City Council by-election as an Independent candidate.
The preliminary agreement between the VDLC and COPE also ensures that parties are free to criticize each others’ records and policies, while avoiding personal attacks.
“Rents and housing prices are out-of-control, and it’s only gotten worse since the last COPE Council 13 years ago,” said COPE Co-Chair Connie Hubbs. “Vancouverites need new voices on City Council who will fight for what people need, not just what the developers want. This agreement would limit the number of candidates amongst the various parties, increasing the chances of COPE electing candidates to take back City Hall from the developers for the people of Vancouver.”
Hubbs added: “COPE is gearing up for an unprecedented city-wide grassroots campaign to win the city we need. We have to keep building the movement to freeze rents, raise wages and living standards for working people, finally end homelessness, support local businesses, and make transit and child care affordable.”