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Carr takes surprise council seat as final poll goes Green

Campaign focused on affordable rentals paid off for first-time candidate.

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Green Party's Adriane Carr clocked a surprise minute as final polls pushed her into the tenth seat on Vancouver city council.

Earlier in the evening, a small crowd gathered in party headquarters on West Hastings Street to watch what appeared to be disappointing results.

It was only as the very final polls from the Kitsilano area of Vancouver rolled in that Carr's environmental agenda appeared to pull her out of a tight race for tenth place with the NPA's Bill Yuen. The latest count put Carr ahead by only about 90 votes.

The results came so late that Suzanne Anton, the NPA's failed mayoral candidate, gave a concession speech that assumed Yuen's victory.

Carr was the only Green candidate who ran for a seat on council.

Green Party park board incumbent Stuart Mackinnon and school board candidate Louise Boutin also ran. Neither won.

Carr later admitted that the evening had proved a "nail biter", but said she thought she had attracted a vote "across the spectrum" after an effective campaign.

Carr's platform included a strong push for affordable rental housing -- in a city where half of all residents rent.

She argued for a change in federal tax laws that would restore the advantage to developers who built rental units, which fell off after the 1970s when Ottawa changed its tax laws.