Adriane Carr leads Greens into Canadian history

Adriane Carr trounced rival City Council candidates on election night as Greens made historic gains. Though unable to secure additional Council seats, the Greens made gains in School and Park Boards.

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Janet Fraser thanked running mate Mischa Oak, saying that she probably wouldn't have won a School Board seat had she been running alone. (She also apologized to her daughter for subjecting her to the campaign-trail meal plan, i.e. pizza.)

Janet Fraser

Janet Fraser

Concession speeches

Cleta Brown thanked the voters who had supported her, saying "It's been an amazing, fabulous journey," adding that this election year was the first in which the Greens' platform had been "seriously discussed [and] considered... It's actually a happy occasion."

Cleta Brown
Cleta Brown

Mischa Oak, a substitute teacher, said that he was motivated to run for the School Board after seeing a kid getting repeatedly bullied at school for being gay. That's when I really realized that I wanted to be on the School Board, so that I could work to make sure schools are held accountable in their diversity support."

Mischa Oak
Mischa Oak

In thanking "the 48,000 new friends that I have in Vancouver", Oak noted that, while it wasn't a personal victory, "I'm so pleased that queer candidates running for School Board have come ahead and won more votes than the candidates we know to be transphobic and homophobic, and that is a huge win for us."

Earlier in the evening, Pete Fry had said, "I got so much love, strangers coming out of the woodwork" to give him hugs and high-fives: "I felt really lifted up today." He noted, "I've been outside-agitating for years, so I'm pretty used to that!"

Pete Fry
Pete Fry

In addressing supporters, Fry said, "We've really pushed the Green Party into a brand-new place, and it's super-awesome to be a part of that."

What will the future bring?

Once all polling places had reported, the unofficial ballot count was 181,707, which  beat 2011's tepid turnout of 144,823. A big takeaway message from this is that Vancouverites are starting to switch on to the role civic government plays in their lives.

In 2011, Carr won a council seat by 91 votes. In 2014, she held a 5,658-vote lead over George Affleck (NPA), the second-biggest winner in the Council race. Voters clearly agreed with the Greens' message of inclusivity; but, either through lack of strategic voting or lack of understanding how issues get onto the City Council agenda, didn't see fit to give her some same-party backup. Or, as one attendee put it,

 

Overall, City Council has only shifted by one seat; with Melissa De Genova (NPA) replacing Tony Tang (Vision). The ruling party also lost ground on both the Park Board and the School Board.  Mayor Gregor Robertson promised to be a better listener during his victory speech, and the Greens are now riding high on a wave of public support. How the City's decision-making will be affected remains to be seen; but, at least during the late hours of November 15, the Greens and their supporters had good reason to celebrate.

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