The COPE Executive and Vision Vancouver’s
Executive have reached a tentative agreement for co-operation in this
November’s civic election.

COPE members will decide whether to ratify
the agreement during the second part of the COPE Policy Conference at 3:30 pm
on Sun, Sept 14 at St James Community Square, 3214 W 10 Ave, Vancouver.

The COPE Executive has approved the
recommendations from the Negotiating Committee and feels that this agreement is
an important step in creating the kind of election campaign that can return
progressive government to Vancouver
City Hall
, the Park Board
and the Board of Education.

The Executive that was elected by COPE
members in 2007 and 2008 had a mandate to reach an electoral agreement with
Vision Vancouver. The progressive community, including our members, supporters
and the labour movement have spoken about the need for such an agreement.

While this agreement, reached after 15
months of a challenging process, will not satisfy everyone, the COPE Executive
feels it is what’s best for COPE and the future of Vancouver. Now, it is up to you, our members,
to decide if you agree.


The agreement includes the following
elements:

1)   
COPE, Vision, and the civic Green party will run less than a full slate
of candidates for city council, park board and the board of education as
follows:

a.   
Mayor: Gregor Robertson

b.   
City Council: Vision 8, COPE 2

c.   
School Board of Education: COPE 5, Vision 4

d.   
Park Board: Vision 4, COPE 2, civic Green party 1

2)  
Vision and COPE will co-operate around specific policy issues, including
a strategy on homelessness. Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver candidates
will publicly highlight Vision Vancouver’s co-operation with COPE and its
candidates during the campaign and especially when speaking about common policy
items. COPE candidates will likewise publicly highlight its co-operation with
Vision Vancouver candidates during the campaign.

3) 
The understanding also outlines how Vision and COPE would be
co-operating on elements of the campaigns, including aspects of voter contact,
communications and Election Day.

The agreement allows COPE to co-operate
with Vision where our interests overlap, but also the ability to run a distinctive
campaign that will highlight the important differences between the two parties.
Many COPE supporters are energized to run an exciting campaign with our
membership-driven policy initiatives and compelling candidates.

While the above summarizes many elements of
the agreement, the document itself will be available to COPE members at the
Policy Conference on September 14.   It
is important that COPE members have an opportunity of seeing and discussing the
full agreement before it is made public.

While the policy portion of the meeting
will begin at 10:30 am, the meeting will reconvene at 3:30 to  consider ratification of the agreement.

“It
is crucial that we work together to return progressive government to city hall,
park and school board,’ says COPE Cllr David Cadman." We are prepared to
work with Gregor Robertson and Vision to co-operate around areas of common
concern. With this agreement we can avoid splitting the progressive vote and
create a Vancouver
for everyone.”

Ellen Woodsworth

COPE External Co-Chairperson

COPE negotiators reach agreement with Vision Vancouver

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