More than 400 COPE members packed the St James Community Hall last Sunday and overwhelmingly ratified the cooperative election agreement with Vision Vancouver and the civic Green party.

The decision to support the recommendation by the COPE Executive and the Negotiating Committee, and ratify the agreement, was made after a lengthy debate that included many COPE members and longtime supporters.

We will now field two candidates for city council, a majority five on school board and two for parks on November 15. Vision will run eight for council, four for school and four for parks, while the Greens will run a single park board candidate.

COPE, Vision and the civic Green election teams will also start putting in place common campaign elements on key issues such as homelessness.

I share Cllr David Cadman’s comments that Sunday’s meeting was “COPE in a very positive way saying that we want to be part of this co-operative arrangement with Vision and the Greens to put together a progressive slate to defeat the NPA.”

The ratification meeting came at the end of COPE’s 2008 Policy Conference during which many of you gave up most of a sunny Sunday to debate and approve the policies and issues that will make up our election platform. We now have a compelling platform that will be released throughout the campaign. Thanks to all for your commitment and hard work.

I am confident that COPE is in a position to be a real force in the November election. It is up to all of us to now work together and elect a strong group of candidates to council, school and park boards, so that COPE’s voice continues to shape the civic agenda in Vancouver.

I would also remind all COPE members to attend the Nominating Conference at 2:30 pm on September 28 at the Ukrainian Hall at 154 E 10 Ave, Vancouver, where you will elect candidates to represent COPE in the November 15 civic election.

Ellen Woodsworth
COPE External Co-Chairperson

Message to Members: COPE ratifies election agreement with Vision Vancouver and civic Greens