“This is the start of a new era in this city,” Vancouver East MP and former COPE city councillor Libby Davies told an overflow crowd of 300 enthusiastic COPE supporters at the civic party’s July 05 fundraiser held at the Rowing Club in Stanley Park.
“I feel inspired when I see the people in this room,” Davies said. “We all have different priorities, but we also have so much in common. We lost the last election, but we won’t let that happen again.”
Davies’ remarks were welcomed by the crowd that included COPE City Cllr David Cadman and Vision Vancouver Cllrs Heather Deal, George Chow and Tim Stevenson. Civic Green Party executive member and former school trustee Andrea Reimer was also present, as were a sizeable contingent of Vancouver area MLAs including David Chudnovsky, Gregor Robinson and Adrian Dix.
CUPE civic workers executive Ken Davidson, Hospital Employees president Fred Muzin, and BC Federation of Labour Executive Director Geoff Meggs applauded Davies’ speech. Civic unions and the Vancouver and District Labour Council, traditional backers of COPE election campaigns, have urged COPE and Vision to work together following the 2005 civic election that saw the defeat of COPE’s majority at Vancouver City Council, Park and School Board.
COPE External Chairperson Ellen Woodsworth reinforced the mood of cooperation as she introduced members of the new COPE Executive and thanked representatives of NGOs and community groups for their support.
“We need a broader coalition in Vancouver than just COPE,” said Woodsworth. “There is a new energy in COPE that will win back City Hall.”
The election of a new Executive at COPE’s May 27 AGM was seen by many as the beginning of a process to initiate closer working ties between COPE, Vision and other progressive organizations.