BC NDP nomination battle brewing between former and current Vancouver city councilors

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Environment Minister George Heyman will not run again in the next election, opening the door to a battle for the BC NDP nomination between current and former Vancouver city councillors.

Shortly after Heyman announced on social media Monday morning that she would not be running in October’s provincial election, Vancouver City Councilor Christine Boyle and former Vancouver City Councilor Andrea Reimer announced that both are competing to replace him.

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Reimer served on city council on the Vision Vancouver ticket from 2008 to 2018 and Boyle, a OneCity councillor, was first elected in 2018 and is in her second term.

The Vancouver-Fairview route, held by Heyman since 2013, will be redesigned and renamed Vancouver-Little Mountain for the next election.

Heyman, who previously led the Sierra Club BC and held the environment portfolio since the NDP came to power in 2017, has supported Reimer.

He said Reimer, a three-term Vancouver city councilor and former deputy mayor, has a strong record as an environmentalist, affordable housing advocate and has built strong connections in the community.

Andrea Reimer, former Vancouver councillor.
Andrea Reimer, former Vancouver councillor. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG

On his campaign website, Reimer said he sees the gaps in the system “because I lived them.”

Reimer was adopted at six months and discovered her Cree and Métis ancestry only in 2015. She said she grew up seeing the challenges her working-class parents faced, lived on the streets in her youth and was renovated more than a dozen times.

“I have dedicated my life to closing gaps,” he said.

Boyle, a social justice advocate who spent years working in the Downtown Eastside and the most left-wing member of Vancouver council, received the endorsement of veteran NDP federal MP Libby Davies.

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Boyle said on X that he considers Prime Minister David Eby a personal friend. He pushed for Vancouver council to declare a climate emergency and for the city to step up its emissions reduction efforts. She has also been a strong advocate for more affordable housing and higher density buildings in residential neighborhoods.

Vancouver Councilor Christine Boyle.
Vancouver Councilor Christine Boyle. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG

When asked by reporters why he decided not to run again, Heyman said, “I think I have one more career ahead of me and I’d rather start at 75 than 79.” Heyman did not say what his future career plans are.

He also said there are “a lot of really good people in the caucus who I know are eager and have all the skills and enthusiasm to do the kind of work that I and others have been fortunate enough to do.”

Heyman is one of the most high-profile BC NDP cabinet ministers to announce he will not run again.

Selina Robinson, former minister of post-secondary education, announced last month that she will not run again in the Coquitlam-Maillardville constituency. Robinson was forced to resign following comments she made about pre-1948 Palestine.

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