Shauna Sylvester: A Trojan horse for Vision?

Does it really appear that Vision Vancouver will not be running a mayoral candidate in this fall’s municipal election?

With Vision Vancouver’s deadline for individuals seeking the party’s mayoral nomination now passed — and nobody having declared an intent — it would appear at first glance that Vision will not be running a mayoral candidate. However, we need to look a little deeper.

Longtime Vision member Shauna Sylvester recently announced her intention to run for mayor in this fall’s municipal election. She announced that she would be running as an independent candidate seeking the support of all left, progressive forces.

But Shauna’s ongoing relationship with Vision Vancouver has gone largely unreported by the media. They have instead focused on her roles in environmentalism and sustainability and as head of SFU’s Centre for Dialogue, avoiding the fact that she is, indeed, a longtime card-carrying member of Vision and has been a regular attendee at Vision’s annual general meetings.

From left: Former Vision Chief of Staff Mike Magee, Shauna Sylvester, and Gregor Robertson at Vision’s last AGM in January. [Photo credit Maryse Zeidler/CBC]

At Vision’s most recent AGM, Shauna was photographed next to Vision Vancouver heavyweight Mike Magee — the former Chief of Staff for Vision’s Mayor Gregor Robertson. The same Mike Magee who, at one time, held the controversial role of “Special Advisor to the Mayor” — a role investigated by City Hall staff following a motion made by Green Councillor Adriane Carr; a role dubbed by some as “paid lobbyist”, and one paid for by Vancouver taxpayers. Mike headed the mayor’s office for eight years and was also key in the civic election campaigns of both the mayor and his Vision party.

I see Shauna Sylvester’s mayoral bid as anything but independent.

She is a Vision placeholder.

I’m hoping that over the next few weeks we will see the emergence of other, more credible, independent mayoral candidates.

One such name I’ve heard bandied about is that of Patrick Condon, professor of urban design at UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Patrick has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable urban design.

Now Patrick would be a unity candidate in the true spirit of the term, and is definitely somebody I could get behind.

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