Approximately 50 percent of Vancouver’s population is people of colour. In recent municipal elections, not one person of colour was elected. However, some ground was made when it came to female representation, eight of the ten councillors elected were female.
Ken Sim of Asian descent was defeated by less than 900 votes by Stewart Kennedy, an independent, a former member of parliament who will now head the third largest city in Canada.
There are no real answers as to why people of colour were not elected by the voters despite many of them were well qualified. Perhaps they were not profiled by the media in a proper manner or did not have the proper backing. Or that they did not work hard enough to convince the Vancouverites.
Perhaps they were too many to choose from, for instance, there were over 28 candidates who were vying for the mayoral position.
It could be that voters are apprehensive about the changes taking place, many are saying that Vancouver is no longer the city they once knew. Not only when it comes to the changing of the demographics, but also at the forefront are the cost of housing and affordability. Vancouver is one of the most expensive cities to live in North America.
Either way the latest municipal election does not reflect the changing population of the city. Furthermore, sends a clear message to candidates of color that in the future throwing their hat into the race may be a lost cause because their chances of getting elected are next to nil.
The voters need to keep in mind that people of ethnic representation can bring in new points of view when it comes immigrant settlement, mental health issues or even how to preserve Chinatown heritage preservation.