The NPA made a surprise announcement Monday that it has selected longtime park board commissioner John Coupar as its mayoral candidate for the 2022 municipal election.
The news was unexpected because the party has typically held a public nomination battle after giving candidates time to campaign, as it has done in previous election years.
“John Coupar represents the best of Vancouver,” said NPA president David Mawhinney in a news release.
“He understands the critical importance or our business and livelihoods and can balance the deep understanding with the environmental and livability concerns we all have.”
Glacier Media left a message for Coupar Monday but had not heard back before the posting of this story. Elected three times to park board, Coupar’s interest in the mayor’s chair is not new.
He challenged Glen Chernen and Ken Sim in the NPA’s mayoral nomination race in 2018, with Sim defeating Coupar by 375 votes.
Coupar has kept a high profile in the media since that loss and targeted Mayor Kennedy Stewart in his criticisms related to the city’s growing homelessness and street disorder.
He has also been a vocal critic of the Green Party and COPE commissioners for advocating for a temporary separated bike lane in Stanley Park, arguing businesses will suffer and the lane will make the park less accessible to people, including seniors.
“I want everybody to be optimistic about our future again,” Coupar said in the release.
“I look forward to putting the future of Vancouver back into the hands of Vancouver residents. I look forward to delivering pragmatic solutions, which actually benefit and make the lives of Vancouverites better.”
Coupar’s appointment comes as rumours were swirling for months that NPA councillors Colleen Hardwick or Sarah Kirby-Yung might be interested in becoming the party’s mayoral candidate.
Sim, meanwhile, has declared he is running again in 2022 but with another organization yet to be named publicly.
More to come…