Green Party nominates 4 Park Board, 3 School Board candidates

VANCOUVER, B.C. – At a Special General Meeting yesterday, Green Party of Vancouver members nominated four candidates for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and three School Trustee candidates to run in the upcoming 2022 municipal election. 

“I am so excited to run with this exceptional team,” said Janet Fraser, Chair of the Vancouver School Board and the 2018 municipal candidate who earned the most votes. 

For Park Board, the Green Party will run Tom Digby, an Intellectual property lawyer; Zahra Esmail, the first Executive Director of the Marpole Neighbourhood House; Liam Menard, President and Chair of the False Creek Community Association; and Patricia Riley, a lawyer working in the renewable energy sector. 

School Board candidates include incumbents Janet Fraser and Lois Chan-Pedley, along with Nick Poppell, an expert in facilities management with a passion for education and sustainable food programs.

After the results were announced, the Green School Board and Park Board nominees were joined by the party’s five City Council candidates: Labour and social justice activist Stephanie Smith, climate scientist and economist Dr. Devyani Singh, and incumbent City Councillors Pete Fry, Michael Wiebe, and Adriane Carr who were nominated by the membership on April 2nd, 2022. 

“The exceptional calibre of our candidates makes this the strongest team ever, with the skills, experience and passion needed to tackle and help solve Vancouver’s most pressing problems. From now to October 15th, it’s all hands on deck to reach out to voters and build on our 2018 success, when 9 of our 10 candidates were elected and 7 of us topped the polls, said Adriane Carr, three-term incumbent City Councillor and the Green Party of Vancouver’s longest serving elected official.  

“Voters want solutions to our accelerating climate and housing crises.They can count on the Greens to lead as well as collaborate across party lines on the actions needed to reduce our city’s greenhouse gas emissions, provide enough truly affordable housing, and create a more livable and equitable Vancouver,” concluded Carr.


Candidate Backgrounder:

Park Board Candidates

  • Tom Digby is an intellectual property lawyer and scientist (M.Sc. Biochemistry) who takes a triple bottom line view (financial, social and environmental) about budgeting. Tom believes the Park Board can take bold action to address the climate emergency by reducing our carbon footprint, enhancing urban tree and wildlife systems, reducing waste, improving circularity, and adapting facilities and services for climate resilience.
  • Zahra Esmail is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Vantage Point, a not-for-profit organization that provides training, consulting, and convening opportunities to other not-for-profit organizations across British Columbia. Zahra was the first Executive Director of the Marpole Neighbourhood House and has a deep commitment to equity and community development. She feels that representation for all neighbourhoods across Vancouver is essential at all municipal tables, including Park Board. 
  • Liam Menard is the President and Chair of the Board of Directors for the False Creek Community Association, which gives him a comprehensive understanding of the recreation side of the Vancouver Park Board. A former Director of the Surfrider Foundation, Liam understands the importance of our natural spaces and has a proven track record of working to protect and conserve their natural beauty. As Commissioner, Liam hopes to work with colleagues at the community center associations to support an increase in affordable and accessible childcare spaces.
  • Patricia Riley is a park-user, rowing coach, and trained lawyer working in the renewable energy sector in Indigenous relations. Her work with environmental non-governmental organizations has taught Patricia the value of consensus-building, and that bringing everyone together at one table is the best way to navigate complex problems. Patricia is driven by her dedication to advancing environmental justice and reconciliation. If elected, she will work to support accessible community recreation and green spaces for all Vancouverites. 

School Board Candidates

  • Lois Chan-Pedley was first elected in 2018 and spent her first term working on the new Education and Strategic Plan, serving on the School Liaison Officer Engagement Ad Hoc Committee, and studying student assessment in the Foundation Skills Assessment  Working Group. She is running for re-election to continue her mission to improve music, arts, food security, outdoor education and commitment to reconciliation. 
  • Janet Fraser was first elected in 2014 and has served Vancouver’s students with commitment and integrity. She is the current Chair of the School Board, and member of the BC School Trustees Indigenous Education Committee. Janet deeply values the input from students, families and stakeholders into the VSB Education Plan which aims to improve student achievement, physical and mental well-being, and belonging, increase equity, and continue the district's Reconciliation journey. Janet is seeking another term to translate these words into actions and improve student success.
  • Nick Poppell is deeply passionate about Vancouver schools and students, and believes it is imperative that the incredible work in housing by our previous Green Trustees continues. With his experience in facilities management, Nick will help continue to push the provincial government to fulfill their seismic upgrade responsibilities to our schools, and hold the government to account on building new schools. Nick has keen interest in developing sustainable food programs and believes in educating and empowering students to make the healthiest life choices.