Vancouver 1st

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Vancouver 1st
Active municipal party
LeaderFred Harding
FounderJesse Johl
Founded2013 (2013)
Headquarters1275 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Membership (2013)1,000[1]
Fiscal conservatism
Social conservatism
Political positionRight-wing (big tent)
Slogan"Putting Vancouver First."

Vancouver 1st is a municipal political party in Vancouver, British Columbia. It supported the mayoral candidacy of Fred Harding, a retired West Vancouver police officer, in the 2018 municipal election.[2]


Vancouver 1st was founded in mid-2013 by Jesse Johl[1] as a "pro-business, pro-development" anti-establishment municipal party.[3] None of Vancouver 1st's 13 candidates won in the 2014 municipal election.

Fred Harding, Vancouver 1st's mayoral candidate for the 2018 municipal election, received 5,645 votes and placed 6th in the mayoral race.


Vancouver 1st claims to be a "big tent, libertarian-minded party" that prioritizes residents and taxpayers. The party advocates for lower taxes and small government.[4]

Vancouver 1st does not support SOGI 123, a resource package made for teachers and school administrators to help avoid discrimination in their curriculum based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). This caused one of the party's school board candidates, Tony Dong, to quit the party a week before the 2018 municipal election.[5][6]



For the 2014 municipal election, Vancouver 1st's party platform included, among other things:[3]

  • Lowering taxes on homeowners and small businesses
  • Creating a "public advocate office" and a lobbyist registry
  • Allowing public access to books held by city hall and giving line by line accounting
  • Increasing funding for community centres and constructing a seniors centre in every neighbourhood
  • Providing a thousand more daycare and preschool spaces
  • Constructing more public playgrounds and revitalizing public pools
  • Increasing funding for the fire and police departments
  • Expanding community policing


In October 2018, Vancouver 1st promised to negotiate the return of the Vancouver Grizzlies and construct a "world class" NBA stadium in southern Vancouver.[7] The party also promised to get Vancouver a franchise spot in the MLB and construct an MLB stadium in the same area as the NBA stadium. Additionally, Vancouver 1st said it would reverse a decision made by the provincial government in early 2018 to exclude Vancouver from the 2026 FIFA World Cup.[8]

Electoral results[edit]

Election year Candidate Votes % Position Result
2014 None N/A N/A N/A Did not contest
2018 Fred Harding 5,645 3.25 6th Not elected
Vancouver City Council
Election year Votes % Seats +/–
2014 45,508
0 / 11
2018 80,855 5.79
0 / 11


  1. ^ a b Pablo, Carlito (October 2, 2013). "Vancouver First is the latest new civic party to challenge Vision and the NPA". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  2. ^ Seyd, Jane (September 12, 2018). "Former West Van police officer vies for Vancouver mayor's chair". North Shore News. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Johl, Jesse (October 30, 2014). "Vancouver First". Vancouver Courier. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  4. ^ "About Us | Vancouver 1st". Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Little, Simon (October 13, 2018). "Vancouver 1st school board candidate breaks with party over SOGI video". Global News. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Bacchus, Tommy (October 12, 2018). "Vancouver 1st VSB candidate quits party over anti-SOGI video". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Mooney, Harrison (October 6, 2018). "Vancouver 1st party pledges to bring NBA back to the city". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  8. ^ Chan, Kenneth (October 6, 2018). "Vancouver 1st Party promises to bring back the NBA with a new stadium". Daily Hive. Retrieved October 29, 2018.