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A centre-left civic party, Vision was founded by former Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) members first elected to Vancouver city council in 2002. Following that election, Mayor Larry Campbell and Councillors Jim Green, Raymond Louie and Tim Stevenson were soon dubbed "COPE Light" by the local media due to their moderate positions on taxation and development, as opposed to the more leftist "COPE Classic" Councillors.
Ongoing disagreements between the two factions led to Campbell and his allies forming an independent COPE caucus in December 2004. At the same time, supporters of Campbell and his allies created a fundraising organization independent of COPE called "Friends of Larry Campbell".
This group and its backers eventually formed a new party called "Vision Vancouver", initially to be led by Campbell. However, when Campbell announced that he would not seek a second term as Mayor, he called on Jim Green to run to succeed him. The party decided in August 2005 to run only five of a possible ten Council candidates and did not contest school board and park board slate elections.
In the November 2005 election for Vancouver City Council, four Vision Vancouver candidates (Raymond Louie, Tim Stevenson, Heather Deal and George Chow) were elected, but the party's mayoral candidate, Jim Green, was defeated by the Non-Partisan Association's Sam Sullivan. Six members of the NPA were elected along with one for COPE.
For the November 2008 election, Vision was seen as a serious contender for control of the city due to the perceived unpopularity of the Sam Sullivan Non-Partisan Association (NPA) team. On Father's Day, June 2008 Vision held an election to nominate their mayoral candidate. The choices were Gregor Robertson (a local 'Green' businessman, owner of the Happy Planet juice company and a New Democratic Party Member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Fairview), Raymond Louie (serving Vision city councillor), and Allan De Genova (Independent Vancouver Park Board Commissioner who defected from the NPA because of his dislike of Sam Sullivan's leadership). The original dynamic for this contest was changed when the NPA voted to replace as their mayoral candidate incumbent Sam Sullivan with longtime Councillor and businessman (editor of Business in Vancouver newspaper) Peter Ladner. Gregor Robertson was nominated to be the Vision candidate for mayor in 2008 despite his perceived similarity to the main rival NPA's candidate. The turnout for this contest was very high and many new members joined the party for this reason.
Under the direction of mayoral candidate Gregor Robertson, Vision Vancouver responded to COPE's requests (dating back to a change in leadership at COPE in May, 2007) to negotiate an electoral coalition with COPE and the Green Party of Vancouver (who ran joint slates with COPE in previous years). Vision Vancouver, COPE and the Greens agreed to support Gregor Robertson as mayor, run uncompeting slates and coordinate other elements of the election. The new Vision party attracted many potential nominees for City, Park and School Board positions.
On November 15, 2008, Gregor Robertson was elected Mayor of Vancouver. The Vision–COPE–Green coalition came to power. The only Vision Vancouver candidate not to be elected was Kashmir Dhalliwal.
On November 19, 2011, Gregor Robertson was re-elected Mayor of Vancouver. All Vision Vancouver candidates were elected.
On November 15, 2014, Gregor Robertson was re-elected Mayor of Vancouver.
Incumbent office holders
- Gregor Robertson, Mayor
- Heather Deal, Council
- Kerry Jang, Council
- Raymond Louie, Council
- Andrea Reimer, Council
- Tim Stevenson, Council
- Catherine Evans, Park Board
- Joy Alexander, School Board
- Ken Clement, School Board
- Allan Wong, School Board