VANCOUVER — Four former Vancouver school trustees that were fired by the B.C. government last year have been re-elected to the job.
Former BC Liberal Education Minister Mike Bernier fired the nine trustees on the Vancouver School Board last October after they failed to produce a balanced budget.
An independent investigation also found the former school trustees contributed to a toxic work environment in which staff were bullied and harassed.
Four of those trustees were re-elected Saturday along with a slate of new faces and no single party holds a majority of seats on the board.
Mayor Gregor Robertson says although his Vision Vancouver party lost its majority on the board, most of the newly elected trustees are progressive and he expects they will stand up for public education.
Hector Bremner, candidate for the Non-Partisan Association, was also elected to city council, filling the vacancy left by former Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs who stepped down earlier this year to work with the provincial NDP.
Robertson says his party losing a seat on council isn’t the result he hoped for and sees it as a message from voters that they want to see more being done to address the city’s issues, specifically housing affordability.
“Vancouverites are frustrated — particularly around housing affordability — and they expect more from us,” Robertson said in a statement. “We’re working hard to deliver solutions, but (Saturday’s) results show us there’s much more work to do. I heard that message loud and clear, and our party heard that message loud and clear.”
The city said in a statement voter turnout for the byelection was an estimated 10.99 per cent.
Nine candidates ran for the single city council position while 19 people ran to fill the nine school trustee seats.
The trustees that were re-elected to the school board include the Janet Fraser with the Green Party, Allan Wong and Joy Alexander with Vision Vancouver, and the Non-Partisan Association’s Fraser Ballantyne.
The other elected candidates are the Green’s Judy Zaichkowsky and Estrellita Gonzalez, Vision Vancouver’s Ken Clement, the Non-Partisan Association’s Lisa Dominato and OneCity’s Carrie Bercic.
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