Vision Vancouver Will Be Seeing Green

November 24, 2011

The following was supposed to be a political profile assignment for my Journalism Research class, but I don’t think it quite follows the guidelines set out (as we were supposed to start with an annecdote and tell a story throughout), so I’m going to have to re-tool it in a minute here to better reflect the given criteria. Regardless, I’m rather proud of it as it is, and feel like it could be a news story at the moment if I knew what to do with it (such as how and who to pitch it to).

Adriane Carr has a lot to live up to as the first Green Party candidate elected to Vancouver City Council.

Speaking by phone from her campaign office in Vancouver, Adriane said she has been caught up in a swarm of media interviews since her election on Nov. 19, and doesn’t have any definitive plans once sworn in.

“I like to raise things when I think I have the best chance of success,” was her reasoning.

That said, Carr conceded she has a list of about 25 promises to fulfill within the next year that she committed herself to during her campaign.

The win is a hometown victory for the 59-year-old co-founder of the BC Green Party, the first Green Party in all of North America.

Adriane joked that the “Eighth time is the charm,” for her, as she had previously lost 7 election attempts at various levels of government.

This was the first time Carr had run for city council, and she said that she heard that a lot of people were saying, “This is her hometown, this is her city” as reason for her to win in the lead-up to the election, not to mention she wrote her Urban Geography Masters thesis on Vancouver.

“This is significant for non-profits like ours because she easily bridges the gap between grassroots organizations like ours to the political arena, which can be difficult,” Lesley Fox, Executive Director of Fur-Bearer Defenders said of Carr’s historic win in an interview on Monday.

Carr echoed those sentiments, noting that her previous roles with various environmental organizations and advocating for effective housing strategies have afforded her an intimate understanding of what it’s like to bring issues to politicians, and added that experiences such as hers with “groups that are active . . . makes you stronger in political office.”

“I think she’s going to be fantastic. People are really going to notice a difference . . . she’s very energetic,” Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May said of Adriane by phone from Ottawa, adding, “Even those who didn’t want her on council will appreciate that she’s there” and the way that Greens work collaboratively with everyone, which isn’t always the case in politics.

May said she has known Carr for upwards of 20 years, and that they were first introduced when Elizabeth was working with Adriane’s husband George Paul at the Western Canada Wilderness Committee in the 1980s, where Carr herself worked full-time from 1989 to 2000 on international conservation campaigns, most notably Clayoquot Sound.
Before moving to their current residence near Stanley Park, Carr and her husband raised their two children in the passive solar home they built on the Sunshine Coast. Kallie is now a Vancouver-based author and editor of children’s books, and Terren “TJ” has a degree in psychology from the University of Victoria and now works with developmentally disabled young adults.

Carr said that she will be stepping down as Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada, as she was working 70-80 hours a week, which she intends to now apply to her role as councillor, and that, “I plan to put my hand out to everyone on council” to work collaboratively for Vancouverites.


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