It looks like the political balancing act the Mayor has been pulling off for the past several years may be coming to an end.
Sources have told Voice New Westminster that the District Labour Council has made a decision to run their own mayoralty candidate in the next civic election rather than support Wayne Wright as they’ve done behind the scenes in the past three elections.
Voice has also learned that one of the District Labour Council city councillors approached the mayor to sound him out on what it might take for him not to run again and potentially split the Labour Council’s vote.
No word on what the mayor’s response was to the offer, but it’s clear that the District Labour Council has definitely decided to go with their own candidate this time around.
The extent of the growing rift between the mayor and the District Labour Council first surfaced during the last civic election when the mayor ran as part of two slates with a total of 7 councillor candidates vying for 6 council seats.
Reportedly, the mayor did ask the District Labour Council to drop one of their councillor candidates to make the arithmetic work but they refused.
On election night, one of the mayor’s running mates from his “non District Labour Council” slate (already hurt politically by suggestions of a conflict of interest over a real estate deal) ended up being the odd man out when the votes were tallied and only the mayor and his four person District Labour Council slate had been elected (plus two incumbent councillors running under the Voice banner).
The District Labour Council are also said to be unhappy with the mayor’s handling of issues relating to the high school site and the fact that the mayor has apparently cut the District Labour Council members out of the loop.
The District Labour Council’s strong ties to the unions and their ideological bent is also said to be a point of conflict, as is the mayor’s reported backroom wheeling and dealing with developers.
The District Labour Council apparently want to be the ones calling the shots with developers and clearly they’re feeling strong enough, or perhaps disenchanted enough, to go their own way this time around.
Only time will tell if this is just speculation on the part of our sources or whether things play out as they’ve been described to us.