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Vancouver Just Elected an Almost All-White City Council

Not exactly representative of a city where 51 percent of residents identify as a visible minority.
Vancouver city councillors
Vancouver's new city council. Photos via Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver, a city that supposedly prides itself on its multiculturalism, held its municipal elections on Saturday and the results paint qwhite the picture.

Residents elected a new mayor—independent Kennedy Stewart—and 10 councillors. All of them are white except for councillor Pete Fry, whose mother Liberal MP Hedy Fry is Trinidadian-Canadian.

Many were quick to point out that eight of the city’s 10 elected councillors are women. But they are also all white women, which is not remotely representative of the city’s diverse population.


According to the 2016 census, 51 percent of Vancouverites identified as a visible minority, defined as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”

Of 21 British Columbia municipalities that make up Metro Vancouver, every single elected mayor was white—and only three were women, in the City of North Vancouver, Langley city, West Vancouver. About one-third of British Columbians identify as visible minorities, according to Statistics Canada, the highest proportion of any province in Canada.

Voter turnout was less than 40 percent in most municipalities.

One of the many white men elected to local government in BC is Joey Shithead, aka Joe Keithley, the lead singer of punk band D.O.A., who will now serve as a councillor for Burnaby.

Municipal elections in Ontario will take place Monday. Though nearly half the residents of the Greater Toronto Area identify as a visible minority, 90 percent of the current council is white. We’ll see if anything changes tonight.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.

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