Stuart Mackinnon is the Green Party candidate for Vancouver Parks Board

Vancouver Parks Board candidate Stuart Mackinnon blends multiculturalism with Green Party environmental issues.

This week I have had the pleasure to attend dinner events with Stuart Mackinnon, Vancouver parks board candidate for the Green Party.  On Thursday, we attended the Oct 23rd Vision Vancouver dinner at Floata Restaurant.  On Friday, we attended the Oct 24th Chinese Canadian Military Museum 10th Anniversary dinner, where we also volunteered to help sell raffle tickets.  On Tuesday, I spoke on Stuart's behalf at the Vancouver & District Labour Council.

The following is an amendment to what I said about why I believe Stuart will be a great Vancouver Parks Board Commissioner, with pictures from the Vision Vancouver Floata dinner.

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Stuart Mackinnon (in kilt) with his good friend Andrea Reimer – who is running for Vancouver city council. – photo Todd Wong

Stuart Mackinnon is active.  He speaks out on issues. He attends Parks board meetings. He has been a thorn in the NPA side, to make sure they follow proper democratic process.

The first time I met Stuart, it was through his blog Better Parks
He was writing about naming the proposed “Selkirk Park” at 72nd St. 
Whether it became Obasan Park or David Suzuki Park, Stuart wanted and
helped to make it more of a democratic process.  Stuart has fought against the privatizing of parks, such as against the imposition of high priced restaurants at Kitsilano Beach and English Bay.

Stuart is a teacher at Killarney Secondary School.  He teaches special needs.  He
was vice-president of his Vancouver Teachers Federation Local 392.1, of the BCTF.  Stuart is
amazing.  Last year he took a group of teachers to China, where he delivered a key note talk about Norman Bethune as an organizer for the “Follow Dr. Norman Bethune to China Committee.”

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Stuart Mackinnon with COPE school board candidate Bill Bargeman.  Stuart was vice-president with Bill's presidency for Vancouver Teachers' Federation local 39.2 BCTF – photo Todd Wong

Stuart
is passionate about what he believes in.  He joined our dragon boat
team last year, loved the intercultural process and the fitness
opportunities it presented – then almost immediately asked how to
create a junior dragon boat team for Killarney high school students,
then guided them to a silver medal in their first year of competition. 
That's Stuart – a man of action, while thinking how to be a team
builder, and ensure that every person is included and feels empowered. 

And along the way, he realized more the importance of Vancouver's False
Creek's waterways and parks as important to our recreational
activities.  And he saw first hand the pollution that threatened this
important recreational jewel, when unacceptable “accidents dumped raw
sewage into False Creek”.  Stuart Mackinnon thinks big picture.  Stuart
Mackinnon thinks long range.  Stuart Mackinnon thinks community and
environment first.

Stuart
is Scottish – of Scottish descent.  I am of Chinese descent.   
Vancouver has a large Chinese population.  Vancouver has a large
multicultural population.  He participates actively on our Gung Haggis
Fat Choy dragon boat team.  He understands multiculturalism. This is
what we need for our city and for our community centres.  Stuart is president of the Canada China Education Association

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Stuart Mackinnon with Charlie Wu of the Taiwanese Cultural Festival (Stuart LOVES the Taiwanese dragon boats), and City Councilor Raymond Louie and son – photo Todd Wong

It's
important to have a Green candidate on the slate.  It's important to
have a diversity of ideas – and especially to represent our
environment.  Our environment isn't just about trees and grass, it is
also about our culture and our history.  I believe that Stuart
Mackinnon will be honorable in supporting these values.  Stuart genuinely cares about our environment and is a past president of  SPEC (the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation) and past chair for Vancouver Green Party.

During the Vancouve civic strike,
Stuart supported CUPE 15, 1004 and 391 and our issues.  He knows the
importance that hard working and loyal city workers can make.  He knows
that we put our hearts and souls into the pride of our jobs.  Stuart
Mackinnon will listen.  He will be inclusive,  He will be supportive of
city workers, but more important, he will be empowering.  I believe in Stuart.  He will be honourable.

2008_Oct23 018 Stuart with Constance Barnes (Vision Parks board candidate) and Andrea Reimer (Vision city council candidate) sitting: Julie, Marion and Todd Wong from the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team – photo T.Wong 

Check out Stuart Mackinnon's website: www.betterparks.ca


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