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ABC Vancouver park commissioner, party chair to battle for Conservative nomination

Angela Haer, Marie Rogers seeking federal party nod in Vancouver-Granville riding.
ABC Vancouver park board commissioner Angela Haer (left) at a press conference in December with Mayor Ken Sim.

An ABC Vancouver park board commissioner and the chair of the civic party that she belongs to will battle each other in a nomination contest for the right to represent the federal Conservative party in the riding of Vancouver-Granville.

Angela Haer and Marie Rogers each confirmed Tuesday their intention to become the candidate in the riding, which is currently served by Liberal MP Taleeb Noormohamed. The next federal election is scheduled for October 2025.

Neither Haer nor Rogers held news conferences to announce their candidacies.

In recent days, Haer updated her social media account profiles to go public with the long-rumoured news while Rogers’ bid was leaked via social media, with a draft flyer of her candidacy circulating on the X social media platform.

Reached Tuesday, both candidates were cordial in their comments of each other when asked about competing in a nomination contest; no date has been set for a meeting. Elaine Allan, who has led Shelter Net BC and Skills Canada BC, is also seeking the nomination.

“I respect her decision to run for the nomination,” Haer said in a text message. “I am confident in my own vision and ability to lead, and I look forward to engaging in a spirited but respectful campaign.”

Rogers, a founder of ABC Vancouver, described Haer as a well-respected friend.

“Angela and I are both committed to what's best for Vancouver and for our country, and I think that's why we both put our names in,” she said by telephone. “It just so happens that we both put our names in for the same riding.”

Marie Rogers, chair of ABC Vancouver's board of directors, with Mayor Ken Sim in October 2022. Photo Mike Howell

'Trust their judgment'

Haer lives in Dunbar and Rogers in Vancouver-Granville, a riding that is scheduled to have its boundaries redrawn before the next election. Speculation continues to mount that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may call an election before the scheduled vote in October 2025.

News of Haer and Rogers seeking the Conservative nomination comes as public and political debate continues over Mayor Ken Sim’s announcement in December 2023 to begin the process to abolish the seven-member elected park board.

Haer was one of six ABC candidates to win a seat on the board in the October 2022 election. She and fellow ABC commissioners Jas Virdi and Marie-Claire Howard support Sim’s decision to abolish the board, agreeing with the mayor’s view that it is “a broken system.”

Haer said in a telephone interview that her decision to seek a federal nomination was not connected to abolishing the board, noting she requested a candidate application from the Conservatives in September 2023.

“I didn't know that this was even going to happen,” she said of the mayor’s move to scrap the board. “But I'll tell you one thing — I'm going to support the mayor and the council. I have to trust their judgment, because that's why we all got elected.”

She described seeking a federal nomination as a rare opportunity.

Meanwhile, Haer said, the park board “is not going away, but just getting integrated into the City of Vancouver.” The mayor’s proposed amendment changes to the Vancouver Charter are aimed at bringing parks and recreation under control of city council.

“People keep saying that we're dissolving it, or eliminating it,” Haer said. “We're not, actually. We're just making it a part of the City of Vancouver. It’s just going to become one larger organization.”

'Doing the right thing'

As chair of ABC Vancouver’s board of directors, Rogers’ take on the mayor’s proposal to abolish the board is it's “doing the right thing for the city.” Sometimes, she said, change is difficult for people.

“But we believe in parks, we believe in open spaces, and they're more important than ever,” Rogers said. “As our population moves into condos, and has smaller personal space, the outdoor, common space and natural environment is more important than ever.”

Added Rogers: “This is the right move for the city to take for the long-term benefit of our parks and recreation facilities and services for Vancouverites.”

Rogers has a background in public relations, communications and marketing in the airline and hotel business. She is the current communications director for the British Columbia Society of Model Engineers.

Rogers, a single mother of three children, is also an advisory board member of the Pacific Autism Family Network.

Haer, a married mother of three children, works as a teacher-on-call in Surrey. She has a Masters of Education Degree from McGill University, specializing in psychology.

Haer’s bio posted on ABC Vancouver’s campaign website said she founded several businesses, including a Health Canada-licensed cannabis cultivation company.

Note: This story has been updated since first posted to include news that Elaine Allan is also seeking the Conservative nomination for Vancouver-Granville.

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