Former Colombian refugee running for council for Vision Vancouver

By Jeff Hodson, Metro News |

A former Colombian refugee will represent Vancouver’s ruling party in the upcoming civic byelection.

Diego Cardona will represent Vision Vancouver in the Oct. 14 byelection to replace former councillor Geoff Meggs, who resigned in

July to become chief of staff for incoming premier John Horgan.

“Vision is the only party that represents my values – diversity and social justice are incredibly important to Vision’s team, and theywork to engage young people in the political process,” said Cardona in a statement issued Wednesday by Vision Vancouver.

“I understand the issues that young people face in Vancouver and will be a voice for a more inclusive, progressive Vancouver.”

Cardona came to Canada in 2005 as a refugee with his mother and sister, fleeing Colombia after the kidnapping and murder of hisfather by guerrillas. He was placed in foster care after his mother died of leukemia and became his sister’s legal guardian while still in school.

Cardona is spokesperson for the Vancouver Foundation’s Fresh Voices, a youth-led group of immigrants and refugees that aims to make B.C. better for young newcomers. He also worked for the Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, managing services for marginalized youth.

“Diego’s story is impressive – he has overcome incredible hardship, and now works to make Vancouver a welcoming and inclusive city,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a release.

Homeless advocate Judy Graves and anti-poverty crusader Jean Swanson have already announced that they are running in the Oct. 14th byelection.

Pete Fry is running for the Greens, while Hector Bremner, Glen Chernen and Penny Noble are all seeking the Non-Partisan Association nod (which will be decided at a nomination meeting Wednesday evening).
The Coalition of Progressive Electors is not running a council candidate, but is throwing its weight behind Swanson.

Read more