Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim out as Vancouver Police Board chair

Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim has been replaced as the chair of the Vancouver Police Board. (Nav Rahi/CBC - image credit)

Following provincial changes designed to make policing more fair and equitable, Vancouver's police board has elected Frank Chong as its new chair, replacing Mayor Ken Sim, who stays on as the city's representative.

On Thursday, the board, which provides civilian oversight to policing in Vancouver, held its first-ever election for the role of chair. Previously, the mayor of the city automatically became chair.

Former vice-chair Chong was acclaimed, the board said in a statement, while previous director Comfort Fadugba was acclaimed as vice chair.

Chong was appointed to the Vancouver Police Board in June 2020 and is the senior vice president at Stabilization Central Credit Union.

Fadugba was appointed to the Vancouver Police Board in February of 2022 and is an award-winning business strategist, publisher and global speaker.

The vote followed changes to the provincial Police Act enacted by B.C.'s public safety minister in the spring, which he said would make policing more fair, equitable, and responsive to all communities.

Previously, the board in Vancouver consisted of the city's mayor as chair, one person appointed by the municipal council, and up to seven people appointed by the province's Lieutenant Governor for a term of up to three years.

"Board directors are chosen to reflect the demographics of the community and are individuals who have demonstrated that they can act in the community's best interest," says the board's website.

Earlier in June, Vancouver's council, which has a majority of councillors from Sim's ABC party, voted to name Sim as its representative on the board despite protestations from opposition councillors.

The Vancouver council vote came after an experienced police board member, Faye Wightman, resigned in January, alleging conflicts of interest and political interference at the board involving Sim.

Sim said in a statement earlier in June that he was committed to continuing his involvement with the board but would support someone else in the role of chair.

In a statement from the board, Chong thanked Sim for serving as chair and said that the board was encouraged to have him continue to participate.

"I am pleased the police board will continue to benefit from his experience and broad perspective as mayor," it said.

New directors

The police board also added three new directors by appointment from the province.

Raza Mirani is the principal of Templeton Secondary School, vice president of education services for the B.C. Muslim Association and general secretary of the Pakistan-Canada Association.

Jordan Point is a councillor with the Musqueam First Nation and the executive director of the First Nations Fisheries Council.

Jason Murray is a lawyer with expertise in Indigenous law. He also chairs the community security advisory committee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.

After six years on the board, Patricia Barnes departed.