By Jean Jacques Bosco
After British Columbia’s May 14th provincial election, JBST was pleased to hear that Ms. Suzanne Anton won the Vancouver-Fraserview riding with a lead of roughly 550 votes over NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu. This is fantastic news and a great comeback from her loss to incumbent Gregor Robertson during Vancouver’s last municipal election in November 2011.
Previously, Ms. Anton was elected as a Vancouver Park Board Commissioner and then as a Vancouver City Counsellor in 2005 and 2008. She has taught mathematics in Canada and Nigeria, worked as a crown prosecutor, sat on the Translink board, and held the position of President of Kerrisdale Soccer Club for five years. Ms. Anton’s effort to improve local soccer through her role as President was not only the beginning of many accomplishments in her own career but also a stepping stone into local and provincial politics.
Her work as a youth soccer activist has improved the quality of community soccer development in all of Vancouver, particularly in Vancouver west side. For example, Ms. Anton advocated for soccer field lighting and creating artificial fields like the Point Grey Artificial Field in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood and Jericho Field in the West Point Grey area. While supporting other neighbourhood programs, she backed Killarney Rink and Sunset Community Centre to get more children active and playing soccer. At the end of her term with Kerrisdale Soccer Club, it thrived well enough to become part of Vancouver United FC, which now represents nearly 4,000 youth players.
It is amazing to know that Suzanne became involved in politics because of her role in the Vancouver soccer community. In an interview with Vancourier, Ms. Anton explains that her move from community soccer to park board and politics is something she hadn’t forecasted. “It never crossed my mind,” she said. “I came into politics to get things done. I came into politics to get better soccer fields and I went to the city to build a better city, and now I’m in provincial [politics] to build a better British Columbia.”
Recently, Ms. Anton personally donated to JBST’s Travelling Team. Alongside other donations and sponsors, this money helped to make our team’s trip to Gothenburg, Sweden to compete in the 2012 Youth Soccer World Cup (Gothia Cup). JBST thanks Ms. Anton for her contribution to our youths’ soccer experience and the time she has devoted to Vancouver soccer youths. She has been the only provincial politician heavily involved in local soccer politics.
We wish her the best in her new position as Minister of Justice and Attorney General.