It was not completely the power shift for which they had hoped.
The Green Party of Vancouver had one councillor going into Saturday's election. Despite fielding three candidates vying for council, after votes were counted, the party still had only one: Adriane Carr.
But Ms. Carr, who squeezed into the last spot on the 10-member council in 2011, won her second term decisively with the highest number of votes, 74,077, of any council candidate. And the Greens – although they did not get their hoped-for council breakthrough – are now a force to be reckoned with on the park board, which runs parks, community centres and the Vancouver Aquarium, and the school board, which is on the front line of issues including provincial education funding. Newly elected Green Party trustee Janet Fraser will hold the balance of power between four NPA and four Vision Vancouver trustees on the school board.
"I was hoping to be elected, but I didn't expect to be put in the position of a split between NPA and Vision," Ms. Fraser said on Sunday. "I was assuming one party would have a majority and I would do the best I could on issues, but maybe not be able to have that big of an impact. Now that's quite changed."
Ms. Fraser said she feels the biggest issue for the board is money. "I think the most important thing is to continue to advocate for full funding of public education," she said.
On the seven-member park board, Green candidates Stuart Mackinnon and Michael Wiebe took two of the spots, the NPA four and Vision one. Before the election, Vision controlled the board with five commissioners.
The new scenario could add to challenges for a chastened Vision party.
"The approach we have always taken is that they [the park board] are an autonomous body and we try to collaborate and consult," re-elected Vision councillor Andrea Reimer said on Sunday.
"It's less clear what their [NPA's] approach might be."
The newly elected Green members said they would focus on the wrangle between the park board and residents' groups over control of community centres. The conflict erupted when the park board tried to negotiate a new agreement with centres on revenue-sharing, programming and access. Some centres balked and the dispute has moved to the courts.
"That's the biggest issue that we went into the campaign with," Mr. Mackinnon said. "We've made promises to communities we've listened to, communities that are part of the city, that we would try to get the park board to change its views on how the negotiations are going. During the campaign, the Greens asked that negotiations be cancelled, court cases stopped, the evictions stopped, and start again – reboot, is how I'd say it."