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What happens after Nov. 15 when the smoke clears

November 10th, 2008 · 9 Comments

Everyone is focused on this Saturday. But given the turn that this campaign has taken in the last few days, victory is not going to be simple if Vision wins on the basis of public uproar over the $100-million loan to the Olympic village builders.

Nope, the city’s troubles — and Vision’s — will only be starting then, as I opine in my CTV blog.

Categories: 2008 Vancouver Civic Election

  • Two things:

    1) Let’s suppose for a minute that Estelle Lo did (does?) have serious concerns about the financing of the project. Those that aren’t convinced by Peter Ladner’s assurances have a right to be sceptical if the city’s CFO has concerns (and Ladner knew of them).

    2) This is politics. City staff aren’t apolitical, but I assume they are highly professional. I also assume they’ve seen politicians in action before.

  • It really bothers me that more is not said about the fact of Vision’s and COPE’s participation in this alleged in camera vote. Are they so muzzled that even now they can’t explain themselves to the public? I guess that’s possible. The problem is this: we know so little. I’m thinking it’s time to ditch the secrecy so we can actually know what (and whom) *we* are voting on next week.

  • That’s the entire point of an in-camera vote. The fact that it was a unanimous vote shouldn’t even have been made public.

  • Marshall

    There’s not much point in posting comments on this blog anymore. It’s a peeing match between partisans. People with lives will find better things to do. So I’ll leave with this parting shot.

    If we didn’t see this coming then we had blinders on. Vision Vancouver made similar noises during their beautifully-branded Sam’s Strike. There were insistent calls for “emergency meetings” and special inquiries. CUPE and Vision shared talking points and strategy during the pointless 13-week conflict whose only successful outcome was to permanently scar Sullivan. As a final insult Paul Faoro even FOI’d mayor’s office emails during the strike as if to say we’ll keep smothering you no matter what.

    This has been a long-term coordinated attack on the NPA and the city’s leadership. From the lowly Vancouver Kid blog by Quadra NDP board member Kevin Quinlan, to the repackaging of the pretty organic farm-boy as a serious candidate to lead our city. Vision, I tip my hat to you. You’re evil bastards, but you’re gonna win.

    In 2011 we’ll have to work hard to clean up the mess you left. But by that time Gregor’s campaign for premier will be in full-swing.

  • I accept your hat tip, sir

    Thanks for the compliment, Marshal. I’m glad that a blog that has been inactive for 4 months and never cracked more than 50 hits a day helped overthrow the mayor and council of Canada’s third largest city.


  • Dawn Steele

    The mystery loan & Skytrain robbery issues may have re-energized burnt-out Vancouver pundits, but from where I sit neither would seem to be the basis for whether Vision/ COPE/ Greens win or lose on Nov 15.

    What about the unprecedented thousands who signed up for Vision’s mayoral and candidate nomination meetings? All the buzz about the need for change? Sullivan’s vast unpopularity and what that did for the NPA? Robertson’s success in re-uniting the centre left? Homelessness? The looming economic crisis? The bigger picture of mounting Olympic cost over-runs? Ladner’s shifting priorities and problems trying to distance himself from Sam’s record?

    What about all the families and education stakeholders serving Vancouver’s 55,000 public school students? I’ve never seen people so energized over the need for new leadership at Vancouver School Board after the NPA threatened school closures and badly bungled their costly & controversial 2-year facilities review? What about the secret facilities report that supposedly never existed? Or the NPA’s education campaign, which so far has consisted of no platform, no-shows at all-candidates meetings, and muzzling of their novice candidates?

    IMHO, there may be a tad more at play Nov 15 than the recent goings-on at 12th & Cambie.

  • Claude Wallace

    Marshall’s disappointment with the ability to express opposition to his party’s views is a sad but commonplace feature of politics. His insinuation that CUPE and Vision Vancouver, in co-operating to achieve a common goal, were somehow underhanded is just petulant. Of course the people who oppose you are going to oppose you. We don’t countenance totalitarianism (well, not yet anyway) in this country so citizens of whatever affiliation are allowed to speak out against what they perceive as injustice. They may be partisan or they may just be genuinely upset with the path the present government is travelling.

    I remember the concerted effort of the development and real estate sales community, on behalf of the Socreds, against Dave Barrett in the ’70s. That didn’t make the real estate industry evil per se. They were exercising their right to speak out. It was my first awareness that politics is about getting your message out consistently with the force and clarity required to energize your supporters.

    Right now, Vision, Cope, NPA and anybody who wants transparent representation at city council would be negligent if they were not howling for blood from the creators of what looks to be a quagmire for Vancouver taxpayers. Every election we get the same grave assurances from all players that this will finally be a council that pays attention to their constituents. They will be transparent. They will be accountable. Well, now is the time to step up boys and girls. Don’t hide behind platitude and obfuscation. If need be, pass a temporary by-law to allow you to explain the extraordinary actions you have taken. If you won’t respond, then please don’t moan about concerted and strident opposition to your tenure.

  • The real tragedy here is learning that the VancouverKid’s Blog never cracked more than 50 hits a day…..

    Because it was, in my opinion, far and away the best source of news and informed comment anywhere, pro-media included, during the long and smelly ‘Vancouver Garbage Strike Conspiracy’ of 2007.


  • A Dave

    Like Ladner, Philip Owen, of all people, should know most Vancouverites don’t care one iota about the finer points of in-camera meetings or the PEF. And news flash, guys, Esther Lo isn’t a pinko, she is the city’s top financial advisor and knows the inner workings of the PEF better than Owen or Ladner or Robertson ever will. If she had such big issues about the Millenium deal that she was willing to quit over it, and those concerns were not clearly disclosed by staff to council in-camera, well… as Frances pointed out in an earlier post, we can expect at least one bureaucratic casualty at City Hall after Nov 15th regardless which party wins.

    But if the City’s CFO has been threatening to quit for months as G. Mason reported, then clearly the city bureaucrats have been embroiled in some very nasty infighting for a lot longer than the past five days. Morale is surely low at 12th and Cambie, and I don’t see how anyone can seriously try to put the blame for this on the minority party in council or a guy who’s never worked there. Besides, we all know who’s really been pulling the strings at the City these past three years. Something is rotten in Liberal Land.

    And given their adversarial relationship with the NPA, wouldn’t city staff be looking forward to working with Vision if they win? It has grown into the largest and most energized civic party in Canada since Robertson became leader. He managed to unite three parties under one slate. His opponents admire him so much, they dug up an official document to prove he’s so passionate about protecting the environment he actually risks his life riding Skytrain. That, my friends, is a politician with charisma, ethics, and cahones. If he wins, even the crustiest old city staffers will be swooning after one big, friendly bearhug from the man. Sounds like a breath of fresh air to me.

    But if anyone still trusts the NPA/Liberal cabal with taxpayers’ money, consider this quote from Global News report last Friday:

    “Millenium is the development arm of the Armeco Group. The NPA council picked Armeco’s Millenium for the massive (Olympic Village) deal, and Paul Barbeau was the President of the NPA and the President of Armeco Construction Limited in the years prior to the award.”

    To review:

    Paul Barbeau was former President of the NPA.

    Paul Barbeau was former President of Millenium’s parent company.

    The NPA chose Millenium to constuct the billion dollar Athlete’s Village.

    Now that is one cozy public-private partnership!