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Partying with developers and protesting against Conservatives

December 6th, 2008 · 14 Comments

The Christmas party season kicked off last night with a bang. I was invited to, ran into or heard about six Christmas parties just in my own circle — everyone trying to get a jump on the main Christmas season, I guess.

One of the more amusing double-events of the night was the B.C. Federation of Labour-organized rally in favour of the coalition government (and against Stephen Harper’s politics, hair, and everything else) held at Canada Place, which just happened to be across the street from where the province’s big developers were holding their annual wingding at the Fairmont Waterfront.

The Urban Development Institute party attracts the who’s who of the development world, which includes a LOT of mayors and councillors.

So several Vancouver councillors got to do double-time, managing to attend both the rally and the UDI party. Vision’s Heather Deal, Geoff Meggs and Andrea Reimer, along with COPE’s Ellen Woodsworth, all hustled from one side of the road to the other to make both events, each of which was quite well attended. The UDI event offered yummy dim sum and pasta snacks, however, which the Fed rally did not.

Here’s a precis of the events at the rally. No speeches at the UDI party, just lots of anxious talk about the gloomy immediate future of development.

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  • Wagamuffin

    Frances, I note in today’s paper that there are already rumblings from some of our new counsellors that they might call off the in-camera whodunit investigation by Richard Peck. Quell surprise.

    Shurely, in the name of transparency–and in light of the current public appetite to not be played by our political “betters”– they would not do something so overtly partison.

    Would they?

  • Coldwater

    Ah Wagamuffin, must be nice to have so much money that you can throw it away on expensive lawyers just to find out that nobody knows anything…but wait, it isn’t your money, its our money you want to spend. How generous of you!

  • Wagamuffin

    Coldwater:

    I didn’t know there was a price on truth. Or, is it that you are afraid of same?

    I think that several people know exactly what is going on. Let’s all be big girls and boys, shall we, and clean up this mess once and for all. I don’t care where the chips fall. Do you?

    Unless, of course, it was all just a cynical, cheap trick to divert the voters. Hmmm, wonder if it came up in Vision’s first in-camera meeting?

    Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s? Yes, I thought you could…

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there a police investigation going on as well? What can Mr. Peck do that the police can’t? Isn’t his investigation redundant?

  • Coldwater

    A price on truth? That’s a laugh. For the right price you can have any truth you want. Hypocrite? How about sore loser.

  • So interesting. I’m working on the Fairmont and our crew heard the protest and the constant honking from trucks. We could scarcely talk to each other because of the noise, so I suppose they did succeed in making some mild annoyance. I figured it was a union protest and I guess I was right.

  • Wagamuffin,

    It depends why they want to cancel it. If its because its throwing good money after bad, and there is no price tag or budget for this so-called investigation, then its a good thing. If its as I suspect, they want to keep the skeletons firmly in the closest, then its not a good thing.

    I know that it makes me very angry that there is supposedly no bottom line figure that his investigation is supposed to be limited to. Its like telling him, hey, the checkbook is open, take as much time as you need and send us the bill.

  • Don

    Time for a little reality check from none other than Business in Vancouver, founded by none other than NPA Mayoral Candidate Peter Ladner.

    “Business in Vancouver December 2-8, 2008; issue 997

    White Rock highrise sparks community development concerns

    Dermot Mack/Western Investor

    November’s municipal election campaign in White Rock revealed citizen concerns for the future of the pretty seaside town that boasts one of the best beaches and most sunshine in Metro Vancouver.

    At the centre of the debate is Bosa Properties’ Miramer Village highrise complex. The City of White Rock recently voted to provide a $3.4 million second mortgage to Bosa to finish the Miramer’s first phase.

    However, White Rock mayoral candidates faced tough questions on the mortgage issue during a packed pre-election meeting hosted by the White Rock and South Surrey Chamber of Commerce.

    Some residents are afraid the city is being put at risk by backing the Bosa mortgage; others say development is simply getting out of hand.”

    So there we have it – the citizens of White Rock got the info up front – none of this hiding behind a closed door meeting. As far as I’m concerned the issue of the lead is just a distraction from the real issue – how decisions are being made, and by whom (including Estelle Lo’s severance).

    Don

  • Don

    That should be the issue of the “leak” not lead.

  • Wagamuffin

    Coldwater. Please tell me why you don’t want to know who the leaker is?

    I also want to know if we have been snookered by our dealmakers (staff and counsellors) or if our counsellors and staff have been snookered by the developers/finaciers.

    And if Estelle Lo has a smoking gun, let her produce it. It’s OK to disagree—back it up.

  • Wagamuffin

    George, I’m betting on the skeletons.

    At the least, they will look either incompetent with a poor grasp for the fundamentals of the deal OR they look negligent, having not fought against whatever problem they believe has been caused by the deal to date. And if Ms. Lo had facts and figures for a year or so, I have to assume that she would have been feeding that info to someone. Yet, not a peep? Till election time? And through the most juvenile way imagineable—slippping a document out?

    If these counsellors have the courage of their convictions on this, someone should fess up. Instant hero!

    We certainly don’t hear them complaining at all about the deal now, do we? Curious…

  • Coldwater

    I am not interested in the so called leak because I think they, who ever they are, did us all a great service. Like a typical right winger, you miss the point in order to obfuscate the real issue. White Rock did it publicly, why can’t Vancouver. There is far too much secrecy in public affairs. I don’t really care who leaked it. I’m just glad they did.

  • tommi

    Coldwater: So, which crimes do you believe should be prosecuted, and which crimes should not? Under most democracies, everyone is the same within the eyes of the law, but clearly you feel some people are above the law.

    If you want less secrecy in public affairs, then I guess you don’t approve of the secret meeting Vision plans to hold to get to the bottom of the secrecy around the leak and loan? Talk about hypocritical. That takes the cake.

  • spartikus

    Perhaps you should wait for the police investigation to run it’s course before you conclude a crime has been committed, tommi. That’s typically how it works in most democracies.