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New mayors’ caucus at politicians convention week provokes debate on its usefulness, chatter about Dianne Watts’ end game

September 25th, 2012 · 14 Comments

Ever since Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts started on an energetic job of bringing mayors together for their own special “mayors’ caucus” last spring, I’ve heard two reactions. 1. It’s helpful for mayors to have their own forum and voice 2. Why is Dianne Watts duplicating what the Union of B.C.Municipalities already does?

The first get-together was in Penticton in May, with 86 mayors.

The mayors’ caucus got squeezed into the already full program at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention this week, but drew about 140. The next one is set for Prince George next spring.

As my story here notes, there continues to be a lot of back and forth among mayors and councillors about what the purpose of the caucus really is.

I assume many can’t forget that Gordon Campbell launched his provincial career after, not just being mayor of Vancouver (which doesn’t sell well beyond Boundary Road), but his successful leadership of the then Greater Vancouver Regional District. His connections with politicians all across the Lower Mainland helped broaden his political network.

However, I, like others, will wait to see how this caucus evolves and whether it brings additional clout for cities or not. Heaven knows, they desperately need it as provincial politicians and business groups continue to treat them like whiny kid siblings. (Stop asking for money! Stop going to taxpayers for more! You’re already getting too much! And quit complaining that it’s because we’re downloading everything onto you! Just suck it up!)

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