Quick hits

  • I obviously ruffled one former mayoral Cheif of Staff’s feathers with Friday’s post, inspiring this lacklustre rebuttal.  Notice how Daniel conveniently ignores my points about EcoDensity being prepared for IN ADVANCE of a Council vote in much the same way as the Hornby bike lane was, and provides no explanation except for this:  “He even goes back in time and tries to redesign history by incorrectly alleging that EcoDensity was handled by staff in the same manner as the separated bike lanes.”  I anxiously await the promised future post on the subject for Fontaine to feverishly spin the virtues his former boss’ baby.  Oh yeah, and one more thing, Daniel: your allusions to future revelations are always humourous…so let’s clear something up about your constant accusations about my relationship to the Mayor’s office.  I do indeed talk to people in the Mayor’s office, Vision Vancouver offices, and electeds on the Park Board and City Council…this is something I have never tried to hide.  Why?  Well, because a) this is a political blog where my political loyalties are very obvious and b) they are in the thick of things and I like to try to pry information out of them.  On that front I am not always successful, but for the sake of this website, from time to time I have inquiries.
  • I have definitely graduated from my former fandom of professional wrestling to MMA.  Nonetheless, the WWE didn’t just pull out of a scheduled event in Vancouver for nothing.  The City of Vancouver says it is not anti-combat sports, but it is putting up barriers that make it a) a bureaucratic nightmare b) a costly affair for any promoter and c) a process that directs organizations like the UFC and WWE to look at other options (in the case of WWE, they headed to Washington, where UFC is not adverse to moving into a city like Edmonton or Calgary for a third annual PPV Canadian event, according to my conversations with UFC Director of Operations Tom Wright).  I understand there is a liability issue that the City needs to insulate itself from when it comes to protecting taxpayers.  But after a successful UFC 115, you’d think they’d be willing to negotiate with a little more flexibility.  Based on recent meetings that happened with UFC officials over the past few weeks, however, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
  • Once again, I think that the NDP caucus Carole James detractors are utter idiots, and handing the BC Liberals a free pass to get back into the game.  This article seems to suggest that Gordon Campbell might be invigourated to stay to fight a fourth mandate as a result of the NDP’s ever-emerging implosion.  But if I am one of the people that actually has a measure of influence with Campbell and who is still interested in the fate of the entire party (and I know of at least a few of those types who stop in to read this site), I would be saying “Look, they are giving us an opportunity to change everything.  So let’s allow a few more disgruntled NDP MLAs to publicly resign, go through these recall campaigns, and then let a new leader emerge as a person of the people by initiating an immediate referendum on the HST.”  Gordon’s ego is unlikely to allow him to arrive at the same conclusion without a little (or a lot of) cajoling.  But I do think it will happen nonetheless.
  • I have a feeling that this public consultation process over the budget, which is currently forecast to have a deficit of $20.6 million, is going to be very political.  The City would be well advised to look at their Metro Vancouver partners and find out what kind of deficits they are encountering, because rest assured, most municipalities are in this financial position.  I am interested to see if the NPA can attract more than 200 people to their fundraising dinner on Wednesday (an event, by the way, that no one should be fooled about when it comes to that $185 ticket price – because they are just giving away tons of free tickets for, including many politically active youth), which will indicate to what extent they can organize.  Then again, with the way their candidate selection meeting is shaping up, maybe the crowds that are attracted to come out really will be concerned public members instead of…naw, I won’t go down that road again.
  • Speaking of the Toronto Mayoral race, it looks like a dead heat.  Unlike what people like my friend Warren Kinsella was saying, I think that Rocco Rossi’s exit from the race really gave George Smitherman the lift that he needed to pull even with Rob Ford.  Joe Pantalone currently looks like Toronto’s version of Ralph Nader, however, which should be very concerning in the Smitherman camp.  The bright side of the eqaution is that less than half of Pantalone’s backers (47.5%) declare their support as firm, which means that Smitherman will benefit from those scared enough of Ford’s potential victory to change their vote.  The next week is going to be very interesting.

OK, off to meetings folks.  Have a great day.

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