Quick hits

  • I am happy that the federal funding for the Komagata Maru memorial has been received, and that the Khalsa Diwan Society and the Vancouver Park Board are working together on selecting a location.  But with all due respect to Mr. Mohinder Gill, the federal government has never offered an official apology for the incident, and there are huge swaths of the Sikh community that continue to push for such an acknowledgment in the House of Commons.  This monument is a step in the right direction, but it is far from an apology.
  • Guess who is announcing their intentions to run in the NDP leadership race this morning?  All I am going to say is that this individual doesn’t have a penchant for yellow scarves.
  • It is absolutely hilarious how Daniel Fontaine, the former Chief of Staff to Sam Sullivan, tries to distance himself from the “the previous NPA administration” which “pulled back on major reforms that could have resulted in more meaningful citizen engagement.”  In fact, I had a conversation with a prominent local reporter the other day which stated how citizen engagement and City Hall’s bureaucracy were annoyances for him.  Daniel may try and blame the NPA for these actions, but he and his former boss must step up to the plate and take responsibility for a policy which allowed them to ram through policies like EcoDensity down the throats of communities.  Fontaine’s attack on Kerry Jang’s comments are also a stretch, as nowhere does the Councillor come close to diminishing the role of community engagement.  A nice attempt at deflection from the former orchestrator of Sullivan’s Mayor’s office, but one that falls completely flat.  Oh, and there are some classy comments on this post from the City Caucus blog squad that seem to give a pretty interesting window into the NPA’s views on race relations in this city and country.
  • My early morning drive to Surrey yesterday was newsworthy, first as I was diverted blocks from my house as a result of Sunday morning’s terrible mass shooting, and then as I drove over the sink hole before it collapsed and was just a huge dip in the middle of the road – and at the time, I had no idea of that either was about to hit the news.  The gang violence is very, very scary and so callous – particularly in such a quiet neighbourhood such as this.  However, to try and and link Gregor Robertson to this incident is quite possibly the cheapest and lowest form of local politics I have witnessed in many, many years.  Absolutely disgusting, and once again to no one’s surprise, originating from City Caucus.
  • I hear through the grapevine that the Vision Vancouver Park Board’s recent lobbying of City Council for additional funding is looking optimistic – I am aware that talks are ongoing.  It will be interesting to see if there is anything to report at tonight’s Park Board meeting.  But in the end do I think that public bathrooms are going to be shut down around the city?  I highly doubt it.
  • A different tone?  Maybe for now.  But the fact of the matter is that cutbacks are still going to have to come due to the Province overloading School Boards with ridiculous costs, yet not adequately funding them.  Schools might not be closing yet, but programs and staff will have to be reduced.  When those final decisions are released, I would say that the war will continue.  And rest assured, even if no other Board in the province has the guts to face off against the provincial government, Vancouver Chair Patti Bacchus is not going to stay silent and let Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid get a free pass with regards to her hard line approach to the relationship between school boards and her government.
  • Here’s the latest scuttlebutt from the provincial leadership races.  Adrian Dix continues to mull over a run, although there are many voices that are trying to prevent that from happening because Dix would most likely be a polarizing figure for the public (I am still not entirely sure why, as I think the guy is very charming and publicly palatable…but then again, I am not a member of the party).  The Christy Clark and Kevin Falcon camps are really targeting each other in their messaging to potential membership sign-ups, and as a result, I am hearing more and more that George Abbott is going to be the second choice for both camps due to the bad blood that is developing between the former talk show host and the former health Minister.  And Mike Farnworth?  Slowly but surely becoming the consensus candidate within the NDP, particularly because he plays very well with the general public.

Alright folks, that’s all for now.  Stay safe.

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