Quick hits

Last week I took a much needed break – partially as I mentioned because of a computer melt down, and partially because of a fatigue of pontificating.  I promised a return this past weekend, but that also didn’t happen because of my enjoyment of the malaise, some amazing weather, and a full slate of great football games.

But now, armed with a sleek and sexy new laptop, I am back.

  • Mike Howell’s piece about lone NPA Councillor Suzanne Anton last Friday was very important in confirming what has become apparent: the NPA is desperate for attention, traction, and relevance.  I said it last week, and I will say it again: to attempt to draw Gregor Robertson into responsibility for the terrible gang shooting that happened on Oak Street is about the lowest form of politics one can engage in.  This is particularly emphasized when examining the NPA record of funding police officers, which Howell took a look at, or when considering the $200,000 that the VPD just received in the budget for anti-gang measures, also as pointed out by Howell.  This kind of tactic is in the same vein as Ian Robertson’s complaints about Park Board procedure with regards to the budget, even though he didn’t even bother to show up to speak to Council about the process after signing up as a speaker, and also abstained from voting on the budget altogether.  Empty political rhetoric with little in terms of a political record or current actions to back it up.  Typical NPA.
  • Charlie Smith is back with his conspiracy theories.  The entire Park Board budget vote was delayed to allow for public input and further negotiations with City Council, so for anyone to suggest that the process was done in isolation is a complete falsehood.  Furthermore, if Charlie took a look at the conduct of Park Board Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon during meetings, he would realize that there is an attitude that is espoused in the form of belligerence, bullying and condescending remarks and tone.  Stuart is not prepared to work together with anyone unless he can get some cheap political points or attention out of it.  Forget about political deals – this is a stream of behaviour that Mackinnon clings to partially because of his arrogance, partially because of his longing for the spotlight, and partially because of his fear of not getting elected once again.  Go ask any of the Commissioners aside from Mackinnon’s best friend Ian Robertson about his conduct, and you will hear about how he creates conflict and looks to exploit the ensuing drama simply for his own political benefit, not the good of the public.  On this issue, Smith clearly hasn’t done enough research about the claims made by both Raj Hundal and Sarah Blyth.
  • The NDP has set its rules and date to choose the party’s next leader, and the group of undeclared candidates are scrambling to sign up members before the cutoff date of January 16.  It is amazing that no one has announced quite yet, although Mike Farnworth and Adrian Dix are clearly the front-runners at this point.  I think that the problem with what has been laid out lies solely with the party’s requirement to be a member for 90 in order to be able to vote.  I think that an April 17 convention date allows the eventual BC Liberal leader to call a snap election and put the party in great peril.  That being said, the NDP is very religious about their rules and procedures, so this is no surprise.  The next few weeks are going to be a frantic race of membership signing between the potential candidates, and it looks as though these new members could be the deciding factor in consideration of the 13,000 that are already on the list, which represents an historic low for the party.
  • Is the BC Rail stuff sticking to Christy Clark?  Hard to say.  In one sense, she is clearly the most popular with the public, and still most likely represents the best shot for the BC Liberals to maintain power.  On the other hand, she lacks caucus support, and has the chattering classes of the party talking about how her victory could truly open up a Pandora’s Box with regards to the trial that fellow candidate Mike De Jong thought he had squashed through a $6 million deal.  I don’t think that the story is salient enough with the media and/or the general public to become the thing that tanks Clark’s candidacy.  Yet, she has a long way to go before she is able to test out that teflon quality with British Columbians…she has to win over her own members first.
  • Innovation towards business development at City Hall continues under the watch of Gregor Robertson, and this is yet another sign to the business community that this Mayor and Council are ready to serve as partners in prosperity rather than a burden of red tape and the status quo.  The City of Vancouver has always had some of the best city planning in the world, and finally this same kind of planning and infrastructure is being laid down for a thriving economic climate.
  • Sorry, even for people who are used to big stars and big productions coming through town, this is very exciting news!  I am totally marking out, regardless of who they choose to fill the role, as Brandon Routh is most definitely not coming back.

Alright people.  Have a fantastic day, drive safe, have patience in the shopping lineups, and show some good will towards others.

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