Thursday, September 29, 2005

The TEAM Dinner

Mayoral candidate Andrew Stewart of Donn Dean Collision and TEAM Burnaby's candidates were out in force this evening with almost 300 supporters in attendance at the Hilton Metrotown.

The most interesting part of Stewart's speech, which was mostly a repeat of his nomination meeting stump speech, was when he criticized the BCA for their RCMP hiring freeze for most of the last decade and followed it up by saying the BCA - one can assume he meant TEAM - would hire more RCMP officers. Reports are that other than a few gaffes here and there, Stewart actually gave a strong speech. Word is he is progressing nicely and should give Mayor Derek Corrigan a run for his money.

A note in the comments' section a few posts ago pointed out a change in TEAM's slate. Gary Bizzo is in fact gone from TEAM's Council slate. (No word on the reason yet, but feel free to make your suggestions in the comments.) Gary Begin has replaced him. Elaine Hasek has replaced Begin on the school board slate for TEAM.

In the crowd were a few current, former, and never will be politicians. MLA Harry Bloy introduced Andrew Stewart. Given the comments of master of ceremonies Jim Fraser, Bloy may be one of TEAM's key fundraisers. That should not be too difficult since it was also made clear that Premier Gordon Campbell is supportive of TEAM's efforts to run out the NDP-BCA council that caused the BC Liberals so much grief when there was little to no opposition in Victoria.

Former Cabinet Minister Joyce Murray was out to support her neighbours in Burnaby. At her table was 2004 Burnaby-New Westminster candidate Mary Pynenburg. (She had to reappear sometime before federal election day given that she is running again.) Former BC Liberal leader Art Lee was also at that table. Orbiting that table of pro-federal Liberal politics was the King Liberal Billy Cunningham, who worked the room like an old pro. George Drazenovic, the Tory rival to Cunningham and Bill Siksay in Douglas, was also in attendance.

MLAs John Nuraney and Richard T. Lee were not in attendance. Former BVA council candidate Nuraney was in town for the UBCM conference earlier in the week. Lee's whereabouts are unknown.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Empty seats

TEAM Burnaby Voters Association, who by the looks of things have reverted to a circa 2002 campaign website with a picture of their 2002 slate at the top of the page, are having their fundraising dinner tomorrow night at the Hilton Metrotown.

Multiple sources have confirmed that TEAM was, as late as Wednesday afternoon, looking for campaign volunteers to be used as bodies to fill out the $85 a head dinner. So far, Lee Rankin has sold far more tickets to the event than any of the wannabe councilors.
The Burnaby-New Westminster Conservatives sent out a press release promoting their candidate Marc Dalton and his weekend community listening tour.

The press release, entitled "Conservative M.P.s discuss safety issues with New Westminster and Burnaby business owners," mentioned that Dalton was accompanied by Tory MPs James Moore, Paul Forseth and Justice Critic Vic Toews. Dalton and the two local MPs were showing Toews around the Columbia Street area between Columbia and New Westminster Skytrain stations, an area noted for its problems with crime.

Now to the reason this item garnered the attention of Burnaby Politics: Dalton and the MPs (which does not quite have the same ring to it as Booker T and the MGs) also visited Burnaby. The Conservatives rode Skytrain to Metrotown station. One must assume that is where they spoke to Burnaby business owners.

In related news, a tip from someone close to the current MP has let it be known that the NDP pol is keeping tabs on his Tory challenger. Of the challengers to Julian and Bill Siksay, Dalton clearly leading the pack in terms of making appearances at community events. Bill Cunningham has been making appearances but George Drazenovic and Mary Pynenburg have been M.I.A. for most of the time since their nominations.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Peter the Great

MP Peter Julian has another mailer on the doorsteps of Burnaby-New Westminster households this week. For a guy who does little other than take photo ops he sure takes credit for a lot of stuff.

Heavy Guns

In order to get some of the unfavourable elements out of Burnaby municipal politics some of the heavier hitters in provincial politics for the BC Liberals are being asked to get involved financially to make sure that dream becomes a reality.

This is the same thing that is happening in campaigns throughout the Lower Mainland - also in Delta, Coquitlam, and Vancouver - in order to have less conflict with municipal halls. If one recalls, prior to the NDP moving up from two seats in the Legislature, Derek Corrigan (along with the reporters for Global TV, The Vancouver Sun, The Province, and The Victoria Times-Colonist) tried to provide a stronger opposition than that of the Kwan-MacPhail NDP rump.

Unlike other municipalities where help is pouring in from the provincial mothership, things in Burnaby are moving slower because of the uncertainty of the unity in the right-of-Corrigan movement. If the BVNPA confirms it will not be contesting the election, Burnaby residents can expect the municipal vote on November 19 to be a proxy war between the BC Liberal-backed folks and the NDP-BCA.

Monday, September 19, 2005

And then there were seven

A tip to Burnaby Politics (in the comments two posts ago) gave us the names of the other TEAM Burnaby Voters Association school trustee candidates. Having spoken with three of TEAM's candidates, it can be confirmed that Gary Begin, Richard A.Y. Lee, and Nancy von Euw are candidates five through seven on the school board slate for TEAM.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Where's Mary?

Mary Pynenburg, former darling of New West city hall, has been conspicuous by her absence. Burnaby Politics has been receiving reports on the movements of most Burnaby pols (the elected ones are easy to keep track of as their offices speak too freely over the phone). Peter Julian's Liberal challenger is the only one who has been keeping below the radar (even George Drazenovic is more visible and he's a man who some members of the Tory board in Douglas cannot find).

Perhaps Pynenburg is out there but Burnaby-New Westminster residents have not seen her. She should have been out there glad handing at the TEAM Burnaby Voters Association candidate nomination meeting like Billy Cunningham her Douglas counterpart, Marc Dalton her Tory rival, and perpetual third place candidate and BC Green leader Adriane Carr (and for that matter, Drazenovic should have been there too).

Hopefully the Liberal arrogance will disappear and their Burnaby-New Westminster candidate will start working for the local vote rather than assuming that it's people's duty as Canadians to vote Liberal. Otherwise Pynenburg can expect to become a two-time loser in Burnaby-New Westminster.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Word is just in that the TBVA picked their eight council candidates Wednesday. They are, in alphabetical order, Gary Bizzo, Jeffrey Chiu, Ron Churchill, Garth Evans, Gary Eyre, Mark Hilford, Lee Rankin, and Barb Spitz. The four school trustee candidates were acclaimed. No word yet on whether TBVA will fill out the school board list to a full seven.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

One last nomination critique

More TEAM Burnaby Voters Association goodies in advance of tomorrow night's meeting.

The organization had it's education policy event this past Saturday. Supposedly there was some colourful behaviour.

Now onto the letters...

Garth Evans and Gary Begin pull out the big endorsements in their appeal for support on September 14 for their council candidate bids. Both are endorsed by MLA Richard T. Lee. Begin is also commended by the Edmonds Community School principal for his ability to "walk the talk." Evans sticks to a straight up letter format and sent it from work by the looks of the envelopes. Begin has the glossy paper and colour pictures in what is the best looking nomination piece yet out of a TEAM candidate. Begin's flyer is double sided but he could have benefitted significantly from making his name stand out as well as the organization's name or the nomination date.

The "Robin Ross for Council" letter from Robin J. Ross asks that supporters "Please save one vote for me!" Given current events in the Lower Mainland, Ross may benefit from the throw away statement "Burnaby Lake is rapidly becoming a bog." Ross is a former Canadian Armed Forces officer, a SFU grad, a longtime Burnaby resident and a longtime community volunteer.
The last piece Burnaby Politics is aware of is from Mark Hilford, who is seeking a council spot. Hilford, a trial lawyer, uses the strongest language saying, "we have a chance to get rid of No-Can-Do-Corrigan and his cohorts."

Each of these appeals to members for support at the nomination are stronger than earlier letters from their nomination rivals.

Quite the sign

Raj Chouhan, the new Edmonds MLA, finally has the singage up on his constituency office. The sign appears to be in more languages than any other sign ever to be put up outside of an airport or the United Nations. The office is in the same location as his campaign office. This tops BC Liberals Harry Bloy and John Nuraney who put their constituency offices up just a stone's throw from their campaign offices when first elected in 2001.

Chouhan has been making the news lately for his comments about discrimination against the headgear of a Sikh player in a Langley soccer tournament. His letter to The Burnaby-New Westminster Newsleader was criticized for his knee jerk cry of racism in a subsequent letter.

Chouhan also got free advertising on the federal dime in the same issue of The Newsleader as the letter that was critical of him. That same weekend, MP Peter Julian ran an ad congratulating Chouhan and his staff on opening his office. Good work, things are finally up and running three-plus months after the election in an office that housed the campaign office. At least Peter Julian is proud of him. Maybe they can go fix Burnaby Lake to celebrate.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Mr. Dithers Comes To Town

Prime Minister Paul Martin will be attending the 25th Terry Fox Hometown Run next weekend in Port Coquitlam. The Prime Minister will have to pass through Burnaby to get there.

Perhaps Peter Julian can stop him and together they can do nothing about Burnaby Lake.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

SFU Birthday Dignitaries

Burnaby's own Simon Fraser University is turning 40 this Friday. The opening celebrations will feature some special guests from the university's past. The most notable guest is former Social Credit Premier Bill Bennett, whose father W.A.C. was Premier when the university was created. Of course, the celebrations are taking place just outside the doors of the W.A.C. Bennett Library.

B.C. Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell has other commitments and will not be attending the university's 40th birthday party.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dredging up old issues

Peter Julian is going on about Burnaby Lake again (with a letter and an article in the latest Burnaby Now). The guy runs on a provincial issue (the St. Mary's closure by the Liberals). Gets elected. Makes an issue in another riding (Burnaby-Douglas not Burnaby-New Westminster) his pet cause after getting elected. And that issue is the favourite issue of municipal council candidates (dredging the sludge out of Burnaby Lake so those who enjoy water sports - get your minds out of the gutter - can paddle their canoes without getting stuck when nowhere near the shoreline).

More TEAMwork

Tom Tao, Surjit Parmar, and Cathy Cena have been sending out materials to TEAM Burnaby Voters Association members.

Council nominee wannabe (CNW) Tao's is a copy of his website materials, typos and all. It includes lines such as, "Next, the public need to know 'what TEAM is' and why should they vote for TEAM Burnaby,'" and commenting on the city's cash reserve, Tao asks, "Why is it for looking purpose only and never consider to use to serve people?' On the positive, he's not running for school board where one of the requirements might be a basic understanding of grammar. Maybe someone can tell him about the wonders of gerunds and subject-verb agreement among other things.

Fellow CNW Parmar is looking for votes, hoping that the part of the BC Liberal Party that dislikes him for his involvement in the Sahota AGM incident is still with the BVNPA or whatever they call themselves nowadays. Parmar's material is considered the best so far out of a TEAM council candidate.

School trustee wannabe (STW) Cena has the best brochure yet, for any TEAM spot. Cena uses the red and green TEAM Burnaby colours and highlights her resume (mother of two, leader, enthusiastic, VP of promotional ad company, past chair NEBCA - whatever that is, president Norman Bethune co-op, board member BC Boys Touring Choir, member at large Bby. Mtn. Sec. School PAC). Inside her brochure is a list of important notes for September 14 (voting day). Number one is vote for Cathy Cena, School Board Trustee. Numbers two through 18 are blank. Cena, like fellow STW Trudy Gordon, points out that mayoral candidate Andrew Stewart will be in attendance. Which forces the question are the school trustee candidates better "TEAM" players than the council candidates who have left that item out of their brochures? Then again the school board candidates are looking like they will be acclaimed while Stewart will need all the positive attention he can get as he seeks to run Derek "Where did the Olympic Oval go?" Corrigan out of City Hall.

Friday, September 02, 2005

All-Star TEAM?

One of the TEAM people, likely a candidate and you can guess by looking at the comments a couple posts earlier, leaked what looks like the majority of the TEAM Burnaby Voters Association slate.

Joining incumbent Deb Christie on School Board will be at least four others. Trudy Gordon, a close associate of John Nuraney, has been sending letters out to TEAM supporters asking for their vote. Cathy Cena, who is VP of Sales for Edge Concepts and might just be this person who entered the JACKfm Apprentice Pool, also wants to make School District 41 a better place. Helen Chang and Richard Lee, who is probably not that Richard Lee are also identified as candidates.

Joining incumbent Lee Rankin, and previously identified candidates Barb Spitz and Gary Begin are several others. TEAM builder and former candidate Gary Eyre is in the running. Former council candidate and independent MLA candidate Tom Tao, who confuses Deer Lake with Burnaby Lake on his not-very-spell-checked blog, seems to have shaken off his independent ways in just over three months since he got whipped like a thoroughbred on the clubhouse turn in the May 17 election. Small business owner Gary C. Bizzo is also in the fray. Surjit Parmar, who is best known for his re-election as president at the 9-1-1 incident at a Burnaby-Edmonds BC Liberal meeting a few years back, is running. Ron Churchill is the other notorious candidate and is best known for his SkyTrain arrest and subsequent TransLink compensation while managing a 2000 Canadian Alliance - remember them? - campaign in Vancouver-South Burnaby. Garth Evans, Rob Weston, Mark Hilford, and Crystal Mall realtor Jeffrey Chiu are also among the list of candidates that were posted in the comments section.

Given that TEAM's candidate list is still incomplete, the prediction is that the five trustee candidates that are known will get selected to run by TEAM. As for council, the likely nominees (excluding the two candidates who remain unknown to Burnaby Politics) will probably be in order of finish: Rankin, Begin, Spitz, Eyre, Churchill, Hilford, Evans, and Weston. Among the others, Bizzo will come the closest followed in order by Parmar, Chiu, and Tao.