Friday, December 30, 2005

Stories of the Year

Dear Burnaby Politics readers,
The year 2005 has been one full of political activity in Burnaby. Having completed a provincial campaign for four seats in the legislature and a municipal campaign for mayor, 8 councilors, and 7 school trustees, a federal election is just over three weeks away to determine who will represent Burnaby's two ridings in Ottawa.
At this time, Burnaby Politics would like to ask its many readers to chime in with their thoughts on what political happenings were the most significant. Specifically, who stood out in a crowded Burnaby political scene and what was the story of the year?

Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section or send your results to the Burnaby Politics team by e-mail through the link on the right hand column of the site.
Best wishes for 2006!
Robert Burnaby and the Burnaby Politics team

Monday, December 26, 2005


Burnaby-New Westminster candidate Scott Janzen has set up a campaign blog that he hopes to continue after January 23. By the sounds of his early posts, he realizes he faces an uphill battle and sees becoming a Member of Parliament as a multi-election process.

As of yet Janzen has not had his candidate paperwork approved by Elections Canada. Hopefully he can get the 100 signatures necessary to appear on the ballot by the January 2nd deadline.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Pynenburg: Quitter or Loser?

Mary Pynenburg's campaign "code of conduct", although intended as a respectful political move, looks more like a declaration of surrender:

December 12: Advertising stops
December 16: Literature mailing stops
December 17: Main-streeting activities stop
December 23: Door-knocking, telephone canvassing, campaign volunteering, and riding campaign announcements stop; campaign office closes
December 28: Campaign office re-opens
December 31: Campaign office closes
January 2: Door-knocking, telephone canvassing, volunteering, literature mailing, main-streeting activities, and riding campaign announcements resume; campaign office re-opens
January 5: Campaign office closes
January 8: Campaign office re-opens

Pynenburg, who is running on the issues of accountability, community, and prosperity, is running this election as a cancer survivor. In 2004, Pynenburg emphasized her role as New Westminster's Planning Director. Her campaign literature features the following line in bold font: It's time for a change in Burnaby-New Westminster. That is not the typical campaign theme from a candidate running for the governing party.

That is how things go on the Al Bundyesque Liberal campaign in Burnaby-New Westminster.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ministry of Leaks

Leaky condo CHMC minister Joe Fontana is rumoured to be in the Burnaby area today making an announcement on the Liberal Party of Canada's plans for dealing with the long standing leaky condo issue, which is a key decision making factor in the votes of many Lower Mainland condo owners.

Tory MP John Cummins is already taking Fontana and the Liberals to task over their inaction on the file in recent years. All we need now is for the NDP and the Greens to chime in and this will be campaign electioneering at its best.

Yesterday he visited Mary (I used to work for the City of New West) Pynenburg so the likely bet is he is visiting Billy Cunningham.

Dish on Dalton

Conservative blogger/muckracker/MP's son Ryan Warawa mentions some details of the open house of Burnaby-New West Tory candidate Marc Dalton, who is a French immersion elementary school teacher-librarian.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The last major contender

George Drazenovic, the Burnaby-Douglas Conservative candidate, is still not listed as having filed according to Elections Canada. Local Conservatives are saying that they have, as of yet, not been asked to sign his nomination papers. Candidates require the signatures of 100 eligible voters living in the riding being contested in order to appear on the ballot. The deadline for filing is January 2nd.

As of yet, only NDP candidate Bill Siksay and Liberal candidate Billy Cunningham are on the ballot. The riding will also be contested by a Green candidate, Ray Power, and a Communist candidate, George Gidora.

Liberal Christmas presents

Billy Cunningham, the Douglas Liberal candidate, is getting yet another special visitor from Ottawa. According to a post in the comments section of this blog, Toronto MP Joe Volpe is visiting Bill Cunningham's campaign office on Thursday during the noon hour. This event, like the Paul Martin event this past Saturday, is not listed on the campaign's calendar on the website.

So far, the former BC wing president of the Liberal Party of Canada has been visited by Prime Minister Paul Martin and hockey legend/cabinet minister Ken Dryden, who opened Cunningham's office. At this rate, a sizable portion of cabinet will have visted Cunningham's riding trying to shore up support for the Martin loyalist.

Cunningham is in a tough race against incumbent MP Bill Siksay of the NDP and Conservative George Drazenovic, whose website has finally been updated.

B and E on Nuraney

Word on the street is that Burnaby-Willingdon MLA John Nuraney's office at the Burnaby Centre strip mall on Kingsway between Willingdon and Boundary was the site of a break-in over the course of the weekend. The Burnaby Centre has been the site of many crimes in the past with its setback from traffic on Kingsway providing cover to many a thief.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Waldo found!

George Drazenovic finally popped up in the local media this weekend with a Burnaby Now feature story that included a large photo of the hard to find Conservative Douglas candidate. Prior to that appearance in the paper, Burnaby-New Westminster candidate Marc Dalton was picking up the lion's share of media coverage with some help from New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Paul Forseth who used to represent part of Burnaby prior to 2004.

Drazenovic's website has yet to be updated and there is no word as of yet on the whereabouts of his campaign headquarters.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Paul Martin comes to Burnaby

Tomorrow Liberal leader Paul Martin will follow in the footsteps of Conservative leader Stephen Harper and NDP leader Jack Layton when he visits Burnaby. Prime Minister Martin will be at the Gizeh Shrine Centre at 3550 Wayburne Way tomorrow morning at 10:30am. Tickets are available from local campaigns.

On the first weekend of the campaign both Harper and Layton visited Burnaby ridings. Earlier this week Layton was at Byrne Creek Secondary School.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The official candidates so far

With under three weeks to go until the filing deadline for candidates in January 23rd's election, only three candidates are registered to run in Burnaby.

Of the Green, Liberal, Conservative, New Democrat and Communist candidates in Burnaby-Douglas, none have completed the paperwork necessary to run in the election. In Burnaby-New Westminster, Conservative Marc Dalton, New Democrat Peter Julian, and Liberal Mary Pynenburg have filed. A Green Party and a Marijuana Party candidate are expected to enter the race.

Candidates must file by 2:00 pm Pacific time on January 2nd, 2006, in order to appear on the ballot.

Mama D

Rumours are circulating in Burnaby-Douglas that Conservative candidate George Drazenovic's campaign is being managed by his mother.

Drazenovic, already the topic of many jokes in the NDP and Liberal camps in Douglas, is struggling to find himself (an office and a webmaster) this election. This is just the latest in a long line of problems for the tech sector start-up boss.

The latest joke is that Mama D should send him to his room for poor behaviour.

Monday, December 12, 2005

A chance to elect some other parties

Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, and Greens will not be the only candidates on the ballot in the 39th Canadian general election in Burnaby. The Communist and Marijuana Parties will also be running candidates in Burnaby.

In Burnaby-Douglas, George Gidora will be running for the Communist Party of Canada, which bills itself as "Canada's Party of Socialism." Gidora, the BC provincial leader of the party, has been a Communist since the age of 17. The 51-year-old father of two has been involved in the peace and trade union movements and is a computer professional.

In Burnaby-New Westminster, the Marijuana Party of Canada is running James Pepa.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Not quite seeing eye-to-eye

Liberal candidate Mary Pynenburg and Conservative candidate Marc Dalton are not quite seeing eye-to-eye. Their offices are on different levels across the street from one another on Kingsway east of Metrotown between Nelson and Royal Oak. At least they will be able to keep an eye on each other's office lights to see when the other team is packing it in each night.

Elections Canada is just down the block from the two offices, while NDP MP Peter Julian is a few kilometers down the road towards New Westminster.

Chow down with Dalton

Burnaby-New West Tory candidate Marc Dalton has been out in the business community promoting a luncheon event next Friday. The Tory campaign event is taking place at a hotel in Burnaby from word on the street.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Election Night Battleground

As the 2006 Canadian federal general election comes down to the wire, national networks will be paying close attention to the races in Burnaby. A key battleground in the Lower Mainland, Burnaby will be a key battleground nationally if a minority government is to be formed on election night.

At least two TV networks have been in touch with major party candidates in the Burnaby riding of Burnaby-New Westminster with regards to their whereabouts on the evening of January 23rd. At least one network has been in contact with a Burnaby-Douglas candidate.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Signs up (here we go again)

Peter Julian is first out of the gates in Burnaby-New Westminster with his signs. The first ones were sighted yesterday with "re-elect" on them.

Red-faced over Green confusion

According to the Green Party of Canada website, the Green candidates for Burnaby are Scott Janzen in Burnaby-New Westminster and Ray Power in Burnaby-Douglas. Earlier it was reported here that Ian Gregson would be running for the Greens in Douglas.

Ray Power ran in Douglas in 1997 for the Progressive Conservatives. He finished forth trailing then MP Svend Robinson of the NDP, who is currently seeking the Vancouver Centre seat held by Liberal Hedy Fry, Reform candidate Gary Eyre, who just lost the local Burnaby council race as a TEAM Burnaby candidate, and Mobina Jaffer of the Liberals, who is currently in the Canadian Senate and is one of the leading voices for aid to Darfur.

Burnaby-New Westminster candidate Scott Janzen does not appear to have deep roots in electoral politics.

Green Lantern

The Green Party candidates are a hardy bunch. They shine on in spite of limited (so far) electoral acceptance. They keep coming back for more (reuse, reduce, recycle?). This is the case for veteran Green candidate Ian Gregson who is running in Burnaby-Douglas.

Gregson, an employee at Simon Fraser University, has sought elected office as a Green candidate for MLA in 2001 and 2005. He is currently tracking his experience of not using a car.

At this point, Gregson is the only new addition to the Douglas race. MP Bill Siksay of the NDP, Billy Cunningham of the Liberals, and George Drazenovic of the Conservatives also contested the June 2004 race.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Yesterday's news today

Given the extensive comment war going on about the doings of BC Liberal MLAs from Burnaby, it looked like a good time to check what Burnaby's government backbenchers have been doing. While busy attending inaugural council meetings at Burnaby City Hall, MLAs have not had time to update their websites.

MLAs Harry Bloy, Richard T. Lee, and John Nuraney need to get some better help in Victoria. Each of their websites are full of items from earlier in the fall session. Multiple references to "today" are made on the generic government pages, yet those todays occurred many yesterdays ago. Perhaps someone in BC Liberal caucus communications might remedy this problem in the future by not saying "today" on items that will be featured on the main pages of these sites for weeks at a time.

NDP MLA Raj Chouhan does not seem to have an opposition website to serve his constituents in Burnaby-Edmonds.

Wiki chronicle of "Libscam"

Take a look at the Libscam Wiki to figure out what did go on. Like other Wikis, readers can fill in details where they are missing.

Monday, December 05, 2005

DaVinci's City Hall it's not

The new Burnaby City Council dropped the gloves tonight. Second-term mayor Derek Corrigan ignored his new opposition from Gary Begin and Garth Evans who now join Lee Rankin on council. The TEAM Burnaby supporters in the crowd were not pleased by the re-elected mayor's behaviour. So it goes.

Better than Burger Heaven?

Old political hands know that New Westminster burger shack Burger Heaven has run its burger poll for numerous elections. Often more accurate than pollsters, the poll has yet to miss with the local federal candidate for M.P. Now, Burnaby-Douglas has a poll of its own, a pizza poll.

Romana Pizza, in the Burnaby Heights area on Hastings, is putting on the poll that will allow customers to select their favourite candidate by which pizza pie they order. A dollar from each pizza sold in the poll will go to the local Christmas Bureau. Representatives of the NDP, Conservatives, Liberals, and Greens were consulted and were willing to participate for chairty.

The details of the pizzas are in Romano's press release:

The pizzas formerly know as the Hawaiian, the Classic, the Vegetarian and the Rustica are now: Cunning-Ham and Pineapple for the Liberal’s Bill Cunningham, Classic GEORGE (pepperoni, mushroom and green peppers) for a traditional right minded George Drazenovic of the Conservatives. Green Piece of the Pie is the vegetarian pizza for the Green Party (candidate TBD) and the Leaner Left (artichokes, eggplant, sun-dried tomato, feta and olives) represents the leaner healthy toppings for Bill Siksay of the NDP.

Burnaby's Imperialism

Yesterday two candidates with links to Burnaby were nominated to seek federal office. In Vancouver Centre, former Douglas MP Svend Robinson was nominated for the NDP. In Newton-North Delta, fishery advocate Phil Eidsvik was acclaimed for the Tories.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The websites of Douglas

MP Bill Siksay is in campaign mode with his website. Bill Cunningham's website is also active, although not his Liberal Party of Canada page. Conservative stop-gap, second-time candidate George Drazenovic's website has yet to be updated for 2006's election. Interested individuals can still run for the Green Party, other parties or as an independent if registered with Elections Canada by January 2, 2006.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Where's Paul-do?

Not only is NDP leader Jack Layton in Burnaby on Saturday but so is "Old Blue Eyes" Stephen Harper, the Conservative Prime Minster-in-waiting. Harper will be in Burnaby-New Westminster with local candidate Marc Dalton launching a plank of the Conservatives' national platform.

One must ask the question of when Paul Martin will be coming to help out his old chum Billy Cunningham?


Brian Yaeck, a student SFU who is involved with the Burnaby-Douglas NDP, sent out the following notice today about Jack Layton's Burnaby campaign stop tomorrow:

Tomorrow on Saturday if you live in Burnaby you might want to come by the IBEU Office at 4220 Norland at 7:15pm. Bill Siksay will sign his nomination papers to run for re-election for the NDP in Burnaby-Douglas. Jack Layton will also be there.

If you are interested in a free dim sum at Floata Restaurant in Vancouver (400-180 Keefer Street in Chinatown), you can join the NDP's "Vancouver Launch with Jack Layton" on Sunday at 9:30am for some good eats. (And to hear people say, "Waiter, there's a moustache in my dim sum.")

Peter's Funhouse

Peter Julian, NDP candidate for re-election in Burnaby-New Westminster has opened his campaign office on Kingsway just east of Gilley in a space once part of the Lester's facility, which is best known for the family entertainment centre. Julian's team was in the office this afternoon setting up for the long campaign.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The BCA just never quits its attack on TEAM

Sav Dhaliwal of the Burnaby Citizens' Association overtook Barbara Spitz of TEAM Burnaby for the final spot on Burnaby city council in a recount, winning by three votes. The reevaluation of the ballots shifted the count a four votes to Dhaliwal's benefit. Dhaliwal finished with 13,403 votes and Spitz finished with 13,400 votes.

One of TEAM Burnaby's most experienced candidates, Spitz supposedly lost ground on the advanced poll, which on one count saw Dhaliwal gain significantly while Spitz's count did not increase.

Burnaby council now stands at three TEAM councilors and five BCA councilors plus BCA mayor Derek Corrigan.

Cunningham's rebound

Bill Cunningham has bounced back and hopes to score a victory for the Liberals in Burnaby-Douglas in seven week's time. To kick off his campaign tonight, Cunningham had Montreal Canadien goaltender, Toronto Maple Leaf executive, and cabinet minister Ken Dryden as his special guest to launch the Liberal campaign in Douglas.