Monday, April 24, 2006

Three months in...

Bill Siksay and Peter Julian, Burnaby's Members of Parliament, have been back on the job for three months. Since being re-elected only a handful of days have been spent at the House of Commons as there have not been many days where Parliament has sat.

Siksay seems to be off to a strong start with his double critic roles of Citizenship and Immigration and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered issues. Siksay has been strong in his critic's role with Monte Solberg, the reformed blogger and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Siksay has been particularly strong on the refugee issue. Although not much has been going on in the land of the NDP, with Jack Layton still at the helm, Siksay has found time to publish Burnaby-Douglas Link, a collection of various events and activities in Burnaby.

Peter Julian, down in Burnaby-New Westminster, has an even longer critic title than Siksay in Douglas. Julian's title is Critic for International Trade & Gateways, Vancouver Olympics, and Transportation. The Burnaby-New Westminster NDP MP is critic to Minister of Transportation Lawrence Cannon and Minister of Olympics, Pacific Gateway, and International Trade David Emerson, whom Julian has criticized frequently for his switch but has done little as a critic for the portfolio, other than this. Julian's website has some neat fast facts and info about Queensweep, the latest community cleanup project from the MP known for picking up garbage.

It seems like they have found work to keep busy in the slow start to this Parliament prior to the Conservative minority's first budget.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Who needs enemies...

TEAM Burnaby members were at each others throats on Thursday night at their annual general meeting. Multiple reports out of the right-leaning party's camp suggest a hotly contested race between the seven candidates for the board. Part of the board's responsibility over the next two-plus years will be to dig the organization out of the red after an expensive 2005 campaign and build up a warchest to contest the 2008 campaign against the Burnaby Citizens' Association and the returning Burnaby Voters'--Non-Partisan Assocition.

No word as of yet as to which board hopefuls--indepdendent council candidate Andrew Chisholm, council candidates Jeffrey Chiu and Ron Churchill, businessman Raymond Leung, anti-crime advocate Rick Maysenhoelder, TEAM 2005 nomination candidate Robin Ross, and youngster Michael Wu--won the five open spots. (Please inform Burnaby Politics of municipal happenings of TEAM, BCA, or BV-NPA in the comments section.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Best in Burnaby?

It looks like Andrew at Donn Dean is proud to have Best Auto Body Shop in Burnaby according to the 2006 Burnaby Now awards. Andrew, whose last name Stewart is not listed in the congratulatory ad, ran for Mayor last November with TEAM Burnaby.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The sixth Dion

Liberal leadership hopeful and non-quintuplet Stephane Dion is having a campaign supporter event in Burnaby next Monday at the Shark Club, reports a poster put up by Liberal supporters at Simon Fraser University. The poster projects Dion as an alternative to "Prime Minister Stephen Harper," whose unflattering black and white image dominates the photo.

Dion has been elected five times since his 1996 by-election victory and has served as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Environment. Currently Dion is the Foreign Affairs Critic for the Liberal Party of Canada.

The event is being held on the turf of Billy Cunningham, who was the Liberal's unsuccessful candidate in Burnaby-Douglas in both 2004 and 2006.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Campbell in the doghouse with his right-wingers?

The BC Liberal Party is holding a regional forum for its Lower Mainland supporters next Saturday, April 22, at the University Golf Club in Premier Gordon Campbell's home riding of Vancouver-Point Grey. As of mid-week, a mere two dozen supporters had registered to attend. Current BC Liberal membership figures, the lowest in nearly a decade, may explain why the ruling party's supporters are not coming out in droves.

Campbell will deliver a keynote address to his supporters at this event. Longtime allies of the Premier say that he does his best in this environment. Unfortunately, few may be there to witness him on the top of his game just weeks before his fifth anniversary in the provincial government's top job.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mr. Harper Goes to Burnaby

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in Burnaby next week. A photo and media opportunity will be part of his visit.

Conservative leader Harper visited Burnaby in the first week of the 2005/2006 election campaign and was last in the province the morning of the election prior to returning home to Calgary to await the result of the nation's vote.

This is the first visit by a western Prime Minister to the westernmost province since 1993.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The slate's slate

The following individuals are seeking election to the TEAM Burnaby board of directors: Andrew Chisholm, Jeffrey Chiu, Ron Churchill, Raymond Leung, Rick Maysenhoelder, Robin Ross, and Michael Wu.

Chisholm, Chiu, and Churchill ran in the November elections. Ross did not get a TEAM nomination.

The meeting is Thursday, April 20, at 7:00pm at the Holiday Inn Metrotown's Ballroom according to a notice distributed by Roy Dullum, TEAM's President pro tem.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rumours of TEAM's death are greatly exaggerated... for now

The Electors' Action Movement (TEAM) Burnaby Voters Association (TBVA) is holding its annual general meeting on April 20 at a Metrotown Hotel. Several defeated candidates, including independent Andrew Chisholm, are seeking board positions.

After November's defeat, despite no vote split, TEAM's supporters have been talking about getting off before the ship sinks. Some were even talking about returning to the rump Burnaby Voters Non-Partisan Association (BVNPA), which did not contest the 2005 election.

Word is that BVNPA will likely contest the 2008 elections unless the folks at TBVA and BVNPA get on board with another merger attempt. At the moment, at least one TEAM council member could be a viable candidate with TBVA, the BVNPA, or as an independent.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Common Senseless Revolution: Diaspora?

The following was a quote from Burnaby North MLA Richard "Silent Partner" Lee delivered in the legislature:
A recent study by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada estimates that some 2.7 million Canadian citizens are scattered around the world. This Diaspora should be recognized as our distinct advantages in international trades. It is estimated that 24 percent of foreign-based Canadians live in Asia, whereas 44 percent of this population live in the U.S. Ex-pats can play a role in importing our food and consumer products to their countries of residence. They can also help investors to find business partners, to create networks, to attract investments and to facilitate human capital and technology transfer for British Columbia. Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Poland, Japan, South Korea, India, China and the Philippines all have special policies in place toward their Diaspora.

Did MLA Lee borrow a word of his vocabularly from the NDP? Does he have a new legislative assistant with a degree in sociology? Has he discovered that the average British Columbian uses the word Diaspora twice in a paragraph?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Selling the minions down the Coquitlam River

Burquitlam MLA Harry Bloy distanced himself from Coquitlamgate in today's Tri-City News. Bloy believes in electoral reform at the local level according to the article.

The Coquitlamgate scandal revolves around the BC Liberal-affiliated Coquitlam First municipal slate that contested the 2005 municipal election there. Because it filed late, Coquitlam First's name did not appear on the ballot and as a result believed it did not have to file papers at City Hall. Bloy government staffers and BC Liberal field organizers have been directly linked to the scandal which has gone from non-filing to manipulation of an online poll to this point.

In the past, Bloy has ran for civic office in Burnaby prior to becoming an MLA in 2001.

Was The Derek Right?

Today's Burnaby Now features a cover story on Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and the Olympic Oval. Did Corrigan make the right move fighting over the Olympic Oval and pushing it out to Richmond, where it has become the Olympic Games' white elephant even before it is built?

Maybe the popular Corrigan's somewhat unpopular decision to leave Burnaby on the sidelines in 2010 will prove to be his greatest legacy if the XXIst Olympiad winds up being as big of a flop as people are beginning to expect given the overruns, shameful presentations, and sinking Oval.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Municipal post du jour: New West edition

Municipal election filings seem to be on the B.C. political It-List this week (see Coquitlamgate). A reader in New Westminster forwarded a Royal City Record story about their filings to Burnaby Politics and pointed out the turf war between Peter Julian, the NDP MP, and Mary Pynenburg, the disgruntled ex-City Hall staffer and Liberal also-ran.

During the New West municipal race, Julian backed Mayor Wayne Wright with a donation of $150 and Alana McIntyre with a donation of $50. Pynenburg backed Bob Osterman with a donation of $200.

Wright was in the mayors chair when Pynenburg left City Hall of her own free will but is rumoured to have also received an undisclosed compensation package rumoured to be in the low six-figures.