Friday, March 31, 2006

Former Green candidate goes to school on student politics

Shawn Hunsdale, Burnaby-Douglas Green Party candidate in the 2004 federal election, has been elected to something. Hunsdale is the newly elected president of the Simon Fraser University student society after last week's elections. Records show Hunsdale winning over his disqualified opponent.

In 2004, the Green Party finished behind the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP, which was the same order of finish as 2006.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sometimes being an honest politician is a bad thing

The trouble does not stop today for Coquitlam/Burnaby anti-NDP forces today. Mark Hilford of Coquitlam, a TEAM Burnaby council candidate in this past fall's Burnaby election, has been uncovered to have bought his nomination.

An aged BCA supporter has contacted Burnaby Politics with information on Hilford's civic financial statements. Hilford claims several hundred dollars in TEAM Burnaby membership purchases as a campaign expense. Hilford was a key member of the Brian Bonney-Mark Robertson-Harry Bloy slate for the TEAM nominations that featured "friendlies" such as Hilford, who was Bloy's campaign chair in 2005, Bonney ally Ron Churchill, and school board candidate Cathy Cena, who was a regular on Bloy's campaign.

Hilford's nomination was not the first one to be bought in political history and will not be the last, but it may be the only one to document a mass membership buy.

Put the TEAM First

Former TEAM Burnaby mayoral candidate turned TEAM Burnaby campaign manager Brian Bonney has found himself in some trouble over in Coquitlam, where he seems to have also been involved in that municipality's civic election.

It appears that a civic elector organization know as Coquitlam First, the first slate in that municipality in several elections, registered to run candidates. Coquitlam First, however, failed to register on time and was not allowed to put its name on the ballot. As a result of not being an official part of the electoral process the group did not have to make a financial disclosure filing. This has caused a bit of a tempest in a teapot over in Coquitlam.

About a week ago in The Vancouver Sun, council member Richard Stewart was profiled in the West Coast section saying that the group plans to run candidates again in the 2008 elections. In that same blurb, Stewart denied plans to seek the mayor's chair.

Meth night

Burnaby-Willingdon MLA John Nuraney is holding a community forum on crystal meth this Friday at Crystal Mall.

Being the scary drug of the moment, crystal meth should be able to be a topic that can russle up a sizable crowd for the BC Liberal politician on a Friday night.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Burquitlam MLA Harry Bloy has picked another fight with the NDP. Bloy made a statement on municipal accountability to voters and made a big fuss over the Gateway Program, which is quite unpopular in Burnaby, which does not have as much to gain from the expansion of the road network as communities like Surrey.

Bloy singled out NDP MLAs from Burnaby and Coquitlam for not responding to his remarks. He believes this is bad government, by both the NDP and their municipal counterparts.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sign War?

The Burnaby Now reported earlier this week that the sign war is not over. Former council member Victor Stusiak went before council to ask them to reconsider their recent decision to ban signs from public property.

The new sign by-law is similar to one in Vancouver. In Vancouver the city removes election signs from public property at the candidate's expense. On occasion this has led to some controversy.

Generally, opposition is sporadic as many on the right believe that the ban helps them as fewer NDP partisans own homes where lawn signs can be placed, while the left believes cutting back on the right's ability to outspend them on signage is beneficial.

Perhaps there are no losers in this battle. There certainly is a winner: the poor fellow who puts up and takes down the signs in the pouring rain of a Burnaby winter.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Burnaby money in Vancouver

While we still await to hear from The Newsleader and The Now later this week with Burnaby's election results, Vancouver's figures are already up online. Two Burnaby residents, Ray Power and Ronald Leung, sought office in the big city to our west.

Power did not spend a cent seeking the mayor's chair.

Leung of the Non-Partisan Association spent far more than most, at $49,251.75, in his council bid. One of the more interesting contribution statistics was a $15,000 candidate fee to run as a member of the NPA. (Parks board candidates and school trustee candidates paid lower fees. Mayoral candidate Sam Sullivan paid nearly a quarter million dollars in candidate fees to the NPA.) Leung raised $49,452.30 from 109 contributions.

If only other municipalities had the common sense put their filings online.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Show me the money

Today, Burnaby's 2005 municipal filings were due for release for mayor, council, parks, and elector organizations. Spending appears to be up from TEAM Burnaby. Independent Chisholm seems to have spent a fair bit of money on signage. The Burnaby Citizens had some big support from labourers in their corner to pull out a victory in the city's closest race in a decade and a half.

Please provide your insights and insider information that the filings leave out in the comments.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


New Abbotsford MP Ed Fast was reportedly in Burnaby this past Saturday for a gathering of Lower Mainland Conservative leadership. Fast was filling in for his riding's regular representative who was rumoured to be vacationing after a hard fought campaign (if Abbotsford Conservative campaigns can be called hard fought).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Julian in crosshairs of conservative blogger

Burnaby-New Westminster second-term NDP MP Peter Julian has been leading the battle cry (amongst elected officials) against David Emerson's preemptive floor crossing to stay in Cabinet. Now conservative blogger Stephen Taylor is pointing out Julian's inconsistencies. Julian is continuing to criticize Stephen Harper as partisan regarding ethnics despite Harper offering up the ethics job to former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, who had to decline the post because he is looking after his ailing wife. Broadbent is a noted critic of current ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Burning bridges with the Greens

Rumour has it that Burnaby area Green Party members gathered this past weekend to discuss issues relating to the Gateway Program. The general consensus out of the meeting is that the environmentalist wing of the party (is there another wing of the Green Party?) got their way and are pushing forward with their more environmentally friendly plan which does not include more bridges and roads for those nasty, air-polluting automobiles.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The war of words and its ink-stained casualties

The letter war of 2006 has been a heated on in Burnaby's two local papers. With BC Liberals and TEAM Burnaby supporters on one side and the NDP and the Burnaby Citizens Association on the other size, the battle lines have been drawn in the ink. Burnaby Hospital, the Gateway Program, and School Trustee Richard Lee's comments on industrious Asian school children have been at the heart of the battle for several weeks.

BC Liberal John Nuraney and NDPer Raj Chouhan have fired the latest round letters on the Burnaby Hospital issue which became a story when frustrated councilor Garth Evans of TEAM made an issue of it at council a month ago.

The Gateway Program, the road and bridge expansion program of BC Liberal rising star cabinet minister Kevin Falcon, has been a heated one throughout the region. In Burnaby, ex-BCA turned TEAM (with several stops in between) councilor Lee Rankin is leading the pro-expansion cause. The anti-Gateway side has been fairly quiet but the pro-expansion forces are writing letters in quantities usually only seen when an organized letter writing campaign (a technique oft-rumoured to be used by Burnaby-area Liberal organizers) is underway.

Richard Lee (School Board edition) sparked the biggest letter war with his comments about Asian students and academics that Kathy Corrigan challenged as inappropriate. Since then people have been piling on along party lines with past candidates, supporters, and even a candidate's child sounding off on the issue.

Thankfully, Burnaby has not been the site of any floor-crossings lately or the partisan letters section would take up the entire paper.