Saturday, January 27, 2007

Let's see how big of a scandal this can become

The Burnaby Now is reporting that a joint meeting of Burnaby's councillors, MLAs, and MPs produced a bit of profanity from Nick Volkow. Volkow told MLA Harry Bloy to read a book and get with the program with some other colourful words.

Volkow, whose first name is a mild Australian curse word, has not publicly apologized to Bloy. Bloy is asking for a public apology after thinking about Volkow's remarks over the holidays.

At least Burnaby politicians are still a long way from turning each other's names into vulgarities like was done to former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. However, if they wanted to make council meetings on Shaw a bit more popular they could start.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One down, four to go?

About a year ago this time tonight Burnaby returned its two MPs, Bill Siksay and Peter Julian.

Will they still be there a year from now? Because there was another election?


Monday, January 22, 2007

Julian vs. the Liberals

Last week the Liberals picked a new shadow cabinet and it was huge. Burnaby NDP MP Peter Julian took the Liberals to task for ignoring BC, claiming that BC Liberal MPs had only one of the top 36 portfolios, Ujjal Dosanjh with foreign affairs.

Poor Don Bell and Hedy Fry with Gateway and the Olympics, respectively. It looks like their critic roles are not important to the Burnaby-New Westminster MP who is critic for Gateway and the Olympics himself.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

(BC) Liberals Wanted for Burnaby-New Westminster - Apply Within

Candidates' names are being thrown around like darts in the Liberal race for Burnaby-New Westminster. So far three names out in public are all former BC Liberal candidates.

The first and most widely speculated name being thrown about is that of former Burnaby-Edmonds one-term MLA - and minister very briefly - Patty Sahota. Sahota represented the area so this could be why she is the most highly touted of the ex-provincial politicos for the riding. Given the strength of the NDP, Sahota might be better off trying to resume her electoral career on city council in 2008.

Second is ex-Vancouver city councillor Daniel Lee, who is best remembered for clutching defeat from the jaws of victory in 2001 when he was giving mixed messages in English and Chinese media. Lee could be a potential contender until a brave Conservative or Green candidate blames Lee for returning Joy MacPhail to the legislature in 2001, which could turn many right of centre Liberal voters off this candidate.

The best candidate rumour is that of former minister Joyce Murray. Murray ran in 2006 as the Liberals' stopgap candidate in neighbouring New Westminster-Coquitlam. The personal blame she received for St. Mary's Hospital closing was probably the main reason this otherwise highly qualified candidate was treated as damaged goods. Given the hospital site was in the other New Westminster riding, Murray may fare better in the predominantly Burnaby riding. Unfortunately for Murray Peter Julian's 2004 campaign was spent attacking the BC Liberal linked Liberal and Conservative candidates for St. Mary's and Julian won a fairly close three way race. Now that he is headed for his third election in the riding the scrappy Julian could bring back the St. Mary's issue for an encore tour against the former New Westminster MLA.

Sahota, Lee, and Murray make for interesting choices but except for Sahota's years in Burnaby, there appears to be little connection to Burnaby. Adding fuel to the fire, maybe the Liberals should consider pursuing a Burnaby councillor - two of the three non-NDP leaning councillors have taken runs at senior levels of government, maybe it is time for first-term councillor and regular letter to the editor contributor Garth Evans to shoot for the stars or at least the federal seat.

After two elections in a row without one of the three top vote getting candidates being from Burnaby maybe it is time for the members of the Liberals or the Conservatives to put up a candidate who will look out for Burnaby... first.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wrong level of government week (part 2)

According to today's Vancouver Sun, Burnaby-Edmonds NDP MLA Raj Chouhan was involved in Jack Layton's Komagata Maru announcement today in Surrey.

Much like city hall not having final say over property assessments, opposition MLAs will not decide what response, if any, there will be to the 93-year-old Komagata Maru episode. Then again who opposes making political hay with an issue that belongs to a different level of government?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Property assessments up 23 percent!

Property value assessments are up across the province. In Burnaby, the increase is 23 percent.

Chances are many Burnaby property owners will be taking their complaints to city hall to get their properties reassessed, in hopes of their property not having a taxable increase of 23 percent. Given the enormous jump, municipal officials across the province will likely be busy over the coming weeks as British Columbians cry foul over the sizable jump in assessed values in the lead up to the 2010 Olympics.