Friday, September 28, 2007

RIP Carole James's leadership, 2003-2007(?)

The pro-Gateway forces are dancing on the bridge decks tonight.

Carole James may have destroyed her party south of the Fraser with her transit before Gateway comments yesterday that appeared all over the press today. From the UBCM to the Bill Good Show, James was the subject of harsh criticism. Is the NDP finally going to mutiny?

Although Derek Corrigan at points in the past may have been a top contender for the job, things are looking different now. The largest city in B.C. with a pro-NDP mayor, by far, is Burnaby. As one of the few mayors willing to challenge the Liberal government, Corrigan has name recognition as good, if not better than most NDP MLAs. However, his positions are often Carole James's positions so there would not be much of a shift for the party, except for differences in popularity of James vs. Corrigan.

The real contenders, unlike last time, will come from within caucus. Mike Farnworth and Adrian Dix are the two most discussed names, but a second tier of potential leaders also exists in caucus - David Chudnovsky, Harry Lali, Maurine Karagianis, John Horgan, and Leonard Krog. In such a field, caucus support for an outsider mayor would be limited.

For the NDP, it would be the best of both worlds. A strong mayor fighting the province from the middle of Metro Vancouver (formerly GVRD) and a fresh face on the hustings in spring '09. A gateway to the leadership is unlikely for Corrigan and if he goes for it, the road will prove to be full of potholes.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rafe lives

Opinion 250 and Tyee commentator Rafe Mair is back on the air (bandwidth?) with Rafe Live. The ex-pol and veteran CKNW broadcaster has taken to the Internet with an hour long show a few times a week. You can log in to the familiar voice at 10AM on the day of the cybercast, but the shows appear to be archived on the site as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Kwantlen, Ignatieff, and Pynenburg's husband

The Kwantlen Student Association was audited and a variety of problems were found, vindicating a campus whistleblower. Well into today's Vancouver Sun article, a Liberal riding president named Jacques Leger is mentioned. Leger, then president of New Westminster-Coquitlam, was a Michael Ignatieff supporter in the 2006 leadership race. Another Ignatieff supporter was Bilal Cheema, who had a bit part in the KSA financial problems. Cheema was asked to help bring Leger in as chief electoral officer for the KSA elections.

All of this is interesting, if not a bit unusual, but where is the Burnaby tie-in? Leger's spouse, Mary Pynenburg, is two-time Burnaby-New Westminster Liberal runner-up to Peter Julian. Last word on Pynenburg was that she was Director of Planning in Kelowna, but that city's website says David Shipclark is the acting director of planning. Could Pynenburg be back to New Westminster for her third kick at the can that is Peter Julian's seat? And what would Lily Harvey, the only declared Liberal in the race, have to say about this?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

And so they return

Raj Chouhan and his three BC Liberal Burnaby counterparts are due back in Victoria mid-October to deal with the Tsawwassen Treaty and possibly some other priorities in a fall sitting.

On the positive, a fall sitting continues the government enacting its legislation as the legislative session enters its final year and a half before Election Day 2009. Not so positive, however, is the lack of a voice for BC's third largest municipality. A compromise between the anti-Gateway city hall and the pro-Gateway BC Liberal MLAs is highly unlikely. The resulting media spat between the two opposing factions will distract both sides from doing what they are elected to do - get the best deal for Burnaby's voters.

For the lone NDP MLA things generally look positive. Chouhan's summer promotion to Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Immigration critic should get him a bit more profile which will help his hand when he seeks re-election in the traditional Edmonds territory. Chouhan's strength appears to be social justice issues and so this will allow him a chance to step up as one of the leaders in a caucus that has consistently underperformed time and again after 2005's comeback performance at the polls. Chouhan's biggest problem will be trying to stay out of the James-Dix crossfire that will likely start to claim casualties as MLAs give up in frustration and announce their intentions to pursue other career paths in the lead up to 2009. If he keeps his head down, chances are he will move on up in the NDP ranks. If he gets in the middle of the fight, he should hope he winds up on the winning side.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wikipedia edits by MLAs are boring

Given many other levels of government and several business organizations have been called out for editing Wikipedia, the user-edited encyclopedia, it's due time to call some of BC's MLAs to task. IP addresses for the legislature fall in the range of Using Wikiscanner, it can be identified that minor edits were made to the pages of Jagrup Brar and former MLA and new CKNW regular Christy Clark. Other politicians pages that have been edited from that corner of the internet include Pompey (maybe some plans by one of the front-runners for the soon to be vacant NDP leadership?). The best edit may go to Charles Osborne, a lifelong hiccuper - likely a lot more annoying than a minor poltical hiccup. What a great use of taxpayer dollars!

To their credit, the MLAs and their staff should be praised for not contributing significantly to vandalism to Gordon Campbell's and other MLAs' pages, at least on work computers.

Monday, September 03, 2007


With the Vancouver civic strike seven and a half weeks old and labour peace reigning over the rest of the (Lower Main)land, organized labour is out in force today. "Solidarity forever" can actually be heard in the background when radio reporters are filing their stories and union ads in community papers like the Burnaby Now, with 23 Labour Day ads in the Salute to Labour Unions special insert, are hard to miss.

Happy Labour Day, and enjoy the back to school traffic, and all of Burnaby's new speed bumps, during the morning commute tomorrow.