Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Orchard picks Saskachewan

Rumoured Burnaby-New Westminster Liberal candidate David Orchard is heading home to Saskachewan.

Orchard has announced that he will run in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River where a by-election is due to be called by the end of February. The seat was vacated this summer when first-term Liberal MP Gary Merasty left Parliament a year and a half into the term.

This is an intriguing for several reasons. First Merasty, a Michael Ignatieff supporter, quits, much like fellow Iggy backer and former Vancouver-Quadra Liberal MP Stephen Owen did a month earlier. Second, Orchard is credited as a kingmaker of sorts to Stephane Dion who was able to use the Orchard delegates at last December's leadership vote to slide into third place ahead of Gerard Kennedy, one of the freshest faces in the leadership field. That move allowed Dion to gain support from people who could not support either Ignatieff or Bob Rae, the other frontrunner. Finally, the always controversial Orchard is being forced to contest the nomination. Given the key organization role Orchard played in Dion's victory Dion must be making an effort to let Orchard be identified as the Liberal membership's candidate rather than his candidate - just in case the Saskatchewan farmer's campaign does not mesh well with Dion's Liberal Party in the heavily aboriginal northern riding.

As for Burnaby, we have lost yet another Liberal hopeful - first Joyce Murray manager Gerry Lenoski stepped aside then ex-NDP Steve McClurg followed fast on his heels and now David Orchard. What does Lily Harvey, a businesswoman with degrees in engineering and business, need to do for the party to let her stand as a candidate against NDP incumbent Peter Julian?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Breaking up the band

Is Gary Begin on his way out of TEAM? The Burnaby Now suggests that may be the case despite denials from the civic party.

Does this matter for the longtime local politician or can he survive as an independent or as a key part of a reestablished Burnaby Voters' Non-Partisan Association?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Imagine all the people

The BC Liberals are cooking up some visioning events. This Saturday they hit Burnaby with Imagine 2020. The event goes from early afternoon until evening at the Accent Inn.

The agenda includes Burnaby-Willingdon MLA John Nuraney talking about Aboriginals, Aging, Atmosphere and Asia, carefully branded as the 4As. Burnaby councillor Lee Rankin makes an appearance to discuss local government reform. The participants are going to have to come up with ideas about what the province should look like in 2020.

For a start, let's try this Conan O'Brien style: In the year 2020... British Columbia will:

  • have seen Carole James out of public life for 11 years;

  • be preparing to bid for its next international event 34 years after Expo and 10 years after the Olympics; and

  • have succeeded at bringing order to the longstanding violent gang problem in Surrey and by then the province's second largest city Vancouver.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


The City of Burnaby's computer system could fast be becoming a boondoggle. An investment that originally cost a more than reasonable $3.9-million has grown to more than six times that figure, in part due to an excessively low bid on the contract.

If unified and organized, a strong case could be made by TEAM Burnaby to try some new leadership at City Hall a year from now as much like the computer system being replaced the Burnaby Citizens' Association has had been running the city for two decades.