Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moving too far forward, a third party group run by a COPE union local, is trying to make its impact through humour about Gordon Campbell.

Although the BC Liberal government is no laughing matter to hardline union activists, their videos such as Gordon Campbell Hates You and Gordo Five-o are making an impact. The Gordo Five-o one may hit Campbell a bit too hard but the pro-BC Liberal VoteSmartBC site is firing away just as hard at the NDP.

The latest MoveForwardBC video focuses on the privatization of BC Hydro. VoteSmartBC has a daily All in the Family profile of a key NDP figure that highlights their various union ties and links to previous NDP governments.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Word from the Deer Lake Pavillion was new NDP voter Rafe Mair was out in force today with Burnaby NDP candidates. The four NDPer were more than happy to have the attention and support for the former Socred cabinet minister and radio talk show host for the day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sign of development

There are a couple of property developers in Burnaby, both of whom fall into BC Liberal camp, who are fearful of putting up BC Liberal signs on the chain link fences enclosing their properties under development.

Spray panting, cutting and knocking over signs is a far to common problem in political campaigns, both from political opponents and local teens. Fear of putting signs up on properties under development due to retribution by the city seems overblown.

Former Burnaby Citizens school trustees Kathy Corrigan and Mondee Redman may have deep roots with the ruling party over on Canada Way but it is doubtful that property developers would be punished by the city bureaucrats for supporting the opponents of the BCA/NDP-affiliated politicians.

It seems surprising that developers are concerned of such actions. Does anything like this actually happen in 21st century B.C.? This is not ante bellum New York City.

Left of centre politicians are successful enough in Burnaby holding 19 of 22 public offices at the three levels of government. City hall interfering in development permits over support for the BC Liberals seems a bit over the top.

The developers should take the risk and put their signs up for the candidate of their choice.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Hateful and homophobic" Dalton doesn't condone "violence towards these people"

The NDP are calling for Marc Dalton, the BC Liberal candidate in Maple Ridge-Mission who once ran in Burnaby, to step down.

Dalton, an elementary school French-immersion teacher, made hateful remarks in an e-mail to a colleague:

I've been somewhat torn about making a response to your note to Bruce. I value maintaining a good relationship with you and all the staff and don't really enjoy jumping into a contentious issue.
As a parent of three school-aged children in public schools and as a teacher, I am very much concerned about the motions before the BCTF (B.C. Teachers Federation) presently being petitioned against.
I am not against homosexuals as people, but I do not support their lifestyle choices. I believe homosexuality is a moral issue. Most of us agree on many morals: respect, honesty, kindness. There are also many behaviours and acts that most of us would not condone: rape, robbery, assault, drunken driving, pedophilia, incest and so on.
There are other moral issues that large segments of our society do not see eye to eye: gambling, abortion, adultery, pornography. I believe that homosexuality fits in this category.
I became aware of the motions this weekend when a concerned mother of school children approached me and asked if I would get involved in some small way to see the proposals defeated. She handed me a clipping of the Vancouver Sun and some people to write.
There are many, many people who hold homosexuality to be an improper and high-risk behaviour. Though I oppose violence towards these people as well as towards all people, I am against the BCTF ram-rodding the homosexual motion against the wishes of great numbers of parents (and teachers) in this district and in this province.
Thank you for bearing with me.

NDP MLA Spencer Herbert called for Dalton's resignation and for Gordon Campbell to condemn the remarks.

Dalton has since apologized but has not resigned yet. Campbell has accepted the apology.

Word out of Liberal central headquarters is suggesting that Dalton will not be appearing at any further BC Liberal campaign events or attending all-candidates' debates.*

Dalton ran in the 2006 federal election and sought a second federal nomination in Burnaby for the most recent election but was disqualified for undisclosed reasons.

* Typo corrected - 7:51PM, April 25, 2009.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Burnaby's not B.C.'s NDP

One week into the campaign, NDP leader Carole James has spent part of nearly everyday in a Burnaby riding. Burnaby events have included visits to a school, a seniors' home, a gas station and a pub.

Given this pace, James has already spent more time in Burnaby than she will in her home riding in Victoria. Given Burnaby's location, it allows the NDP campaign to be on the ground in one of the province's main battlegrounds while remaining in the middle of the major media market. This strategy may help win the four Burnaby seats, but neglecting the Interior, north and Vancouver Island battlegrounds will make it very tough for the NDP to inch up to 43 seats.

There is talk circulating amongst NDP activists that a third consecutive defeat could give critics in caucus an opportunity to push James out shortly after May 12. This would give the NDP its seventh leader in the last 15 years.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Better get on the ballot

Given B.C.'s strong tradition of political parties for all tastes, this election does not look too exciting yet. As of this evening, candidates have less than four days to file with Elections BC to get on the ballot. At this point, 13 ridings still have just one candidate on the ballot. This will soon change, but there is no reason to cut it close now that B.C. has had fixed election dates for two elections. Of the registered parties, 25 have zero candidates registered.

In Burnaby, one eight candidates have completed the paperwork and been approved. They are:
  • Burnaby-Deer Lake: Bruce Friesen of the Greens and John Nuraney of the Liberals;
  • Burnaby-Edmonds: Carrie McLaren of the Greens and Lee Rankin of the Liberals;
  • Burnaby-Lougheed: Harry Bloy of the Liberals, Helen Chang of the Greens, and Jaynie Clark of the NDP; and
  • Burnaby North: Richard T. Lee of the Liberals.

NDP candidates Kathy Corrigan in Burnaby-Deer Lake, Raj Chouhan in Burnaby-Edmonds, and Mondee Redman in Burnaby North, Green Doug Perry in North, and Refederation BC candidate Jarelle Hepburn in Edmonds are expected to find their way onto the ballot by Friday afternoon.

If this develops as expected, Edmonds with four will have the most candidates in Burnaby. Delta South, Kelowna-Mission, North Vancouver-Lonsdale, Peace River North and Penticton already have five candidates each at this point.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A battleground? No kidding

Carole James's handlers certainly see Burnaby as a battleground. Four days in James has been in Burnaby on three of the days.

James may eventually start trying to fight for the other 81 seats but so far Raj Chouhan and the three Burnaby ladies are getting plenty of face time with James and her media pack.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The first debate

CKNW is holding a series of all-candidates' debates on the Christy Clark Show. They begin this afternoon with Burnaby-Deer Lake, one of the hotly contested battlegrounds where incumbent BC Liberal John Nuraney squares off against ex-school trustee from the NDP Kathy Corrigan.

The other three Burnaby debates on CKNW are expected next week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So what do you know about STV?

STV info sessions in Burnaby kick off tonight at McGill Library at 7:30PM. Other sessions are 7:30PM on May 4 at the Metrotown branch, 8:00PM on May 5 at the Cameron branch, and 2:00PM on May 9 at Eastburn Centre.


Carole James has been campaigning in Burnaby two out of the first three days.

Today she is at the Chevron on Canada Way at Willingdon. Plenty of reasons to do a campaign stop there - carbon tax, remand centre or the refinery.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sign of the times

NDP MLA Raj Chouhan appears to be fast out of the gate getting his signs up. It's as if someone told them there'd be an election. It seems the second time around B.C. politicos have yet to figure out how to prepare for scheduled elections.

Chouhan's people have already been out at Edmonds SkyTrain station hyping the NDP's public transit plan. This is a good move given the BC Liberals' attempt to win students' votes today with their campaign promise of a universal UPass transit pass.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don't know; don't care is at it again. The riding of Burnaby-Edmonds was called long ago for the NDP. The other three Burnaby ridings are still too close to call according to the website, yet no one seems willing to throw their two cents in on the ridings. There are only nine comments between the three ridings and only two of them have been contributed since the end of February.

Is Election Prediction a throwback to early 21st century campaigns or are people too busy with other websites to bother?

Any faster and it would be a Tweet

Carole James is done her event down at Byrne Creek school. The message is boilerplate NDP - the people vs. the powerful.

With a 17-point deficit, the money is on the powerful right now but as the next four weeks pass the James Gang, as the BC Liberals like to call them, will pick away at that with student, senior and worker issues. Many are expecting the NDP to throw out a major attack on Gordon Campbell, likely relating to his office's role in the BC Rail deal, to close the gap within the last week to ten days.

But as for today, Kamloops and Burnaby were one. James, her four Burnaby candidates, MP Peter Julian and three Burnaby councillors rallied the troops on the Burnaby end while the Kamloops crowd watched via videoconference. This was the first display of new technology during the campaign. The NDP will have NDP radio broadcasting from most of James's events and will have live streaming video from major rallies.

Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan was not in attendance but it appears that the NDP has shipped their veteran campaigners into Burnaby, particularly Deer Lake, to take down some Liberal MLAs.

James's next stop is in Vancouver tonight. Gordon Campbell goes to the Lieutenant Governor today to have the writ issued.

Campaigns are war

BC Liberal MLA John Nuraney and NDP challenger Kathy Corrigan are going at it tooth and nail on day one. Corrigan has been the subject of major media profiles and The Province today highlights it as one of the top battlegrounds.

Both factions were out in force today waving signs to morning commuters. Carole James's bus is in Burnaby for a provincewide teleconference to launch the campaign.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Retreads with a shade of green

The Greens have recycled one more candidate in Burnaby. Helen Chang will be running in Burnaby-Lougheed.

Chang was elected as a TEAM Burnaby school trustee in 2005. She lost her school board seat last fall.

Carrie McLaren ran for MP in Burnaby-New Westminster and Doug Perry ran in Burnaby-Douglas last fall. Civic political activist and frequent letter to the editor scribe G. Bruce Friesen has not run for office previously but has long been involved politically in the city.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Busy season

Before New Democrats head off to the Italian Cultural Centre to cheer on Carole James and her team next Tuesday night, they will be getting together on Saturday of the long weekend to launch the Kathy Corrigan campaign for Burnaby-Deer Lake.

Corrigan headquarters is on Imperial at Central Boulevard near Metrotown. The launch is Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4PM.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Remand unpopular elsewhere too

The list of potential sites for the remand centre is long and unpopular.

The BC Liberals have managed to make this issue a problem outside of Burnaby with just over five weeks to go until election day. Not the best of moves, unless you happen to be a BC Liberal candidate in Burnaby.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Crack a couple open at the mall

Two-term BC Liberal Richard T. Lee opens his campaign office this Sunday afternoon. Over in the southwest corner of the city, John Nuraney is also expected open his office this weekend.

Lee's office is across the street from Brentwood Mall. Nuraney's office is at Old Orchard.

Cabinet ministers are expected to put in appearances at all the Burnaby Liberal campaign office openings as winning Burnaby seats will be key to the Liberals retaining a sizable majority.