Appeared in the North Shore News – May 10, 2013
MULTIPLE sparkling, titillating items battling for top spot:
Gordon Wilson is a fascinating British Columbia study, a shrewd maverick whose feet stepped into a cow-pie or two – most visibly a marital one – but whose head arguably contains the sharpest political smarts of any practitioner hereabouts of our times.
So when Wilson announced 10 days before an election, “It’s been 20 years since I called myself a Liberal, but it’s time to come home” – listen very carefully, and read the amazing shrinking numbers for New Democratic Party leader Adrian Dix, all but anointed premier by the punditry long months ago.
On Bill Good’s CKNW show, a few days before his return to the Liberal fold, Wilson sliced Dix fine on meaty points that Premier Christy Clark’s handlers have failed to exploit.
Notably, the “backdated memo” meant to protect Dix’s then-boss and premier, Glen Clark. Wrong, Wilson asserts. He defined it as a fraudulently altered official document, which sounds much more Criminal Code-ish. Dix, who long ago openly acknowledged his mistake, recently undermined his apology by the defence that he was “only 35” at the time. A beardless youth? (I’m too kind to describe Dix’s switch on the Kinder Morgan proposal between April 11 and 23 as “Guaranteed principles: Best Before Date 11 days.”)
Wilson also noted that the Liberal deficit budgets that bubbled under devout black-ink worshipper Gordon Campbell simply mirrored similar global humiliations during the 2008’10 depression.
Maybe Liberal strategists decided that pointing this out would sound like whining, vulnerable to jeering from the cheap seats – especially if elections are no time to debate the economy, as another Campbell, the brainy Kim, declared in her disastrous 1993 federal campaign and was mocked for. (No wonder politicians speak in stale, cautious platitudes. Ralph Sultan stated that single motherhood partly explained poverty. True! But the mad leftist correct-speak police jumped on this statistical and obvious fact.)
Wilson retired from politics but remains a favourite media go-to analyst. He can only help the bouncy Christy Clark, who – as I’ve repeatedly predicted – will astonish multitudes by winning the election. If I’m wrong: It’ll be far, far closer than the wise imagined just two or three weeks ago.
“We all knew the race would tighten up,” one of the sages is declaring as I write this. Yeah, right.
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I made an executive decision not to assess or recommend North Shore candidates in this election. I attended all-candidates meetings for West Vancouver-Capilano and Sea to Sky ridings, but decided to comment only if I perceived any real duds or terminal blunders. There weren’t. This paper’s reporters commendably covered the meetings.
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They can’t win, so treading where others fear to tread is easier for Jane Sterk of the Greens and Conservative John Cummins. Both have conducted themselves well.
Especially, strong praise here for Cummins’s condemnation of a threat by the Wet’suwet’en First Nation to shut down a mine in northwestern B.C. by using road blockades or by knocking down hydro lines.
Cummins urged Clark and Dix to show leadership by joining him in his condemnation. Fat chance. . . .
Amazing timing, one among many: Liberal Mary Polak’s homosexual campaign manager, Todd Hauptman, suddenly discovers a “hateful attitude” toward gays by Langley citizens and quits a week before the election, inflicting maximum damage on a hurt and mystified friend.
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The stupidest election nonissue to date is Christy Clark’s stop-and-go drive through a red light one morning around 5: 15 a.m. – egged on by her son and dutifully recorded by (excellent) Vancouver Sun reporter Jonathan Fowlie. Any West Vancouverite driving to the ferry at that time of morning, who sits and seethes at red lights on the deserted streets, will empathize. Or do likewise. I have, once or twice, and I’m the squarest rule-follower in the Western world. . . .
Mayor Michael Smith was displeased, and he isn’t known for hiding his displeasure, by my April 26 piece slamming the proposed commercialization of the Ambleside waterfront strip between 13th and 18th.
“Unfortunately the staff report on this was somewhat misleading and as such was rejected by all of council,” Smith wrote me. Fallout possible?
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Former mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones was spotted a while ago wearing a hard hat at Park Royal – working as a consultant.
When contacted, Park Royal executive Rick Amantea said her firm, PGJ Consulting Inc., was hired for six or seven months “to help us look at and create a new neighbourhood vision . . . identifying community needs, providing input on the design of our future public grounds and social amenities and sustainability, all sorts of things.” The contract ended about three months ago.
First as councillor and then two-term mayor, retiring undefeated in December 2011, Goldsmith-Jones obviously took part in decisions affecting Park Royal interests.
You all right with that? My take: No problem on the face of it. She has marketable skills and experience and, presumably, bills like the rest of us. But some might invoke the “Caesar’s wife” argument. Apparently anticipating any raised eyebrows, Amantea noted that Park Royal “wasn’t her only client. Her firm represents interests across Metro Vancouver.” Also, “Pam and I are friends, as we’ve known each other for 15 years.”
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Chuck, not George, Walker was the gent who proposed a marina in the Ambleside Park area some years ago. I erred in my ramblings here two weeks ago.
© Trevor Lautens, 2013