Candidates’ nomination papers provide a snapshot

Appeared in the North Shore News – November 4, 2016

The Old Frenchman said that a man is better revealed by his possessions than by anything he says, or claims to think or believe.

So here is a taste of the possessions of the 12 candidates in West Vancouver’s Nov. 19 council byelection – on which millions of private and public dollars may hang by the thread of a single vote (think Grosvenor) – from their required nomination papers.

Note: “Property” doesn’t include a principal residence. “Assets” and “corporate assets” are, murkily, separate entries; I’ve lumped them together. “Income” means remuneration for services – other income, from stock etc. not included. “Liabilities” don’t include residential property debt or money borrowed for household or personal living expenses. So a candidate could have a $3-million home mortgage and $75K credit card debt, not required to report. That said, here’s the list:

David Ayriss. Own financial agent. No liabilities, no income. Property: Whistler; 70 Mile Creek. Assets: shares in 22 Canadian and 11 U.S. companies and funds.

Farzaneh Bamani. Own financial agent. No assets, liabilities, income or property.

Joanna Baxter. Financial agent: Michael Preto. No liabilities or property. Income: owner, Joanna Baxter Design; employee, Hive Management Inc.

Tom Dodd. Own financial agent. No liabilities. Owns jointly with wife 466895 BC Ltd, DBA Grantham Publishing. Income: part owner/director of Grantham. Property: 2065 East Second St., Vancouver.

Tara Haddad. Financial agent: Lorana Mangali. No assets, liabilities, or property. Income: director, Aspire Math Academy and Jackson & Co. Chartered Accountants; employee, Royal LePage Sussex.

Rosa Jafari. Own financial agent. No property. Liabilities: StudentAid B.C., M. Seraj. Income: business consultant, self-employed. Assets: Rimex International Trading Co. (“not active”).

Jon Johnson. No liabilities, property or assets. Income: employee, Clairmont Camera Inc.

David A. Jones. Own financial agent. No liabilities or property. Assets and income: owner, president, Jones Custom Framing Inc.

Andrew Krawczyk. Financial agent: Robert Patterson. Assets: six bank funds. No liabilities, income or property.

Peter Lambur. Own financial agent. No liabilities. Assets and income: Peter Lambur Architect Inc.

Vernon Pahl. Own financial agent. Liabilities: left blank. Property: 5504 Marine Dr. (home address). Assets: pension and three funds. Income: partner, Guild Yule LLP.

Carolanne Reynolds. Financial agent: George Pajari. No liabilities or income. Assets: “Various corporations via mutual funds.”

Moving on: Why did the WV Chamber of Commerce schedule its meeting only three days before the election, little time for letters to the editor or other reaction?

Why is attendance only by RSVP – arguably allowing nimble factions or special interests to (already?) pack the meeting?

Ha, a mind corroded by journalistic suspicion! Leagh Gabriel, C of C executive director, crisply and quickly replied: “We chose the date because that was when Kay Meek was available.  …  Being a byelection we have no idea how many will attend so the request for RSVP is to give us an idea. If it’s a small turnout we will host it in the small studio downstairs.”

• • •

The U.S. presidential election: The undersigned fears for America’s next four, eight years – whoever wins. Scenarios:

Hillary Clinton wins. Elite Washington breathes easy. Major crisis triggers civil chaos. A young charismatic white firebrand emerges, championing angry whites and promising to restore order and make America greater than Donald Trump ever mouthed off about.

Donald Trump wins. Trump moves toward the centre, disillusioning his furious core constituency. A young, charismatic etc.

Second possibility: Trump begins carrying out his agenda – and can’t control the beast he’s unleashed. A young, charismatic etc.

Alarmism? Hope so.

U.S. columnist Ilana Mercer – who began her career in Canada, as she often acknowledges, and in this very paper – is a true original, a self-described paleolibertarian. Google “Disenfranchisement of Poor Whites Under Hillary.”

Among the points in Mercer’s blog post: Fashionable ideology considers all whites privileged. It ‘‘overlooks the descendants of poor white Southern sharecroppers who did not own slaves …  and with respect to education and income mirror those of the region’s African-Americans, with one distinction: poor whites are barred from affirmative action programs.”

Mercer isn’t alone. Under the head The Original Underclass, the September edition of The Atlantic – which passionately backs Clinton – reviewed White Trash: The 400-Year-Old Untold History of a Class in America by Nancy Isenberg.

Last words: Investment adviser Richard C. Young predicts Americans will elect Trump: ‘‘They have questions about Trump, but they know exactly who Clinton is.’’

What if a renewed FBI investigation confirms they didn’t know all? Nightmare: She’s elected. FBI recommends charges. Already the “i-word” – impeachment – has emerged.

© Trevor Lautens, 2016