Tag Archives: Green Party

Side Glance With Al Tee – Why You Should Vote For Stuart For Parks Board

5 Sep

StuartMackinnonI am one of those cynical types who harbors deep skepticism towards politicians. I have never voted for a major political party’s candidate and often vote Communist or Marxist-Leninist as form of protest. Civically I generally mark an X on my ballot for the fringe and the extreme, be it Jamie Lee Hamilton or Cowboy Bob Ellis. I am telling you this so you’ll know I’m not easily swayed, and therefore genuine when I say you should vote for Stuart Mackinnon for Parks Board.

Mackinnon is a two term Parks Board Commissioner and current Board Chair who is seeking to continue to advance his belief that Vancouver’s parks pitches and pools should be places where citizens play, relax and explore. Places that allow people and nature to exist in balance. Now sure, you could argue that every candidate for Parks Board says that. But not every candidate is:

  • Still a fan of the Canadian Football League.
  • Follows Everton in the English Premier League.
  • Spent seven years teaching at the indigenous community of Nemaska in James Bay, Quebec.
  • Fought off the Vision-ista plans to close the Bloedel Conservatory in 2009.
  • Believes that the city’s parks and community centres gave him a magical childhood that everyone else’s kid should have too.
  • Has close to three decades in teaching, two of those decades as a Vancouver High School teacher. (surely a testament to one’s patience when working with groups).
  • Grew up in a conservative household – his grandfather was an MP in the 40’s and his mother once worked for House Speaker John Fraser – and came away from it with an ability to appreciate while not necessarily agreeing with the other guy’s point of view.
  • Is not out to change the name of Stanley Park or any other park in the city. His Colonial Audit merely seeks to identify places that originally had indigenous names and then let the public decide.
  • Has, unlike many Parks Commissioners before him, no political ambitions. (former Parks Commissioners have gone on to be 4 city councilors, 3 provincial cabinet ministers, 1 city mayor and one Federal MP).
  • Wears a kilt on special occasions.

This Fall’s civic election will feature a lot of first timers (including the mayor) and possibly a lot of one termers (including the mayor). Doesn’t it make sense to retain an experienced commissioner on the Parks Board?  One who not only has the political experience, but also the experience of a true Vancouverite. I’m talking swimming outdoors at public pools like New Brighton, picnicking at beaches like Spanish Banks, and walking the sidelines of pitches like Clinton Park on dreary rainy Saturday mornings. I’m talking Stuart Mackinnon for Parks.

Contributing Writer: Al Tee

A Side Glance By Al Tee ‘Voting’ Was It Worth The Cost?

23 Oct

VancouverVotesOn Tuesday October 10th while heading to see the new Blade Runner – half hour too long not noir-sh enough but one really good scene – I tried to do my civic duty and vote early at City Hall. But there was a line-up and I was not going to wait. After the movie, I tried again and there was still a line-up. Really? Donʼt by-elections usually have low voter turnout? How could this interference with my plans be happening? Turns out there ended up being only 11% participation by eligible voters.

This leads me to the question of why exactly was this expensive democratic exercise necessary? Okay, I know Councillor Geoff Meggs went off to Victoria to take an easy cash gig. But rather than spend the million plus the City dropped to elect a replacement, why didnʼt they just go down the list? Think about it. Meggs came in 10th in 2014, making him the last one on board council. Why not just give the job to the person who came in next. In 2014, Ian Robertson of the NPA was the 11th. Given that the winner of this election was Hector Bremner of the NPA, would it have made a difference? Tell me there is a difference between Bremner and Robertson? If Robertson werenʼt available, the next four closest were also NPA candidates. So in essence Meggs should have just saved us the money and trouble and picked somebody from the NPA to replace himself. The same goes with the School Board. They were fired, so just rehire them. Their term was only one more year. We are doing all this again in 2018. The money spent on the by-election could have been used for something more purposeful rather than reminding us that nobody gets elected without money. The kind of money that only comes from hitching a ride from a name brand political party. So, sorry Judy Graves and Jean Swanson. The last independent to win a council seat was Carole Taylor 30 years ago, and she was heavily connected and financed. Same thing goes to you Mary Jean Watermelon and thanks for the Robo-call. Are those really effective for getting the votes?

This by-election also has me pondering how come, with all our enlightenment and gender neutral washrooms, we have still yet to elect a transperson? Specifically how come the money parties wonʼt offer a ride to Jamie Lee Hamilton? This gal has been running forever. She deserves to be elected just for her persistence. Sadly this by-election is also a reminder that COPE the once mighty vanguards of Vancouverʼs progressive politics are on the verge of extinction. Twas self-destructive infighting that caused their decline.

But there are some positives in all this. One City, a neophyte progressive party, managed to best the money parties and steal a seat from them. Plus more Green Party seats. Keep the City green. Seriously, can we put something green in the school curriculum?  Because the school annex a block over from my place, those kids need to learn to recycle. They are our future.

By Contributing Writer Al Tee

Photo: City of Vancouver

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