Tag Archives: Kennedy Stewart

Another Side Glance With Al Tee: Politics & Robo Kennedy

18 Oct

RoboKennedy (2)Kennedy Stewart wants to save us. He wants to save us from the NPA, Kinder Morgan, and big money influence at City Hall. I know this to be true because the four robo-calls I got from him said so. Kennedy Stewart also sent me a mailing, dropped off a handbill at my door, and opened a campaign office in my neighborhood. He really wants to save us.

Why?

Why does a guy who has represented Burnaby federally since 2011, now need to be our mayor? Has he solved all federal related issues in Burnaby South? Or will federal NDP leader Jagmit Singh – soon to be parachuted into Stewart’s Burnaby seat – provide a better level of understanding and representation for the issues facing Burnaby?  Kennedy Stewart has been around politically since he ran federally and lost to Hedy Fry back in 2004. But he’s never run for a civic position in Vancouver. Not School or Parks Board nor City Council.

For a guy who claims a long relationship with Vancouver, he’s been noticeably absent from city politics. Generally people who run and become mayor have some kind of political or civic involvement. I think the last guy that ran for mayor who didn’t have that connection was Bill VanderZalm. Come to think of it, didn’t Christie Clark try and run for Vancouver mayor in 2005?

To be clear, I am not comparing Kennedy Stewart to two often loathed former politicians. I’m just saying I find something about his whole candidacy improbable. I’m reminded of a guy angling for the nice corner office with a view.

But of course I’m wrong. I must be. A form letter included in my Kennedy package mail out, was from vaunted East Van political warrior Libby Davies. She says we need Kennedy’s leadership in Vancouver and that I should dig deeper to support him. How deep? How about $200?

Kennedy plans to build 60,000 units of various types of residences in the next 10 years. Anyone who’s ever been involved with any kind of home reno knows, it’s usually longer than you predicted and more expensive. Still, you got to applaud his problem solving confidence which he has according to one of his pamphlets because;

“ I know cities. “

You know who else knows cities? People who live in them. People who live in this city don’t like it when their garbage isn’t collected. They don’t like it when there’s problems with transit. They don’t like annoying neighbors who break by-laws or make by-law complaints. People especially don’t like it when the whole town shuts down because it never seems prepared to handle a dump of snow. People don’t like it when traffic speeds down their street cause the city refuses to put in a roundabout or a few speed bumps. People don’t like it that there’s less free parking on public streets.

It’s one thing to be in Ottawa putting up motions, it’s a whole other thing dealing with contentious building projects and people protesting outside your home. Not to mention the irate citizen with a tax beef who accosts you in the lobby of city hall.

Kennedy Stewart most likely will be the next mayor and maybe if I talked to him I’d see things differently. Unfortunately after 4 robo-calls I’ve heard enough. But in fairness to Kennedy, I did get 2 robo-calls from Ken Sim and one from one of those Vancouver parties. I won’t vote for them either.

By Contributing Writer Al Tee

Side Glance With Al Tee: Civic Election Edition – The Top Twenty?

17 Oct

AlTeeSideGlanceTopTwentyLess than a week away and there are enough candidates running for mayor on the random ordered ballot to stage a basketball tournament. In fact, that’d be my suggestion for whittling down the number of candidates for mayor. Divide them up into four teams, play some round robin hoop, and the team with the most wins is the 5 people who get to be on the ballot. Simpler for the voters and more entertaining. Who wouldn’t want to see Wai Young dish to Fred Harding who then dunks on Ken Sim? Of course my suggestion is not treating city politics seriously and this election is serious business. It’s Vancouver’s most important in a generation, or at least that’s what it says in the mailing I got from the Kennedy Stewart campaign.

Twenty, yes twenty people want to be your mayor. Are they the twenty smartest, most imaginative, learned, insightful people in Van City? The top twenty? You decide. The candidates run the gamut from front runner Kennedy Stewart to Roller Girl and among the things all 20 have in common is a solution to our affordable housing issues.

The problem is, what exactly is affordable and what does it look like? The livable wage – that which covers your monthly expenses – is $20.91 an hour in Vancouver. Assuming you’re fortunate enough to have full time work, and are only spending 30% of your income a month on housing, you’re still looking at a minimum $1,000 per month.

What do these 20 good people, who feel you should pay them to sit in the big chair at 12th and Cambie, think a minimum $1,000 should get you? Six hundred square feet? Four hundred square feet? A half a shipping container? A studio in a forty story rabbit hutch beside a Skytrain station ?

My suspicion is that in the end affordable, presuming you’re making a livable wage, is the market rate.  Just once I’d like to hear a candidate say;

“ It’s too late. We need to focus on transit. Improve transit cause
people have to live farther out. “

Of course any candidate for mayor who would say that, would never make the top twenty.

By Contributing Writer Al Tee

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