Is Raymond Louie about to leave Vision Vancouver for Federal politics?

Post by Mike Klassen in

6 comments

ignatieff-louie
Iggy & Louie. Is this what the Grits have in mind for Vancouver-Kingsway?

Rumours are swirling about the imminent departure of Raymond Louie from Vancouver's left-leaning Vision Vancouver party, stepping down from his City Council seat only months after being re-elected to run for the Federal Liberal nomination in Vancouver-Kingsway.

As much as CityCaucus.com would love to post a rib-tickling April Fool's Day joke, we tend to feel that Mayor Robertson has provided enough guffaws for voters over his first 100 days at Silly Hall that we didn't need to. Ever since it was reported by intrepid provincial political reporter Sean Holman that Raymond Louie and other retired politicians Peter Ladner and Sam Sullivan recently attended the Michael Ignatieff Liberal Leader's Dinner, tongues have been wagging about whether Louie and others might resurrect themselves on the Federal scene.

Vancouver-Kingsway would be a prize catch for Louie. It would mean a big salary and benefits increase for him and his family, and virtually guarantee him a job for life. The Federal Grits really hate losing traditional Liberal ridings, and Iggy might offset some of his conservative image in the party by strategically embracing a few NDP-flavoured candidates like Louie and Mike Farnworth. Note that this strategy succeeded previously for Paul Martin when former NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh make the jump to federal politics.

Wendy Yuan, who currently holds the Liberal nomination, despite being an extremely hard-working candidate has simply by all accounts not connected with voters in the riding. She lost badly in last October's race, even to a longshot Conservative candidate, letting the NDP's Don Davies take the riding. It's safe to assume that the Grits have a new plan for Vancouver-Kingsway, that would introduce a well-known candidate and split left-leaning support in the riding to knock off the NDP.

The Federal Liberals do not need another scandal to follow them around. It has been questions about money and influence that collapsed Liberal support in Quebec. Therefore we predict that Raymond Louie will be forced to come clean on the matter of donor disclosure before making any moves. Questions about his failed $240,000 mayoral nomination campaign, and the apparent unwillingness of Vision Vancouver to release Louie's numbers to the City Clerk have dogged the incumbent Councillor since he was re-elected.

Louie's lacklustre performance in Council this term, coupled with the fact that he appears to be on the outside looking in at the Mayor's inner circle, hardly provides him with a high note to end his career at Vancouver City Hall. Note that Louie's biggest booster has been Liberal Senator Larry Campbell, who has publicly taken shots at Mayor Gregor Robertson. Politics can provide some strange twists, and it may be Louie in the end who has the last laugh.

Note, if Louie steps down it will force a costly by-election for his empty Council seat – you can add another $500,000 of avoidable expenses to the City of Vancouver's budget. While you'd think Vision with its healthy majority will shrug off the loss, they'll search high and low for a replacement to prevent the NPA from getting a second seat on Council. We expect that David Eby will be sitting by the phone waiting for the call. Currently, Councillor Anton has no seconder for her motions, and Vision would like to keep it that way.

The NPA still appear to be in a deep slumber since their November trouncing. There are no clear choices who might run for the NPA, or even COPE in a by-election. Perhaps it's an opening for Vancouver's "new" progressive party led by Tim Louis?

It will be a very interesting few months to watch this unfold. The speculation is that another Federal election will be underway before year's end.

6 Comments

Would you give it up on the Louie donation thing already....it's just untrue. Period.

When we disclosed, we gave every reporter who asked for it a copy.

You can read about it here:http://www2.canada.com/vancouvercourier/news/opinion/story.html?id=631bd9ee-f873-47d2-939e-5ef70c222731

Thanks for clearing this up, Marcella. So where exactly at the City Clerk's web page is this located in order that our readers and the public can view the signed declaration?

I wasn't aware that Mike Howell was working for the City Clerk.

Just a minute. Vancouver Kingsway is hardly a traditional Liberal riding. The NDP held it for 20 years under Grace McInnis and Ian Waddell and gave the Liberals a good run for their money in 2004 and 2006 before Don Davies took the riding back in 2008. Also, the provincial ridings encompassed by V-K are all held by New Democrats: Adrian Dix, David Chudnovsky, Jenny Kwan, and Jenn McGinn.

BTW, in 2008 Don Davies ran a very strong campaign and earned widespread support from all of the riding's many communities. Since the election, he has provided vastly better service to the constituency than his Liberal/Conservative predecessor ever did. All in all, Davies is well-positioned to hold this traditional NDP riding, no matter who the Liberals choose to run.

What a bunch of malarkey. Wendy Yuan didn't lose to the Conservative candidate...although she almost did, she narrowly beat him. And as MJ Coldwell correctly points out, Davies was a great candidate with many deep roots in the community. Anyone care to tell me how he took back a riding that was Liberal for years - one that even Waddell couldn't win? Well I will - he works his tail off and is very popular - and he's doing a fantastic job as a MP. I don't think anyone can beat him. And two things about Louie: he doesn't even live in Kingsway, he lives in Van East. Second, he has already completely squashed this rumour saying he has no intention of taking on Davies....

Where did Louie state publicly he wasn't running for the Liberals in Vancouver-Kingsway? We'd love to post that up.

Btw, you can live the riding and hardly be "from the grassroots." I live in Vancouver-Kingsway and I'd never heard of Davies before last September.

Hi, Mike:

I was just advised about this rumour and thread.

You ask when Raymomd Louie stated publicly that he wasn't running for the Liberals in Kingsway.

Well, I don't know about publicly, but I can tell you he called me personally two days ago to tell me the rumours were completely untrue.

I hope this is good enough to stop what is obviously groundless speculation at best, and deliberate mischief-making at worst.

Best regards,

Don Davies, MP

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