Vancouver City Council are in no mood for a fight
There were a lot of people (I'm one of them) who thought the election of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision crew meant the "official opposition" was taking up its new position at Vancouver City Hall.
I must say that on this one, at least so far, Vision has been a lot tamer than I expected considering their elected officials are all card carrying provincial New Democrats or Green Party members. Take for example the fact we are only a few weeks away from the May 12th election. By now, it was assumed the majority of left-wing politicians would have already dialed up the pre-election rhetoric.
If COPE were still in government, there would have been a plethora of motions at Council condemning the BC Liberal Government. You know what I'm talking about, it would have gone something like this:
Whereas the Premier doesn't support healthcare and;
Whereas the Premier doesn't support good education and;
Whereas the Premier doesn't support adequate daycare and...blah, blah blah
Rather than a bunch of nasty motions against the provincial government, just take a look at the docile agenda for Vancouver City Council tomorrow to get a clear understanding of what I mean. There are controversial topics such as:
- Rezoning of 6511 Granville Street
- 2010 Council schedule
- Fleet addition - sanitations
- Exploring wifi in civic buildings
There is nary a mention of how evil the provincial government is, or how Vancouver City Hall is upset about one issue or another. For this, you must give credit to Mayor Gregor "Mr. Pragmatic" Robertson.
However, I must say, Robertson's job is made much easier by the fact he is all but ignoring the likes of COPE Councillors David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth. He's also enabled call blocking on his Blackberry for former COPE Councillors Tim Louis, Fred Bass and Anne Roberts. He has enough votes (8) in the chamber now that he can effectively ignore them.
What we've been witnessing over the last few weeks is simply astonishing to local politicos of all stripes. We have a former NDP MLA, now Vision Mayor that is making effusive complimentary statements about a BC Liberal Premier - at times even appearing to be openly campaiging for Campbell.
Recently, even my fellow CKNW civic affairs panelist Jim Green had nothing but warm and fuzzy statements to make about the Premier and his record on social housing. So what are we to make of all this praise, and is it going to result in one of the quietest provincial campaigns in a decade? Don't count on it.
We're still 35 days away from Election Day, and most people in BC are still just thawing out from one of the worst winters we've seen in decades. I would expect the rhetoric is just on simmer and things could well boil over anytime now. After all, this is British Columbia where more often than not, politics appears to be a blood sport.
However, with the Mayor and people like former NDP candidate Jim Green praising the Premier, I suspect it will be a lot harder for his opponents to get any real head of steam as the voting day draws nearer.
As you can tell from our unscientific web poll, the majority of folks who are casting their ballots think that Mayor Robertson has an ulterior motive for praising Premier Campbell. And it's one that his former NDP colleagues must be gritting their teeth about now.