President Barack Obama provides a White House welcome for President David "Carbon" Cadman during his recent visit to Washington, D.C.
In an earlier post, CityCaucus.com was able to expose that COPE Councillor David "Carbon" Cadman had been flying around the world on taxpayers expense. We also reported that despite not being a member of the Metro Vancouver Board, Carbon Cadman was able to claim almost $60K in "directors fees" while undertaking his foreign junkets. All the while, he was missing numerous council and committee meetings to meet his international obligations. If you want to read our first post on this subject which provides a detailed list of his travel and reimbursement claims since 2005, click here.
In today's Vancouver Sun, Miro Cernetig, one of the best columnists in town, let his readers know about his displeasure with all of Carbon Cadman's international activities. Here's an excerpt from his column in this morning's paper:
Now, this kind of high-level engagement will come at a price, dear voter. As ICLEI president, Councillor Cadman has chalked up some hefty bills over the last four years, jetting from the Ivory Coast to Bali to Kyoto and other locations on our behalf. He's submitted more than $100,000 in travel expenses and fees to Metro Vancouver and the City of Vancouver over that period, which you can find detailed on the citycaucus.com website, run by Non-Partisan Association loyalists. They obtained the material through a freedom of information application.
There's another cost, too. Time. When you travel more than most federal cabinet ministers, as he does, a guy gets stretched awfully thin, which Cadman readily admits.
Feeling a bit battered and bruised over our blog entries, Cadman was quoted in the recent COPE newsletter defending his international activities:
A note from David Cadman on his work with ICLEI
As many of you know, for the past six years I have been elected to the International Executive Board, as one of three North American Representatives, to ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. I served my first three-years term as International Vice-President, my second term as International President and have been re-elected for a third three year term as International President.
ICLEI has over 1100 member cities around the world representing about 35% of the world's population. As cities now represent 50% of the world's population, soon to be 75%, ICLEI has stepped forward as a coordinating voice for cities at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention of Biodiversity and the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Currently our major focus is to achieve a post Kyoto Protocol agreement in Copenhagen this December. To this end, ICLEI has been working to develop a common position for cities: that we have to reduce our carbon emissions 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050. This is now the common position signed on to by ICLEI, the C40 (the 40 largest cities in the world), United Cities and Local Governments-a federation of 143 federations of municipalities from as many countries, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change, Metropolis and several other regional and continental groupings of municipalities from around the world.
Now, we are pressing for an agreement in Copenhagen that reflects these commitments and more importantly to get municipalities to develop in more energy efficient and more public transit friendly ways. We are also playing a key role in preserving Urban Biodiversity, making ethical and sustainable procurement the way that cities do business. ICLEI is working on water conservation and introducing the concept of Eco-Budgeting, where, in adopting a financial budget, cities also adopt and fund ecological goals and priorities.
I have just returned from Washington, DC where, as Chair of ICLEI USA, we brought 240 delegates from cities around the country to lobby the White House and the House and Senate Energy Committees to develop clear goals and targets to be adopted before Copenhagen in December. The goal is to give the Obama administration a level of comfort going forward to sign an agreement knowing there is congressional support. In Europe, we have been working very closely with the European Union to adopt our 220 European city delegates’ position on ethical and sustainable purchasing as the European standard.
All of these commitments mean that I do occasionally miss council meetings which I regret and apologize for, but I think many COPE members and Vancouver residents at large, would agree that moving the global environmental agenda forward at this time in the world's history is something worthy of every municipality's efforts and attention. I feel very fortunate and proud to have been able to contribute on the world stage and hope you too feel this contribution is as important as I do and that I am bringing value back to Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.
It's good to see that Carbon Cadman has decided to provide a written report back justifying his activities. Since our first post on this subject, more than a few folks contacted us to advise us that Cadman rarely provides written reports to either Metro Vancouver or the City of Vancouver regarding how tax dollars are being used to fund his international activities.
Everyone at CityCaucus.com headquarters raised their coffee cups in a collective cheer when they read Cernetig's closing paragraph:
I have some advice for Councillor Cadman. Stop worrying about a few missed council meetings. In the scope of things, that's trivial. Just quit and do the international thing full-time. The world needs you, Mr. President. We in the City of Vancouver will just have to sacrifice and settle for a full-time city councillor who stays at home to look after the potholes.