NDP apparatchik Neil Monckton & COPE 378's Mike Bruce on Flunging Pictures' Flickr page
A union heavyweight has resigned in a huff from the Vision Vancouver party in what many observers are referring to as "Pulling a Tzeporah." The story about former Vision board member COPE 378's Mike Bruce's resignation from the civic party was scooped by crack reporter Sean Holman over at Public Eye Online and subsequently carried by the Globe and Mail (kudos, Sean!).
"Pulling a Tzeporah" refers to Tzeporah Berman, who during the recent Provincial election campaign wrote a letter to BC NDP leader Carole James condemning their policy on BC's carbon tax. It subsequently became a front page story that dogged the NDP through the rest of the campaign. Bruce's resignation is being seen as a significant repudiation by big labour in Robertson's government.
In a strange twist, Mike Bruce publicly disparaged Ms. Berman for her actions, call her "our generation's Patrick Moore," in reference to the famous Greenpeace ex-member who went on to become an environmental contrarian. Bruce blasted Berman in a Twitter post which caught the attention of the Georgia Straight and thus began the debate on which side was more principled: unions promoting their own interests in keeping power projects public, or environmentalists determined to reduce our region's carbon footprint.
Bruce took another shot at Berman's credibility in this comment:
What isn't mentioned here is that when Tzeporah says she is not taking money from IPPs, they nonetheless were the principle attendees and funders of PowerUp's recent fund raising event in Vancouver. They paid $450 per ticket. $450.
Just sayin'... you be the judge.
Other commenters upset with Bruce's aggressive attack on Berman shot back at him:
Who's paying you Mike Bruce? Members of the BC Hydro union through their dues? Makes you wonder if the union membership is ok with the aggressive approach their "elected representatives" are taking with their money.
For Vision watchers it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to see this kind of rift between the union boys and the green gang that Gregor represents. We've noted in the past that Vision Vancouver is an awkward coalition at best. Add the fact that Mike Bruce was a devoted Raymond Louie backer for the Mayor's job in 2008, working alongside Neil Monckton on Louie's failed $240,000 nomination campaign, and you begin to see his support of the Mayor may have been a tenuous affair.
COPE 378 were the geniuses who effectively spiked Carole James' chances at becoming Premier with their heavy-handed anti-Gordon Campbell advertising (note: all the "MoveForwardBC" videos and website are now taken off the web). Instead of trying to persuade mainstream voters that they were an alternative to Campbell's BC Liberals and could govern, they hurled relentless personal attacks at Campbell.
When not taking jabs at Berman, Bruce regularly used his Twitter to deride BC's Premier, such as with this post:
Is gordo laughing ? Wow. You are a prick. Prick prick prick. #bcelection
Mike also sends CityCaucus.com the occasional query via Twitter, and as it happens it concerned our post about the Mayor's plug for Gordon Campbell:
@citycaucus but when mayor smooches gordo's arse it's ok? Which vision councillors upset?
So now it looks like Mayor Gregor has some fence-mending to do this summer, while his party's former board member actively campaigns against him:
I will be encouraging other members to do the same and leave Vision Vancouver.
You, however, have lost my confidence and my support. This is not solely because of your remarks surrounding Gordon Campbell. Instead, my decision is based on the tremendous disrespect and contempt that you have shown to these councillors, the Vision Vancouver membership, the good people who are working on the Vision Executive, and the people who voted for you.