Where's Kerry? It's a real life game of "Find Someone Accountable"
"Es Gregor Robertson y Kerry Jang evitar consulta pública?" That's what we'd like to know, too. Who's going to be accountable for the HEAT mess created by Gregor Robertson and Kerry Jang? Not them if they have their druthers.
First we got reports that emails being sent to the Mayor on Burrard Bridge Monday (at firstname.lastname@example.org) were bouncing back to the senders. A coincidence? We thought so, but it sure seems strange that on a day when the Mayor thought he was going to take supreme abuse from the public (he didn't) that Vancouver's I.T. department allowed Hizonner's inbox to overflow.
Then we heard Councillor Kerry Jang was a no-show on CBC radio on Wednesday morning when the topic was the HEAT shelter calamity. Hmm. Maybe he was double-booked? Overslept? Again, we're ready to cut some slack.
There's also the matter of the 30-day "consultation" Minister Rich Coleman requested the City begin engaging in regarding the Howe Street HEAT shelter. We're 15 days into that and residents haven't been notified once about a meeting. Jang suggests that he and his colleagues are just taking their time:
"We want to make sure we do it right," Jang said. "We don't want to have a meeting where citizens just yell at you. We want to solicit actual feedback which is useful."
"Useful?" Someone might want to remind Kerry that he was elected to listen Vancouver's communities, and not pick and choose what he wants to hear and when.
Councillor David "Carbon" Cadman also joins the No Consultation Council™ chorus in a recent interview conducted for a blog run by the sister of Mayor Robertson's biggest financial backer and mentor Joel Solomon.
Here's what our jetsetting city councillor has to say about public consultation:
I think just having the guts to say we’re going to open shelters and have very low barrier shelters because we don’t want anyone to have an excuse to say they’re not going to come in. I think that was a decision that was taken very quickly. Sometimes when you make decisions quickly you haven’t done all the consultations and haven’t understood all of the ramifications.
That’s where we’re now getting the push back from South Granville people saying, “You didn’t talk to us beforehand.” And quite frankly, if we’d talked to them beforehand, they would have said, “We don’t want this in our neighbourhood.” Most people don’t want to acknowledge that homelessness is part of every community in the city. They want it to somehow just go over there.
In the same interview Cadman describes how all the decisions were made by the NPA "in a backroom" and not in Council chambers. I suspect that the famously sanctimonious COPE councillor doesn't even realize the irony in his words. What he criticized the NPA for is happening with even greater frequency under a Vision/COPE government.
Whether it's North False Creek and the HEAT shelters, or Hastings-Sunrise and the PNE governance changes, rest assured that in the months ahead the No Consultation Council™ is coming to a neighbourhood near you.