Flower Power: Jasper echoes Dion in a recent CityCaucus.com attack
City Hall watchers are saying that Park Board chair Aaron Jasper "pulled a Meggs" by calling into Bill Good Show yesterday to confront CityCaucus.com's Daniel Fontaine on the subject of Vision's decision to close the Bloedel Conservatory without any public input. "Pulling a Meggs" refers to the time that Mayor "Geoff" Meggs called into the Bill Good Show to dispute Fontaine directly – a move most people agree that embarrassed Meggs and his caucus.
Jasper's statement contained eerie echoes of former Liberal leader Stephane Dion, who bristled at criticism of his policies. The now infamous exchange between Dion and Michael Ignatieff was used by the Conservatives as part of their attack ads. Dion probably regrets blurting out, "Do you think it's easy to make priorities?!" In other words, leadership is tough, babe.
On yesterday's Bill Good Show civic affairs panel with Daniel Fontaine and Frances Bula, Jasper got a bit of a rough ride from the host and the panelists on Vision's hasty decision to shut the Bloedel Conservatory down, and the eleventh hour move to bring in a private operator for the public building. Jasper used the old political finger pointing tactic, blaming previous NPA and COPE commissions for their lack of investment in the facility. Fontaine reminded the listeners that the Conservatory has been impeded by Canada Line construction and aquifer upgrades.
Jasper then stated, "everybody's now on the bandwagon because they see it's the issue, and I understand it's easy when you're in opposition, but we're making some tough decisions." (listen to quote below or d/l mp3)
In other words, leadership is tough, babe, so get used to Vision's decision.
Of course, this is the same Aaron Jasper who made promises to get elected that he's since backed away from, and trashed the previous government at every turn along with his pals in the West End Residents Association. Now that he's governing the Park Board, Jasper has done some serious backpedaling on a number of issues, such as the commitment to keeping open the Mount Pleasant pool & community centre, and taking the Queen E Park Celebration Pavilion away from its private operator and handing it over to CUPE.
But as Jasper now has to admit, it's
not easy to make priorities easier when you're in opposition.
- post by Mike