Seven Vancouver councillors off to Harrison Hot Springs

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

12 comments

harrison.jpg
Harrison Hot Springs will play host to a number of Vancouver City Councillors

Is it any wonder with all the attention being paid to the Olympics and BC's latest budget, that a small report seeking funding approval to send seven Vancouver city councillors to Harrison Hot Springs received little attention?

Earlier today Mayor Gregor Robertson and his colleagues rubber stamped a request by councillors Geoff Meggs, Ellen Woodsworth, Kerry Jang, Heather Deal, George Chow, Tim Stevenson and David "Carbon" Cadman to receive funding to attend a "Resilient Communities" conference at Harrison Hot Springs. The conference is organized by the Columbia Institute. The Institute is a national charitable organization established by Working Enterprises, a group of companies owned by the labour movement.

Last year when city budget's were being frozen and plans were being hatched to layoff staff, we reported that councillors Geoff Meggs and Heather Deal received funding to attend another Columbia Institute conference at Harrison. The topics for that conference raised a few eyebrows in the media. They included:

  • How Big is Your Wand?"
  • "Building an Economy of Enduring Happiness"
  • "Setting priorities and getting them done"
  • "Supply Chain Activism"
  • "Living wage - What is a living wage?"

This year some of the workshops appear much tamer:

  • Surviving and Thriving at Council and School Board
  • Prosperity for Everyone: Poverty Reduction and Living Wage Initiatives

Sending councillors to attend workshops and conferences may be money well spent, but you have to wonder if it was necessary to send seven of them.

In these days of budget cutbacks, perhaps having two councillors (as was done last year) attend might send a better message to taxpayers and staff. Surely two representatives could have participated in the sessions then reported back to council with their new found wisdom. We're all looking forward to seeing the seven reports submitted to council by each of the elected officials on how they plan to "thrive" and "survive" the remaining months of this term. Should be interesting.

12 Comments

I would be interested to know the costs involved for each of them. Time for an FOI, Daniel?

Why is Vision (and COPE) being so ironic and hypocritical to attend to such a luxurious hotel when they were playing champions of non-luxury politics during the Sam Sullivan mayorship? Really, who are the people who want luxury more than others now? None other than Gregor Robertson, Cadman and Co. It seems fitting now that we can start calling the left luxury-seekers and give kudos to none other than the hard-working Councillor Suzanne Anton.

How cute, it's like a Bilderberg meeting for commonfolk.

"hard working councillor Suzanne Anton"

So our good socialist progressive overlords like their luxuries eh ?

Some pigs are created more equal than others.

George was correct.

Of course this does seem to be a waste of money, but we have to accept that elected officials have to attend some conferences. We can argue about how many, but I suspect that we are getting to the point where any time away from City Hall will be labelled "extravagent".

This is also a quiet time for Harrison so will probably give a few people there employment. Let's keep track of what our officials are doing but let's not just have a knee-jerk reaction to everything.

AVS, you make some good points. But seven councillors to Harrison Hot Springs? Really hard to find a way to justify that one when they are laying off staff.

I can not understand Why 7 people need to go to Harrison Hot Springs, cost of hotel rooms,gas, away from tour work at the hall, only 2 at the most need to attend.

Well I hope they get a really big wand to magic up some money to pay for all their follies and entitlements.

Anyone who has been to one of these types of gatherings knows that they are 90% BS. In fact in many cases I can think of, BS stands not for ungulent waste product but for Boozy Shagfest. I'm not suggesting this will be the case for our councillors, of course, they will simply be receiving the regular ego massage and inflation of their self importance.

Unfortunately I know exactly where that wand is going and I'm not looking forward to the experience.

Congratulations on your Olympic work and getting back to the serious business of shining light in dark corners.

TJ- yes I think that the number of councillors going could be deemed too many, but the cost is $425 per councillor which comes out of their travel budget for 2010, so they were probably going to spend the money on something else if not that.

Again, there can be arguments about what the budget should be, and how it's spent, but well done for City Caucus for highlighting it as it certainly should be discussed.

I take that as a mockery of my comments...?

There really seems to be a grossly negligent lack of checks and balances with the City of Vancouver. A general attitude of not being accountable to anyone pervades the entire organization. It's sickening and needs to be addressed.

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