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.