24 Hours: Vision burns Victoria

Post by Mike Klassen in

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Check out this week's 24 Hours column on City/Provincial politics

Just a quick plug for a few recommended columns for CityCaucus.com readers. First, be sure to check out the latest edition of 24 Hours newspaper and my column on the growing friction between the City of Vancouver and Victoria. I ask, was Minister Rich Coleman suckered by Gregor Robertson? (see web version). Coleman's a smart politician, but it sure feels like he got a raw deal from the Vision agitators trying to take his government down.

In an earlier column I proposed that Gregor Robertson actually lead his caucus, and get Vision to stand down on their nasty, BCTF-sponsored attacks. Apparently Gary Mason also thought it was a good idea, and you can read his column, Schoolhouse rocked: B.C. cracks down on a renegade board.

Maybe Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who leads the Vision Vancouver party that Ms. Bacchus and some of her board colleagues represent, should try to moderate a peace accord. After all, he’s got some skin in this game too. Failing that, my guess is this board is likely gone soon.

Clearly the advice of Mason and Klassen was not heeded, given the actions of city council and park board in support of toppling the Campbell government.

Also, for those who've been watching the frustrating mess generated by Patti Bacchus and the Vision/COPE school board, I highly recommend reading a thoughtful response by NPA Trustee Carol Gibson, published in today's Vancouver Sun. In The VSB controversy: What the real public needs to know Gibson points out that Bacchus only won her seat with a slim 16% support of registered voters. She says that coordinated (by BCTF) communications campaigns are not really representative of the will of ALL parents and stakeholders. We must listen to everyone, says Carol, not just the noisemakers on the Vision/COPE board.

By all accounts the meeting held on Tuesday morning between the VSB trustees and the Minister of Education was a disaster thanks to Patti Bacchus' bullying tactics. At the beginning of the meeting Minister MacDiarmid let the participants know that they only had 45 minutes to discuss the C-G report findings, as she had a commitment in Richmond.

MacDiarmid stated to the group, "so are you dismissing all the findings of the Comptroller-General's report?" Bacchus proceeded to launch into a 40-minute monologue reading from a draft response to the C-G's report that had not been read, vetted or approved by other members of the board. Bacchus continually cut off the Minister, and ran down the clock.

It was an unproductive gathering, to put it mildly. Minister MacDiarmid, who has kept her poise throughout all these proceedings, described the meeting as "difficult". Outside the meeting Bacchus tried to suggest that she had been cut short, but in reality the Minister reminded the Chair about how much time was left on the clock.

For the VSB it's a bit of a death watch now. They're itching to be fired and made into martyrs. Bacchus is hinting that she'll mount a recall campaign against the Minister in Vancouver-Fairview.

Well, folks, I guess this is what we bought into when we voted for Vision.

- post by Mike

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