"I'm a civil servant," says Penny Ballem regarding Vancouver House invitees

Post by Mike Klassen in


Penny "I don't know anything about donors" Ballem speaks with GlobalTV

Tonight was one of those GlobalTV News Hour programs that show why they're the highest rated local newscast in Canada. First of all, the show opened with exclusive video of a grizzly attack. I mean, it doesn't get much better than that. Or does it? Ted Field had a fun report on the problems BC Lions fans faced in the parking lot at the PNE on Sunday. Note to Lions fans, call the City if you're peeved about $30 parking. Just dial 3-1-1.

Then there was a crack piece of TV journalism by Marisa Thomas. She followed up on our story from early Monday on the blacked out FOI for Vancouver House. She asks City Manager Penny Ballem what a big long list of campaign donors were doing being fêted at a private party paid for by taxpayers during the Olympics. Worse yet, the City won't let us know who was on the guest list.

It was a golden TV moment watching Penny Ballem try to provide an answer to Marisa Thomas tonight on GlobalTV. It was just plain old fashioned good TV, like old Dick Van Dyke Show episodes, or SNL with Belushi as the Samurai.

Put this GlobalTV story in a vault to share with your grandkids someday. Better yet, watch it on YouTube and add it to your favourites!

- post by Mike


Looks like Penny Ballem is taking a beating. Tough eh? Talk about distancing yourself from your political masters. She is clearly covering her derriere by saying she is a civil servant. That's code for "why the hell blame me, it was the Gregor Robertson that invited all these folks to these private parties. I'm just the city manager, what do I know." Very lame.

Watched it, good stuff.

I admit, my first question was - why did 'they' put her out to take questions on this in the first place? It's not like they haven't used flaks for this sort of thing before.

She might be a "civil servant" but she doesn't mind being the heavy in trying to take away revenue sources from Vancouver's Community Associations.
These revenue sources are raised by Community Associations by organizing and providing the programs and services at Vancouver's community centres.
This area of responsibility and source of revenues, has traditionally been controlled by the city's Community Centre Associations. This practice results in hundreds of thousands of $$$ being raised and churned back into the communities, with the preponderance of this money being committed to free and low-cost programs for children, youth and persons with disabilities.
This latest initiative, by the Vision brain-trust, being carried out by henchperson Ballem, will spell the end of Community Associations. Cutting of their resources and reason d'etre will doom community associations to the dust bin.
The millions of $$$ raised by these organizations, the valuable and considerable array of programs and services offered in each and every community, the thousands of hours of volunteer services, will all become a thing of the past. Penny has told her political masters:

"Riches more than mind can picture. Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans and mangel-wurzels'
Shall be ours upon that day."

The Visionistas have not a clue as to the fight that awaits them.

I couldn't watch that video again. It made me ill the first time.

Gawd, you just gotta love those clasped hands. "Me, l'il ol' me do sumptin' wrong? Heavens to betsy no. I'm juz one of the l'il folks."

Of course, after Global TV left City Hall, Penny returned to her office, brow beating a few 'real' civil servants along the way, and firing a couple just for good measure.

Have we ever seen such disingenuousness, and almost constant display of opprobrium, by a city official?

The sooner we get rid of Penny, and her merry band of Vision mates, the better off the City will be. The November 2011 election can't come soon enough.

sickening. just sickening. I watched it and got ill thinking that vision was wining and dining labour leaders on my dime. The mayor should apologize to voters and call an early election. 2011 is way too far away.

If the public paid for the events, the public is entitled to know exactly how the money was spent.

Where is the transparency and openness promised by this council?

If they used these public facilities for private purposes shouldn't they be asked to pay rent?

Great investigative work, Mike.

I am sooooo tired of the raw, cynical hypocracy on regular display from this Bozo the Clown council.

If butt covering were an olympic sport, Ms. Ballem would win the gold medal. Nice way to leave the civic politicians dangling in the wind. She clearly wanted to distance herself from those evil vision vancouver politicians. I think Gregor may want to call her in the office and have a chat about this one.

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