The NPA is brought back to life
I'm now on the tail end of my holidays which took me out to Manitoba and Ontario this summer to visit family. I had the chance to see Niagara Falls for the first time and also spent some quality time back in the 'Peg. Besides having to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on a member of my family who got food lodged in her throat, my vacation was rather relaxing and uneventful.
On the other hand, the good folks over at the NPA apparently didn't get the memo regarding the fact they should be enjoying these lazy hot summer days. Much to my surprise, I discover the NPA are now planning no few than FOUR major events in the coming months. That's right, the political party that for the better part of two years has appeared in hibernation, is now getting organized for the next election – in a big way. These upcoming events are addition to the NPA having a significant presence at the Pride Parade and other major community events (such as the Chinatown Festival last weekend) over the last several weeks. I'm told the reaction to the NPA booths was nothing short of overwhelming.
This has not been a good summer for a couple of well known politicians in Washington and Vancouver. According to public opinion polls, President Barack Obama is in the tank. Meanwhile, the man who fancies himself as the Prez's protégé, Mayor Gregor Robertson, has also had a dreadful summer. The food cart program he promoted in the media with such fanfare is a bust. He was caught swearing at citizens when they dared challenge his policies. His bike lane program on Hornby is likely heading to the courts when all is said and done. And did I mention he was chastised for cutting off a local transit bus and going through a red light on his bicycle? Or how about the Green Party in Vancouver effectively announcing their coalition with Vision Vancouver and COPE is as good as dead. And let's not forget the appalling mess that is the Olympic Athlete's Village social housing. Is it any wonder Robertson escaped the city he governs and headed to his property on secluded Cortes Island to play some tuba with Andrew Weil?
Yes, it's been a bad summer for the Mayor which is likely why the NPA have been getting a bit of a bump lately. With recent talk of both Tung Chan and Michael Geller (amongst others) preparing for a run at the Mayor's chair under the NPA banner, rumours of intimate NPA fundraisers organized by folks eager to see Vision gone, and an early nomination meeting slated for November, there appears to be some real life coming back to the NPA. Here is a list of the NPA events being planned for the next few months:
NPA PUB NIGHT
- WHERE: The Five Point Pub, 3134 Main Street
- WHEN: Drop in anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 26th
ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER
- WHERE: Italian Cultural Centre
- WHEN: October 20th at 6 pm for reception, 7 pm dinner. Tickets are $185 each or discounts for table purchase.
WEST END COMMUNITY FORUM
- WHERE: Bidwell Room, Wese End Community Centre, 870 Denman Street
- WHEN: Monday, September 20th, 6:45 pm to 9:00 pm
The NPA will be opening up several seats for nomination at the council, park and school board level a year prior to the election. They plan to hold this meeting sometime in November. No details have been announced yet.
As most of you know, I've been somewhat critical of the NPA for their lack of action as compared to their governing colleagues in Vision. For months they seemingly went underground and were not making their presence known anywhere in the community. Clearly that has changed and only time will tell if it will pay off for them in the next civic election.
On a related note, the NPA should be reading Mike Klassen's well written piece in 24 Hours today whereby he talks about the importance of the Filipino vote in Vancouver. He states:
Slowly over this decade Filipinos have become Canada’s largest source of new immigrants, and political parties are waking up to this fact. In particular organizations on the left have already figured this out. The NDP have fostered strong relations with our local Filipino communities. The fact that many Filipino health workers are unionized has helped to build that bond with New Democrats.
Vision Vancouver has also put effort into connecting with the city’s Filipino community. Lara Hondrado is a woman of Filipino heritage recently hired as political staff in the Mayor’s office. The party itself made sure to bring a credible Filipino candidate forward during their nominations for council a couple years back.
By comparison you see little courting of the Filipino community going on by other parties. The BC Liberals appear to have no strategy in place to make inroads with the community, nor does Vancouver’s NPA. Without a plan to embrace Filipinos living and working in our local communities, both parties will struggle to gain power in the long term.
You can pick up a copy of Mike's column at any orange news box in Metro Vancouver or read the pdf version online.
- Post by Daniel