There's no denying that Bruce Allen, like the music artists he represents, is an entertainer. His no-holds barred approach to business has been the root of his success. Some of have suggested that he'd be a good mayor of Vancouver, but the reality is his business chops might be better suited running Metro Vancouver and whipping that accountability-challenged bureaucracy into shape. The City of Vancouver already has a fairly intense person running the civil service at City Hall.
Allen's attraction is that he speaks for Joe Six-pack on a lot of issues. There's nothing frou frou about his approach, which is why thousands of listeners on CKNW never tire of his rants. Allen's latest commentary zeros in on Gregor Robertson & Vision Vancouver in a way that would suggest that formerly fringe reports are hitting the mainstream consciousness big time. Listen to what Allen says here (mp3 clip):
Allen calls Gregor's gang a bunch of "eco-activist freaks" so linked to money from US charities that they don't give a damn about what Vancouverites think. He cites Mark Hasiuk's great December 1st column where Mark says that "Mayor Robertson is a Tides man." While the idea that Gregor & Vision might be gaming the system through their funding sources is catching on with average voters, the fair questions about who funds Vision had humble beginnings.
Of course, CityCaucus.com began writing about this as far back as March 2009, when we kicked off our popular "Know Your Donor" series of posts. In fact, our first subject was Gregor Robertson's chief of staff Mike Magee, and sources say that Mike didn't appreciate the attention. How, we wondered, could a consultant working for a number of US charities and green causes, either match or outspend people like Concord Pacific's Terry Hui or realtor Bob Rennie when it came to campaign donations? It didn't add up, so we wrote about it.
Then there is the odd and secretive society that exists around Hollyhock, the spiritual retreat 150 km from downtown Vancouver where the centre of power for this movement begins and ends. Joel Solomon is the local muckymuck of this movement, as a director of Hollyhock's board and with his current wife CEO of the island destination. Solomon has drawn attention to himself with his cavalier admission about having a 500-year plan well underway, and using Vancouver and British Columbia as a cauldron for systemic social change that he's driving with charitable dollars.
There quite literally has never been anything like it in the history of B.C. politics. But thanks to the research and personal sacrifice of Vivian Krause, the public are starting to piece together that something is happening below their radar.
So Merry Christmas, Vision Vancouver, from Bruce Allen and the rest of us who want to know who's been funding you. Perhaps your 2011 resolution will be to finally respond directly to the fair questions of Krause and others, to stop hiding who is paying the bills of the Tides Canada Initiatives Society, and to have Tides Canada back off on threats of legal action when someone asks questions about you.
- post by Mike