COPE supporters to Vision Vancouver: Hands off our party

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


cautionstandback.jpg Will a group of left leaning supporters be able to stop the COPE/Vision coalition?

Only weeks after CityCaucus was launched almost three years ago, a small group of folks (many who leave comments on this blog) began to argue that our writers were way too hard on Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver party.

Whether it’s been our take regarding his backyard chickens scheme or his latest program to turn front lawns into wheat fields, they say we’ve simply been unfair to His Worship.

I must admit that on more than one occasion I’ve felt like the Maytag repair man when it’s come to reporting on our Teflon Mayor and his merry band of councillors. Up until recently, there were few columnists, commentators or business leaders prepared to openly criticize Robertson.

However, with the recent introduction of a new blog called The, what's left of Vancouver’s left are regaining a voice in the blogosphere. They've also become very vocal critics of the current Vision administration.

the mainlanderEver since a rogue group of COPE politicians and backroom staff left the party and started up Vision Vancouver, the voice from the left has been all but silent. Left-leaning journals such as The Tyee or Vancouver Observer have on most days heaped more praise than criticism on the Mayor. It’s pretty clear the introduction of is about to shake things up a bit.

Unlike CityCaucus which approaches most issues from a centre-right perspective, The Mainlander clearly feels there is a need for the left to have a voice. I’m not sure how they’re funded, but I suspect it’s mainly a volunteer effort that doesn’t rely on hefty donations from international foundations to keep the lights on.

So what are they saying about Vancouver’s governing party? Firstly, they argue the backroom deal struck between the more left-leaning COPE and the more right-leaning Vision Vancouver will end up killing the only voice left for the left. In other words, they think striking up another coalition will be the final nail in COPE's coffin. On that one issue I am in full agreement.

In one of The Mainlander articles dated June 17, author Tristan Markyl states:

The party [Vision Vancouver] who promised to end homelessness and address affordability has turned out to be its mirror opposite, giving millions in tax breaks to developers, decreasing the corporate tax rate to the lowest in the world, forcibly closing homeless shelters, cutting services, hiring millions of dollars of additional police officers, and deepening the affordability crisis at every possible turn.

Ouch! Are we to assume one of the individuals they refer to in this next excerpt is Vision Vancouver operative and FD Element executive Don Millar? He also works as a senior advisor to BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark:

Vision staffers and politicians are closely connected with the BC Liberals and Christy Clark, while COPE is still a left-wing, working class party with connections to labour. Now is the best time to take advantage of the orange surge that recently swept across Vancouver in the federal election.

Based on that last comment, I suspect Markyl and company also weren't too thrilled when Mayor Gregor was cheering on BC Liberal leader Gordon Campbell to win a "threepeat"? If you recall, Mike Bruce quit Vision Vancouver partly as a result of Robertson's comments.

Under the categories of Affordable Housing, Homelessness and Corporate Tax Havens, Markyl states:

As a result of inaction on affordability, homelessness has increased every single year since the election of Vision Vancouver…

Vision has put profits before people by turning Vancouver into a global tax shelter while closing homeless shelters, selling off social housing, and cutting services...

The goal of ending homelessness has since changed to “ending street homelessness by 2015

Hmmm. I thought we were the only one’s making those kinds of claims. The author then goes on to talk about Vision’s record as a supporter of Vancouver’s public service workers:

One of the first Vision decisions was a mass layoff of City staff, and they have made service cuts ever since. Vision is a pro-business party that seeks private solutions to public problems. Vision privatized almost all the remaining subsidized housing at the Olympic Village, eliminating any chance of delivering promised affordable housing at the site.

As you continue to read through the article, you can definitely feel a theme emerging. Vision = NPA and the NPA = Vision. The only exception might be that the NPA actually never laid off CUPE staff during its recent terms in office.

When it comes to how Vision’s handled the Downtown Eastside, The Mainlander doesn’t pull any punches. They clearly aren’t happy with Robertson laying off CUPE workers and replacing them with police:

The Downtown Eastide is a vibrant low-income community that needs support from city hall. Instead of addressing affordability, Vision has hired extra police and ramped up market pressures on an already stressed community.

Even in areas where The Mainlander agrees with Vision, they provide what could only be described as a backhanded compliment:

One of Vision’s few successful initiatives in office has been the creation of bike lanes in the urban centre.

To add one last bit of insult to injury, The Mainlander writes:

As discussed, Vision is not a progressive party. Although Vision ran on a progressive platform in 2008, its actions have proven otherwise.

So there you have it. If you thought CityCaucus was the only game in town when it came to critiquing Vancouver’s government, think again. With the introduction of The Mainlander to the civic scene, it’s doubtful Mayor Gregor will be getting the free pass he’s enjoyed from other so-called left leaning journals.

FYI: The group opposing the Vision/COPE coalition have even set up a new website ( which they hope will encourage other like-minded individuals to join their movement.

- Post by Daniel. Follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus. Or you can "like" us on Facebook at


Any deal with Vision will kill COPE. Only a moron would think otherwise. The NPA are going to take those 3 seats plus whatever else they can take from Vision. One or two seats?

As a long-time supporter of COPE, I will be voting against the proposal. I think we can stand on our own and not be tarnished by the Vision brand.

I wonder how many Vision members would jump back to COPE if COPE ran a full slate.

The Thought of The White Elephant

'The white elephant would never make a great spy. Never. The white elephant is big and white, duh! And because of that, the white elephant in particular, is easily spotted inside any room he might wonder into. But here's the upside. The white elephant never forgets.'


COPE Classic
COPE Classic & Lite
COPE Lite & Classic
COPE Lite & Classic & Friends Of Larry
COPE Lite & Friends of Larry & Classic
COPE Lite & Friends of Larry
COPE Lite & Friends of Larry's VISION
COPE & Friends of Larry's VISION
COPE & Hollyhock Friends of Larry's VISION
COPE & Hollyhock Friends of VISION
COPE & Hollyhock VISION
Hollyhock COPE & VISION
Hollyhock VISION & COPE
Hollyhock VISION

Sorry COPE comrades, but COPE is 'damaged goods' is a 'toxic brand' like cigarettes if you may, COPE is like Camille Cansino ... in eternal denial.

Back in September of 2010 I wrote this here on city Caucus under( Cadman deserves credit for gutsy motion
20 Sep 2010;Post by Daniel in Editorial;18 comments)

The Thought of The Day

"COPE vs. Vision. Vancouver's version of the Dumb Cop - Devil Cop routine."

Cadman deserves credit for this motion as much as OJ Simpson deserves to play golf with his buddies.

He was never part of any solution; he was in fact, part of the problem. COPE 'put out' to Vision in the previous election in a deplorable manner. Where was their mayoral candidate? How many COPE 'activists, jump ship to Vision, for the kicks? My point, exactly. As a matter of fact I would give Carbon credit for staying put with COPE, if for anything else. I give him that.

So please, Daniel, do yourself a favour, drop the praise, let’s be serious here, it doesn't help, the motion is for show and you know it, and definitely it will not change the equation:

[(7VV + 2COPE) x 1M(BS)] = 1NPA(C)

Following this line of thought, what’s to come next? Gordon Campbell‘s announcement of him scaling back the HST to 8%? I think not.
BTW I heard it on the radio, Jasper the Merry Realtor and his band of friends plus the rest of the VPB voted ‘unanimously’ to save the ‘Bloody Hell’ Conservatory... but not the Petting Zoo in Stanley Park. So it seems it’s not a good time to be a sheep or a goat in the City of Vancouver if you are not 'connected’.

The way I see it... Money Talks, Donkey Walks.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.
Glissando Remmy | September 20, 2010 11:56 PM

If for anything, COPE will be remembered as a nursery for great Vision plank jumpers. Here's a few:

Tim Stevenson -jumped ship 2005
Raymond Louie - jumped ship 2005
Jim Green - RIP
Larry Campbell - RIP
Aaron Jasper - jumped ship 2008
Sharon Gregson - jumped ship 2008

But there are still good people out there. take this one for example.
Spencer Herbert the former COPE VPB Commissioner, presently an NDP MLA almost lost his political virginity in 2008 when he was approached by the Vision hacks, but he played the fidelity game and stayed with COPE.

He said:
“I’m coping with COPE,” he said. “I think the question should be, ‘Can COPE cope with Vision, and can Vision cope with COPE?’”

Well, COPE members, honestly, you do remind me of a guy from a movie (I can’t remember its name) I've seen...

Here, picture this:

Street - Night shot

We are at the place of a crime scene.
Our guy, already inside an unzipped body bag is lying on his back, on a gurney, the ambulance is nearby. He’s still alive and fully aware of what’s going on around him.
One Doctor approaches and looks down at him.
The guy, full of hope, lifts his head and asks,barely audible:

‘Is it bad, Doc?’ Am I going to make it?

to which The Doctor replies:

‘Sure, 'fogettabadit', you’ll be fine!’

...then The Doctor pulls the zipper over the guy’s head...

Now add to this, David Cadman's Top Ten magazine front covers from around the world:

10 “Councillor Cadman riding his Donkey down to the Mall”...‘Rio Grande Sun’ - New Mexico

9 “Vancouver COPE politician caught
with pants Down Under” ...‘Sidney News’ - Australia

8 “Local Mormon offers Cad man a Bountiful massage”...‘Salt Lake City Daily’ - Utah

7 “BigFoot shows Councillor Cadman how to leave smaller footprints”...’Montreal Gazzette’ – Quebec

6 “What you smoke in Amsterdam...stays in the Amsterdam council”...‘The Amsterdam Chronicles’ - Holland

5 “Cannibal tribe, frees Canadian politician unharmed. Apparently, they don't eat pork”...‘Abidjan Times’ - Ivory Coast

4 “Councillor Cadman talks Televangelist into Despicability”...‘Chicago Newas’ - USA

3 “David Cadman of Vancouver wears the Emperors’ New Suit at Reception”...‘Kolding Post’ - Denmark

2 “Vedi Napoli , e poi...Milan, Rome, Pisa, Udinese...”...‘Milan Buona Giornale’ - Italy

1 “David Cadman - `Better Mileage than Santa!”...‘The North Pole Elf’ - Greenland

Yup, that's your $120,000 traveling man, COPE!
The White Elephant never forgets!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

If you have two canoes and you try and put one foot in each your gonna get wet.

Check out!

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