September 2011 Archives

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Sadly, not a single civic politician tweeted out about their lobster dinner at UBCM

As the UBCM civic politicians wrap up their convention for another year, I thought it was time for a few rambling thoughts on what has been a busy week in civic politics. What follows are several issues that made the headlines...and some that didn't.

Smart Meters vs Water Meters

Civic politicos attending UBCM were clearly not pre-occupied sitting in on sessions regarding how to streamline civic government. What else could explain why the big topic of the convention this week was BC Hydro's smart meter program.

That's right, the same civic politicians who are installing costly water meters in their communities voted against the smart meter program. Oh...the irony of it all.

The Most Clever Tweet award from the convention this week was given to intrepid civic affairs reporter Jeff Nagel. His tweet on the topic of smart meters states:

#UBCM delegates vote for moratorium on wireless #smartmeters. Using wireless voting devices.

Lobster vs Wild Salmon

Despite all the alcohol flowing at the various hospitality suites and buffet dinners, not a single civic politician was caught up in a twitter controversy - Sigh. As you can imagine, the combination of good wine and iPhones can sometimes help to shorten political careers.

If you recall, Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal embarrassed herself (and her colleagues) when she recently attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Convention in Halifax. Her tweets extolling the virtues of the fine lobster she consumed went over like a lead balloon with taxpayers.

But I'm still left wondering if she ever did donate the funny yellow hat she was given to a local homeless shelter? Somehow I doubt it.

RCMP vs BC Provincial Police

One of the other big topics at UBCM this week was the breakdown of negotiations between the Feds and BC regarding the RCMP contract. Mayor Dianne Watts and Derek Corrigan linked arms with BC NDP opposition leader Adrian Dix and Premier Christy Clark in a united front against the Feds. Yes, you read that correctly.

Both the City of Burnaby and Surrey have very large RCMP detachments and they are hoping a deal can be hammered out soon. It's rare to see unanimity across the political spectrum on any issue in BC, so this one certainly caught the media's attention.

I suspect a deal will be struck soon and the RCMP will be working in some of our biggest cities for a few years to come.

Gregor vs Dianne

Now that social media is so prevalent, I was watching closely to see how it might impact this year's UBCM convention. I must admit I was a tad underwhelmed. There were times the media onsite were tweeting more often than local politicians.


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