Saturday, January 26, 2008


Vision Party Vancouver City Councilor Raymond Louie has paid off his mortgage. Have you?

Louie is in his early 40’s. He has a wife and 3 kids. He’s a working stiff like you and me. When first elected to Council in 2002, he quite his job to dedicate himself full time to the business of running a government. All for $53,000 a year. His wife went back to work.

What does this tell us? The man’s got focus, determination and old-fashioned goals.

These are liabilities?

Oh. I forgot.

This is a town where the biggest score is spotting Jennifer Aniston eating a pickle. Cooks and Condo Kings are our most exemplary citizens.

In his two terms in office, Louie has been a director or member of 16 boards, corporations and committees, including three Translink boards.

The knock on Louie is that he always has a stack of reports in front of him at Council meetings. God forbid he should be informed.

“I was shocked to learn that some councilors have never cracked a binder,” says Louie. “I want to know what I’m voting on.”

His critics say he’s too dull to be mayor.

Where has excitement got us?

After two show biz mayors, we’ve gone from being a city with some drug addiction, mental illness and homelessness problems to being the world’s poster city for drug addiction, mental illness and homelessness. Lovely.

Mayor Larry Campbell was the sizzle, no doubt. But Raymond Louie was the steak. Together, they approved the Woodward’s development, which holds the promise of re-vitalization for the Downtown Eastside, while adding 200 social housing units.

Louie proposed five childcare centers in the new South East False Creek development, the space provided by the builders, the services run by non-profit. The NPA cut it down to three. He proposed support for the Cambie merchants devastated by the Canada Line in the form of interest free loans. Voted down.

If the gregarious Larry Campbell was the right mayor for Vancouver six years ago, when the city was vying for the Olympics, then maybe Raymond Louie is the right mayor for this era, when what we need is not bells and whistles, but bills paid.

Louie is smart and decent and hard working. He knows what makes 12th and Cambie tick. He believes he has tremendous support from the Chinese and Sikh communities. He and Gregor Robertson, the Vancouver-Fairview NDP MLA who the Vision Party is courting for a run at the Mayor’s chair, are speaking regularly. They are involved in a delicate dance of Who Goes First?

“It’s not about the grandeur of the position, says Louie, “it’s about the right direction for the city and winning a majority on Council.”

He’ll decide in a few weeks if he wants to be mayor or take another term as councilor.

Extremism of any kind is not in his gene pool. So he doesn’t smile and laugh as much as your favorite bar buddy. Maybe we could stand reasonable and well managed for 3 years.

If he runs for Mayor, I’ll vote for him.


Anonymous said...

The last candidate you supported was Sam Sullivan! I suspect you have lost credibility.

David Berner said...

That's up to you to decide.

The truth is I supported Sam because I believed he was the right man for the job.

I was wrong.

LIke many people, I was completely taken in by his "sincerity" act.

Made a mistake, Pal, which of course you have never done.