Saturday, December 13, 2008


So Judy Rogers is gone and Dr. Penny Ballem is the new City Manager.

There may or may not be very specific reasons for this sudden change at 12th and Cambie. We may or may not ever learn of these deep, spooky reasons, if such ever exist.

But a more likely read is this.

The Vision team, whether you like them or not, whether you voted for them or not, is quickly proving to be the best prepared and most highly focused and organized groups ever to swoop into public office locally. It is my perception that Judy Rogers is, after 20 years at City Hall, 10 of those as City Manager, gone for no other reason than the Vision team want their own people at key positions. This move was probably in their sights six weeks ago.

It is true that Rogers had a reputation for being a tough cookie. But what would you have in that role with the likes of Larry Campbell and Sam Sullivan running amok?

Dr. Ballem will be more than competent and she will be nobody's patsy as the Visionaries will soon discover. No doubt relationships will largely be collaborative and collegial. But let the new Lords of the Manor never forget that Ballem said Sayonara to Gordon Campbell when she could no longer stomach the Liberal style or agenda.

In the meantime, we must give the New gang full credit for moving ahead on several important files at once.

I will hope that Gregor Robertson can in fact do something substantive about homelessness. Like you, I won't expect the miracle of eradication, but bringing down the numbers of people sentenced to the streets will be accomplishment enough. Unfortunately, his HEAT team doesn't impress me one bit. Robertson has gathered all the Usual Suspects into a blue ribbon panel. Problem is they are all the folks who have been in position to do something all along.

No. I'd be more encouraged if Gregor found a handful of new young energized world-beaters who would get out there and bring in some real change. Buy some buildings, lease some armories, get huge donations of beds and blankets now, today.

That said, Robertson and company are to be congratulated for taking their new roles seriously and pointing their collective noses into the wind.

May they actually leave some real legacies. May they not suffer the fate of the '72 Barrett reign - arrogance, over-stepping boundaries and quick return to the benches.

We will watch with hope and interest.


Three British Columbia Auditors-General in a row have examined the provincial books and concluded that the present administration is not being entirely forthcoming about the true cost of the 2010 Olympic Games.


I'm in shock, gob-smacked, blown away, disappointed, let down, in tears.

John Doyle, the current AG, agrees with his predecessors that enormous amounts of money spent on Olympic related buildings, projects and activities (initiatives that simply would not exist without the Games) are not included in the published budgets.

I believe Seneca, or was it Euripides, who first fudged public accounts. No, I'm wrong. It may have been Job or Moses.

Yes, Reb Moishe's final tally for crossing the desert with two million souls was 900 drumkas or thereabouts, give or take a goat or two. Climbing the mountain, private consultation with The Big Guy, xeroxing 2,000,000 copies of the Commandments, those never got shown in the published records.

None of this is to diminish the Rebbie's great contributions, of course, or to tarnish his well-deserved reputation in any way. It's just to point out that Gordon Campbell is following ancient and honored traditions.

And, you know vat keeps us together, don't you?


Reasonable and Necessary

We are told that the four RCMP officers who managed to kill Robert Dziekanski at YVR last year hit the man with not one, not two, but FIVE zaps of their tasers 24 seconds after meeting him.

In the same official report, all four are completely exhonerated from any potential charges or guilt.

The dead man's mother is considering a civil suit.


Trapped in Time - Auto Execs

As the public purses are opened and the rainstorm of tax dollars begins to pour forth to save badly managed, short-visioned automakers in the US and Canada, I find myself looking at the latest posting of plant closures.

This is telling.

The Canadian plants that make the following vehicles will close down in the coming weeks to save a few million dollars: Chevy Impala and Equinox, Pontiac Torrent; Chrysler 300, Charger and Challenger; Ford MKX and The Edge, GRand Marquis and Lincoln.


I do not.

I know not one human being with a driver's license who owns, leases or drives such loser lemons. In fact, I have never heard of half of these products.

Please take the SURVEY on the right hand side of this page, and explain to me what these Captains of Industry have been up to for the past several years.

All sing together now,

"See the USA in your Chevrolet..." Where's Dinah Shore when you really need her? In what black and white 14-inch world have these clods been living?

MORE CHOIR - This is great...thanks MO!