Friday, July 02, 2004


Underbelly of Vancouver
Downtown Eastside


Well folks as promised here is the goods on COPE's annual general meeting held a mere two days ago.

According to one well placed source, the meeting was so tightly controlled, members couldn't even ask questions of their elected officials. Mmmm I wonder why?

Well perhaps it could be because of RAV or the simmering issue of Slots in Parks. Again, another source who attended the meeting informs me that there was very loud booing from the membership, when City councilor Raymond Louie was introduced. At this point the membership was scolded by the chair for behaving this way. Gee and here I thought COPE was a grassroots party. I suspect COPE though will lose many members over Mr Louie' antics and weak leadership on RAV. Booing normally is associated with extreme displeasure and hats off to the COPE members for voicing their mood.

Ok so you all want to know who the pre-determined unity executive slate is. Remember you saw it here first. Retaining her position as External Co-Chair is Jim Green booster Anita Zeneker. Internal Co-Chair went to former parks Commissioner Donna Morgan. The fundraiser position was delivered to former BCTF head David Chudnovsky, who happens to be the husband of former COPE school Trustee Ruth Herman. Looking after the union money is Treasurer Doug McCarther who worked for Premiers Glen Clark and Mike Harcourt. Members at large include Joy MacPhail staffer Raj Sihota, former assistant to the late Emery Barnes; Sharon Costello, neighborhood activist; Mel Lehan who Harry Rankin once quipped couldn't even make Dog Catcher. Donalda Greenwell Baker also was acclaimed member at large. Donalda is the sister of Peter Greenwell who shares a house and child with Donna Morgan. Relax though folks, I know what your thinking. Donna and Peter are out of the closet homosexuals and live separately in their 4 storey house. I wonder if it was the turkey baster or the real thing! hmmmmmmm......

Notable in his attendance at the COPE AGM was big Union Boss, Jim Sinclair. Not unusual since I suspect the big Ward Bosses are not far behind. Rounding out the COPE annual meeting was lack of discussion around policy matters.

So while COPE may have presented a unity slate, their party is far from unified. Watch for this to play out in the coming months. First up, COPE must deal with the issue of slots in parks at the Council meeting on July 15th. Next, fallout from Mr Louie' RAV sell-out will occur within the party rank and file. Already rank and filers have put forward a RAV-O-LUTION motion, which has the potential to split their party further apart. Already, key organizer for COPE, Neil Monckton is downplaying the seriousness of RAV by claiming COPE elected officials do not have to abide by the membership's wishes. I wonder how this will sit with the grassroots. And in October COPE troubles worsen hen they must put to the public, a tricky referendum question whether voters desire an AT LARGE, WARDS or PRO-REP electoral style system. Watch for a bloodbath folks!

As they say interesting times ahead! I predict a COPE Civil War within 6 months. Stay tuned........

Jamie Lee Hamilton
(604) 781-3361