Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


In the recent Vancourier edition, columnist Allen Garr writes that popular Vancouver Councillor, Peter Ladner, is set to run for Chair of Metro Vancouver, formerly known as the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). Mr. Ladner has been Vice-Chair of Metro Vancouver for two years. Mr. Garr goes on to postulate that sitting as Chair of Metro Vancouver, would provide a perch for Councillor Ladner while he pursues the possibility of taking a run in provincial politics.

It seems odd though that Councillor Ladner would take a run as Chair, if he plans to run provincially. The provincial election is scheduled for May, 2009, which is six months after the November 2008 Vancouver municipal election. The scenario Mr. Garr presents doesn't make sense since Councillor Ladner would run in the 2008 municipal election and then quite quickly if he chooses to run provincially, be in election mode for another six months after already being in election mode in the run up to the municipal election. Moreover there is no doubt, Mr Ladner would win a council seat again, even though his current political party is in low standing with voters. So there would also be that matter of abandoning a position he won only 6 months previous.

Another likely scenario though could be at play.

It is understood by many political observers that since being elected, Mayor Sam Sullivan hasn't lived up to the expectations many had of him. In fact, although there hasn't been an internal poll conducted by the NPA regarding Mayor Sullivan's support level, many Vancouver citizens and political observers believe it quite low compared to when he was first elected and proudly waving the Olympic flag in Turin, Italy. In the media, Mayor Sullivan has been a frequent target for negative criticism and citizens I talk to are unwilling to vote for him again.

Peter Ladner is a smart politician and in touch with his constituents. He no doubt has heard the same stories that many of us have heard, that the NPA electorally is in grave trouble and quite possibly may be wiped out in the November 2008 election.

Many Vancouver citizens have encouraged Councillor Ladner to challenge for the NPA mayoral nomination, however, the NPA board has chosen instead to grant incumbency protection to its incumbents. This move has created a political dilemma for Councillor Ladner who placed second among ten councillors elected in only his second run for political office. Even while sitting in opposition from 2002-2005, Councillor Ladner has demonstrated the hallmarks of a true leader. He has support across the board from left, centre and right leaning voters. He remains wildly popular even now as his party sinks to new all-time lows.

No doubt, it would be difficult for Councillor Ladner to once again sit in opposition.. After all, most politicians want to win so they can see their ideas and political vision implemented. Peter Ladner is no different.

Councillor Ladner, at least, it seems to me, has always enjoyed municipal politics. This is where the politician is closest to the people. Entering provincial or federal politics is always an option for municipal politicians, but it wouldn't be the same as serving at the civic level. With provincial or federal politics, you must play a second fiddle role to your leader and party, whereby in muncipal politics you really get to represent your constituents.

I think Councillor Ladner as a municipal politician has shown admirable political leadership. His issues resonate with everyday voters. He has a strong small business background and is known to have leading abilities on sustainability, environmental, transportation and transit issues.

As Vice-Chair of Metro Vancouver, Mr. Ladner has done an exemplary job of representing regional issues and I'd really like to see him take on the Chair position since his political integrity and leadership skills would really shine.

At the regional level, the current Chair, Lois Jackson, although I'm certain is a fine politician for Delta, she hasn't in my opinion, demonstrated strong leadership on key regional issues. Peter Ladner seems like a perfect match to this role.

I also believe, Councillor Ladner should not rule out a Vancouver Mayoral run. Even if this means running as an Independent. After all, Mike Harcourt did this in 1980 and won. I think Councillor Ladner is viewed by many voters along the same lines as Mike Harcourt and during the 80's Mike Harcourt was exactly what Vancouver needed. I'd say Peter Ladner now is exactly what Vancouver Metro needs.

In my humble opinion, watching the strengths Mr. Ladner would bring to the table as Chair of Metro Vancouver and Mayor of Vancouver, would showcase what we could have leading us up to 2010 and well beyond.

While some may speculate that it would be risky for Peter Ladner to chance an Independent run for Mayor, I don't share that same belief. All he would need to do is bring enough of the moderate NPA vote over to his side. He already has impressive enough support on the green side, with younger voters, the business community and I'd say progressive folks to make a Mayoral dream a reality.

What about it Peter. Are you ready to really show us what A Metro-Van-Man can do?

Jamie Lee Hamilton


At 8:40 AM, Anonymous GölökGölök said...

You can run for the County or Metro Executive now? Hmmm... Maybe I should rethink things look to that, or maybe make that 2012.

Gölök Zoltán Leenderdt Franco Buday
"The village atheist has the right to be
heard; he has no right to be heeded.
While he has a right not to have his own
children indoctrinated in what he believes
are false and foolish teachings, he has no
right to dictate what other children may
be taught." -- Patrick J. Buchanan


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