THE GEOFF MEGGS CITY of VANCOUVER STRIKE
THE GEOFF MEGGS CITY of VANCOUVER STRIKE
Peter Ladner Leadership Emerges
As everyone knows there is a smelly summer strike happening in Vancouver. No question that both sides of the divide (City of Vancouver, Geoff Meggs and certain Labour leaders) want you to falsely believe that this strike is about the 2010 Olympics and at the end of the day, who will benefit, city workers or city taxpayers. Each side is using the 2010 Olympics as their bargaining chip in the ongoing war of words between the two camps.
This strike though isn't about the Olympics per se but has everything to do with who controls the city of Vancouver. Its underlying focus has more to do with who is best suited to be Mayor of Vancouver. A number of prominent Labour types wants the Mayor's chair badly. They had it from 2002-2005 and are still smitten from losing it in 2005 and our current Mayor, Sam Sullivan, of course wants to retain it. He desperately wants to be the Olympic Mayor.
Sadly with what's playing out behind-the-scenes is a repeat of the 2005 Mayoral race which Labour leader, Geoff Meggs, wanted Jim Green to win. Elements of Labour knew that Mr. Green would be their sock puppet and publicly supported him.
The powerful head honchos of Labour are Jim Sinclair, the BC Federation of Labour boss and the Executive Director of the BC Fed, Geoff Meggs, who was the former chief-of-staff and some say brains behind former Mayor, now Senator, Larry Campbell. Since losing the Mayor's chair both Geoff Meggs and the defeated candidate, American Jim Green have been inconsolable.
Come September, everyone is gearing up toward the 2008 Vancouver municipal election. Labour still doesn't have its candidate in place and of course, the Mayoral candidate who lost the 2005 election still wants to be Mayor. Certain Labour honchos are unsure of this scenario and therefore a trial floater was sent out by Jim Green, via the Vancouver Sun, in order to gauge public support and sympathy.
If anyone was in town this weekend, you wouldn't have missed the huge two page spread that Jim Green lapdog, Frances Bula, of the Vancouver Sun, provided her man. Nothing in the story was anything new, it was just a nice glowing account of how wonderful Ms Bula thinks Mr. Green is and of course how hard done by Mr. Jim Green was regarding the negative campaign against him. Of course, the gleeful Ms Bula couldn't resist and took potshots at James Green (the Black Man who ran against Jim Green for Mayor) and the transsexual female and Aboriginal candidate, yours truly, who ran for Council as an independent.
Like somehow the two of us were responsible for the southern Jim Green losing the election. Don't think so but nice try Frances. But Ms Bula I do give you credit that your racism shines through in your piece with your negative slants against Mr. James Green and myself. Nice ploy of going after the visible minorities to make your white guy look good. Whether your primary white liberal readership buys it and sympathises with the whitey Green is another story.
Back to the strike.
Vision Councillor, Heather Deal who is supported by key Labour leaders, and is significantly connected to American Jim Green (Ms Deal is also American), as soon as the strike started, was dispatched by Geoff Meggs to inform the public that this was Sam's Strike. This of course was to paint the Mayor as a weak and ineffective leader. It was to Geoff Meggs and Labour's benefit that the public perceive the Mayor as a weak leader who is incapable of handling a strike. Of course, the Vision party is in place to do the bidding of certain Labour leaders.
Unfortunately, Mayor Sullivan, has mishandled the strike and could have presented his public messaging way better. He should have known that this strike was set up to damage him and he should have played this out from that perspective. He didn't and he chose to engage in a war with workers (many who have been duped which is not of benefit to the tax-paying citizens or the workers.
Unfortunately, the public now is really peeved about this strike. They are paying the costs of it bigtime.
Next, Vision set a trap for Mayor Sullivan and brought forward a motion in last week's council meeting that the public be reimbursed for services they are not receiving and that the City through its savings from the strike, immediately take action. The response from the Mayor was that there are no savings from a strike which seems like a real odd-ball answer.
Geoff Meggs through Vision, however, didn't count on NPA Councillor Peter Ladner stepping up to the plate on the leadership front of this strike and he and colleague, City Councillor, B.C. Lee, said that the citizens should be compensated.
Labour will continue to hammer away at Mayor Sullivan, who has already been weakened, if not, mortally wounded . The executive of the NPA must realize this. If the NPA is smart, they would encourage, Councillor Ladner to be the public face for this ongoing saga and to bring closure to the messiness created by Geoff Meggs and his friends.
If the NPA refuses to act sensibly, Peter Ladner needs to continue speaking out on this strike and he should during his holiday time, seriously consider an independent Mayoral run.
Jamie Lee Hamilton