Friday, February 08, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Park Commissioner, Allan De Genova should immediately resign his park board seat, considering he was elected as an NPA Commissioner, briefly sat as an Independent and has now switched parties and belongs to Vision.

While there is no legal requirement to resign seats when switching parties, voters are clearly not happy when elected officials do the political-party-hop, without seeking a new mandate from them. This became very clear when David Emerson switched from Liberal to Conservative and Belinda Stronach changed from Conservative to Liberal.

While, Mr. De Genova was suspended from his NPA party, he was provided opportunity to re-join. He chose not to and announced he was going to sit as a political independent until the next election in 2008.

Just a few days ago, Mr De Genova announced he has joined the Vision municipal party and will be running as the Vision Mayoral candidate. He is actively selling Vision memberships.

It seems Mr. De Genova has created a political predicament for himself.

He is no longer an Independent and it can be construed that he mislead the public when he previously announced he would sit as an Independent until the November 2008 municipal election. Voters did not elect him as a Vision elected representative and that is what he now is. One cannot be both an Independent and Vision representative.

Commissioner De Genova also has another political quandary and this is also quite serious.

The public will be questioning whenever Mr. De Genova votes on a park board matter from now until November, 2008, whether his voting is shifting due to Mayoral considerations.

I posed the above question to COPE Park Commissioner, Spencer Herbert, who has worked cooperatively with Mr. De Genova and is on friendly terms.

Mr. Herbert states, "in an election year, which we are in, everyone has to look more closely at campaigning politicians. We should all be placed under greater scrutiny and the comment about Mr. De Genova is fair comment".

Mr. De Genova's some time back presented a political viewpoint that NPA Parks Commissioner Heather Holden, was in conflict of interest due to her being an employee with the Vancouver Aquarium, who has a lease with the Park Board. Mr De Genova believed her conflict was a result that she may have other political considerations besides park board, considering her job.

So will Mr. De Genova, who is supposed to be a man of integrity, now do the same as he requested of Ms Holden since, as a result of his Mayoral announcement, he has other considerations, besides the ones related to his job on parks board?

Jamie Lee Hamilton