Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Last night I attended the hotly contentious Park Board meeting regarding citizens having the right to vote in a 2011 plebiscite around whales and dolphins kept in captivity. Green Party Commissioner Stuart MacKinnon brought forward the motion and it was seconded by COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock.

While everyone expressed themselves in a respective manner last night things went completely awry near the end of the meeting. This happened when Park Commissioner Stuart MacKinnon rose on a point or privilege and articulated that his motion was in order and passed by both the Park Board Chair and Acting General Manager of the Park Board.

This point of privilege set off the Chair Aaron Jasper who flew into a tirade accusing Mr MacKinnon of everything under the sun including irresponsibility, recklessness and that his motion would surely have instigated a lawsuit against the Board, putting the citizens of the City at great risk.

Commissioner Jasper though provided no evidence of his assertions which are quite possibly false and not befitting of an elected official

The Vision Chair attempted to marginalize Mr MacKinnon and make him out to be totally incompetent and a disgrace to the board. This was simply shocking.

To his credit even NPA Commissioner Ian Robertson articulated that Commissioner MacKinnon had a principled position and he respected that.

Politicians are free to make libelous statements in the board room, however, if this was made outside in the foyer, I'm certain Commissioner MacKinnon would have grounds to sue Commissioner Jasper.

Sadly this behavior played out before the public and it cements that politics and politicians have spiraled to a new low especially when you consider the ruling party Vision Vancouver seem focused on ridiculing the citizens of the City.

Everyone remembers the Vision Mayor Gregor Robertson calling citizens speaking up at City Hall last week a bunch of hacks.

During last night's meeting I intervened from the gallery and scolded the Park Chair saying he should leave his attack to an in-camera session. When the Park Chair passed by me in the foyer after the meeting he informed me "to give it a rest", which isn't very respectful.

The Vision Park Chair must issue an apology for his disgraceful and disgusting actions of last night. If he chooses not to do so perhaps he should consider resigning.

Jamie Lee Hamilton