So when Vision Vancouver Coun. Geoff Meggs’ dream of becoming the next NDP MLA for Vancouver-Fairview was crushed earlier this month, I wondered how his buddy Mayor Gregor Robertson took the news.
His reaction in a sec.
First, let me remind you that Robertson, the former NDP MLA for the riding, was eligible to vote for his buddy. Or, maybe he would have voted for George Heyman, who soundly beat Meggs Oct. 21 to win the NDP nomination.
The mayor wouldn’t reveal his choice.
Not that it would matter because he didn’t vote.
His wife Amy did though.
But like a good politician’s spouse, she was coy when asked about her choice after she cast a ballot at the Holiday Inn on West Broadway. All she would say is she voted for “one of the
It took me a few days to hear from the mayor but I managed to catch up with him during a break at a Vancouver Police Board meeting.
On Meggs: “It was a tough race. Some heavyweights both keen to be working on the provincial side. But I’m thankful to have Geoff Meggs as a councillor. He’s been a great councillor at the city and he will continue to be. But I know he was working hard for this, so it’s tough for him but there’s a net benefit—he keeps serving the people of Vancouver directly.”
On why he didn’t vote: “I’ve stayed out of all the provincial and federal politics since I became mayor. I just keep it simple and focus on the city.”
While having Meggs on board until the next civic election in 2014 may be good news for Robertson, expect Meggs to be a frustrated councillor—and it has nothing to do with the semi-entertaining sparring in council chambers between him and the NPA’s political pugilist George Affleck.
(Affleck, by the way, turned up at the NDP nomination meeting, expecting Meggs to win. It’s safe to say he was going to make himself available to media and go on about how a victorious Meggs would use the council chambers for the next eight months as a pulpit for the NDP and how Meggs forced a byelection for his council seat and how it would cost a million bucks and….well, Heyman ruined Affleck’s afternoon.)
Meggs’ frustration will come from not being able to follow through on transit, housing and other issues that hit roadblocks at the municipal level. He experienced this, too, when he was former Mayor Larry Campbell’s media guy.
Here’s what he told me before the ballots were counted.
“I’ve been involved in three civic administrations and noticed that many of the things we start can’t get completed because Victoria’s not playing along—it’s not supporting it. So we can recommend a supervised injection site and even get one open but there isn’t enough funding for mental health and addiction. Or we can get bike lanes happening but we can’t get rapid transit on the Broadway corridor. So I’m doing it because I want to take it to the next level.”
Not anytime soon, apparently.