As rumour hardens into speculation we go to press with the latest intelligence on just who is doing what since the time between now and the next provincial election is being measured not in years or months but in weeks: fewer than 50!
We do this within days of the provincial Liberals—whose successive polls have put them on their backsides—having had a mighty show of force. Some 1,800 supporters ponied up $350 each to pack the joint at the Vancouver Convention Centre to chow down then listen up to a speech by Premier Christy Clark.
This proves, once again, that nothing will cause B.C. capitalists to open their wallets faster than the prospect of an NDP victory looming on the horizon. So don’t write the Liberal’s obituary just yet. In spite of the polls, this race will tighten up.
This postulation on political positioning was triggered a few days earlier when Vision park board chair Constance Barnes declared she would seek the NDP nomination in Vancouver False-Creek. While she may win the nomination in this most Liberal riding, she should not give up her day job. A source close to deadline said: “If Barnes thinks a Tory candidate will help split the right-of-centre vote in that riding, it ain’t going to happen.”
What will happen, though, according to the same source, who refused to reveal their name, is that Vision Coun. Geoff Meggs will seek the NDP nomination in Vancouver-Fairview. He will have to face former B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) president and current Sierra Club executive director George Heyman. A Fairview resident our team of researchers came across out gardening on Sunday predicted Meggs would win that contest: “Everybody knows Geoff. I’ve never heard of that Heyman guy.”
But the riding is no easy win for the left. After Mayor Gregor Robertson won there by a few hundred votes in 2005, boundary changes made it a tougher slog for the NDP.
This brings us to the Liberals and Christy Clark. We have confirmed from several sources that there is a rumour Clark will not run again in Vancouver-Point Grey. She came close to losing that byelection to the NDP’s David Eby and wants an easier riding that will allow her to get out and around the province come the election. She has her eye on Vancouver-Quilchena where former Gordon Campbell-era heavy Colin Hansen is still in the dog house and definitely not off leash over the HST mess.
According to insiders, Eby, back at his post as executive director of B.C. Civil Liberties Association, may or may not take another run in Point Grey. But folks in a line at a West 10th Avenue supermarket confirmed two names are being kicked around for the Liberal nomination: Eyeglass salesman and former NHL star Trevor Linden and former NPA councillor and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton.
We have equally strong evidence that Anton is also considering the ethnically diverse riding of Vancouver-Fraserview. (That is unless, of course, Vancouver-Langara MLA Moira Stillwell can be convinced to pack it in.)
All the Liberals have to do in Fraserview is kick their political problem, Kash “the Stallion” Heed, out the door. Now that the riding’s NDP passed up on the popular and charming George Chow for the far less attractive Gabriel Yiu, Fraserview seems destined to stay Liberal.
And while we are on the subject of squeezing some people out to get other people in, there is the matter of Pamela Martin. The former TV news anchor, now on the premier’s payroll, is being polished up to run if the party can convince either West Vancouver-Capilano’s Ralph Sultan or West Vancouver-Sea to Sky’s Joan McIntyre to take one for the team.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon continues to kvetch about life with Christy Clark and Housing, and Energy Minister Rich Coleman was reported, off the record of course, to be fishing for a senate posting.
All of the above is, I remind you, on background only.