Maybe you already knew this: That federal Liberals are proud of the work they’ve done to “make Canada the beacon of freedom and equality that we are today.”
How do I know that?
Well, I received an email last week from the “organization chair of the Liberal Party of Canada in B.C.” letting me know what great things the party has done for the country.
But, according to the dispatch, things could be greater—even though former PMs Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chretien and Paul Martin all did their part.
More work has to be done to ensure “full acceptance, safety and equal rights for all citizens” and that’s why Liberals will be “celebrating, reaching out” and signing up supporters at Pride parades and festivals across B.C. this summer.
So you can bet on seeing Vancouver-Centre MP Hedy Fry and the Liberals at Pride in Vancouver Aug. 5. Which is not really a surprise, since politicians of all stripes usually attend the parade. Heck, even former NPAer George Puil showed up in a dress about a decade ago.
So why am I using this precious space to prattle on about federal Liberals and Puil’s wardrobe when I should be updating you about all things civic?
Here’s your answer: The email was sent to me from Braeden Caley who is, in fact, the “organization chair of the Liberal Party of Canada in B.C.”
He is also, in fact, “executive assistant, media relations and communications” for Mayor Gregor Robertson, which was confirmed in the last dispatch I received from Caley about a development council approved in the West End.
So what’s the big deal?
Maybe, there is no deal.
But to be sure, I rang up Mr. Caley to ask him about his dual roles and what the public should make of a member of the mayor’s staff volunteering for the Liberals.
“The thing is, I didn’t actually send that,” Caley said. “It sent automatically from their system. But it did go out on my name because I still am the organization chair for their party in B.C.”
Interestingly, the email was sent out at 4:01 p.m. on Friday which, I assume, is still a time of day Caley would be working as the mayor’s executive assistant.
“I actually told them that it shouldn’t have gone out at 4 p.m., if that’s what you’re thinking about,” said Caley, who was hired by the mayor’s office in March and became the guy we media types call when we need to speak to Robertson. The other guy, Kevin Quinlan, assumed the role as director of policy and communications.
Caley’s allegiance to the federal Liberals is not a secret, since he worked as a constituency assistant for former MPs Ujjal Dosanjh and Raymond Chan.
The mayor is on vacation and wasn’t available to talk about this. But, I assume—since Caley’s Liberal ties were well documented before he got the job—that Robertson doesn’t have a problem with his staff’s political allegiances outside of city hall.
“The mayor has staff and supporters of all political stripes and I think the public would hope that no one is working on anything but the business of the city during business hours, and that’s certainly how we do business,” Caley added.
Fantastic, said the taxpayer.