Civic beat 2017: Of Trudeau’s hair, salt thieves and warring councillors

My annual list of questionable observations made from the civic affairs desk

12th and Cambie

Sadly, another year of hunting, gathering and typing has come to a close.

That means it’s time to roll out my annual list of questionable observations, stinging criticisms and pure nonsense from my 300-plus days on the beat.

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I’ve added hashtags this year to amp up the cleverness.

Here you go…

City facility that most resembles a border crossing: City hall. Ever since a bunch of anti-poverty activists occupied the council chamber this summer, the city has beefed up security on the days that city council meets. Guards are posted at both entrances on the main floor, on the third floor (location of the chamber) and at the entrance to the chamber. #yourpapersplease


city hall
Vancouver city hall. Photo Dan Toulgoet


Most cowardly public relations move by a civic political party: That goes to Vision Vancouver which hid their council byelection candidate Diego Cardona from media on election night. Too bad because the guy is articulate, on top of the issues and an adult. Have to think Vision would have been all too happy to offer up Cardona had he won, instead of finishing fifth. We spoke several days later but that’s far from the point of what should have been a simple exercise in humility. #sorelosers


Diego Cardona, Vision Vancouver's council candidate in the Oct. 14 byelection. Photo Dan Toulgoet


Developer most likely to believe in the popular phrase, “it ain’t over til it’s over:" Beedie Living or Beedie Holdings Ltd. or whatever the company calls itself. After its condo proposal for 105 Keefer St. in Chinatown was modified five times over three years, then rejected by council, then by the development permit board, Beedie has launched an appeal to be heard at the Board of Variance. #yogiberraism


A model of Beedie Living's condo proposal for Chinatown. Photo Dan Toulgoet


It’s the end of the world as we know it award: That goes to all those me-first types who stole more than the two-bucket maximum of salt from firehalls the night before it was made available free to the public during last winter’s snow/ice storm. Such acts of selfishness only confirm a reality long-held by newcomers to this town: Vancouver can be a cold place on so many levels. #snowpocalypsewow


Residents lining up for salt last winter at a Vancouver firehall. Photo Dan Toulgoet


City councillor most in need of a flak jacket, or set of noise-cancelling headphones, or both: Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr, who now sits between the warring duo of Vision Coun. Andrea Reimer and NPA Coun. Melissa De Genova. Carr was placed in that seat after the NPA’s Hector Bremner won the Oct. 14 byelection. As a teenager on a job shadow once concluded after witnessing one of the many vinegary exchanges between Reimer and De Genova, “wow, the sass is real.” #crossfire


Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr. Photo Dan Toulgoet


Provincial politician most likely to joke about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s hair: That would be our very own follicly challenged premier, John Horgan. In his speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities in September, Horgan said this about JT: “I found Mr. Trudeau quite relatable. We’ve both been successful despite an obsessive focus on our rich, luxurious hair. We worked through that though, and started talking about how both levels of government can work together.” #pantene


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo Dan Toulgoet


More evidence why Hillary Clinton is not president of the United States: When Clinton showed up in Vancouver to flog her book to a crowd of mostly well-heeled types – and made buckets of cash doing it – she was joined on stage by well-heeled realtor-turned-interviewer Bob Rennie. So weird, so wrong. Elitism and privilege pisses people off. Just ask Trump’s voters. #feelthebern


Realtor Bob Rennie and Hillary Clinton. Photo Dan Toulgoet


Best reason for a charity punch-up between two city councillors: After capturing on video the verbal sparring match this month between Vision Coun. Raymond Louie and NPA Coun. George Affleck, you’ve got to think some promoter in this town could scrounge up a couple of pairs of 16-ounce gloves and get these guys in the ring. All proceeds would go to independent candidates running in the October 2018 election. #aLeftandaRight

Best reason to stop writing this sentence: I really need to clean my desk, gather up my stuff and jump aboard the next holiday train out of town.



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