Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Real Scoop on COPE's AGM

As one who was there, I've been reading with interest
and annoyance the analysis of what people think
happened at the latest COPE AGM, Wednesday,
July 13th.

Essentially, three things were on the agenda.

1. Amendments to the Constitution & By-laws of COPE
to bring it in line with the Society Act. A dry, but inform-
ative briefing on the changes and then voting took place.

Decisions included:

(i)Individuals from jurisdictions outside of Vancouver
can join COPE as members. They will have a voice in
decisions, but no vote.

(ii)The resolution on age restriction of those joining
COPE was struck down. Most speakers didn't agree
that there should be an age restriction, especially
in light of the need to get some new, young blood
into the party. The left, among others, are a big fan
of talking the talk and miserably failing in walking the
talk on this one.

2. Penny Parry was voted in by acclamation for
the open spot on the COPE Executive. This is for
the position of fundraiser, obviously a crucial role
going into the fall. Ms. Parry seems like she has
great energy and a lot of experience to bring to
this important role.

3. Negotiations with "Friends of Larry"/Vision

The Negotiating team consisted of COPE insiders,
as well as players from the Vancouver District
Labour Council
Executive. They had a really tough
job to do, of that there is no doubt. However, the
"plan" negotiated fell far from the mark for many
for the following reasons:

(i) Members of COPE were being urged to walk
away from established democratic process in the
party and simply accept Jim Green as the mayoral
candidate of choice from both "sides." In addition,
COPE as a whole was being asked to simply rubber
stamp 5 unknown Vision Vancouver candidates,
sight and sound unseen. The catchiest line of the
night, from Donna Morgan, former co-chair of
COPE was perfect to describe the leap of faith
being asked of a democratic party, passing a
resolution about "shadowy men from a shadowy
planet." If anyone wants to run under the COPE
slate, then they better work their magic with their
supporters and get their butt into the inevitable
nominating meeting. It's as simple as that.
The citizens of Vancouver, the members of COPE
and other jurisdictions affected by decisions made
here cannot afford to be signing a blank cheque to
anyone, too much is at stake over the next 5 years.

If Jim Green wants to be a mayoral candidate,
then he better show up for the nominating meeting
like all the other proposed candidates. The scuttle
butt that he essentially told the negotiating team that
either he is the declared mayoral candidate by both sides,
or the "Friends" camp wouldn't be at the table just
smacks of the unacceptable, unethical and undemocratic
actions of a bully. COPE does not need this kind of
game playing, nor does the City of Vancouver. If
you are proving yourself to be rigid, inflexible and
unwilling to show up even for this meeting (yes, Green
wasn't even at the meeting due to a teaching commit-
ment), then what kind of mayor will you make? What
kind of consensus building will be possible on council?
What kind of relationships will be made with others
in the business and other sectors (not just developers)?
This goes for all the other "Lite" too. If they want to
run under the COPE banner, then show up for nom-
inations just like everyone else. With "Friends" like
these, do we really need enemies? COPE members
can't hand over the party to a majority of 6 people
(1 mayoral candidate and 5 Vision Vancouver
councillours) who refuse to be identified to the very
party that is working on "reconciliation" with them.
That would just be plain stupid.

I'm tired of all the scaredy cats who keep raising the
spectre of this "split" putting the NPA in a better position
to sweep into power. Oh puhleeze. They aren't exactly
lighting the world on fire. No offense to Peter Ladner,
or Sam Sullivan, but neither of them spells out leader
of the party. Sure they've paid their dues, but they just
don't inspire the masses in the way a real leader needs to.

Now, listen up all of you who think Tim Louis is the
mayoral candidate of choice. No offense whatsoever to
Mr. Louis, who is clearly a dedicted, committed advocate
and activist. I guarantee it, if COPE runs Mr. Louis as a
mayoral candidate that COPE will be unlikely to win the
election in November. I say ditto for Jim Green. People
outside of the left have this "head buried in the sand"
mentality and don't like to have their icons knocked.
You can line up all the politicians to speak on their behalf
(Jenny, Libby, George etc.).
But as the NPA learned in their epic landslide loss,
when you are out of touch with the voters, you will lose
big time and your party will disintegrate. To win this
next municipal election, like the last provincial one,
we must appeal to the moderates amongst the electorate.
The spectre of Tim Louis, or Jim Green, as mayor frightens
and even angers many who are close the centre, or even
on the right of it. I talk to people from lots of walks of
life and most would never in a million years vote for
either Louis, or Green. They do not trust them, they
think they are too radical, or they just don't like them,
or what they stand for. This election is here for COPE
to lose and it's my belief we will lose it if either of those
candidates are run for mayor. I'll reserve judgement
for now on who I think should run for mayor to see
how things play out a bit more. Hell, even the BC Liberals
have some democracy left, at least when it comes to
their riding nominations, like them or not.
The bottom line for COPE is that we must not be pennywise
and pound foolish by turning away from the democratic
process that underlies this party. As a newer player in
the sandbox though, I can't help but wonder if all the
discord and discomfort at the dramas and soap operas
within and without COPE isn't also a reaction to the change
that is inevitable amongst all working relationships and
within organizations. Change is difficult and stressful, as
is conflict. However handled well and skillfully, resolution
can bring new energy, commitment and direction to an
endeavour, or organization. It seems to me that COPE
needs a new direction, some new faces and voices and
I think people on all sides need to chill out, stop being so
self-interested and continue our party's commitment to
democracy, social justice and inclusion. With dedication to
solid values, beliefs and strengths COPE will evolve and
continue to provide the citizens of Vancouver with the
good, balanced and sustainable governance we deserve
and require as we move through this decade.


COPE Classics face a grim future with Green
Charlie smith
, (14-Jul-2005).
The Georgian

COPE members say more talks needed
COPE News, (July 13, 2005).

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) members directed
their Executive to resume negotiations for a joint slate with
Councillor Jim Green and his Vision Vancouver group.

With Friends Like These....
The Pacific Gazetteer
(July 13, 2005).

Given that COPE just can't quite patch things up,
it looks like the big prize in Vancouver civic politics
at the moment are a bunch of Friends, none of
whom lives in an apartment on TV.

We're talking, of course, about the Friends of soon
-to-be-former mayor Larry Campbell, a PR and
fundraising juggernaut that may go for Lite man
Jim Green which will go a long way in determining
how viable Classic guy David Cadman's campaign
will be.

Underbelly News: Downtown Eastside


Last night COPE members rejected an offer put
forward by their executive to anoint Jim Green
as their Mayoral candidate. Members voted
123-96 not to entertain the motion put forward
around unity with the Friends of Larry Campbell
now called Jim Green's Vision Vancouver.

Jim Green in his usual style was too much of a
coward to attend the meeting. He had his wife
Roberta McCann attempt to negotiate the deal last
week. Despite the best efforts of elected politicians
Libby Davies, Jenny Kwan, David Chudnovsky
and certain labour heads, promoting Jim Green for
Mayor, the deal was rejected.

Vancouver councillor urges colleague to drop
election appeal
CKNW, (July 17, 2005).

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Vancouver councillor
Jim Green is hoping his fellow COPE councillor Tim
Stevenson will drop his appeal of the provincial election
result in Vancouver-Burrard and run again civically under
the new 'Vision Vancouver' banner.

Technically, that appeal in the courts could still go ahead --
but if a by-election is called for the provincial seat, the NDP
would have to nominate a new candidate if Stevenson were
elected for another civic term.

Green says Stevenson's decision will be a huge factor in his
own decision on whether to run for mayor.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Do the Liberals take Immigration Issues Seriously? You Decide.

An open letter to Premier Gordon Campbell

Naeem "Nick" Noorani Publisher,
The Canadian Immigrant Magazine

Dear Premier Campbell:

Congratulations on your re-election in the last provincial
election. We hope that in your next four years as leader
of this province you will focus more attention on the
integration of immigrants in this province - a crucial
area in which your government and our province has
not been doing so well.

In the recent 2004 Inter-Provincial Report Card on
Language and Settlement Services in Canada
, B.C.
received a failing grade; other provinces like Ontario,
Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba fared much better.
The Canada West Foundation corroborated these
results recently after conducting a year-long research
study - it found that current immigration policy and
practice in western Canada is flawed, and immigrants
are not being allowed to achieve their potential.

Read the letter in it's entirety.


What excellent and common sense ideas that the
BC government should, but probably won't implement.
Hmm, what Wally Oppal's got to say about these things,
he is the
Minister responsible for Multiculturalism?
Gee, I seem to have a problem, can't exactly find
the Ministry of Multiculturalism on the "government at
a glance" website,
hmm? I wonder where it is? But I did find this
2003/4 Report on Multiculturalism from the BC government.
I bet it reads a bit different than the Report Card.
Hmm, which one to believe?

Another thing, I checked out the Ministry of
Labour and Citizens Services
and can't seem to find
much in the way of services beyond labour issues.
I'd think immigration was a "citizen's service."
Everything on the government website that I
can find pretty much dates back to the time of
the MCAWS conglomeration, including govern-
ment planning and issues of immigration.

Step it up Liberals. Mr. Noorani is exactly right,
we must provide the resources to support and
assist new Canadians in settling here, children and
adults need ESL courses both for the learning of
English, as well as the connections they make with
other new Canadians and the introduction they
receive to some Canadian values and culture.
And being integrated into the labour force is crucial
for all of us. It's a win-win scenario.

Canada needs immigration and we should be honoured
that citizens from around the globe want to make them-
selves at home here. I know that successive generations
of immigration policy have been based on racist premises,
using immigrants as cheap labour. Isn't it time to stop
exploiting and denying the academic credentials and
professionalism of those trained abroad in a variety of
careers. We're really shooting ourselves in the foot,
because I don't know about where you all live, but it is
very hard to find a family doctor, nursing shortages etc. etc.
I suppose there could be a more nefarious plot: by running
the public health care system into the ground, they can
more easily advocate for a private health care system.

I can't write a post about exploitation of immigrants
and not mention the sexism and racism involved in the
nanny trade in Canada.
Advocates call for changes to Ottawa's 'nanny'
. CBC News, (
25 Mar 2005).

VANCOUVER - The Department of Immigration and the
Philippines Congress are now investigating Canada's Live
-in Caregiver Program - which provides thousands of
Canadian households with nannies - after claims the
program violates those workers' human rights.

In most cases, women who want to emigrate to Canada
come as nannies and live with their Canadian employers.

More Federal Funding for Immigrant Services is

Good News
- But It Will Only Be Effective if Spent On
Core Settlement and Language Services, Author of New
Report Card Warns

Simon Fraser University Releases a New Inter-
Provincial Report Card on Language and Settlement
Services for Immigrants in Canada: A System in Crisis.
Visible Minorities in BC: A Directory of Some
Ethno-cultural Organizations in BC.
Racism, Sexism, and Visible Minority Immigrant Women
in Canada.
Roxana Ng.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Peace and Solace to Chuck Cadman & his family

Independent MP Chuck Cadman dies of cancer News Staff

Independent MP Chuck Cadman died Saturday at home in
Surrey, B.C. after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 57.

Cadman had been receiving chemotherapy for melanoma,
and made headlines this year as he flew to Ottawa to cast
one crucial vote that helped avert a spring election.
Independent MP Cadman dies
CBC News, (09 Jul 2005).

Independent MP Chuck Cadman, who cast the deciding vote
that let Paul Martin's minority Liberal government survive
a confidence motion in May, has died of skin cancer.

MP Cadman helped remind the public that there are some
decent, ethical and principled people still involved in politics.
Canadians should mourn his loss and we're in his debt for
his self-less participation in a vote that helped save this
country when he was in the midst of his own very personal
and important fight against cancer. I think of MP Cadman
as a mentor, someone to be respected and looked up to in
this wacky world of politics.

Blessings and peace to him, his family and friends. He will be
missed. The world is a better place for his time and work here.
Thank you.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Terrorism: A Consequence, or part of the Globalization Agenda?

Four bombs in 50 minutes - Britain suffers its
worst-ever terror attack

Hugh Muir and Rosie Cowan
Friday July 8, 2005
The Guardian

Summit thrown into confusion

Blair's departure forces changes to programme

Ewen MacAskill
Friday July 8, 2005
The Guardian

The G8 leaders' meeting at Gleneagles, Perthshire was disrupted
yesterday by the attacks in London.

Ex-Mossad Chief Calls For World War After
London Attack:

Rules of conflict for a world war

By Efraim Halevi

07/07/05 "The Jerusalem Post"
- - The multiple,
simultaneous explosions that took place today on the
London transportation system were the work of perp-
etrators who had an operational capacity of considerable
scope. They have come a long way since the two attacks
of the year 1998 against the American embassies in
Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam, and the aircraft actions of
September 11, 2001.

We are in the throes of a world war, raging over the entire
globe and characterized by the absence of lines of conflict
and an easily identifiable enemy. There are sometimes long
pauses between one attack and another, consequently
creating the wrong impression that the battle is all over,
or at least in the process of being won.

Generally speaking, the populations at large are not involved
in the conflict, and by and large play the role of bystanders.
But once in a while, these innocents are caught up in the
maelstrom and suffer the most cruel and wicked of punish-
ments meted out by those who are not bound by any rules
of conduct or any norms of structured society. For a while,
too short a while, we are engrossed with the sheer horror
of what we see and hear, but, with the passage of time,
our memories fade and we return to our daily lives, forget-
ting that the war is still raging out there and more strikes
are sure to follow.
I like the style and flow of this author and some of his points.
However I don't agree with his "requirement that each and
every country effectively declare itself at war with inter-
national Islamist terror" because this bias fails to also include
some of the reasons why terrorism is being taken to such
extreme levels.

I also honestly believe this world doesn't need more
war. Parents don't need to lose more children to violence.
Lawless and greedy transnational corporations don't need
more opportunities to push war so they can steal the oil
and hand out the reparation contracts to their buddies to
rebuild the nations they've destroyed.

When Corporations Rule the World

"... the establishment can't admit [that] it is human rights
violations that make ... countries attractive to business --
so history has to be fudged, including denial of our
support of regimes of terror and the practices that provide
favorable climates of investment, and our destabilization
of democracies that [don't] meet [the] standard of service
to the transnational corporation..."

Edward Herman, economist and media analyst

Israel Warned United Kingdom About Possible Attacks

07/07/05 "Stratfor Consulting Intelligence Agency"


There has been massive confusion over a denial made
by the Israelis that the Scotland Yard had warned the
Israeli Embassy in London of possible terrorist attacks
“minutes before” the first bomb went off July 7. Israel
warned London of the attacks a “couple of days ago,”
but British authorities failed to respond accordingly to
deter the attacks, according to an unconfirmed rumor
circulating in intelligence circles. While Israel is keeping
quiet for the time-being, British Prime Minister Tony
Blair soon will be facing the heat for his failure to take
" What we have is not a market economy. It is a corporately
planned and controlled economy. "

" We have a world in which a handful of corporations,
dettached from any link to any place or community,
have extended their power beyond the reach of most
governments. "

David Korten, economist and internationalist
Special Report - G8. The Guardian.