How Vision Vancouver can destroy Kirk LaPointe and the NPA


Yesterday, I wrote a commentary laying out a road map for former journalist Kirk LaPointe to win the Vancouver mayoral race.

Today, I'm going to explain how Vision Vancouver might want to respond.

Vancouverites demonstrated in the 2013 provincial election that they weren't very impressed with the B.C. Liberals.

Premier Christy Clark lost her seat to the NDP's David Eby.

The B.C. Liberals won only three of the 10 other Vancouver constituencies.

That was the governing party's worst showing in Vancouver since 1991.

Part of the reason the B.C. Liberals fared so badly was a perception that the party is in the pocket of big business.

Today, some of the same claims are being made about Vision Vancouver.

Vision is trying to offset this by running hard against plans to turn Vancouver into a major tarsands oil port.

Vision is also firming up left-wing support by making Vancouver a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants and by promoting progressive policies for LGBT kids in local schools.

But it still faces a challenge in defining the NPA.

To me, the easiest route to victory is to forget about its mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe and the council candidates.

Instead, Vision should not only focus on where it's more progressive than the NPA, but also on who's in the NPA's backrooms.

Vision could make a credible case that the NPA is in the pocket of big business (just like the B.C. Liberals are) merely by highlighting who is on the party's board of directors.

Advertising messages could feature huge pictures of millionaire businessmen Peter Armstrong and Rob Macdonald, who are the NPA's president and vice president, respectively.

Then the caption could read: "The real face of the NPA."

Will Vision make NPA president Peter Armstrong the face of his party?
Charlie Smith

Armstrong is the founder of Great Canadian Railtour, which locked out its workers for 14 months. The company's board includes former Vanoc CEO John Furlong.

Macdonald, a developer and former business partner of real-estate flipper Nelson Skalbania, has been one of the city's most vociferous opponents of bicycle lanes.

The NPA vice president made the largest political donation in a single year to a Canadian political party when he handed over $960,000 to the NPA in 2011. 

It's one of the reasons why the watchdog group Integrity B.C. launched a petition to get big money out of political campaigns.

Keep in mind that there are no tax credits for municipal contributions, which demonstrates how wealthy Macdonald must be.

Meanwhile, Skalbania has reportedly complained that he can't drive two blocks from his home to the Jericho Tennis Club because of the Point Grey bike lane. Poor baby.

It's pretty easy to paint these rich older white guys as members of the one-percent club.

Perhaps this explains why LaPointe made such a point of calling upon Vision to avoid making personal attacks.

LaPointe probably knows how vulnerable his party is to a well-financed Vision Vancouver branding campaign. 

Comments (11) Add New Comment
Tommy Khang
But is that ultimately a wise choice when Vision also has big money backers? I mean Bob Rennie's $25K lunch was only four months ago, and Vision supporters aside from Rennie include Terry Hui's Concord Pacific, Peter Wall's Wall Financial Corp, Aisenstat's Keg resturants, among others - and these people all play in the same sandbox as Armstrong, Macdonald and Skalbania.
Rating: +35
Vision also might want to think about considering thoses Chernin characters as legit candidates. Splitting the right wing vote has worked for other left wing parties before.
Rating: +2
Peter Armstrong has a butler. That's really all anybody needs to know about the NPA. I sometimes picture him as Sad Batman, with his butler and his slipping away of heterosexual white male power.
Rating: -8
The Big Business Song (Oscar Mayer Bologna tune)

My right pocket has a good name it's N and P and A
My left pocket also has a name it's Vision Vancouver
Oh I love my politicians yeah and if you ask me why I'll say
'cause every big decision always ends up going all my way
Rating: +5
MoneyBags McPlutocrat
I just stopped by on my gold-plated schooner to remind you low-borns your neighborhood is going to look pretty darn good with some more 350k single bedroom high-rises and increased police presence.
Rating: +9
Ken Lawson
I'm against bike lanes and cyclist also, Anti Vision Vancouver the clowns of our Society
Rating: +14
Oh well
As long as no other political party brings up the fact that Vision and the NPA are separated only by a bike lane, I'm sure no one will mention it again. This is Vancouver. We like our City Council under the sway of real estate developers and our parties controlled by millionaires.
Rating: +12
Anyone is better than Vision Vancouver. Vision Vancouver does what they want anyways. They don't care what the public wants. Next election I'm voting NPA. I'll give them a chance.
Rating: +6
That strategy will only work for the fervently confirmed members of Vision. I'm a #vanpoli follower and a pic of Peter Armstrong would be a waste of money---I have other issues on my mind. So think about the non-politically aligned voter. They may, in fact be more familiar with one of Vision's 'rich guys': Bob Rennie.

And Charlie, in this byzantine labyrinth
Rating: +7
Where are the adults?
I agree with Tommy Khang's comments. How can Vision put daylight between itself and the NPA on that issue? Bob Rennie and Peter Wall were reportedly fundraising for the BC Liberals. Bob Rennie hosts a $25K a plate dinner for Gregor Robertson.

Vision is addicted to CAC from developers and spot rezoning. Gregor Robertson dismisses concerns that the Vancouver residential real estate market is distorted by "investors" from overseas as "ridiculous." Frankly, if the NPA wants to win this election by a landslide it only needs to do one thing. Promise to gather/record statistics of non-resident purchasers of residential property, occupancy rates, etc. And develop measures to control it. Beats the hell out of creating a "task force" populated by developers and community housing activists.

If you are a Vancouver voter ask yourself this question: is Vancouver a more affordable and liveable city for a family than it was before Vision took over?

Vancouver needs leaders like Art Phillips and Naheed Nenshi.

Rating: +14
Why not throw both Vision and the NPA out? Try a mix of the rest? Let's see what happens when developers aren't running our city. It might be interesting. We might like it.
Rating: +8
Add new comment
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.