Vision Vancouver spurns Cadman and hogs regional directorships

On the weekend, I wrote that the first test of the Vision Vancouver-controlled council would be if it appointed COPE councillor David Cadman to the board of Metro Vancouver.

Vision mayor Gregor Robertson and his colleagues flunked miserably.

They say that in politics, to the victors go all the spoils. Vision has hogged all the Vancouver positions—and those lucrative  per-diem allowances--for sitting on the Metro Vancouver board.

Council voted on December 8 to  appoint Robertson and Vision councillors Heather Deal, Raymond Louie, George Chow, Tim Stevenson, and Andrea Reimer as Vancouver’s directors on the Metro Vancouver board.

Metro Vancouver directors are paid $252.82 for every meeting they attend that lasts less than four hours. The pay per meeting  increases to $505.64 for meetings that last longer than four hours.

Vision overlooked COPE’s Cadman, who worked for the regional government for 19 years and who has probably done more than almost any other Vancouver municipal politician to promote effective regional land-use, transportation, and drinking-water policies.

Cadman has to settle for being chair of council’s committee on transportation and traffic.

On the surface, it looks like a prestigious appointment, and a sign of Vision’s goodwill toward Cadman, who helped create the alliance with COPE and the Greens  that led to Vision's victory. In reality, it’s a way for the Vision crowd to collect those regional  per-diem allowances.

So why does it matter? Metro Vancouver has a huge impact on residents' quality of life through its decisions regarding planning, air quality, drinking-water quality, and many other areas.

Metro Vancouver's board  could one day reverse the moratorium on logging in the watersheds. Metro Vancouver can also have an impact on the removal of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve if it blocks providing regional sewage connections or takes other steps.

Vision Vancouver obviously believed that Cadman is not among the five best members of council to look after these interests on behalf of the public. Either that, or Vision Vancouver wanted to gobble up all the per-diem allowances. Given Cadman's vast knowledge of regional issues, I'm inclined to believe the latter.

Cadman didn't attend the inauguration of council members yesterday at the Sunset Community Centre. According to COPE spokeperson Ivan Bulic, he was out of the country on city business at the United Nations climate-change conference in Poznan, Poland.




Dec 9, 2008 at 2:43pm

Is it any surprise that Vision is playing politics with city appointments? What I want to know is, Who is paying for David Cadman's trip to Poznan, and why in the world is a city councillor going to something like this? City councillors can't do a thing about climate change at the local level, it's just a taxpayer-paid vacation for David Cadman. Ridiculous!


Dec 9, 2008 at 3:22pm

yea, except for bans on plastic bottles and bags; bans on idling cars (sure that's practically ineffective, but it's doing something); banning of logging ecologically sensitive areas; pressuring provincial and federal governments to do change things; forcing local business to follow environmental policies (maybe ethical dumping or capping total emissions for businesses). This is just off the top of my head, but i'm fairly certain a local council can impose any one of the above and more.

The Blackbird

Dec 10, 2008 at 1:34am

This is something I didn't know until I read your article. Thanks for sharing.