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.