Politics explains why Conservatives help VanDusen, but not the Bloedel Conservatory

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      Will the Bloedel Conservatory bite the dust because it's on the wrong side of Oak Street?

      Yesterday, Conservative MP Andrew Saxton announced a $6.35-million federal gift for the VanDusen Botanical Garden, which is mostly on the west side of Oak Street.

      That means it's mostly in the federal riding of Vancouver Quadra, which  Stephen Harper's  Conservatives would like to win in the next election.

      The Conservatives have  captured Vancouver Quadra nine times since 1949.

      The Bloedel Conservatory, on the other hand, is in the riding of Vancouver Kingsway, which the Conservatives won only once, in the Diefenbaker landslide of 1958. (The riding  existed  on the  East Side from 1953 to 1988, and was created again under new boundaries in 1997 that  extend west to Oak Street.)  

      This week, Liberal infrastructure critic Gerard Kennedy was in Metro Vancouver ridiculing Conservative MPs in B.C.  for doing such a poor job in delivering infrastructure funds to this province.

      He released a report, The Wrong Way to Help: Federal Infrastructure Stimulus Programs in British Columbia, which showed that of the 10 B.C.  ridings that received the most money, nine were held by Conservative MPs.

      Later in the week, Saxton rushed out an announcement of federal money in Vancouver Quadra, which is represented by Liberal MP Joyce Murray. Conservative Deborah Meredith lost to her  by a mere 151 votes in a 2008 by-election. Meredith fared far worse in the 2008 general election later that year, trailing   Murray by almost 5,000 votes.

      The 40-year-old  conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park is scheduled to close on March 1, 2010 after the Vancouver park board voted to eliminate a $410,000 subsidy to the facility and to the children's petting zoo in Stanley Park.

      The park board has estimated that it will cost $2 million to upgrade the roof of the conservatory, which is home to tropical plants and more than 100 species of birds. Don't count on a Harper-led government to cough up any infrastructure money to save it because there's no electoral prize at the end.

      Vancouver Kingsway is held by NDP MP Don Davies. Conservative candidate Salomon Rayek came third in 2008, trailing the winner by more than 3,500 votes.



      Come on, Charlie

      Dec 18, 2009 at 12:33pm

      Why do you associate today's Conservative Party with yesterday's Progressive Conservative Party when they only share in common half the historical legacy as represented by only holding onto half the name when it merged with the Reform/Canadian Reform Alliance Party?

      IOW, they have two different histories!

      No Friend of Either

      Dec 20, 2009 at 1:16am

      Au Contrare. stinkweed by any other name still smells bad!!


      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:25pm

      Translation: my son has a lamborghini that has been sitting on blocks for 6 months; and he's getting a little annoying..


      Dec 21, 2009 at 3:20pm

      $2 million? Take it from the retractable roof from that other stupid sports venue. And apply the rest of that money towards affordable housing and education. Take the casino profits, and refund public health care and reclaim public ownership of BC Hydro! Anybody else see the logic?

      Bill McCreery

      Jan 21, 2010 at 9:57am

      Charlie, You may be right but, if so it demonstrates a rather to simplistic,& uninformed understanding of Vancouver citizens & how they value their civic amenities. The people of Vancouver don't care that Van Dusen is west of Oak & Bloedel is east of Cambie. They do care about Boedel & Van Dusen as valuable institutions to bring themselves & their children into contact with the wonders of the natural world.