Five reasons why Vision Vancouver badmouths Green commissioner Stuart Mackinnon

This week, Vision Vancouver park commissioners ramped up their attacks on the lone elected Green in Vancouver, Stuart Mackinnon.

In a peculiar move, Vision's Raj Hundal called Straight reporter Carlito Pablo out of the blue on December 15 to tell him that Mackinnon is "almost a bit of a bully".

Another Vision commissioner, Sarah Blyth, sent an e-mail to the Straight claiming that Mackinnon has—get this—"been anything but supportive", even rolling his eyes when she spoke.

What accounts for Vision's decision to go after Mackinnon this week?

Here are five theories:

1. The Vision Vancouver-controlled council approved the budget on December 14 before the Vision-controlled park board had a chance to hear submissions from the public. Mackinnon will likely point this out tonight (December 16). It's unheard-of for council to approve its budget before the elected park board has a chance to provide input. So the best defence for Vision commissioners was a good offence against Mackinnon in advance of him mentioning this to the media.

2. Related to the first point, the Vision-controlled park board postponed its budget consultation with the public, which was scheduled for the December 13 meeting. If Vision had proceeded on that day, there would have been a huge public outcry the night before the Vision-controlled council approved its budget. That's bad optics for a party that's obsessed with how it's perceived by the public.

3. Mackinnon simply knows a lot more about parks and recreation than the Vision commissioners. He has been attending park board meetings for years. Maybe the Vision commissioners are jealous.

4. Mackinnon is not a toady who supports all Vision motions. This doesn't sit well with a party that had an electoral arrangement whereby one spot was saved for the Greens. Vision feels that it helped elect Mackinnon and he's not sufficiently grateful for this.

5. Mackinnon lines up with NPA commissioner Ian Robertson on some issues. They both opposed opening up community centres for anti-HST petitioners, for example. Mackinnon has also put out joint news releases with Robertson. In the eyes of Vision Vancouver, that's tantamount to treason, and therefore, the Green commissioner must be punished.

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Bonnie Willimott

Dec 16, 2010 at 8:28pm

We need more independent-thinking, principled people like Mr. Mackinnon.

East Van Arts

Dec 16, 2010 at 10:18pm

When political parties holding all the cards go into overdrive attacking the competition, they are playing from weakness -- not strength.

VISION has been widely criticized for pre-empting the public. They promised otherwise. From $3 million "trial" bike lanes, to disastrous West End rental housing policies, through to lifetime housing for abandoned chickens, their mistakes are now adding up.

That they attack Green Commissioner Mackinnon only makes sense. VISION at City Hall has embarrassed VISION at the Parks Board. Apparently they would rather attack the messenger than improve the message.

We expected better of them.

bob dylan

Dec 17, 2010 at 1:03pm

How much have Parks Board Commissioners spent on their own personal agendas, for their supporters. If you start adding up Skate parks and BMX bike parks, appears that certain older groups are the haves, while little kids are becoming the have nots. example the Farm, Conservatory,user fees for children.

Oh I forgot little kids can't vote, shortsighted of Vision as their parents can vote.


Dec 17, 2010 at 1:04pm

Stay true and strong Stuart! You have more supporters than you know. As for jasper - may his ego, arrogance and lack of smarts take a hike!

glen p robbins

Dec 19, 2010 at 4:36pm

First, and I make this as an honourable pledge - the next politician who uses the term bully to describe another politician - I aim to punch out, (almost) a bully - a significant fracture. (see - serious Thuggery).

The budget should not have pre-empted information from Parks Board, the 'arrangement' is not McKinnon's fault. The joint press releases with the political opposition NPA is provocative (see arrangement), but this should not mean that budgetary protocols are interfered with.

Did Vision Vancouver support anti-HST rally's in civic and community centres?