David Eby: Vancouver-Point Grey deserves better than another absentee MLA
Christy Clark has confirmed that she won’t be attending any all-candidates meetings or debates in Vancouver-Point Grey in advance of the May 11 by-election. In fact, she scheduled a “telephone town hall” with screened questions and predetermined outcomes on the same night as one of the all-candidates meetings.
If I were the premier-elect, I wouldn’t want to meet the community of Vancouver-Point Grey either. She’s got a tough record to defend to one of the most educated constituencies in British Columbia. But perhaps it’s not surprising. In avoiding these events, Christy continues a long tradition of Gordon Campbell’s to avoid community meetings in the riding.
For the last three weeks I have been knocking on doors and speaking to the Vancouver-Point Grey community about issues that matter to them. They are a diverse electorate and as such have a diverse set of issues they want their full-time MLA to address.
Our province needs prompt action on climate change, by using the money intended for the smart meter program to instead fund green jobs insulating and upgrading the energy efficiency of homes. We need to shift our carbon tax revenues out of general revenue to fund tax cuts for banks and oil companies and towards investment in local transit initiatives.
Our wild Pacific salmon need to be protected with a ban on harmful net pen farming of Atlantic salmon.
Our precious north coast needs to be protected from oil tankers steaming oil sands fuel to Asia—we can do better than that for our future. Christy’s transition team in Victoria is headed by Gwyn Morgan, an anti-Kyoto lobbyist and tanker enthusiast from Encana.
When we take advantage of B.C.’s resources through mining and forestry, we need to do so with the best interests of community foremost in our minds. We can ban raw log exports and ensure critical jobs stay in the province, tied to our natural resources. We can refuse to approve environmentally harmful projects like the Prosperity Mine project outside of Williams Lake that proposes to turn pristine Fish Lake into a toxic tailings pond. Christy personally lobbied the prime minister to overturn a failed environmental assessment on the project.
By rolling back the last two years of corporate tax cuts that have funded record profits but little reinvestment in our community, we can fund critically needed earthquake safety upgrades for our schools, keeping our community’s kids safe. We can also reduce class sizes so that teachers can do their jobs properly, and ensure that kids who need extra attention get the teacher time they need to succeed and contribute to our society. While she was education minister, Christy passed a law, just overturned by the B.C. Supreme Court, that prevented teachers from talking about class sizes and composition during contract negotiations.
We need to revisit the vision for UBC Hospital, and the decision years ago to move away from 24-hour emergency care. We also need to know why patient rooms are being converted into offices, and exactly what the community care future for this hospital will be.
We’ve seen the destruction that broken promises and meaningless consultation around mass transit projects cause in Vancouver; we don’t want another Cambie Street open trench on Broadway. I’ll fight to make sure that consultation engages our community and that TransLink listens to what our community values—independent local businesses and efficient, community-based solutions. I’ll also make sure that promises made are kept. Vancouver-Point Grey’s best interests, from UBC to Kits, will be my priority all day, every day.
For too long our province has expected the police, emergency rooms, and expensive and controversial homeless shelters to be our “solution” to homelessness. Not only is this solution not a solution at all, it’s also more expensive than simply housing people in supported social housing. We can’t waste any more money or time on solutions that aren’t solutions, and that treat those among us who need a hand as not deserving of our time or compassion. If we can put a roof on B.C. Place, we can put a roof on our homeless. Christy is on record saying that the province can’t afford social housing. Perhaps it’s because we spent $1 billion on a convention centre and mega casinos in Vancouver seem to be our province’s focus.
Here for the community
Vancouver-Point Grey has had an absentee representative before in Gordon Campbell, and appears to have an aspiring absentee representative in Christy Clark. It’s time for real change in Vancouver-Point Grey, starting with this by-election.
David Eby is the NDP candidate for the Vancouver-Point Grey by-election.
May 5, 2011 at 4:12pm
Does anyone else have a problem that this paper is publishing a biased article?
May 5, 2011 at 4:32pm
@GAM: Is this the first time you've ever read a news publication?
May 5, 2011 at 4:38pm
During election periods, the Straight solicits statements from as many candidates as possible and publishes them online (not in our print edition) in order to allow voters to hear directly from the people running for office. This is something we've done for a few years now, including during the most recent federal election cycle. Of course, not all candidates take us up on this opportunity.
Hope that explains why there's such a "biased" piece on our site.
glen p robbins
May 5, 2011 at 4:59pm
I would take the position that - given the retail media is corporate (BC Liberal) bias (a thesis I anticipate working on sooner than later) - and there is no shortage of evidence to support this - that a centre left type publication like the Straight is well within it 'ethical rights' - particularly in light of Christy's absence - to provide Mr. Eby with an opportunity to call her out on her absence.
Tax payers are paying for this by-election and Ms. Clark is exhibiting a continuation of the attitude from the BC Liberals as to some type of entitlement--to do as they please.
May 5, 2011 at 5:05pm
Hereis the address of a wonderful cartoon about Harper, another fellow who didn't like to show up too much. You must go to it today, May 5.
May 5, 2011 at 5:28pm
Eby's piece is good. He has outlined issues and concerns within the riding (and elsewhere).
As to "biased" well I guess some people didn't note the editorials from the main stream media who almost all vigorously supported the Conservatives in the federal election.
Its nice to have at least a couple of news outlets in B.C. with are willing to publish both sides of an issue. It helps with democracy.
If it weren't for the few independant news outlets some of us would never know what was really happening in B.C.
Thank heavans for the Georgia Straight and its willingness to publish something other than the pablim the main stream media does.
Jeff in Vancouver
May 5, 2011 at 8:44pm
I truly wish that the left-wing media in Vancouver would STOP treating David Eby like a demigod and holier-than-thou. I wish that the media would scrutinize his record over his hatred of the police and favouring so-called "criminal rights".
This is someone who I want to pay my taxes towards his salary - someone who hates the police and favours criminals? Naturally, the criminal-loving crowd of the Straight will probably disagree with me. ]
With PM Harper's re-election and majority government and how people will scrutinize Adrian Dix's "memo-to-file" crookedness, then the truth will win out. STOP viewing Eby as a demigod - I am doing my own investigation into his views and actions as head of the BC Criminal Liberties Assoc. in the last several years.
R U Kiddingme
May 5, 2011 at 9:48pm
Maybe if there were more Skytrain routes she could get there.
May 5, 2011 at 10:39pm
Jeff: So you're doing your own "investigation" but have already concluded that he's crooked because you don't like his politics? I don't see what could possibly go wrong.
May 6, 2011 at 2:57am
Watch for Ms. Christy to make a sudden announcement that she will meet with the other candidates.