Suzanne Anton engaging in cheap politics over green grants, Raymond Louie charges

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      Vision Vancouver’s Raymond Louie has claimed his Non-Partisan Association council colleague Suzanne Anton is “entering the realm of the silly season” over her opposition to a proposed $5,000 grant for urban grain production.

      Shortly before today’s (June 14) council meeting, the NPA’s lone councillor and mayoral candidate assembled her election team in front of the City Hall community garden on the north lawns. Anton was singling out Vision Vancouver for the upcoming vote on $100,000 in green grants for a raft of projects across the city.

      “A number of these have caught my attention, but there’s one in particular which I am drawing to your attention today, and that’s the proposal to spend $5,000 to investigate whether or not we can grow wheat on people’s front lawns,” Anton told reporters. “Now this, to me, is another one of Gregor’s goofy ideas, right up there with homeless chicken shelters. It does not show respect for taxpayers’ money.”

      The proposed $5,000 grant will be issued to the local Environmental Youth Alliance Society, assuming it receives the required eight votes at council. The EYA is a local nonprofit which has been operating since 1993 and recently lost a third of its annual operating budget due to a Service Canada grant cut.

      Anton told reporters she grew up on a farm in Duncan, on Vancouver Island, and is a gardener herself.

      “I understand these things pretty well,” Anton added. “I also know that city gardeners are incredibly inventive. They do not need taxpayers’ money to tell them what to grow in their gardens. We do not need to spend taxpayers’ money on this.”

      NPA councillor Suzanne Anton voices her opposition to a $5,000 grant for urban wheat production.

      Anton then unveiled overalls and a pitchfork, which she said she was issuing Mayor Gregor Robertson “so that Gregor can go back to farming”.

      Louie brushed aside the opposition on the basis that Anton and the rest of council had not even heard the staff presentation.

      “Ultimately, council has not made a decision on this yet,” Louie said at City Hall. “We’ll have to ascertain whether or not there is value, and understand more fully when we get presentations from staff, and we’ll hear. Obviously, Coun. Anton’s mind is closed on the issue. She obviously appears to have enough information already, without a staff presentation, and I certainly will keep an open mind prior to making a decision on the issue.”

      Vision Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie dismisses NPA criticism as "silly season" politics.

      The concept of council giving money to certain community organizations to “explore opportunities” is not a new situation, Louie added.

      “We’ve done a number of grants to a number of different organizations, to support their initiatives,” he said. “But as I said, this is the silly season. Coun. Anton is trying to score political points, and her stunts will be easily seen through by the electorate.”



      Save Vancouver

      Jun 14, 2011 at 7:41pm

      Oh for pity's sake Louie - encouraging people to grow wheat on their front lawn is "silly season". Its not like zucchini or strawberries where you just pick them and eat. Are we going to set up frain mills by powered by the sewage outflow pipes now?


      Jun 15, 2011 at 2:08am

      Imagine neighbourhood solar powered grain mills, storage houses and solar or biofuel fuelled bakeries together with internet coffee houses. It is really not that hard to imagine.

      Think about the many local farming jobs coming with this strategy, as it is democratically taken to scale, to meet some of the demand for local, organic, secure, low carbon food.

      I wonder how much of the grain demand (and food in general) could be met with this local and small scale agricultural strategy?

      We need to realize the cultural idea of vast lawns are economically and socially unproductive and ecologically they are at best boring and at worst irresponsible and even dangerous. Where as organic urban agriculture could generate wages and profits, jobs and security and restore enjoyment and strength through celebrating species diversification.

      Urban agriculture has so much opportunity to help along with vertical farming in whole skyscrapers, large scale renewables deployment, cradle to cradle certification for all material cycles, green buildings and green transportation in building our green profitable economy.

      Go Figure

      Jun 15, 2011 at 6:44am

      Attack, attack, attack and then say nothing.

      Reality Check

      Jun 15, 2011 at 3:26pm

      Not to worry, she will likely change her mind tomorrow and support growing grain.

      She complains about gimmicky ideas just after she was handed a pitchfork and overalls? OK.

      james green

      Jul 18, 2011 at 3:31pm

      Petty is the character of Louie and Anton. They act like a husband and wife who are angry at each other when they are at council.
      Louie is over the hill as a city councillor and his nasty little comments and bitterness at not being mayor shows.
      Please go back to cycling or working for a union or whatever you did Raymond as you have lost your value to the people of this city and only rep your party and those who contribute to Vision.