Judging by the way Burnaby citizens have voted for more than 20 years, socialists aren’t a scary bunch.
In the run-up to the 2008 election, Burnaby Citizens Association councillor Colleen Jordan told the Straight that if victorious, “we will be the longest-serving socialist government in Canada.”
The BCA swept all seats in that campaign and did it again in 2011. The party has held a majority on council since 1987 and on the school board since 1983.
In a new interview, Jordan said that “fiscal responsibility” is a key component in her party’s “winning formula”.
“We try to do progressive policy, but we also ensure that the bank accounts are in good order,” Jordan told the Straight by phone.
Burnaby is debt-free. According to the city’s 2013 financial report, its reserves total more than $620 million. Last year, the funds earned at least $38 million from investments.
Managing the money well is a lesson learned from icon Tommy Douglas, the first national leader of the NDP, father of Canada’s medicare, and a long-serving premier of Saskatchewan. “That was part of his philosophy as well,” Jordan said, “and he [Douglas] was a socialist.”
On November 15, the Burnaby First Coalition aims to accomplish what TEAM Burnaby failed to do in previous elections, which is to dislodge the BCA and Mayor Derek Corrigan, who is going for a fifth term.
“I’m not the same group as they [TEAM Burnaby] were,” BFC mayoral candidate Daren Hancott told the Straight in a phone interview.
Hancott, a businessman and a federal Conservative, is hoping that his slogan will catch on: “Time for change.”