Ode to the Millennium Falcon: the battered bird and our changing world

Originally published in Vancouver Courier 2015-12-24 It seems that “change” is the rallying cry of our time. The word change has lately done yeoman’s service as a slogan in successive political campaigns. It has also been proffered that fear of change is at the root of the current Donald Trump phenomenon. During the month of… Read more »

Greenest City Promise Hit By Regulator Decision (UPDATED)

Originally published in Vancouver Courier on December 9, 2015. Read below for more information regarding the City of Vancouver’s bidding process (or lack thereof), and the BC Utilities Commission ruling. Vancouver’s sizable delegation returns home this week from the Paris COP21 conference on climate policy, and they are undoubtedly pleased with the praise received for aspiring… Read more »

Looking into city council’s crystal ball for 2018

Originally featured in Vancouver Courier newspaper A year ago it was the time of an auspicious occasion for our city’s political class — the swearing in of the new city council at the Southeast False Creek Community Centre. In spite of the costly and downright testy election campaign that had just concluded, everybody in the… Read more »

Government openness is “the new normal”

Originally published in Vancouver Courier The issue of missing emails and access to public documents has erupted into a full-fledged debate among political watchers about the commitment to “openness” in government. It is an important and complex issue that merits a thoughtful discussion even after the headlines fade from view and political rhetoric subsides. Today,… Read more »

Jet-setting Vancouver mayor takes to international stage

Originally published in Vancouver Courier October 14, 2015 If you have had trouble keeping up with Mayor Gregor Robertson’s travel itinerary of late, you are not alone. His most recent high-profile departure took him to the United States where he sat a table of other U.S. mayors at a chandeliered dinner hosted by Secretary of… Read more »

A Memo to Vancouver’s Next City Manager

Originally published in Vancouver Courier. Mayor Gregor Robertson recently fired city manager Dr. Penny Ballem, nearly eight years after he hand-picked her. In anticipation of the announcement of her replacement, I have prepared the following memo. Dear City Manager, Congratulations on being hired as leader of the public service of our beloved city. An international… Read more »

Small businesses make Fraser Street soar

Originally published in the Vancouver Courier. It has been more than 12 years since my family and I put down roots just off Fraser Street in the Mountain View neighbourhood, which took its name from the nearby cemetery. During this time we have watched the area become more desirable, and local property values grow precipitously. In 2014,… Read more »

Time for City Hall to Get Active

Originally published in Vancouver Courier It is easy to understand why politicians want to label their own constituencies as the very best at something. It conjures local pride and invariably a little competition among other jurisdictions. In Vancouver’s case, those running city hall aspire for us to become the world’s “greenest” city by the year… Read more »

Can Existing Revenue Sources Fund Metro Vancouver Transit?

Originally published in Vancouver Courier The resounding defeat of the Congestion Improvement Tax by voters in the recent transit plebiscite was a blow to local government politicians who were counting on it as a new revenue source. With no “plan B” to fall back on, members of the Mayors’ Council are threatening to go it alone on… Read more »

Campaign Diary: Why the Yes Side Lost

Originally published in Vancouver Courier. In 2004 during the last week of June, then four-term city councillor Sam Sullivan invited me to join his campaign team for the “no” side in the October referendum to approve a ward system for Vancouver. It was a daunting challenge as I recall. Our campaign war chest was empty, we… Read more »

  • Zeitgeist

    Ode to the Millennium Falcon: the battered bird and our changing world

    Posted on by

    Originally published in Vancouver Courier 2015-12-24 It seems that “change” is the rallying cry of our time. The word change has lately done yeoman’s service as a slogan in successive political campaigns. It has also been proffered that fear of change is at the root of the current Donald Trump phenomenon. During the month of… Read more »

  • Cities, Soapbox, Vancouver

    Greenest City Promise Hit By Regulator Decision (UPDATED)

    Posted on by

    Originally published in Vancouver Courier on December 9, 2015. Read below for more information regarding the City of Vancouver’s bidding process (or lack thereof), and the BC Utilities Commission ruling. Vancouver’s sizable delegation returns home this week from the Paris COP21 conference on climate policy, and they are undoubtedly pleased with the praise received for aspiring… Read more »

  • Vancouver, Zeitgeist

    Looking into city council’s crystal ball for 2018

    Posted on by

    Originally featured in Vancouver Courier newspaper A year ago it was the time of an auspicious occasion for our city’s political class — the swearing in of the new city council at the Southeast False Creek Community Centre. In spite of the costly and downright testy election campaign that had just concluded, everybody in the… Read more »

  • Soapbox

    Government openness is “the new normal”

    Posted on by

    Originally published in Vancouver Courier The issue of missing emails and access to public documents has erupted into a full-fledged debate among political watchers about the commitment to “openness” in government. It is an important and complex issue that merits a thoughtful discussion even after the headlines fade from view and political rhetoric subsides. Today,… Read more »

  • Cities, Soapbox

    Jet-setting Vancouver mayor takes to international stage

    Posted on by

    Originally published in Vancouver Courier October 14, 2015 If you have had trouble keeping up with Mayor Gregor Robertson’s travel itinerary of late, you are not alone. His most recent high-profile departure took him to the United States where he sat a table of other U.S. mayors at a chandeliered dinner hosted by Secretary of… Read more »

  • Cities, Soapbox

    A Memo to Vancouver’s Next City Manager

    Posted on by

    Originally published in Vancouver Courier. Mayor Gregor Robertson recently fired city manager Dr. Penny Ballem, nearly eight years after he hand-picked her. In anticipation of the announcement of her replacement, I have prepared the following memo. Dear City Manager, Congratulations on being hired as leader of the public service of our beloved city. An international… Read more »