Sunday, February 24, 2013

NV-Seymour NDP Candidate Jim Hanson to give incumbent MLA Jane Thornthwaite a run for her money

When I was writing a column for the North Shore News, I “sort of” endorsed the then NDP candidate in North Vancouver Seymour riding, Maureen Norton.  It was a tepid endorsement at best but I also foolishly predicted that the candidate had an outside chance (thus you can see my electoral prediction skills are very poor).
When the results came in with a landslide victory for the BC Liberal candidate, Jane Thornthwaite, I said to myself that in the future stay away from endorsing any candidate and definitely keep away from predictions.
Now four years later and when the NDP have won a by-election in Chilliwack, “hell has frozen over” and anything can happen.  And thus I am back to predicting the election results. 
So why would I look at the same riding and give thumbs up to the current NDP candidate, Jim Hanson? Certainly the past charges of drunk driving are far behind Jane
“Drunk-driving charge dropped against B.C. MLA
B.C. Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite has pleaded guilty to one charge of operating a vehicle with without due care, on Tuesday in North B.C. Crown prosecutors have dropped a drunk driving charge against Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite, following her arrest at a roadside stop last year during the Olympic Games.” CBC News

That should increase her chances in one of the safest BC Liberal seats in the Province. But despite the fact that she remains very personally popular in the riding, I kind of like the underdog and if the polls remain the same I do believe a good NDP candidate can pull it off.  That candidate according to my good friend and former Green Party candidate in the riding, John Sharpe, is lawyer Jim Hanson.

Here we have a former Green Candidate in the riding who garnered 12 per cent of the vote, working actively on the NDP campaign because?
“The NDP's  environmental policies, i.e.; Enbridge and closer ties to average working people, are other reasons the NDP needs to form the next government in B.C,” Sharpe told me in an email.

Sharpe said he isn’t mortgaging the house on his candidate to win, but “even if the NDP come in as a close second in NV-Seymour, it will resonate strongly in the staunchly conservative riding and across the Province.”

Sounds a bit like a “faint hope clause” but the history of this riding shows that stranger things have been known to happen. 

So if the good citizens of North Vancouver Seymour are looking for good strong and caring candidate and they just can’t hold their nose and vote BC Liberal, then give a second thought to the NDP’s Jim Hanson. 

You can follow Bill Bell’s ramblings about BC Politics at

Sunday, February 17, 2013

City Bows to Anti-Highrise Voices; Changes Public Hearing Process

Today's North Shore News notes that the City of North Vancouver has revamped their rules for public hearings.  Although they will still allow pro-high-rise speakers to participate in public hearings, they did level the field in terms of registration and speaker order:
Under the new rules, anyone wishing to be on the speakers list for a public hearing must sign up in person. There will now be two signup sheets; one for people planning to speak in favour of a project and one for those opposed. Council will alternately call people from each list to prevent one side of the debate from dominating the meeting. The sign-up sheets will be available an hour and a half before the start time of every public hearing. Council also boosted the city clerk's overtime budget so staff can monitor the sign-up process on nights when large turnouts are expected.
 The NSN did not note what happens to people who feel they are neither pro nor con on any subject.

The fact remains that open public hearings almost never add anything useful to municipal discussions.  The real, serious analysis is always done behind closed doors.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Well known former City councillor promotes Craig Keating for NV-Lonsdale MLA

The following was written by Bill Bell on his Face Book page.
“I always watch the riding of North Vancouver Lonsdale as I was raised in the riding and was a North Vancouver city Councilor there for many years. Over the past four decades, the only time it went NDP was the election of 1991 when there was a serious three way split and David Schreck won. Now we have a very popular City councilor Craig Keating for the NDP taking on a very popular BC Liberal Incumbent, Naomi Yamamoto .
Keating has come close before and if he wins this time he will definitely be cabinet material in a NDP Dix government. He is smart and very political in nature. When I had the pleasure of being on council with him, I found his judgment on most issues excellent (disagreed with him on density bonus but that is a different matter).
Really hope that my hometown of North Vancouver City has the smarts to elect Keating. In a NDP government, they will do no wrong with Keating representing their interests...he was effective as councilor, I know he will be even better as an MLA.

To join Bill Bell as a friend on Face Book go to:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Keeping Edgemont a Village

Next week the District is holding two collaborative meetings in Edgemont Village.
As part of the implementation of the 2011 Official Community Plan, District Community Planning staff will shortly be undertaking a collaborative review of the design guidelines and local plan for Edgemont Village. Help refresh the plan for your village! This community planning initiative is anticipated to occur over much of 2013 with opportunities for public participation at every stage of the process.
 Details here.

These meetings are timely, as there are development proposals on both ends of the Village. Nearer Capilano Road, the old Supervalu is being sold, and Thrifty's plans a new development and store.  On the other end, the plaza containing the North Shore Credit Union is slated for a new multi-story development.

Both developments are looking at three or four stories, so no high-rises here.

At the same time, one more long time retailer has disappeared, about to be replaced by the seemingly unstoppable Fresh Slice Pizza chain. Sigh.

I like Edgemont a lot, and come through the Village at least five or six times each week on business, or shopping.  I like that it has maintained a real "village" feel, with a lively street life - at least until 6pm when they roll up the sidewalks.

Friday, February 08, 2013

North Vancouver Blog celebrates birthday!

It's been almost eight years since the first post here on, North Vancouver's original political blog.
Conceived and first owned by Barry Forward starting in February 2005, a civic and provincial election year then taken over by John Sharpe in 2011, this blog has seen much lively discussion on North Vancouver political  issues. The Blog has had a part in serving the community of North Vancouver very well as a forum especially at election times with the purpose of bringing the issues to the forefront for discussion. In it's headier days the Blog saw prominent political figures posting and commenting, but in more recent times it has become more of an anonymous poster's haven. Which ever way it has and will evolve my hope is that it continue to have a valuable voice in the community and political discussions of North Vancouver. Long live The Blog!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I moved to Lynn Valley in the 1960's.

For those who didn't wade through 85 comments
 - here's one worthy of thought and discussion.
Anonymous said...
I moved to Lynn Valley in the 1960's. A strip mall anchored by the Marshall Wells store and grocery store, the Cedar V theatre, Hal's Fish and Chips and the mom and pop Lynn Valley Grocery, Barker Hardware, Janz's, Val Thayer's gas station. Most torn down and now replaced.

Old turn of the (last) century homes owned by original settlers and loggers. Wooden sidewalks. You could tell where you were on LV road by the potholes that your car was hitting - had a familiar pattern.

Then the "new" library, now to be torn down and the Safeway. Wow the building when we got a Zellers!
An enclosed mall, are we ever sophisticated. McDonalds in LV - yea, we don't have to drive all the way to Pemberton and Marine.

Then houses torn down Mountain Village, Mountain Court and Whitely Court townhomes.

I have my snapshot in time when I moved to LV 50 years ago and you know what? I'll bet about 90% of the people commenting here weren't here then. 

It seems to me the old "now I'm here and I'll slam the door on anyone else" syndrome. Should I have stood up and said that none of you now complaining shouldn't be allowed to live in your more recently built homes and we should have frozen LV in time?


It has improved and will continue to improve - highrises included.

I would have loved to stop the world to suit me but many of you showed up. it wasn't why I moved to LV and my first choice but I still accept you.

Quit being such NIMBYs and go for a hike up Lynn Creek. you've got it good.