Monday, February 12, 2018

Let's hear your voice! Calling on the Democratic voice of North Vancouver

It's not so much dead as pining for the Fjords of a  'silly season'. It's an election year so it just didn't make sense to shut things down just yet. Maybe this little blog won't amount to much this year or maybe it will, the point is any discussion is better than none most of the time.

  This blog has been around since the election of 2005 and its glory days were from that inception with Barry Forward at the helm, until about 2011 when I took over. There sure were some interesting voices at that time! (And all the way along).  Unfortunately we cant view that era because Barry F. took it with him when he left. There are some of us who can remember the zealousness of  the late Ernie Crist and Wayne Hunter, Wendy Qureshi (super zealousness) Casey Cleland, Monica Craver,  Vincent Santacrose, Bill Bell, Sue Cook, George Pringle, Lyle Craver , many others and of course the wonderful Anonymous' (who many local political combatants chose to use) and even some elected officials whom dared not post here under any 'official identity'  Oh it was a lively time! I know it kept Barry Forward on his toes. The discussion was not isolated to District politics. In fact some of the most colourful discussion came from The City.

The extension to a four year municipal term starting in 2014 makes the last election seem a long time ago when Mathew Bond and Jim Hanson were the newcomers to District Council. Are there going to be a couple of council seats up for grabs this October? Yes that's right October, not November - that seems strange. What about Mayor? Rumour has it that Roger Bassam will risk his councillor seat for a run at the 'Big Chair'. Mike Little may re-appear again for the same contest. Will Robin Hicks and Doug MacKay-Dunn run this time around?

So were staying open for the time being anyway. The purpose of this little blog has always been to discuss the players and the decision makers of the community of North Vancouver in a spirit of good faith.


Anonymous said...

The big difference from Barry's day was that he sought out and received interviews from the candidates leading up to the election. The NSNews and Outlook reporters were made aware of the content on NVP and they wrote followup stories about Barry's interviews. They gave credit to Barry and drew a ton of new participants to the blog.

Anonymous said...

So what is your point Anon 10:11?

John will do a fantastic job, and has done.

Looking forward to the banter.

Anonymous said...

I thought the point was self-evident. John commented on the success from Barry's time and called it the 'glory days' of the blog. I appreciate John's deferential demeanor, but the formula for Barry's success was simple. Get content direct from the sources and the blog will be relevant.

Not just banter.

Hazen Colbert said...

I genuinely do not consider there is a democratic voice allowed at the municipal level in North Vancouver, District of City.

I note the following changes since the 2014 municipal election:

1. The City of North Vancouver cut its public input back from 3 minutes to 2 minutes, capped it at 5-6 speakers and restricts a subject to one that the speaker has not addressed for more than 3 months.

2. The District of North Vancouver introduced a series of punitive measures against any "lip" from the community. The DNV's written censorship policy allows council to disallow public input that is considered "inappropriate, misrepresentation or threatening" and then defined "threatening" as any correspondence that referenced possible legal action. The policy created a "chill" on people raising issues where appeal is to the courts, a process guaranteed under the Charter. Then the DNV added a policy, which is on the public input table, that a speaker will be silenced if they impugn any person during input. Both policies are clearly in violation of Section 2 of the Charter. But Councillor Mathew Bond is allowed to write on this very blog that I am a sewer rat and an angry old curmudgeon.

3. Then we have the egregious treatment of Kerry Morris and John Harvey during public input at CNV Council, the despicable and possibly racist beahviour of District Hall targeting the Asfar family, and systemic homophobia from District Hall targeted at me and others. I cannot begin to describe the treatment of Monica Craver by the NSMBA, NVCAN and other DNV preferiti.

4. Through my lens democracy was silenced in North Vancouver when I was accosted by DNV Councillor Roger Bassam. I advised Council minutes later, and advised the RCMP in writing that very night. Bassam faced no consequence. Now we learn he might run for Mayor? Run he might but (I will not write more, the rogue will just twist it to use it against me).

Change is coming in municipal politics. And like all real change it will be dirty process. It won't come through democracy because there is no democracy.

And that is the bottom line.

John Sharpe said...

Anonymous 11:40 AM,

Thank you for your comment.

Barry did interview several of the 2005 municipal candidates using some sort of early podcast technology. All you had to do was click on the icon to hear an interview in whole or in part. It's a shame we we can't go back to listen to those interviews, but that's also part of what Barry took with him. Although I'm not so sure I would want to hear my interview again.

In my somewhat muted defence and although less pro active than Barry's approach, I did call out to all candidates in subsequent elections to post their platforms or say their piece, but very few took me up on it. It could be they were just to busy campaigning and had better things to do. I also have a feeling the blog was so new at that time that some candidates chose it to promote themselves.

I did not know at that time that the NSNews followed up with some those very interviews.

John Sharpe said...

Mr. Colbert,

Could you make specific reference such as date and post to the curmugdeon, sewer rat comment.

Hazen Colbert said...

Mr. Sharpe

The comments were made anonymously in or around the last week of August or the first - third week of September 2016.

I was able to track the source of the comments using IP and other technology to the geographic area of a location in which Mr. Bond had a material interst in at the time, to the best of my knowledge and ability.

The comments were formerly reported to the RCMP in writing in an 8-age submission dated September 17, 2016 as being made by Councillor Mathew Bond and/or his surrogate/delegate.

A further report was made by me to the RCMP on September 28, 2016.

To the best of my knowledge, on or about October 6, 2016, the RCMP met with parties at Municipal Hall who, at the very least in all material ways, represented Councillor Bond to discuss, among other matters, my report to the RCMP dated September 16, 2016.

I do not know the full context of the meeting as the DNV and the RCMP have, since March 22, 2017, refused to release to me the notes made by any parties at the meeting and other records of the meeting. That refusal will shortly be put before the courts.

In any event Councillor Bond at no time denied to me making the comments and he has had 18 months to do so.

Subsequent to the meeting, Councillor Bond, presumably on the direction of legal counsel paid for by the DNV (I stand corrected as the party who pays for legal counsel is protected by privilege and I cannot, despite all efforts, persuade the DNV to disclose particulars) met with you circa October-November, 2016 to have various content removed from this blog. You may recall confirming that fact with me as we chatted outside Save-On-Foods in late November or early December, 2016.

I have publicly forgiven Councillor Bond and/or his delegates etc for his comments which I genuinely believe were made absent malice or the intent to defame, and with the poor judgment that comes with youth and his generation, and I do not intend to take any further action against him. The refusal of other parties to comply with the FOI legislation is another matter.

A particular concern at the time which I relayed to the RCMP was direction to both Councillor Bond and I on this blog that we should come to some harm "behind municipal hall." I do not know who made those threats but I am absolutely certain it was not Councillor Bond. I know it was not me. He and I have differences but we have both displayed to each other that we are committed to using due legal process to resolve them. There are other posters on this blog who are however regrettably "unhinged."

I note that since the October 6, 2016 meeting Councillor Bond and I have found peace. Again, that is not the case with other posters on this blog but to quote from Boggie, "The problems of the world are not in my department."

In closing be certain that I consider Councillor Bond a fine a young man and a talent who was given the worst possible advice from mentors who I regrettably know well all that time ago. I have stated publicly that he is a "good and honourable person."

Councillor Bond is NOT the nexus of problems at municipal hall.

Lyle Craver said...

For sure Barry engaged the NS News in the day - that's how I found out about this blog in the first place.

I think the need for northvancouverpolitics is greater than ever given the demise of the Outlook and the seeming decline of the NS News. (I'd almost go so far as to call it a 'death spiral' given feedback from numerous friends having trouble getting it)

Common themes are traffic congestion, affordability of housing (including the number of people leaving the North Shore due to 'demo-viction' and related causes all on the subject of the cost of living).

Provincially I would love to see a non-socialist alternative that was not wedded to the real estate industry. With the greatest of respect to Jane, it says something about your party when your chief fundraiser is Bob Rennie - a man many consider the devil incarnate who has personally promoted and greatly profited from the pain of the millennial generation.

Bottom line is there are many, many, many 20-somethings and 30-somethings who grew up here who are in total despair about ever having a place of their own - and my children are very definitely part of that. I don't have time for those who think Vancouver is big enough to accommodate both those who live here and speculators (most of whom DON'T live here) who think if an average price of $1 million is good, $2 million is even better.

Bottom line is housing is not a good like any other - it's where our people live.

In my opinion the week-kneed approach of the Clark government is the main reason they're an ex-government.

I will post further on my views on the coming election but will close saying there are things in my community I see "trending" that I do not like very much. I've heard several people say the same.

North Vancouver is a wonderful place and has been for a long time but we are seeing the "Mordorization" of our community that put that in question. We can't and shouldn't draw up the drawbridges but we can DEFINITELY do better than we've done in these past two municipal terms of government.

I apologize for the length - I've long been a regular here but haven't posted in quite a while. NVP is a local treasure and one I'd hate to see disappear especially this year.

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