My Slate

This is one of the most difficult posts I’ve had to write, as it’s the time where I choose some friends over others in whom I’ll support, and whom I’m asking my friends and supporters to support as well. For those not selected – with a field this talented, it was inevitable some very talented people will be left off – if you’re curious as to why I chose someone else over you, please just email or call me, and I’m happy to talk you through my decision making process. Nominate these people on September 20th at Charles Tupper School.

City Council (8 Candidates)

  • George Chow – has done an excellent job these past years, I look forward to seeing what he can do with a majority.
  • Heather Deal – another incumbent who deserves re-election, she, to me, has been the most effective councilor for Vision these past three years.
  • David Eby – His passion and articulateness in dealing with serious issues have won him my support.
  • Heather Harrison – she was oh-so-close last time, and has real credibility on sustainability initiatives.
  • Raymond Louie – He was my choice for mayoral candidate, and I think he’ll be an excellent councillor still.
  • Kerry Jang – an academic with expertise and care in dealing with community mental health issues; I feel he and David Eby together round an excellent slate to help deal with the homeless and mental health crisis in vancouver
  • Andrea Reimer – An environmentalist with ridiculous amounts of energy and solid credibility.
  • Tim Stevenson – I love his slightly ‘rogue’ persona, not to mention the incredible service he’s done over the past years as a councillor.

Park Board (4 Candidates)

  • Constance Barnes – I believe that she can speak both to family & arts issues on the parks board. She also has more energy than virtually anyone I know.
  • Sarah Blyth – a passionate advocate for youth and ‘alternative’ sports, she’s shown a clear ability to generate consensus and win people over to her point of view.
  • James Gill – I don’t believe there’s another candidate at any level who knows more about the process and arcana of the park board.
  • Steven Tannock – Who else did you expect? Nominate me to restore trust to the Park Board and to bring the communication & consultation process into the 21st century.

School Board (4 Candidates)

  • Patti Bacchus – A long time advocate for children with disabilities, she’ll bring passion and a deep understanding of the VSB from her time on the other side of the fence
  • Mike Lombardi – with amazing experience and a genuine likability, his experience and skills will be critical in consensus building
  • Helesia Luke – an author, and more of a policy-wonk than the others, she likewise has long experience on PACs and child-support activism.
  • Stepan Vdovine – Previously a Board member in Maple Ridge, Stepan is young, and his youthful energy and committment is required and should be encouraged. Despite his youth, his previous Board-member experience will be critical to help the others navigate the VSB,

Disposable Water Bottles in the City

I attended the Park Board meeting this past Monday out at the Trout Lake Community Centre, mostly to keep an ear to what’s going on, in my ongoing need to be more-well-informed about the issues confronting Park Board Commissioners, as well as what topics the public are thinking about. There were several topics of interest that I’ll post about later, but what really struck me was that each of the Commissioners (Spencer Herbert excepted) and all off the city staff had not 1, but 2 Dasani water bottles in front of them. There was a little bottle, and then the “normal”-sized disposable bottles – 500ml, I think?

It strikes me, on several counts, that having these bottles is inexcusable:

  1. Disposable water bottles are incredibly wasteful. At virtually every step of their lifecycle too, from the production of the plastic, to the shipping, to their use, to their disposal, small-sized water bottles are inefficient. If various school boards are considering banning the sale of water bottles (via Stepan Vdovine), shouldn’t the Park Board be lock-step with them on this?
  2. Two water bottles? Were both really necessary? When I left, I do believe that everyone was still on their first bottle. Hopefully, they keep and re-use any unopened ones, but what about bottles that are opened but barely touched? Those can’t be re-used later, for hygienic reasons. I’ll assume they’re being recycled and not thrown out, but still…
  3. The message it sends. Leah told me that when she worked for the GVRD they had a strict policy to not have or use private-water services in the office. If the GVRD won’t drink the city’s water, how they can expect everyone else to do so? I feel the Park Board and city staff have the same responsibility to use and promote the quality of Vancouver’s own water.

It seems, potentially, a small issue, but would it be that hard to pass a motion for the Park Board Commissioners, at the very least, to not use bottled water at meetings? If they can get set-up to be fully wired for sound at a community-outreach meeting, I’m sure someone can bring some pitchers of water as well. The next step is then to examine the use of water bottles in all city properties, and ideally, remove them from there as well. If the parks board has a deal with Coke, that may be problematic (much as the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board is looking into), but surely, surely this can be done.

Should I be elected, I will work to eliminate disposable water bottles from the Parks board office & properties across Vancouver. In the interim, I’ll look into the City’s current stance on the use & sale of disposable water bottles on city property, to see what’s happened so far.

UPDATE: Councilor Tim Stephenson requested a memorandum about bottled water in the city back in October 2006 (jump to page 13, #5), so hopefully he’ll be able to help me out on this one.