Matthew Naylor: It is September 4th, 2020. And there are 771 days until the Vancouver municipal election and also 33 years to the day since I came into this world, this is the Cambie Report. I am Matthew Naylor.
[00:00:45] Ian Bushfield: I’m Ian Bushfield. Happy birthday, dude.
[00:00:47] Matthew Naylor: Thank you. Thank you. I am, you know, rusticating out at a lovely villa on Vancouver Island in, in the town of Bowser, which I will get to a little bit later.
[00:01:00] And I am you know, very happy to be here I’m actually still very happy to be podcasting, but if people want to get me a gift, maybe they should head over to our Patreon page at patreon.com/cambiereport.
[00:01:16] Ian Bushfield: Patreon.com/cambiereport. That sounds like a good website.
[00:01:20] Matthew Naylor: Yes, that’s right. patreon.com/cambiereport, where they can contribute anywhere from zero to 33, for example, dollars towards keeping this podcast up and running.
[00:01:34] So we’ve got a good show for this Labour Day weekend: some drama in the NPA, some kind of reprehensible behavior from some people in Vancouver municipal politics and rumblings about potential mayoral candidates and, GOGO gondola.
[00:01:52] So let’s get into it.
[00:01:54] Ian Bushfield: First off, I want to get to this piece in the Tyee that just came out today from Jen St Denis, past guest of the podcast. And it
[00:02:03] Matthew Naylor: Yeah.
[00:02:04] Ian Bushfield: really gets into this new, or this continuing, brouhaha of various groups that are trying to speak out about the situation in Strathcona Park and in the Downtown Eastside.
[00:02:17] But in particular, it’s getting quite vile. there are a number of individuals and groups that are starting to speak out and try to call for things like there should be an audit of the services that are in the Downtown Eastside to see if they’re cost effective. They’re saying there’s not enough safety in the situations they call harm reduction of failed experiment, which I, I think the Supreme Court of Canada would disagree with.
[00:02:45] Matthew Naylor: Yeah. like if you’re going to call something a failed experiment, you actually have to point to the data. Like you have to point to data and show how the null hypothesis has been achieved. Like you can’t just say it’s a failed experiment because I hate these people.
[00:03:02] it’s a failed experiment because it fails to give me money. Well, it appears to give other people money. Like this is the kind of callousness that I find absolutely reprehensible in the right. And it’s, it’s just so. It’s disheartening and disappointing. And like it’s unbecoming of the kind of city that we should be like the right answer left at their best in the city have agreed on the need for infusing our drug policy with compassion and with understanding and. Like to see people drifting away from that to see people drifting into the, rhetoric of personal choice and personal failings and using like just disgusting terminology,
[00:03:53] Ian Bushfield: It goes even farther than that. one of the current board members of the NPA, Christopher Wilson was, caught on tape, telling people to consider quote, start harassing these lowlifes, referring to homeless people, using drugs. And Yaletown.
[00:04:10] Matthew Naylor: Okay, well, first off harassment is against the law and that is like harassment. With the desire to inflict mental distress on someone is a tort and like they are exposing themselves. To liability here. Like, obviously this isn’t legal advice because like, fuck those people, they,
[00:04:32] Ian Bushfield: people saying this, not the people who need help or who
[00:04:35] Matthew Naylor: no, no, no. The people, no it’s the people or behaving reprehensible and are, like possibly going to get themselves sued. but have some goddamn compassion, and the idea that like this former rebel media employee, Christopher Wilson, who has weaseled his way onto the NPA board, is advocating It’s like stochastic terrorism. It reminds me of those kind of, well, if someone were to take the law into their own hands, kind of, you know, advocate kids who are not counseling you to go and, do reprehensible acts, but they’re going and advocating for, you know, individual, liberty and individual.
[00:05:25] I get incensed about this. So I’m a little.
[00:05:28] Ian Bushfield: Yeah. Yeah, no. Yeah. Total let’s I’ll come back to the naming the names. two of the groups that are making a lot of these calls, one is called Safer Vancouver and the other is Step Up. And Step Up, longtime listeners and political watchers in Vancouver will remember from a couple of years, you know, in the, before times before the pandemic, when the biggest thing people were upset about in theory was the school tax surcharge that David Eby and the BC NDP had brought on that, you know, that tax on that extra property tax on homes over, I think it was two or $3 million.
[00:06:03] Matthew Naylor: It was a substantial amount. And, you know, one of my favorite pastimes, was to go and do my rights around Shaughnessy and just look up all those houses on and their assessed property values and see exactly how much money they would be expected to pay extra, in that school tax.
[00:06:20] And it was not much. It was like a couple thousand bucks at most. and that was the high end of the thing. Like I Step Up, step up to what?
[00:06:32] The other group is, of course…
[00:06:34] Ian Bushfield: Safer Vancouver, it’s a newer one, and it’s seems like it’s largely online. It’s headed by, someone named Dallas Brodie.
[00:06:43] Matthew Naylor: Oh, no, really? Yeah.
[00:06:46] Ian Bushfield: Yeah, Brodie is apparently a former member of the Shaughnessy Heights Property Owner’s Association.
[00:06:50] Matthew Naylor: I know Dallas, boom, man. And he used to be a BC Young Liberal when I was active in the party. Oh, that’s disappointing. It’s hard to see people go down that dark path. Wow. That’s gross and sad.
[00:07:05] Ian Bushfield: So on the other side of, I guess the debate on the right, you have the NPA elected caucus who have now taken into forming their own or creating their own Twitter account @NPACaucus and releasing a statement, essentially distancing themselves even further from their board. They say they categorically denounce the statements made by Mr. Wilson. They do not reflect the values of the NPA caucus and it’s signed by all the sitting councilors, commissioners and trustees.
[00:07:35] Matthew Naylor: Well, maybe, maybe Rebecca Bligh will have some company on the independent benches .
[00:07:41] Ian Bushfield: Well, it makes me wonder, like, does the NPA caucus run against the NPA in this coming election? Because that seems to be where we’re headed.
[00:07:51] Matthew Naylor: Yeah. And like, given that this is, I mean, there is one more board election between now and the actual choosing of candidates. So I think that is probably going to be the one that is going to determine whether or not this, shakes out to be a, right versus right style issue. those counselors will need to find a new home and that will mean adopting some other party banner, of some variety, whether that’s Pro Vancouver or Yes Vancouver or Vancouveratta the party, whoever, you know, the, those errant leftovers of the one scraps the Vancouver city council. it does indicate to me that, like, there is something happening with the right that is very at odds with the history of the NPA. Where like a, a fairly, I would say even disinterested, almost right wing cabal of small businessmen, usually appointed like civic minded joiners that still believed in like a measure of personal Liberty and opposing communism and socialism in its various forms.
[00:09:13] Ian Bushfield: That’s always the classic reason for the center- center, right to get together in BC, is to keep the socialist hoards out.
[00:09:21] Matthew Naylor: Yeah. And like, that’s why I was there. I mean, in greater or lesser, I’ll be honest with why I was there, but the, um, Yeah, you can’t change the formula of Coke without raising some ire. Like there’s going to be a Coke Classic resurgence at some point and New Coke, which I assume is what this, this entity is, is going to end up presenting itself to the general public has, a warmed over Rebel Media kind of redux thing is not going to be appealing to most people, cause it’s so out of step with Vancouverite values.
[00:10:07] Ian Bushfield: I mean, there’s definitely a fringe or a certain segment that values that, you know, Wai Young didn’t flame out entirely in the municipal election. She did post a number of votes more than I think most people were expecting. It’s not enough to get you the mayorship and
[00:10:28] Matthew Naylor: Yeah, not allowed to elect people to council at all. Like it’s. I think that what they, what their strategy was is let’s hijack the most, you know, by some definitions, successful entity in a political entity in the Western world and see if that can allow us to, ride. Like Hannibal on an elephant to victory, but I, I don’t think that’s actually going to happen.
[00:10:53] Like the Republican Party in the United States does this kind of maximalist approach, but it requires an entire side of a country to be United in promoting maximalism rather than conciliation.
[00:11:09] Ian Bushfield: So that I think leads us into the psych series of articles that Dan Fumano has just been pumping out. You know, he’s got one about Ken Sim that we’ll get a bit more into. He’s got more about how he’s trading barbs with the party over campaign finances in the last election. And then he’s just got a Roundup piece that I encourage you to go and read on the key figures from the 2018 election, you know, where’s Way Young at today? What’s Hector Bremner doing? Spoiler alert, both are ruling out a future electoral run,
[00:11:45] Matthew Naylor: What these incredibly ambitious people are considering running for politics.
[00:11:49] Ian Bushfield: Yeah, well, at least, Yes Vancouver still seems to exist versus Coalition Vancouver seems pretty defunct, but then again, you know, we’re still quite a ways from an election.
[00:11:59] Matthew Naylor: And Yes Vancouver I think made an effort in the post election period to actually have like salons and and try to exert itself as a party that was interested in, actually contributing to the civic debate, which is more than I can say for the NPA, for most of its history, to be honest, like the NPA exists as a vessel to elect people rather than, as a movement, which I think Yes Vancouver kind of sees itself more as.
[00:12:26] Ian Bushfield: But, so what’s really interesting about Ken Sim here is he, I think we mused on the last episode about whether he would run again and whether he’d run with the NPA, but now he’s formally ruled out running with the NPA. And I think he actually expressed it to Dan Fumano as I want to run against them. Not, I want to run for mayor. I want to run against Kennedy stewards. I want to run against the NPA.
[00:12:49] Matthew Naylor: Well, I mean, it’s hard to run against Kennedy store because it’s like shadow boxing, But I think that’s a good thing. I think maybe Ken Sim isn’t necessarily the vessel that would be most effective at doing that, but it’s nice to see that people on the right are as appalled as I am at this perversion of, of what, being a pro business civic politician. You know, pro economy, pro development, the civic politician is in Vancouver.
[00:13:18] it is essential that we stand up against these like regressive and hard right elements in our society. And it’s, it is I think, most important to follow that people on the right do it because. otherwise the right allows itself to become co-opted. I mean, I think we should like congratulate and, and praise the caucus for distancing themselves from the malicious and malignant elements that have reared their head on the NPA board.
[00:13:52]and so too, with Ken Sim, now as to the political viability of such candidacy, I’m not sure,
[00:13:58] Ian Bushfield: So one of the things that lends some credibility to his run is Fumano reached out to Peter Armstrong who observers and followers will know as like one of the. Big names behind the NPA sort of the shadow power and the shadow money behind the NPA. he has been a member of the NPA for 30 plus years, but he said, he’s going to let it lapse because quote, I’ve lost faith in the direction of the current leadership.
[00:14:26] The current administration is taking it in a reactionary, difficult direction, and he’s more ecstatic to learn that Sim is considering a 2022 run and will help in any way he can.
[00:14:36] Matthew Naylor: Well, ecstatic might be pushing it a while, but I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever formally quit the NPA, but, this is terrible. I don’t want to be associated with this party. And I resigned. Yes, that is me publicly doing this right now because I am so horrified at this. This is
[00:14:54] Ian Bushfield: Yeah, it it’s the Michael Scott, I declared bankruptcy situation. You just have to do that. And it’s effective, right?
[00:15:01] Matthew Naylor: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know, Scott didn’t quit the NBA. He was kind of expelled from it, but apparently all you need to do is kind of generally intimate that you’re displeased from the party and then you’ll be expelled. But,
[00:15:16] Ian Bushfield: They can’t fire you, you quit
[00:15:17] Well then let’s cross the bridge and look at what’s going on over in Surrey.
[00:15:22] Matthew Naylor: Yes. So, speaking of blasts from the past, we might in fact have two pest mayors blasting at each other in the next campaign. because a recent poll, has former Surrey mayor and former conservative MP, Dianne Watts leading current and also former Surrey Doug McCallum by an, almost two to one margin.
[00:15:48] This is a Pollara poll. that I, not exactly sure who has commissioned it.
[00:15:55] Ian Bushfield: The national police Federation, it says in the Vancouver Sun piece.
[00:16:00] Matthew Naylor: All right. What an interesting choice,
[00:16:04] But the actual pulling numbers show that 55% of those surveyed would vote for Watts. while 27% are, backing McCallum, 18% considering voting for another candidate. This is of course, very speculative. Watts has said that she’s not officially considering anything, but she is of course not ruling it out.
[00:16:24] Which to me sounds like she definitely considering it very strongly.
[00:16:29] Ian Bushfield: I think we felt pretty definitive that it was Mario Canseco considering Kennedy Stewart in a poll on him doing pretty well, that led to him running.
[00:16:38] Matthew Naylor: Oh, yeah, a hundred, a hundred percent like, polling moves politicians, probably more than, it is actually a snapshot of the actual race as it is. Especially this far out at a municipal level, like there’s so much variety and variation that can, can happen in between now and election there.
[00:17:02] Give him that like we’re, you know, how many is, will politics shakes out?
[00:17:08] Ian Bushfield: I think one of the reasons the Police Federation did this was not for the mayoral poll so much as the question about the police transition plan, where they found 58% oppose the plan and 48, 4% were strongly opposed. Those would be people who I assume either don’t like the way McCallum is going from RCMP to Surrey PD, or just don’t want that at all 70% would want to referendum.
[00:17:34] Matthew Naylor: No.
[00:17:35] Ian Bushfield: Agreed.
[00:17:36] Matthew Naylor: I’m like, I’m just fundamentally opposed to referendum because they don’t think that they’re actually like, particularly good expressions of the public will. But the thing that I like worry about most with this kind of thing is can you imagine if this went through?
[00:17:48] And so we went back to an LRT plan compared to the sky train. Like I know that’s, that’s very farfetched, but like that LRTs seemed pretty locked in. The last,
[00:18:01] Ian Bushfield: Yeah, things change.
[00:18:04] So another element of this poll that’s really
[00:18:07] Matthew Naylor: back and then they changed back again.
[00:18:10] Ian Bushfield: There’s an age breakdown of the support for Watts versus McCallum. And it kind of baffles me that among 18 to 34 year olds. McCallum is leading 42 to 34 over Watts versus the 55 pluses are 71 to 12 for Watts.
[00:18:29] Matthew Naylor: I think that’s latency,
[00:18:31] Ian Bushfield: It may, it may also just be the fact that there’s only 400 respondents to this poll.
[00:18:37] Matthew Naylor: yeah. So it’s, it’s not a, like, I don’t know what the margin of error is in the breakdowns, but. I also think that among 18 to 34 year olds, I think that like, are things totally falling apart in Surrey right now? Not necessarily. So like a default parked vote, is probably going to favor McCallum for those of people who remember, Watts’ last terms.
[00:19:05] I can imagine that those are remembered fondly, especially since they’re falling right into the nostalgia cycle right now. and for those people who remember both Watts and McCallum’s terms, I think that 71% speaks fairly well for itself.
[00:19:23] Ian Bushfield: And I think the last thing most younger people would remember about Watts or if they remember anything would be her running for BC Liberal leader, unsuccessfully.
[00:19:33] Matthew Naylor: well, I mean, she might have a chance to do that again too pretty soon, but I’ll leave that to PolitiCoast to discuss.
[00:19:39] Finally, speaking of transit options. The construction on the $2.8 billion Broadway subway is to begin this fall. and the official consultation for the Burnaby Mountain gondola started up a couple of days ago. I have already filled in my consultation report.
[00:19:59] And I encourage everyone else to do the same. They are considering a couple of separate routes, including, routes that include the kind of transfer station that allow for a bend, which both extend the trip and increase the cost of the station.
[00:20:18] Ian Bushfield: So the big question with the Burnaby mountain gondola is I think there’s a lot of residents in the Forest Glen area, this area sort of just like up the hill from Production Way. There’s at least enough who have been vocally opposed to the idea of a gondola going over their backyards. So TransLink is considering two ways to kind of bend the group. So it either goes from Production Way kind of towards Burquitlam, but not to Burquitlam because there will be no reason to go there. You know, there’s only a couple thousands of homes going in there and it only takes 25 to 40 minutes to get to SFU from there by transit versus eight by car. It’s very weird location.
[00:21:03] And the other route would go to Lake City Way, which frankly in my mind makes no sense because that stations shouldn’t exist because there is nothing there.
[00:21:12] Matthew Naylor: Yeah.
[00:21:13] Ian Bushfield: Not that there’s much Production Way, but at least it’s an established hub.
[00:21:18] Matthew Naylor: Yeah. I mean, Lake City Way exists. I think mostly out of the desire to put the stations in kind of, I think even distance apart.
[00:21:29] Ian Bushfield: It would have felt too long if you didn’t have it there.
[00:21:32] Matthew Naylor: Yeah. And like, I don’t know. I I’ve known people who do use the station like very regularly, but, it is not a station that I can imagine gets a ton of traffic given the, largely industrial and trucking complex, businesses that surround the area.
[00:21:51] I think there’s a, there’s a large trucking hub nearby. But those, those have trucks. So it is essential, but the people who are using the gondola to get to us, if you feel in that consultation. So, do get to that translate website. they are going to be presenting to Burnaby city council in relatively short order.
[00:22:16] So, make it a part of your labor day weekend plans, or do it first thing Tuesday morning, make sure you get onto that website and fill up the consultation. It does not take very long. it’s just a couple of questions about where you live and how, like what type of transit you use and how often you have to go to, to bring the mountain, as for the other.
[00:22:38] Major construction project. $2.8 billion are got to be pumped into the ground, including, stationed that has stolen Mike importance, which is very sad to me, but I will sacrifice for the greater good.
[00:22:52] Ian Bushfield: Yeah. So the announcement on the Broadway subway earlier this week, week was mostly the announcement of which firm they’d picked. They picked the, Spanish infrastructure engineering firm, Acciona and Italian tunneling company Ghella who’d come together as a private consortium. I don’t think there’ve been too many other bids because this is a very complex project and it’s not like you can just.
[00:23:16] Start a company and be like, I’m going to build a subway halfway through, one of the densest parts of Western Canada.
[00:23:22] Matthew Naylor: It would have rightly been refused and, you know, we didn’t have the foresight of Calgary to keep that right away clear under, under 7th Ave. man, it’s kind of upsetting that we have to like look to Calgary as a city with foresight, for its public transit projects.
[00:23:40] Ian Bushfield: Part of that is just, it wasn’t as built up as early. And what was built up was like horse cart,
[00:23:48] Matthew Naylor: well, no. during the run up to the 88 Olympics, when Calgary like purchase the right of way and then build there, they built the station under city hall that has never been used, but, it is there. And I think it is, well thought out. I think that the fact that Broadway was a historic road in Vancouver and, you know, it has long been built up.
[00:24:11] It is a very different thing, but, well we’re going to, we’re going to build a subway and it is good. So,
[00:24:19] Ian Bushfield: and by 2025, in theory, it will go to Arbutus and maybe eventually it will go to UBC, but await further money announcements from the province and federal government for that.
[00:24:32] Matthew Naylor: Yeah. Well, hopefully, maybe Justin’s listening and feels like giving me a birthday present, send it all the way. It’s nice to see, these projects finally start to break ground after so much talk. It’s the first major construction of subway line in, since really the RAV line.
[00:24:50] I know the Evergreen Line also it is a fairly substantial expansion, but like it is the first in Vancouver since RAV
[00:24:59] Ian Bushfield: Oh, the Canada line.
[00:25:01] Matthew Naylor: RAV. Richmond-Airport-Vancouver. Yeah. Sorry. I’m using I’m using the archaic term.
[00:25:06] Ian Bushfield: on the same page now
[00:25:08] Matthew Naylor: Yes, we are, but not the same landmass. So why don’t we move on to Vancouveratta
[00:25:13] Ian Bushfield: you’re on Vancouver Island. you mentioned the town of Bowser that you’re in. Where does that town get his namesake?
[00:25:19] Matthew Naylor: Bowser is named after one of BC’s early premiers, John William Bowser, John William Bowser was not a particularly successful premier. He only served for about a year.
[00:25:34] Ian Bushfield: That was actually pretty common in the early years before we had parties. Cause no one could keep dysfunctional BC politicians together.
[00:25:40] Matthew Naylor: Yeah. and he was succeeded by one of his friends. He was also, and I think this is a little more interesting. he is the only premier that we don’t know where he is buried.
[00:25:56] So, a while ago, a couple of years ago, a man on Vancouver Island tracked down every grave of every BC, premier on I believe visited all of them, but he couldn’t find the grave of John William Bowser.
[00:26:10] Now it’s not because he’s still alive. He would be quite old if he had survived to this day and in fact, his death and his funeral are well-documented, his funeral was at the Anglican cathedral in downtown Vancouver. And no one seems to know where that casket went after, what the Vancouver Sun describes the same marvelous ceremony.
[00:26:36] So I have been a little bit obsessed with this recently and I have been cycling around, like the, the Masonic cemetery, because he was the chief of the BC Masons for a year in 1915, 1916. And so I thought he might have been buried in the Vancouver Masonic cemetery because he was, well, buried after the inauguration of that cemetery. if anyone knows or has any information as to the whereabouts as, of the bones of John William Bowser, please do get in touch because it’s driving me crazy. Okay.
[00:27:13] Ian Bushfield: Can find all our contact details at cambiareport.ca. We’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, I think
[00:27:20] Tell us where Bowser lives or rests.
[00:27:25] Matthew Naylor: yes, help us track down the bones of Bowser, support, independent journalism, independent civic, journalism at patreon.com/cambiereport. Thank you all for joining us on this lovely, relaxed Labour Day, weekend, and stand strong against the rising tide of evil that appears to be polluting Vancouver’s right.
[00:27:48] Ian Bushfield: Not just COVID-19
[00:27:51] Matthew Naylor: Stay safe, everyone.
[00:27:52] Ian Bushfield: Good night.