Thursday, October 2, 2014

With 45 days to go in Vancouver election, anything can happen Vancouver Courier October 1, 2014

Last week, broadcaster Bill Good had the last word. After 50 years in the radio and television business, he decided it was time to retire from his daily CKNW talk show and sleep-in once in a while.

To celebrate the occasion, the Vancouver Board of Trade organized a roast at Hotel Vancouver, co-hosted by Carole Taylor and Ian Black. More than 200 guests joined 17 roasters who had both kind and unkind words for Bill.

To start the evening off, former judge Wally Oppal told the audience Bill’s favourite colour was beige, and although they both grew up in the ‘60s, anyone who regularly listened to Bill knew he had never taken mind-expanding drugs.

Noting he rarely expressed strong public positions on issues, CTV News anchor Mike Killeen presented Bill with a piece of fence so he could continue to sit on it in his retirement. Keith Baldrey told the room the reason Bill never sent emails was because he couldn’t find the send button on his typewriter.

The evening’s final roaster Bruce Allen said Bill had a great face for radio, but questioned why the organizers thought it was necessary to have 17 roasters for someone who just read the news and interview questions prepared by others.

The event ended with a short speech from Bill and a CKNW Reality Check that aired on his last day acknowledging his considerable success in B.C. media over five decades.

I had the pleasure of doing the weekly civic affairs panel with Bill Good for three years. During this time, I developed a great respect for his sense of fairness, both to interviewees and listeners. Unlike some other talk show hosts, he was not dismissive of those who expressed views contrary to his own.

One of our most memorable exchanges was just prior to the last provincial election. Bill was talking on-air about what might happen when the NDP came to power, at which point I interrupted him.
“Just a second” I said. “Don’t you mean to say if the NDP come to power?”

“Surely you don’t think the Liberals have a chance?” he replied.

I responded that since so many pundits were so absolutely certain of an NDP victory, I did have some doubts. We all know what happened.

I feel the same way about Vancouver’s municipal election.

While we are being told the NPA is trailing Vision and voters don’t know Kirk LaPointe, I sense there could also be some surprises on Nov. 15.

One reason is a wild card called Meena Wong. Back in 2008 when I ran for the NPA, I was disappointed COPE did not run a mayoral candidate, although it might not have made a difference after an in camera council report on the Olympic Village was leaked to the Globe and Mail’s Gary Mason.

That year only one COPE councillor was elected, Ellen Woodsworth. I remember it well since she won the 10th place seat I was vying for much of the evening.

This time COPE is running mayoral candidate Meena Wong. Her statements about foreign investors, “renovictions,” and Vision being in the pockets of some big developers seem to be resonating with voters. While it is hard to believe she will end up as mayor, as long as she keeps this up she could affect the outcome of the mayoral race.

At the council level, few voters, me included, know all who are running. However I am aware of some thoughtful Green and NPA candidates, and there are no doubt good COPE candidates as well.
As for park board, I know more about Trish Kelly, one person who is not running, than I do those who are
Over the coming 45 days, we should take advantage of opportunities to get to know the various candidates. This will hopefully allow us to vote for the best individuals, not slates, resulting in a better balance on council, park board and school board.

While I will not be discussing this election on the Bill Good Show, I look forward to discussing it with you in future columns.
© Vancouver Courier

No comments: