The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Another name in another race...
More Vancouver political maneuvers

Longtime Vancouver politician Art Cowie says he's "seriously considering" running for mayor.

Cowie had originally planned a run for city council on the newly-created Vancouver Civic Action TEAM (vcaTEAM.) The new civic party was created by former Non-Partisan Association (NPA) members who were displeased with the civic party's direction. The new party would be a centrist alternative to the left-leaning Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) and the increasingly right-wing NPA.

Cowie and his cohorts had been trying to recruit former B.C. cabinet minister Stephen Rogers for the party's mayoral candidate position, but Rogers has said that family commitments make it impossible for him to hold the full-time job of mayor. Mr. Rogers has said that he'll likely seek a city council seat.

Although Cowie had previously been associated with the NPA and the B.C. Liberal party, he has always had a reputation as a moderate who was unafraid to challenge the orthodoxy of his political paries. It's also notable that Cowie was a B.C. Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly from 1991 to 1993, when the party was much more the party of the centre than is the current B.C. Liberal party.

Cowie says that he was a member of the NPA until a few months ago, when he became disenchanted with the party's treatment of Mayor Philip Owen. The NPA decided not to re-endorse Owen for mayor, paving the way for Councillor Jennifer Clarke's run for mayor. The actions are widely believed to be a reaction by the party's more conservative elements against Owen's support for the city's drug-treatment strategy.

Cowie formed vcaTEAM earlier this year with former city councillor Alan Herbert and former parks commissioner Nancy Chiavaro. Since then, the party has attracted several other potential candidates, including St. Paul's Hospital super nurse Barney Hickey.

The "four pillar (prevention, enforcement, treatment, harm reduction)" drug strategy, with its increased emphasis on treatment facilities and "harm reduction" is unpopular with such NPA backers as the Gastown business association, the Chinatown merchants' association, and the Chinese Benevolent Society. While Philip Owen was a late convert to the idea that treatment, and mitigation of the effects of drug addiction, was a part of how the city should approach its drug problems, he eventually became an enthusiastic proponent. This approach was not naturally appealing to Owen, whose conservative instincts had him originally favouring a "get tough" law enforcement approach. However, much consultation and analysis led Owen to change his mind. It won him praise from all corners of the city -- except his own political party.

Cowie and vcaTEAM had originally courted Owen as its mayoral candidate, but Owen has decided to retire from politics. The vcaTEAM party is committed to going ahead with the "four-pillar" drug strategy, but will have to do more than just that to convince Vancouver voters that they, not the two existing civic parties, are the right slate to govern the city for the next three years.
Comments: Post a Comment

Reports, opinions, columns, and anything else on this site, are © 2002-2003 Ian King unless otherwise noted. Permission granted to use material on this site for non-commercial purposes provided that the work is attributed to the original author. All other uses require specific permission of the original author. Contact weblog owner with any inquiries.

Feel free to link to this web log. The management likes getting lots of traffic.