NDP members reject Meggs’ vision for Vancouver 0
Vancouver city coun. Geoff Meggs (SUBMITTED)
Earlier this year, Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs announced he wanted to pack up his bags and become a member of the legislative assembly. In order to achieve his goal, he needed to beat out George Heyman, former head of the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, and win the New Democratic Party nomination in Vancouver-Fairview.
On paper, Meggs appeared to have every advantage over his opponent. With Vision Vancouver heavyweights like Marcella Munro and Bill Tieleman in his corner, a victory over Heyman appeared to be a slam dunk.
However, when all the votes were finally counted late Sunday afternoon, it was clear something went horribly wrong with Meggs’ campaign. Not only did the Vision Vancouver machinery let him down, the vote wasn’t even close. Heyman was able to secure a decisive 58% of support from local members.
The immediate by-product of Heyman’s victory is the fact Vancouver residents no longer face the prospect of spending up to $1 million tax dollars on an unnecessary byelection for city council.
If you’re a Vision Vancouver caucus member, Meggs’ loss likely doesn’t come as a huge disappointment. With the veteran councillor no longer at the table, the caucus would have been instantly transformed into a mere shadow of its former self. Despite what you think of Meggs’ politics, he is universally considered the smartest and most politically savvy member of his team — by a country mile.
Meggs’ loss to Heyman wasn’t the only big surprise to come out of the nomination meeting. The attendance of Amy Robertson, the mayor’s spouse, and Mike Magee, the mayor’s chief of staff, also raised a few eyebrows.
Given everything Meggs has done over the years to help ‘His Worship’ reduce the impact of foot-in-mouth disease, you would think Ms. Robertson and Magee would openly support him. But, when asked by the media which NDP candidate they endorsed, both remained mum.
Their silence should be considered a big slap in the face to a political soldier who has done nothing but exhibit loyalty to the mayor and his caucus over the years. The least Meggs could have expected was a public endorsement from the mayor’s inner circle.
Depending on whom you ask, Meggs’ loss was either a boon to Vision Vancouver, or a referendum on their controversial plans to significantly ‘upzone’ the city. But one thing is painfully obvious, not everyone in Meggs civic party appear aligned with his vision for Vancouver.