Thursday, August 25, 2011

Riot review due Aug. 31, reviewers without contract

Back on July 15 -- the one-month anniversary of the 2011 Stanley Cup riot -- I told you on this blog that Premier Christy Clark did not have a briefing note about the Stanley Cup riot. She didn't order one, nor did her staff see fit to produce one proactively.

A briefing note is a standard, internal analysis of an issue relevant to government. They're dime a dozen. It's often the first step or last step in the journey of decision-making. If you don't believe me, read more about briefing notes on the B.C. government website.

In a Vancouver Courier story, I listed all the reasons why a briefing note should have been produced after the Stanley Cup riot. It wasn't just a problem for Mayor Gregor Robertson and the City of Vancouver. It was a problem for the British Columbia government, too.

Well, wonders never cease. On Aug. 25, I learned that there is another dearth of post-riot paperwork. This time, it has to do with the co-chairs of the Vancouver Riot Review, former Nova Scotia deputy minister Doug Keefe and VANOC chief executive John Furlong.

Their review of the events of June 15, ordered by Clark, is due Aug. 31. As of Aug. 24, they had no contract! It appears that they were simply handed a copy of the June 20 press release and told they'd be reimbursed for their time and costs later.

This is contrary to the way a sophisticated, business-like government normally works. Government normally "papers" everything, with agreements of all sorts. Signatures, witnesses, etc. Not so anymore?

Maybe this is simply the way the Christy Clark Show works.

Read more below.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Man of the people will be missed

That's a screen grab from the most-watched TV program in Canadian history, the Feb. 28, 2010 gold medal hockey game between the United States and Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. (If you didn't save it, you can get your own DVD copy of CTV Olympics' Hockey Gold 2010).

Look closely. That's NDP leader Jack Layton and his wife Olivia Chow. They're wearing red and singing "O Canada."

Instead of being inside Vancouver's Rogers Arena (which was originally General Motors Place, but known as Canada Hockey Place during the Games), Layton and Chow were with the people to witness Sidney Crosby's golden goal at the climax of the Vancouver Games. Layton and Chow were with the people, at Gretzky's in downtown Toronto.

When you watch the DVD of the historic hockey game, you'll see Sid the Kid's great goal and you'll see Layton and Chow singing the national anthem.

On Aug. 22, 2011 it is the people of all political stripes and ways of life across Canada that are mourning the cancer death of Layton. The 61-year-old New Democratic Party leader guided his party to Official Opposition status in the 2011 federal election. Quite a feat for a party that the pundits thought was destined for third place. Quite a feat for a man who had already suffered cancer once.

Why was Layton so popular? Easy. He seemed like a trustworthy uncle to a nation. He's been called the best Prime Minister Canada never had.

On February 28, 2010, Canadians, including Layton, put aside their differences and wore red and white.

Today, think of wearing some orange, to remember Jack.

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