Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Vandal jumps off board EPC

Saint Boniface Councillor Dan Vandal has jumped
off the Sammy boat by quitting EPC.

Image Source:  Marine Insight
March of this year I asked James Hope Howard if "civic centre-leftists like Brian Mayes and Dan Vandal [were] destroying themselves by joining aboard the failed Katz administration" while conservatives like Paula Havixbeck were jumping off the Sammy boat. James Hope Howard's ever hopeful answer provided a hilarious piece of postmodern Winnipeg municipal political fan fiction.

It seems that centre-left councillor Dan Vandal realizes just disastrous his link to Sam Katz is. Yesterday, Vandal quit the rightwing fake populist's Executive Policy Committee (EPC).

Who knew exactly what about exactly which scandals in the Katz admin is still up in the air. Following a dubious land swap deal with Shindico - a firm with links to the mayor -, Katz buddy Phil Sheegl quit.

Our mayor never paid much attention to what a conflicting and unholy relationship business interests could have with City Hall. Sam Katz opposed bans on corporate and union donations to city council campaigns because that'd hurt "right of centre" councillors.

Apparently, mayor Katz was unaware of the conflict of interest getting paid by private interests could have on city councillors.

The mayor also stood against P3 Accountability - i.e. safeguards to ensured we, the public, don't get screwed over by private business interests.

Councillor Dan Vandal (left) with Mayor
Katz (right).

Image Source
Obtained from Winnipeg Free Press
The enormous blind spot of our country club Conservative mayor has finally come home to roast. Even folks fooled thrice by Katz, like the Winnipeg Sun or Charles Adler, are abandoning the fake populist's ship.

Vandal, however, came late to the Sammy boat. As Glen Murray's Deputy Mayor and a contender for .
mayoralty in 2004, Vandal started off as a critic of Katz. Nevertheless, the Saint Boniface councillor was appointed to the Mayor's EPC in 2010

As an EPC councillor, Vandal (along with fellow centre-leftist Brian Mayes) has voted for the reckless and unsustainable development of Ridgewood South. This continued with subsequent votes, including the most recent Ridgewood South precinct plan vote where centre-right councillor Paula Havixbeck voted no to this costly 'burb.

In the run up and aftermath of announcing his run for the Federal Liberals in Saint Boniface Vandal has distanced himself from the Katz mayoralty. He introduced a (successful) motion to compensate 'Peggers whose laundry was damaged by brown water - which the civic government initially said it would not do. The Saint Boniface councillor has also introduced a successful motion to legally review the audit of the land swap scheme.

All motions serve to highlight his status as a reformer and opponent of "business as usual" on Sam Katz. Quitting the mayor's inner circle serves to further wash his hands of the boondoggles at City Hall.

Nevertheless, one wonders if this'll be enough to disassociate him from the toxic smell that is the public trust burning Sammy boat.

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