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Metro Vancouver Poll-Coquitlam goes aggressively anti-development over Riverview
I'm White Hot-Tom Cochrane  Jul 29, 2007

A random sample of 400 respondents throughout the city of Coquitlam between July 28-29, 2007. This poll features a margin of error of 4.4%, 19 times out of 20 @95% competency. This poll was sponsored by Gentleman Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398 "I can see, I can finally see" Call Jim up and ask him his opinion---he'll tell y'all.

Question #1
Which of the following in your opinion is the BEST plan for the future of 95 acres of prime land at the Riverview site on Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam?
BC Liberal Rich Coleman’s plan for 7,000 new homes including some low income housing as part of that total    08 %
BC NDP Mike Farnsworth’s plan to revitalize the mental health facility at Riverview including acceptance of many of those living on the downtown eastside to the facility    41 %
Coquitlam Mayor Maxine Wilson’s plan for retaining Riverview as a Heritage site and museum    11 %
Conservative public opinion pollster Glen P. Robbins suggestion for a new super hospital and drug and alcohol treatment facility    39 %
Undecided    3.5 %
Question #2
Are you for or against the development of 7,000 new residences on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam?
For    22 %
Against    78 %
Undecided    12 %
Commentary
Observations:
Coquitlam residents are ‘dead set’ against development in the region and in particular at the Riverview mental health institution ‘grounds’. The main reason for this is a lack of transportation in and out of the region, the fact that the 95 acres are so beautiful, and the fact that Coquitlam residents don’t trust developers, are not impressed with development at Citadel Heights or Westwood Plateau, and many simply don’t want to see public land used to make a profit, “we’ll never know who is making what”. These elements of dissention all correspond to the ROBBINS Accountability Express (RAE), the first ray of hope for democracy in this province (and this country) for a long long time. This sentiment is powerful and unrelenting throughout this ROBBINS poll, and is evident by the lack of support for BC Liberal housing Minister Rich Coleman’s announcement, originally scheduled for October, 2007 but pushed out early based on pressure from the Vancouver Sun.
By forcing Rich Coleman’s hand, local MLA BC NDP Mike Farnsworth was able to take part of Rich Coleman’s earlier suggestion to move some ’eligible’ folks from the downtown eastside to other regions of the province. Cleverly, Mr. Farnsworth repackaged this entirely in response to this recent Coleman announcement making it entirely his own. (An important note. Former BC Liberal Geoff Plant (whose sister works closely with former Coquitlam Mayor Jon Kingsbury ) attempted to piggy-back Rich Coleman’s original downtown eastside migration announcement in his role as Ken Dobell’s Vancouver replacement and Sam Sullivan’s ‘dresser’.
With Coleman being forced to take it on the chin with this loser proposal for Riverview, watch for Plant to try to saddle in on NDP competitor Mike Farnsworth’s plan. Geoff Plant you will note was a former Victoria bunk mate of ’best before’ Premier Campbell, {who now has Vancouver Province columnist and former CKNW talk show host Michael Smyth singing his praises for singing a cowboy song in public-how deprived is this becoming?}
(Don’t bother us Geoff, the citizens in Coquitlam know you are responsible for putting mentally ill people on the street, and even some know you and Gordon Campbell did the same thing in Kamloops. You’ve been caught and you’re going to pay for it politically in perpituity). As one respondent said “What I want is a complete reversal of the original government policy for Riverview”.
And don’t bother coming back to politics Jon Kingsbury, you helped “Greedy” Joe Trasolini cook up the ill fated LRT down St. John’s debacle (right out of a Simpson’s cartoon episode), leaving the Tri-City seriously short of any influence on Translink. The newspapers in the Tri-City never cover these stories properly, so if you want to understand the level of insanity with some of these politics, please send your reporters to Port Moody with a view to considering the one billion plus LRT at grade level EverStupid Line proposal. (What corner of Haite Ashbury did the engineers who supported this proposal come from?)
Not that’s politics. Very ‘shitty’ politics.
(Former BC Liberal Deputy Minister Christy Clark has been given full time employment by CKNW, has renounced her citizenship in ‘Planet Campbell’ leaving only Rich Coleman as a non Vancouver challenger to Gordon Campbell’s ‘Stalin meets Cutty Sark’ leadership). The Vancouver Sun has helped take Coleman out of the game and forced the latter to either resign or pull down his ample BVD’s and bend, over raw logs for his Premier). If Coleman resigns he becomes the next great hope, if he stays on, he is compelled to raising his skirt hitch hooking through Langley Township to retain his ample MLA salary. “Thanks Dad, I mean… Gord”. (Words of advice to Coleman from ROBBINS, always throw a left hook over a lazy right hand-works every time).
Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberal all development TEAM won’t win a seat in the Tri-City region (unless ‘what’s in it for me’ PM city councillor Karen Rockwell runs for the NDP against Iain (what part of your ass should I kiss next Gordo) Black.
When Mr.. Coleman first disclosed his plan for Riverview in an article in the Vancouver Sun this week, there was a quote from Coquitlam Mayor Maxine Wilson included, yet Coquitlam city management and city councillors were completely unaware of the BC Liberals plan. There had been no discussion apparently between the two levels of government. (Hard to believe government business is conducted this way). After a telephone call from ROBBINS to Coquitlam’s Mayor, (who was in the office but on the phone at the time), the Mayor called the media to tell them she thought that a Heritage site and Museum was the right plan for Riverview. Apparently, the Mayor, like the BC Liberal ‘development crazy’ government has no idea what the public in Coquitlam is thinking. One respondent wanted to know “what Maxine Wilson intended to do with the remaining patients at Riverview..keep them as part of the museum?” Even local officials should get a second opinion before phoning in theirs to the media…ooops, it appears that the Mayors office, and the rest of city hall in Coquitlam are operating on two different levels.
Conservative pollster Glen P. Robbins helped frame the correct policy choice for Coquitlam by offering the possibility of a new hospital and drug and alcohol treatment facility. There is a long string of respondents who prefer Mike Farnsworth’s and Glen P. Robbins plan equally well, and believe that this can be accommodated on the 95 acres of absolutely gorgeous real estate at Riverview. “I want Riverview to benefit people in need.”
As stated, Coquitlam residents are not happy with development. They want an end to it. One after another residents said “NO” to development on Burke Mountain. Residents are so angry with the development that many commented on what they perceived to be as “gross overdevelopment” in neighboring cities like Port Moody and Port Coquitlam. “We need a plan for the whole region.” Those respondents who did support Burke Mountain seemed often not to be fully aware of where Burke Mountain was. “Don’t put any parking stalls in the condo developments”. A review of some of the support suggests that Coquitlam residents in the southern part of the city were far more aware of the Riverview site (we randomly asked if they were), and unfamiliar with Burke Mountain which is a brand new development right in the woods, (and is picking up steam). (The ‘going up’ the RiverBend disaster authored in part by former MP James Moore advisor Marion Lochhead helped put the icing on the “I Hate Developers” cake (not for citizens consumption).
Those respondents more familiar with Burke Mountain and this part of the region understand that the main road going south and west is down David Street which ends at the top of Heritage Mountain in Port Moody and goes to either St. John’s or Clarke/Barnet Highway. With the addition of many condominium towers in Port Moody and potentially 15,000-20,000 automobiles from Burke Mountain and elsewhere there is no possible way to deal with the traffic. (Its my opinion that those who thought that an LRT system at ground level down St. John’s Street was a good idea should be investigated by the RCMP). No right thinking individual with an IQ over room temperature would see this as viable. Did the unfortunate oil spill on the Barnet Highway in Burnaby just west of Port Moody give everyone who traveled that day, the full 'taste' of just how difficult things could become for transportation in the event of a natural disaster?
If readers can stand it, they might want to actually watch city hall in action on Shaw Cable, particularly Port Moody, if you want a better understanding of why the area is so directionless. At a city hall meeting July 10, 2007 the subject of a development at 2006 St. Johns (if memory serves me) which had some shortcomings was brought up. It turns out that Port Moody city hall was willing to let the developer off the hook owing to a donation the developer made to the city.
I said “Pardon?”
Only Port Moody city councillor Mike Clay made a fuss. Did the Coquitlam Now and Tri-City News report this or in the alternatively did all the people who allegedly read the newspapers regularly read it? NO.
Let me provide further evidence of how insulated and generally deprived Coquitlam city council has become. In its annual $10,000, 2007 Quality of Life and Financial Planning Survey of 400 telephone interviews of Coquitlam citizens, a number of questions relating to citizens ’civic’ satisfaction were asked. Included in this survey were additional questions relating to readership of the two local for ‘extreme’ profit newspapers, the Coquitlam Now and Tri-City News, paid for by Coquitlam taxpayers.
Richard Del Monte, Editor in Chief of the Tri-City News told ROBBINS that essentially his paper didn’t need the subsidized questions as “they conduct their own unaudited internal surveys”. Coquitlam city manager Wright “hadn’t really thought about it” but connected the subsidized questions to the city’s desire to explore the efficacy of their taxpayer dollars. Longtime Coquitlam city councillor Barry Lynch echoed the city manager’s explanation, and newcomer city councillor Neil Nicholson (who we reservedly really like for Mayor ), indicated that although he is “relatively new to the job, the city does spend a lot of money on public notices known in the business as Tombstone ads.”
(Frankly, at ROBBINS we find no evidence that justifies the high satisfaction designation provided to Coquitlam city hall by French polling giant Ipsos based out of Ontario as Director of the Canadian Marketing Association (no conflicts here)).
No-one from Coquitlam city hall could properly justify the subsidy to the two local newspapers, as the question asked in the survey related to readership of articles and not to Public Notices, which are required to be posted by law in most instances, making the survey questions on newspaper readership completely unnecessary.
After ROBBINS disclosed payments made by Coquitlam city hall to the Chamber of Commerce and allocation of city gambling revenues to clubs and organizations where city councillor are often directors or members, it would appear that subsidized questions on behalf of the local newspapers are nothing more than an attempt to curry favour with the newspapers to remind them of the largesse they receive from city coffers, in exchange for more favorable coverage, or in the alternative the glaring lack of coverage of some pretty crummy city hall conduct and lack of professionalism.
While I am at it, how is this fair? Local newspapers drop their Free papers on local doorsteps. The homeowners, read them or don’t, and than recycle them, paying a few hundred dollars per year on their local tax bill to have these papers picked up. The newspapers are than recycling (about 34%) with the monies from recycling being paid back to city hall. So city hall uses taxpayer money to subsidize ‘fluff’ questions about newspaper readership (bear in mind the local newspaper published the one survey as two surveys in two different issues-a little clever if you ask me), permits newspapers to be dumped rent free on ‘private residents’, charges people for this, and than collects from the recycling or whatever you call 34%. The companies who advertise (often with lost leaders that are seldom if ever available and often with no rain checks) do not pay any additional tax for what is tantamount to very deliberate pollution. The newspapers response “we don’t have to deliver a newspaper to your door if you don’t want”. I said "Pardon?"
What ROBBINS wants, is what the people want, some social cost accountability.
This ROBBINS poll on the future of Riverview should not be construed to suggest that promises for rapid transit will mollify the angry residents. It won’t. The people don’t believe the provincial government’s promises, DO NOT want land given to developers to get rich (to the extent that some respondents in the wake of aboriginal claims involving land particularly that in the ALR are asking “if aboriginals care so much about pristine land as part of their heritage why would they permit development on it?"), and do not want to continue to be frustrated over transportation, and are not interested in using public transit “because it isn’t working properly”. Coquitlam residents value their living space and do not want to be confined to 'little prison' like the ones being built by Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan who wishes Vancouver to look like Hong Kong. Tried and true Canadians don't want to live like this, and as Burke Mountain's Jim Van Rassel asserts "the development up here could be constituted of one acre parcels selling for 1.5 million or more. How many people presently living in the cramped City of Vancouver would pay that much to live in this pristine area and satisfy their desire for an environmentally sustainable and livable region? Would you rather have birds, bears and wildlife on your property, or someone peaking in your bedroom window?"
Coquitlam residents have decided that they don’t really need transportation, but they don’t want any more development. “Go build somewhere else” said one despondent respondent, “Coquitlam city hall makes enough money from gambling revenues and my taxes” said another.
The provincial Liberals thought they could leverage local elected officials to rubber stamp development and deep gravel pit exploitation in Coquitlam for their friends by squeezing them with inadequate funding, while providing very little in return, simply because Campbell doesn't sell well here. It appears to be working on elected officials, but no-one factored in ROBBINS telling it like it really is, on behalf of the citizens in the community, and this is where the counter leverage is.
Let the BC Liberals and their donating friends (over) develop your community at your own political peril. You may get away with it until 2008 but we intend to replace a bunch of y’all.

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