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Metro Vancouver Poll-Coquitlam city council gets 'rope a doped' by Casino-over boxing
Was Forrest Gump just lucky?  Apr 10, 2008

A random telephone sample of 203 Coquitlam residents on April 8, 2008. This ROBBINS poll (poll meaning ‘counting of heads’) has a margin of error of (7.55%) 19 times out of 20 @94% competency. This ROBBINS poll was sponsored by Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398.

Question #1
In your opinion should professional prizefights (boxing) be permitted in Coquitlam for August 2008?
Yes    51 %
No    49 %
Question #2
At a Coquitlam city council meeting last Monday evening April 7, 2008, six of nine elected city council members voted in favour of Great Canadian Casino’s holding prizefights (boxing) commencing in August 2008—without any public hearings. In your opinion is this acceptable to you?
Yes    03 %
No    97 %
Undecided    00 %
Question #3
Howard Blank is the vice-president of entertainment for the Great Canadian Casino which has already held a number of boxing matches at their Richmond facility which have been conducted professionally and without incident. The city of Richmond required approximately two years from beginning to end to decide to hold their first professional boxing match (prizefight). The city of Coquitlam was asked at council meeting to approve of a prizefight for August 2008 with apparently only four months ‘notice’, and no time for a public hearing. In your opinion is this fair and reasonable to Coquitlam city and its citizens/taxpayers?
Yes    00 %
No    100 %
Question #4
Great Canadian Casino VP Howard Blank suggested that professional boxing would put Coquitlam ‘on the map’ with tourists and boxing fans throughout the world as the anticipated prizefight for Coquitlam in August 2008 would be broadcast on major television networks for viewing throughout the world. Of the following limited responses…which BEST depicts how you would want Coquitlam ‘to be seen’ by the outside world?
I would like the outside world to see Coquitlam as socially progressive, environmentally friendly, and safe for families    83 %
I would like the outside world to see Coquitlam as a resort and entertainment city, like a small Las Vegas, and safe for families    17 %
Undecided    04 %
Commentary
Observations:
Coquitlam residents are split on the proposed prizefight and amateur boxing card-advanced by Great Canadian Casinos.
Respondents want a public hearing of the entire boxing issue-so that they can have their say, or at least ‘see’ that ‘the public’ has had input.
Not one respondent in this poll finds the short amount of time allotted to a decision by council without benefit of a public hearing on the proposed boxing matches as “fair and reasonable”, yet two thirds (66.666%) of paid (for?) Coquitlam city councilors did find it fair and reasonable-they voted for it.
A significant majority of Coquitlam residents would prefer to be seen as socially progressive and environmentally friendly, rather than as a resort and entertainment city. How would these numbers have been affected if the word gambling had been used for choice ‘b’ in question #4?
Commentary:
Watching the application from the proponent-Great Canadian Casinos-who basically want to hold a prize fight in August of 2008-well, it looked rigged-pre-ordained-cooked up-I thought someone at city council must be getting paid off-but that would be criminal-and I am not with the police-so I can’t say for sure-I am only saying that is how it looked to me.
Either that or some of city council is very stupid. (Pick one but only one). The good news is that there is an election this year-and we can try to get rid of some of these folks-action which is underway as I write this-and beyond.
The handling of the application(s) by Great Canadian Casino relating to the forming of a Coquitlam Athletic Commission-with a view to bringing amateur and professional boxing to Coquitlam-by Coquitlam city council- is quite breathtaking in terms of the (in our opinion) negligence offered up on this matter by two-thirds of city council.
The handling of the application(s) by Great Canadian Casino relating to the forming of a Coquitlam Athletic Commission-with a view to bringing amateur and professional boxing to Coquitlam-by Coquitlam city council- is quite breathtaking in terms of the (in our opinion) negligence offered up on this matter by two-thirds of city council.
First of all, given the history-it would be wise for elected officials in Coquitlam to be wary of people places and things coming to it from either Vancouver or Richmond. Coquitlam city council already badly screwed up the Burke Mountain with help from a clever little notice of motion/application from a Richmond development firm. These two cities represent the current epitome of Gordon Campbell’s ‘me, myself and I government’- the cornerstone of what motivates Gordon Campbell and his selfish political friends from Vancouver.
Maxine--- Lou Sekora is right. Tell former Vancouver Mayor, NDP Premier and gambling enabler Mike Harcourt that we aren’t interested in his little group or their ideas for livability. Give him contacts for Monster.com to help him identify another source of income other than the public purse or aboriginals. I don’t like these NDP turn Liberal types and they don’t like me. They are soft and gooey-and just hang around.
Pockets by Brink.
I am happy to accommodate any war they want to bring-I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
Lou is right again—a Coquitlam, Surrey, Abbotsford, and Langley combination for strategies makes no sense. There are issues with transportation, particularly the Port Mann Bridge and these other ‘erstwhile’ partners are on the other side of that Bridge. Civic and provincial elections are on the way---this is no time to invite strangers with Vancouver-Richmond me, myself and I intent. A prudent leader would not make hasty decisions and the Casino boxing debacle is one of these.
Remember, this provincial BC Liberal government under Gordon Campbell made an executive with the BC Hotels and Bars (booze) in charge of addiction in this province, and put a person who appears to be getting 6-8 square meals a day in charge of the homeless and hungry. These alone-never mind all of the other mistakes and lack of finish to policies that have made this government very less than average. If we get a transportation system in Coquitlam which everyone doubts-it’s going to be screwed up by the bevy of village idiots, or quasi criminals in neighbouring jurisdictions. We hope to ‘burn’ some of these selfish ignoramuses’ out over the coming months-with a hope to replace them with more proficient public servants.
BC Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon can improve his own popularity by going against the local politicians and choosing the south route down Lougheed for rapid transit. Like most citizens in the region, I have long since expected anything expect another announcement-and different haircuts.
I have personally driven a dozen people from outside the region through both of the routes and no-one gets Port Moody-(northeast)-how come?
Richmond’s Gateway Casinos are taking a run at us-through the guise of boxing. Where Richmond took two years to make a decision-Coquitlam with similar population and demographics is apparently expected four months to permit this without a public hearing. How stupid can some of you on city council be? Surely, what’s good enough for Richmond is good enough for the citizens of Coquitlam-those people you are paid to serve—
I expected ‘this’ from councilman Asmundson. He isn’t a leader, he wants to belong. Recusing himself from votes has become his calling in public office. I find him to be too much of a bootlicker-and this was evident by his approach to Gateway and his desire to be on the boxing commission. Whenever I watch a politician like this-it compels me (propels me) to write more nasty things about politicians generally. Most of them are a sick and sorry bunch of people-desperate for attention-and too often incapable intellectually and in their guts of handling the jobs that only a handful of the population grants them. When you call them on it, they whine like baby’s-that’s not fair-and on and on. Brent seems like a nice chap-but I know these types-picked last for teams all through school-and now the rest of us cool people have to suffer why he makes up for what was lost. Grade-Fail.
The tape of this Gateway vote is a textbook case for why most of these political leaders should be voted out of office.
Councilman Doug McDonnell voted to move the rushed boxing date-because his father boxed. Doug, I boxed-and was in over 100 street fights-bar brawls-boots and fists-bounced in every bar you can imagine-hospitals-violence-I understand and respect the sweet science-I was in fist fights with my own father-and went one win, one loss and one split decision. I am Canada’s Jesse Ventura. I get the sweet science-but this has nothing to do with due process. You fail.
Mae Reid-you seemed more concerned with kicking Maxine Wilson in the ass (a popular pastime these days) than concerning yourself with the needs of constituents. You failed your constituents on the Casino boxing vote.
Mae Reid-you seemed more concerned with kicking Maxine Wilson in the ass (a popular pastime these days) than concerning yourself with the needs of constituents. You failed your constituents on the Casino boxing vote.
Barry Lynch-you are smart and experienced enough to be the Mayor of any city in the province-you understand proper due process-what happened? Fail.
Richard Stewart-you are such a bright man-what is it about you that drives you to such flattery of others and creepy business people who aren’t your equal-low self-esteem? Help me out here. Failing grade.
Maxine, you’re a fine person-you respect the humanities-why the Pollyanna idealism/and passive aggressive duplicity. You told me Fin Donnelly wasn’t running for Mayor-called it a done deal-Fin says this isn’t true he “hasn’t made up his mind yet”. Failure.
We are at a crossroads in Coquitlam-we can be great or we can be a dupe for the gross indiscretions of a provincial leader who barely knows himself-and has no idea about British Columbians. Don’t sell out your community by continuing to kiss ass with every political ‘has been’ outsider with a deal in his/her pocket. But here’s the real deal-Great Canadian Casino isn’t going anywhere and Vancouver-because that is who is running the province-not Victoria-needs and wants our land for their development. Riverview is not on the table-and Burke Mountain is going to be a byatch/brawl unless the full LID is brought back. Any new business-I want a chunk of the action for the city-or get lost. Another failure.
Lou Sekora-you did your job properly on the Casino vote-excellent work-your experience as Mayor shows you ‘get it’. Neil Nicholson-your work is always thorough-you never need to compromise on political matters where unethical decisions are involved-always exercise your superb judgement for the people-not just to get along with others who choose to be unethical or incompetent. If something isn’t right-that’s how it is-call it that way-excellent work. I guarantee you will never see anything less than this from this fellow.
Time is on Coquitlam’s side-we hold the cards-our problem at this moment is weak leadership-allowing the carnival of political carnivores to takeover the city-and that is what they want to do-so whatever promises you think are coming down the pike-we’ll find you out-so don’t do it.
If I see any one of you take one dime from the casino or their friends and associates-for your political campaign we will hunt you down. There are probably more whistleblowers coming to ROBBINS than the federal government-now where shall I start-how about the 2010 Olympic director who likes to shoplift-old news-not really-there is more-so much more.
Ordinarily an observer might anticipate one of nine city councillors acting with such cavalier arrogance about public input, but it would appear that for one reason or another you can compel a significant number of elected officials in the city of Coquitlam to ram home a 'gimme' for one of the cities benefactors, without allowing for the proper democratic process to unfold.
Ordinarily an observer might anticipate one of nine city councillors acting with such cavalier arrogance about public input, but it would appear that for one reason or another you can compel a significant number of elected officials in the city of Coquitlam to ram home a 'gimme' for one of the cities benefactors, without allowing for the proper democratic process to unfold.
A reasonable person would want to know how this can happen. Perhaps donor’s lists or other investigation might provide answers, as sheer stupidity is not the explanation we tend to want to ascribe to elected officials-though it is not an uncommon description that respondents apply to elected officials during ROBBINS polls in the Province of British Columbia.
Clearly, one half of Coquitlam respondents would support a prizefight-predicated it would seem on the understanding that the people in charge of regulation and oversight would be doing their job properly. But this is British Columbia and this is Coquitlam City-and no such assumptions ought to be made regarding city council. Two-thirds, a majority vote, did not do their job properly and decided that their personal decision should supersede the public need to have their say. Moreover, respondents were “horrified” that the fight has been scheduled four months from the date that city council apparently first got wind of the idea. Why not hold the prizefight in August 2009-after the election? Who is in charge of council-the people elected or the Casino? Is there another agenda here?
Just short of calling Mayor Wilson a liar, both city councillors Lou Sekora and May Reid indicated on the record that Maxine Wilson was aware of Great Canadian Casinos desire to hold boxing in this city-in January, although the Mayor insists she had knowledge the month was March, 2008. No matter who is responsible-- the outcome for Coquitlam residents is that the prizefight in question should not be undertaken without a full public hearing-yet it appears that fourth and final ratification will go ahead without one—there isn’t enough time according to the proponent GCC. If this was known in January, 2008-the public needs to know-and if this January date is true-the public should receive a resignation.
Inducements made by GCC VP Howard Blank vis-à-vis ‘great exposure’ around the world for Coquitlam---is a somewhat meaningless benefit as most Coquitlam residents prefer to be known for their socially progressive and environmentally sensitive policies according to this ROBBINS poll. Having a reasonable grasp of the fight business I would have to say that a purse of $300,000 or so is not consistent with world wide exposure, and there is no material evidence that Richmond City-where boxing matches have been held by GCC-has received any more exposure than say Walla Walla in Washington.
This is not to say that the Great Canadian Casino is not a professional organization-that knows how to do the job properly. Manny S. has an exemplary record. GCC provides first rate entertainment and has generally a good record, although there is some evidence of lawlessness at the casinos-which is to be expected from time to time when gaming and other sports like professional boxing are involved. Public Safety in BC is not currently at an all time high-and there is much public ambivalence about the quality of service and work provided by politicians and courts, and even now the police. It is important therefore at a time when credibility is perceived to be in short supply on every file-that no short cuts are taken.
This was arrogance plain and simple.
With the recent investigation of Solicitor General John Les, any matters coming before city council or other elected politicians must be contemplated with public safety in mind. An absence of a public hearing in this environment dealing with a matter relating to a gaming casino and professional boxing shows an unbelievable lack of common sense on the part of a majority of elected officials in Coquitlam.
This is not a sufficient basis from which to make hasty decisions, and the majority of city council did just that. Some of the councillors looked like ‘a starving man gazing at a baloney sandwich’ (trademark) as they were dealing with The Great Canadian Casinos proposal. Watching councillor Asmundson drooling over everyone involved nearly brought bile (embarrassment and shame) to my throat-it wasn’t easy to take.
For certain, Mayor Wilson, and councillors McDonnell, Reid, Lynch, Stewart and Asmundson all abandoned their constituents’ rights to a fair hearing of the matter to make decisions which reflected their own needs or wants- and not the obvious best interests of the public they are expected to serve---in a manner no different than a restaurant server ought to- when bringing a pizza or fish n chips to a patrons table.
Only councillors Sekora, Donnelly, and Nicholson apparently give a damn about public process---and should be penciled in for your municipal vote next November along with Jim Van Rassel. Coquitlam’s next city councillor Jim Van Rassel isn’t going to put up with any of this (and doesn’t want his chair ‘farted out’ thank you).
New Coquitlam city manager Pete Steblan’s (?) apparent approach to the issue indirectly supported the whimsical way business is apparently conducted at city hall. When asked a serious question by ROBBINS regarding the apparent lack of any solicitor reports on liability issues associated with the proposed fight card, an issue raised more than once by councillor Sekora which any prudent elected official or city staff working for taxpayers ought to properly deal with-the city manager instead sidestepped the question (great-another city manager who is a politician)- indicated that he was not sure about the answers to this—(his expertise is engineering)-and supported concerns surrounding the city council vote by himself characterizing the applications(s) as being conducted “on the fly”-- a certain administrative affirmation of less than stellar work by city councillors at least as it relates to the issue of boxing and the associated votes on behalf of GCC in Coquitlam.
Generally speaking it is fair to say that it is easier to support amateur boxing than professional boxing-although it would appear that one half of Coquitlam residents are ready to support both if there is proper notice and a hearing. It is anticipated however that taxpayers would prefer to support professional politicians rather than amateur ones---which unfortunately reflects the quality of work leveled at this issue to date.

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