Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Could former NPA one-term Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan really replace Michaelle Jean as Governor General? Yikes!

Sam Sullivan for Governor General? Heaven save us! Stephen Harper save us!

Sam Sullivan - Ian King photo

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday April 13, 2010

This one-term mayor's Order of Canada and Conservative ties aren't enough to put him in the G-G's seat.

By Bill Tieleman

I like the fact that people underestimate me. You know, they pat me on the head and then I rip their throat out.

- Sam Sullivan

Is it remotely possible that Sam Sullivan, the most discredited Vancouver mayor in recent memory, someone rejected to run again in 2008 by his own party -- could be Canada's next Governor-General?

The Toronto Star thinks Sullivan is a front runner.

If so, heaven help us! Stephen Harper help us! Please don't replace the elegant and effective Michaƫlle Jean with Sam Sullivan!

Sullivan was the most hapless mayor this city has seen in a long time -- and we've had some real doozies.

But to recap -- Sullivan was such damaged goods that by the end of his only term as mayor Non-Partisan Association members nominated then-councilor Peter Ladner to replace him as their 2008 election candidate.

Ladner launched his campaign to unseat Sullivan by saying: "Overall I feel the mayor has lost the confidence of voters...When I'm part of a team and I see the ship headed for the rocks, I feel an obligation to change course."

The NPA agreed and dispatched Sullivan.

So would the prime minister really appoint as Canada's head of state and commander-in-chief someone who couldn't even maintain the backing of his own party members and expect him to hold this country's confidence?

Then there's Sullivan’s, shall we say, "colourful" record in office.

Helping a drug addict buy crack and bring it back to Sullivan's van to smoke so the then-city councillor could learn from the experience.

Allowing a four-month Vancouver civic workers strike to go on when every other municipality in the Lower Mainland easily settled their negotiations, leading it to be called "Sam's Strike."

Sullivan even said during the strike that resolving a dispute that took thousands of workers off the job and paralysed city operations was not his "top priority" as mayor!

To be fair, Sullivan has done some admirable work with disability issues -- which has won him the Order of Canada -- and is one reason why, along with being a westerner and having Conservative links, he may be considered. But even there controversies abound.

The Tyee discovered that five directors on the board of a non-profit society Sullivan formed didn't even know they had donated over $5,000 to the NPA.

The Nanitch Policy Society -- not a charity -- also funded some of Sullivan's efforts to defeat the ward system in a 2004 city referendum.

Sullivan refused to speak to The Tyee's Monte Paulsen at the time -- but two full years later penned a long "clarification" that does not refute the central points.

As to why Sullivan hadn't responded to interview requests or cleared up the controversy in two years, he wrote: "Hey, I was the mayor and I was busy."

All told -- and there are many more unanswered questions, such as who funded Sullivan's personal political war chest -- the one-term mayor is not the candidate Canadians want to see as governor-general.

He wasn't even the candidate his own party wanted to return as mayor.

* * * * *

Where can I sign the citizens inititiative petition started by Bill Vander Zalm against the Harmonized Sales Tax?

It's the biggest question I get -- so check the Fight HST website for locations.

Or come to St. James Community Centre at 3214 West 10th in Vancouver on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. to hear me and Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Sue Hammell on the HST and sign there.


Anonymous said...

I remember for one of his speeches at a non-political/private function, he made a really rude comment about the strikers. I wish I remember what the exact words were...but all I rememer is that it just changed my perspective on him.

Anonymous said...

Ya maybe he could save and watch a few hookers in Ottawa and help them ,by watching them do drugs,F##k what's this world coming to?

BC Mary said...


How soon we forget, but wasn't it thought to be a ploy by Sam Sullivan's team that there should be an unknown candidate named Green ... James Green ... to draw votes away from the popular Jim Green?

which resulted in the election of Sam as mayor of Vancouver?

Anonymous said...

a little late for an april fool's prank no?

Anonymous said...

Sullivan is basically another bottom of the barrel boys. He would fit in nicely with the likes of Hopeless Harper's CRAC party.
(cons,reform alliance coalition)
Both governments Hopeless/Campbell are the sleaziest Canada has ever had.Both of these right wing gov's seem to attract the low life in our society.

Anonymous said...

I would never consider Sullivan for GG. The way things are going for his gov I would think he might consider a priest. He would keep everyone busy from eight to eighty

Anonymous said...

other suggestions I've heard are Carole Taylor or John Furlong--yuck

Ivan H said...

I can't say anything about Sam Sullivan as that was before I paid any attention to anything political so I take everyone's word that he was a vile politician.

Uh, so what? Aren't they all? Can anyone name 3 decent politicians in the last 20 years?

I'm not saying he should be considered for Governor-General but this article provides no argument against it either. Besides, who even cares who the Governor General is?

Let's consider the arguments:
Discredited and hapless - opinion?
Not renominated by NPA - small sample
Appointment lacking confidence - this is either Bill out to lunch or his usual inferential conclusion by non-statement, possibly both
Buying crack - being open to learning is a negative?, maybe in Bill's world
Four-month strike - with workers who also kept it going
Five directors in the dark - former directors, legal loophole for campaign financing, yawn

Is that all you have to argue against one sleazoid over another being chosen to be in charge of nothing? Like I said who cares? Well, at least it wasn't some more pointless drivel about fighting HST.

Anonymous said...

Bill. Not going to happen.

Why are you getting worked up on a non-starter? Most likely someone from The North who is in the running for the position will get it. Get it?

Keep working on the Anti-HST canvass.

Anonymous said...

Only in Sammy's wildest dreams.

Skookum1 said...

I got curious about who the Nanitch Political Society are because of their name - "nanitch" is the Chinook Jargon word for "to watch", "to look", "to see" - and in a title/name more or less implies the common idiom "kloshe nanitch" - "watch well" or more like "stand on guard" or "be on the lookout"; famously the motto of the Rocky Mountain Rangers militia regiment based in Kamloops....

So I googled the name and found out who's on their board:


"Wayne [Hartrick] currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Nanitch Policy Society, a society dedicated to improving the economic and social well being of individuals faced with disability. Wayne leads Reputations Corporation’s 2010 Olympic Games consulting. "

What also proved interesting was the client list of Reputations p.r. agency:
• 2010 Legacies Now
• Translink
• Tim Hortons
• Silver Standard Resources
• BC Place Stadium
• Methanex Corporation
• Happy Planet
• The Resort Municipality of Whistler
• District of Kitimat
• City of Fort St. John
• Wal-Mart
• Science World
• The Ethical Funds Company
• Credentials Securities
• Coast Mountain Bus Company

What the heck does improving the conditions of disabled people have to do with fighting a ward system?

the incestuous and all-too-often-suspect nature of BC politics, and political p.r./consultancies, really has its odd sides doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

SILLY SAM (Sullivan) for governor general? On one hand I agree with Bill Tieleman; Sam isn’t qualified
to catch rats.

But then, if we did stick him in,
before a year was out, the public would be so outraged we would once and for all do away with this
foolish waste of taxpayers money and dump the monarchy along with it.

Go Sam go!

- T. Bear

Anonymous said...

Is this silly debate still going on? Sullivan won't be Governor General no matter how much sleep Tieleman loses over it.

Skookum1 said...

There's a FB group pushing Leonard Cohen.....