It looks like not everyone is fit to be a sacrificial lamb. Word has reached Public Eye that some provincial New Democrat hierarchs are having conniptions about failed federal nomination candidate Mary-Woo Sims' plan to run (and surely lose) against Children and Family Development Minister Christy Clark in Port Moody-Westwood. Of course, Ms. Sims resume looks appealing on paper. In addition to being a muse, she was the chief commissioner of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission - an esteemed post to be sure. But some of the tribunal's more eyebrow-raising rulings could be, to put it politely, a political liability.
After all, who could forget its decision to find Mr. Cool Ice Cream Ltd. guilty of religious discrimination and fine the company $1,000 for asking one its employees to sell frozen treats on a Sunday? And what about when the tribunal went head-to-head with the Gibson's Landing Slo-Pitch Baseball League for passing a rule preventing pregnant women from playing ball. Add that together with Ms. Sims' alleged friendship with party pariah and former British Columbia Teachers' Federation president David Chudovsky, and you can be sure party moderates are scrambling to find someone to take on Ms. Sims.
Enter Karen Rockwell. Insiders tell us the Port Moody city councillor is set to announce she'll also be seeking the nomination. Of course, Ms. Rockwell, who is vice-president of the Office and Professional Employees International Union local 378 (the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia), comes with her own baggage. If she wins, Ms. Rockwell would saddle the New Democrats with yet another big labour candidate - a problem that is threatening to turn the party's election team into a living, breathing manifestation of the British Columbia Federation of Labour.
Interestingly enough, Ms. Rockwell's resume notes she's been a volunteer for several minor softball associations. Hopefully that doesn't include the Gibson's Landing Slo-Pitch Baseball League. Ms. Rockwell was also reportedly instrumental in convincing key union executives to support moderate candidate Nils Jensen during the recent leadership race.
Others rumoured to be seeking the Port Moody-Westwood nomination include Coquitlam Teachers' Association president Kathleen Thompson (more big labour) and Dr. Truman Spring, a behavioral specialist for the local school district.