Yesterday, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities annointed first vice-president and Central Okanagan Regional District director Aaron Dinwoodie as their new president, replacing ever-talkative Saanich mayor Frank Leonard. Mr. Leonard has had a somewhat of an on-again, off-again relationship with the provincial Liberals. He's been friends with Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services Minister Murray Coel since grade nine. But his supporters were furious when party hierarchs put the kayboosh on Mr. Leonard's plan to run in Saanich South during the last election, instead handing the nomination to Oak Bay mayor and now Human Resources Minister Susan Brice. He's also been an outspoken opponent of the Significant Projects Streamlining Act, which allows government to circumvent municipal approval processes for any project it declares significant.
However, the handsome Mr. Dinwoodie doesn't have a clean slate when it comes to the dealing with the Liberals either - although his isn't quite as dirty. Back in 2000, Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer reported Mr. Dinwoodie was poised to win the Liberal nomination for Okanagan-Penticton. But party leader Gordon Campbell threw his weight behind parchute candidate Rick Thorpe. So Mr. Dinwoodie, despite having done six months of campaigning for the job, withdrew from the nomination race and endorsed Mr. Thorpe. Mr. Dinwoodie is also a former member of the Progressive Democratic Alliance, the party Gordon Wilson setup when he was ousted as Liberal leader by Mr. Campbell's supporters.