It's also how things are done in Xanadu

Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon has a reputation for being one of the staunchest conservatives in the provincial Liberal caucus. But perhaps he's not as different from the socialist New Democrats as some may think. On Friday, while delivering a speech to the Lower Mainland Municipal Association's annual general meeting, Minister Falcon spoke about a 32 kilometre bridge that was recently built to connect mainland China to a new, island-based deep water port. Joked the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA, "No one there ever questions the need to build infrastructure like this. Now, granted, China has a bit of a different governance structure. But, in many ways, it is the ideal governance structure." As the room broke into laughter, Minister Falcon added, "China really has the ultimate Kevin Falcon government structure" - which got even more guffaws from the audience. He then wryly noted that, the Chinese "don't have the labour or environmental restrictions we do. It's not like they have to do community consultations. They just say 'we're building a bridge' and they move everyone out of there and get going within two weeks. Could you imagine if we could build like that?" Minister Falcon subsequently confirmed those quotes in an interview with Public Eye.

18 Comments

Falcon has a point. It's ridiculous that the public "consultation"--which is merely a chance for the special interest groups like Pierre "Can't get elected anywhere" Rovtar to bitch and moan--takes as long as the actual construction!

Build those roads!

Is it just me or does Mr. Falcon have a desire to be a dictator?

Mr Falcon is just undiplomatic enough to state frankly what many others of his type think. And his subsequent comments demonstrate that he is very well aware that any lack of public opposition in China relates to totalitarianism and lack of opportunity, not aquiescence.

If, as an elected official, he'd prefer to simply not hear his constituents' concerns about planned bridges and highways, whom does he believe he was elected to listen to and to serve?

And I would say, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes! His floating hair!

Weave a circle 'round him thrice,
And cross yourself with holy dread,
For he on honeydew hath fed,
And drank the milk of paradise.

are you kidding me? his point is that politicians take way too long to make any decions is partially why China is roaring past North America in ecomonic growth. Though he was obviously joking, he makes a great point. Get on with the twinning of the bridge Falcon!

From the man who ran the so called non-partisan recall campaign, who is on the political road builders gravy train, who never sees a microphone he does not like, who is interested in his funders and own interests, not his constituents.....wake up Cloverdale.Feel sorry for poor Kev, he has to endure the democratic process we do have, as undemocratic as it is.

The guy is a blowhard. His recall act got him elected so he figures he can say what he wants. If it hurts folks, or the question of public participation comes up, so what. Wonder if he will get reelected and if he does the folks will get what they deserve. The human windmill when he gets going saves money in the house as they can shut dopn the airconditioning when he gets up to pontificate

...as for China "roaring" past North America, nowehere is that more true than in China's appalling environmental record. Apart from the good fortune of not having to survive on the paltry wages that drive China's economic engine, "Live well man" has obviously never had to live in Beijing's putrid black smog or drink its toxic waters.

He "lives well" off the fruits of those tiresome democratic processes he despises, like the lotus eaters or like Coleridge dreaming in his opium reverie of faraway Xanadu and its despot ruler simply decreeing the construction of his fabulous pleasure dome (...with no assessment, consultation or untoward environmental consequences, of course)

quotes by falcon that will surely come back to haunt him in some future campaign.

I'm really sick and tired of all the bitchin and moanin we hear every time someone has some vision for our region. kick off those Birkenstocks, put down your granola bowl, get off your butt and get a real job. there will always be critics to every project, and it's time to ignore the professional protesters and move forward

Dear, dear Lives Well!

We already have a vision (livable region)
I wouldn't be caught dead in Birkenstocks
I don't eat Granola, thank you
I'm happily self-employed and
I haven't seen the professional protesters memo yet, so I can't comment on that

...but I would add that it sounds like you're actually facing backward, not forward, which might explain some of the confusion.

I guess everyone has forgotten the deep commitment to democratic principles and public consultation we saw with the Fast Ferries and casino licences under Chairman Clark and his Politburo brothers and sisters.

(sigh...!)

Dear Mr Hopkins,

Are you suggesting that the transgressions of "Chairman Clark and his Politburo brothers and sisters" mean that the rest of us must give up all hope and abandon democracy forever?

Seems a little harsh, no?

Surely we need a somewhat stronger case before giving Mr. Falcon the OK to outlaw all consultation and become a modern-day, self-appointed Kubla Khan, decreeing bridges here and pleasure domes there, all willy nilly?

He was clearly kidding, get over it Dawn, or is it Dusk Steele?

Too bad they cannot harness Falcon's energies and get him some media training. Otherwise, he's one of the better Ministers certainly. He and Hansen and others can pine for the gold ring all they want, but as long as Carole Taylor is around, her finger will always be a perfect fit. With all the nonsense going on in Victoria (on both sides of the aisle) I can't see how Gordon, in particular, thinks he's going to win the next election. The polls out recently are way too early in the game and he's got lots of oceans to cross before then.

Hope Kevin stays out of the Barnston Island fiasco that's coming (no to development!!!). Unless they keep the ALC/ALR clean and maintained; knock some sense into the teachers union; find a way to help clean up the DTES of Vancouver (no, free drugs is for idiots--think big or go home); have some kind of grasp of what overruns will transpire during the run up to 2010 and try to fix them prior to having a go at Furlong (again)...it may get (politically) wintery for Gordo's camp well before the Olympics.

You can smell the arrogance breeding near the West Annex.....Kevin, think of what happen to Bill, then Mike, and of course Glen...talk to your boss before it's too late--it's a disease that affects all politicians sooner or later.

Nevermind the funny speeches. If you guys don't get your act together, the only speeches any of you will be making after the next election will be at family barbeques.

Ah! Thanks for shedding your light on that, Mr. Lantern.

Right you are! Some media training, a tad more discretion and some good issues management should fix things up nicely. And after all, there's no harm in holding the odd consultation, is there? It makes folks feel important and you can always send the bureaucrats in to sit through the moaning--that's what we pay them for, huh?

sb, you're dead wrong. If there's one riding benefiting from having a provincial cabmin, it's Cloverdale... home of road expansion, new museums, upgraded fairgrounds, and god knows what other goodies.

Cloverdale is exceedingly well served by Falcon.

Mr. Falcon doesn't mention all the riots that have taken place in China in recent years as a result of China's "ideal" development style. The Economist magazine recently said that over 4,000 public distrubances (inclding many deaths) have taken place in the past two years over China's "to-hell-with-the-peasants" attitude when developing local projects.

I can't believe Dennis Perry had the audacity to compare his NIMBY protection of his 3 million dollar home value with that of Martin Luther King's struggle for Civil Rights. (see today's editorial in the Province) The last time Mr. Perry was an environmentalist was in the mid 90's when his summer house was threatened by development in the Chilcotin. West Vancouver is the richest municipality in the country and if they truly were concerned about the highway expansion they had every opportunity to fund the extra money for the tunnel. Try explaining the struggling workers of the north that more of their tax dollars need to go towards building an unnecessary tunnel in West Vancouver. We need to think of the big picture.

Leave a comment

Copyright © 2004 - Public Eye Mediaworks. Reproductions of any portion of this Website are permitted only with the expressed permission of Public Eye Mediaworks.
Canadian Web Hosting graciously provided by dotcanuck Web Services. Layout and graphics courtesy of Art Department Design.