"They don't look like they're in step with a lot of economic times people are facing." That's what Community and Rural Development Minister Ben Stewart said when the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. asked about Port Coquitlam's decision to increase the salaries for its mayor and councillors by 27 percent and 42 percent respectively. "However, in a community like Port Coquitlam, where they haven't dealt with this issue for 15 years, they need to establish more regular reviews of it and not leave it for so long," the minister said, having earlier told The Vancouver Sun's Kelly Sinoski he had asked his staff to review the raise. That brouhaha has made headlines and broadcasts across the Lower Mainland. But, put in context, it has also been a source of amusement for the chattering classes. Consider this:
* Port Coquitlam's Mayor Greg Moore is actually a former provincial Liberal regional organizer and candidate - having unsuccessful ran for the party in the 2005 election;
* when he was an organizer, Mr. Moore was responsible for the Okanagan and the Kootenays - which includes the riding Mr. Stewart was elected to represent in 2009; and
* many of Minister Stewart's caucus colleagues were part of the Liberals' 2007 decision to support a controversial pay and pension increase for legislators that saw their base salary boosted by 29 percent.