Night Music: Au Fond Du Temple Saint

February 10, 2020

Defending the Auditor General for Vancouver

February 10, 2020

Regular readers of this blog, and most anyone interested in improvements to Vancouver’s civic governance, will recall that, almost single-handedly, Councilor Colleen Hardwick succeeded in pushing through City Council a motion to establish an office of the Auditor General.  In my opinion, and in the opinion of others that I respect, this is a matter of fundamental reform, introducing a degree of transparency to a system that today shields staff (and often Councillors) from the consequences of their actions.

It is such a fundamental reform that it seriously disturbs the technocratic power structures that have governed us for years and offers our elected representatives a far better shot at changing the system to meet their constituents’ wishes than we have today.  And that potential disturbance to their charmed lives caused — and continues to cause — certain City Hall staff and their political allies to fight like hell to stop or radically weaken this initiative.

I am hearing rumours that Councillors Boyle, Carr and Fry are working hand in hand with the City Manager to emasculate the office at the very least (who knows if those rumours are true?), and I am hearing that even some of Councillor Hardwick’s NPA colleagues are wavering in the face of staff’s self-serving but firm opposition to more openness in government.

I hope that everyone in Vancouver who is interested in government transparency and efficiency will email City Hall and make sure they know that we are watching and eagerly awaiting a fully-functioning Auditor General for Vancouver.

Grandview 10th February 1920

February 10, 2020


“Vancouver Sun”, 19200210, p.3

Poem: Finger Painting

February 10, 2020



It was a spontaneous gesture

— unplanned, unexpected

completely out of place

compared to her routine liquid grace —

but one that cannot be erased.


Her aura, the gentle appearance;

soft natural makeup,

the smart marquisette frock,

the deliberately misplaced lock

of hair;  her exact air was grazed


in that simple moment of caution

released and disentrenched.

The extended finger,

— erect, phallic, rude — didn’t linger;

but he felt it to whom it was raised.