This week, Vision Vancouver park commissioners ramped up their attacks on the lone elected Green in Vancouver, Stuart Mackinnon.
In a peculiar move, Vision's Raj Hundal called Straight reporter Carlito Pablo out of the blue on December 15 to tell him that Mackinnon is "almost a bit of a bully".
Another Vision commissioner, Sarah Blyth, sent an e-mail to the Straight claiming that Mackinnon has—get this—"been anything but supportive", even rolling his eyes when she spoke.
What accounts for Vision's decision to go after Mackinnon this week?
Here are five theories:
1. The Vision Vancouver-controlled council approved the budget on December 14 before the Vision-controlled park board had a chance to hear submissions from the public. Mackinnon will likely point this out tonight (December 16). It's unheard-of for council to approve its budget before the elected park board has a chance to provide input. So the best defence for Vision commissioners was a good offence against Mackinnon in advance of him mentioning this to the media.
2. Related to the first point, the Vision-controlled park board postponed its budget consultation with the public, which was scheduled for the December 13 meeting. If Vision had proceeded on that day, there would have been a huge public outcry the night before the Vision-controlled council approved its budget. That's bad optics for a party that's obsessed with how it's perceived by the public.
3. Mackinnon simply knows a lot more about parks and recreation than the Vision commissioners. He has been attending park board meetings for years. Maybe the Vision commissioners are jealous.
4. Mackinnon is not a toady who supports all Vision motions. This doesn't sit well with a party that had an electoral arrangement whereby one spot was saved for the Greens. Vision feels that it helped elect Mackinnon and he's not sufficiently grateful for this.
5. Mackinnon lines up with NPA commissioner Ian Robertson on some issues. They both opposed opening up community centres for anti-HST petitioners, for example. Mackinnon has also put out joint news releases with Robertson. In the eyes of Vision Vancouver, that's tantamount to treason, and therefore, the Green commissioner must be punished.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.