15 September 2012

You just can't fool all of the people all of the time

Poor Park Commissioner Aaron Jasper. It seems he just can't get a break. In the Vancouver Courier, columnist Sandra Thomas writes that one of his liaison responsibilities wants to jettison him. Thomas writes in her Central Park article Lazy Liaison? that the Riley Park/Hillcrest Community Centre Association wants to dump Jasper for another commissioner, preferably Nikki Sharma, one of Aaron Jasper's Vision Vancouver colleagues (ouch! that's gotta hurt). When questioned by Thomas, Jasper replied that he doesn't understand the kerfuffle. Thomas reports that Jasper says he's "baffled" by the Riley board's decision. "Actually, I have yet to be invited to one meeting since February," said Jasper. "I've been liaison to this board for three years and was always invited to meetings until Jesse became president."

Well just a minute here. Seems that Commissioner Jasper must have his liaison duties a bit mixed up. Aaron Jasper has not been liaison to this association for the past three years. I was on the Park Board from 2008-2011 and I don't recall Jasper holding that position. I seem to recall that it was another commissioner's responsibility. For further proof just ask former Commissioner Ian Robertson about it. At his I on the City blog, Robertson writes about this in his article Why did Aaron Jasper lie? 

Jasper is correct that the usual protocol for Associations is to invite commissioners to meetings--Association meetings are not generally open to the public--but my experience was that some Associations have standing invitations to their liaison.

This is not the first time Commissioner Jasper's hyperbole has gotten in the way of the truth. I was subjected many times to his curious interpretation of the truth. Just one example was the issue of a referendum of the Aquarium. He stated in a press release that I was "knowingly" putting the Park Board at legal risk by discussing the issue--something he knew was false as the the City of Vancouver's legal department had reported to him, as Chair, that the motion was fine.

I suppose one can just put down this kind of thing as not allowing the truth to get in the way of good story, but once again it leads the public to distrust politicians and the whole process. I hope Commissioner Jasper will do the right thing and correct his misstatement. It can't hurt--in fact it can only help in the search for the truth, regardless of whether or not the truth is a good story.

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