Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Vancouver council plays homeless soccer team

Like all critics who imagine they might be excellent playwrights someday, I have occasionally daydreamed about what a totally marvellous city councillor I might make.

However, I’m starting to think that the sports-related demands might be just too much.

I note that it seems to be practically mandatory now that if you want to rise in government in this city, you have to ride your bike everywhere. The mayor routinely rides to news conferences, sometimes with his faithful staffer, Kevin Quinlan, peddling by his side. Eight of the councillors ride their bikes frequently. The new deputy city manager doesn’t need a car allowance, presumably because he’s going to ride his bike. And I saw city manager Penny Ballem, after this morning’s news conference at the Olympic village, roll her pants into her socks, put on her helmet, and jump on a sturdy yellow mountain bike to get back to city hall.

That’s bad enough. Now they’re all out playing soccer. On Saturday morning they played a soccer match between the mayor, councillors, school and park reps versus shelter residents from the Portland Hotel Society’s New Fountain residence in Gastown. Director Liz Evans says the residents have been training for six months and are sure to whip some political butt.

I can’t imagine what they’re going to dream up next: Mayor plus senior staff swim (wet suits or bear grease, your choice on how to stay warm!) from Stanley Park to Ambleside to confer with West Van mayor on Olympics live sites? Mayor and councillors cross-country ski to next FCM mid-winter meeting in Penticton? (Pausing to shoot something along the way, for the biathlon event) Future contenders for all Vision nominations decide their fate by throwing javelins?

Frances Bula reports on Vancouver City Hall. Most often while seated.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus