David Cadman’s colleagues often compare him to the lion in the Wizard of Oz. Despite his bombastic nature, when Vision shouts "boo" he goes running for cover.
After working behind the scenes for months to further accommodate the amalgamation of Vision Vancouver and COPE, Councillor David Cadman may finally be questioning what he’s done to his political party. As many of our readers know, it was COPE’s decision not to run a mayoral candidate in the 2008 civic election that assured Mayor Gregor Robertson and Co. their victory…but they have a funny way of showing their appreciation.
I worked with Councillor Cadman for three years at City Hall and there are a number of things I observed about him during this period. Firstly, he may be bombastic and appear to be a tiger, but in reality he’s more like the lion character in the Wizard of Oz. No matter how much he huffs and puffs, it only takes Vision saying "boo" to send him scurrying.
It’s also clear that Cadman loves to travel and he takes his "international" obligations very seriously. Many of his colleagues think perhaps just a bit too seriously. I often felt that Cadman’s election to council was merely a stepping stone for much more important work he’d prefer to be doing at the United Nations or some other international body. In other words, he "tolerated" council as it provided him with the platform he needed to save the world from environmental degradation.
Cadman is now flipping out on Vision after they recently abandoned him at Metro Vancouver and decided to stop funding his activities with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). A fuming Cadman told the Georgia Straight:
For me, the thing that’s very frustrating is that not once has a single one of the Vision representatives on the board of Metro Vancouver lifted a finger to try and say, ‘Hey, hang on, this is what we’ve nominated him to do.’ [Coun.] Tim Stevenson walks in and says, ‘Well, ICLEI will pay for this, won’t they?’ He doesn’t seem to understand that ICLEI doesn’t have a tax base. It’s composed of its member organizations.
Cadman makes a good point when he argues that Metro Vancouver actually appointed him to ICLEI and is therefore obligated to support his activities. During the last term, NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan and his colleagues decided to continue providing Cadman with an endorsement of his international work. Ironically, now that Vision has a massive majority on council, they are actually the ones who cut up Cadman’s Aeroplan card. If Vision really doesn’t support Cadman’s work with ICLEI, they should move a motion stating so, rather than cutting him off through the back door.
They may not be showing him much love now, but expect the Visionistas to start cozying up to Cadman again as the next civic election nears. Regardless of this apparent lover’s quarrel, they desperately need his support in order to once again keep the coalition together. That is unless the COPE executive (packed with Vision accommodators) makes good on the rumour they want to give Cadman the boot for a younger, more activist slate. Could this rumour be the reason why Vision is so willing to cut Cadman off his travel fund?
I somehow doubt when historians begin dissecting the slow death of the once mighty social movement known as COPE, they will look kindly upon Cadman’s decision to accommodate Vision in the last election. As for Cadman, he clearly doesn’t recognize how much power he has in the coalition which he played an instrumental role in building. What else could explain why he runs back to his den whenever Vision shouts "boo".