Lorne and I have not agreed on much over the years. It has become even more the case since he was elected.
Mayencourt was seen by many of us as someone that would look out for the gay community across BC when he was elected in the Gordon Campbell landslide of 2001. The community was ready to support him.
Now on the verge of officially losing the election, Mayencourt is saying the gay community abandoned him. Mayencourt went on to say he has represented the community with passion and hard work for the last four years and he complained about having tomatoes thrown at him during Pride parades.
I agree with you Lorne, the gay community has abandoned you but that is where our agreement ends. The community and local press were with you until you started to go back on your word, on your commitments to us.
We know that as MLA you have to represent all of Vancouver-Burrard and that includes a lot of straight folks. We know you were not just there for us. We did not however expect to see you supporting policies and budget cuts that devastated some in the queer communities.
Not once did your most ardent critic expect you to take part in cutting services, to attack the poor and the people that provided services to the poor or those living with mental illness, to sit silently by the side as planning for moving St. Paul's Hospital was being made or to vote for a bill that allow rents to be increased every year.
Mayencourt had ample opportunity to speak up for us. He blew it. There was the legislative committee he chaired on bullying, not a peep out of Mayencourt on the problems of queer kids in schools. The Residential Tenancy act changes that allowed rents to be raised by inflation plus an amount determined by government, (80% of his constituents rent) the budget cuts to Youthquest, no funding increases for HIV/AIDS groups, no new housing dollars or projects, voted to cut seniors bus passes and remove funding of talking books for the blind, took free Provincial park passes away from people with disabilities, voted to cut funding to libraries, and ended FREE adult learning courses that allowed people to get their grade 12.
My lord the list goes on and on.
After the election of Mayencourt in 2001, I called to meet him and offer some advice. I had two reasons for doing this. I was a communications officer for a large AIDS group and secondly, I expected the gay community to be left out in the cold with the Liberal government. We met twice, the first time at Murchies and the second at his apartment.
My advice to Lorne was simple. Keep his promises and meet with the community often. Hire a politically astute staff person and be prepared to lobby his own government hard and if need be speak out against it. Priorities I suggested to Lorne included, AIDS Funding, St. Paul's Hospital, Affordable housing, Youthquest, The LGBTQ Centre, renters rights to pets, and to vigorously fight back against the likes of Mary Polak and the Surrey School Board.
We did not expect Lorne to come out solidly supporting anti-gay school board trustee in Mary Polak in the by-election in Surrey. We certainly did not expect you Lorne to be at her headquarters cheering her on the night she lost. Ted Nebbling earned our respect by refusing to even sit in the same room as Polak was being introduced to you and other Liberals.
I have to be honest, I had no intention of supporting Lorne in the future, I would never support someone with the Campbell Liberals. My hope was that my advice would assist the queer communities. Imagine if he could have delivered on one thing. Imagine if he had spoken out against changes to the residential tenancy act. How many votes would that have gotten him?
Lorne can blame only himself. In fact I am sure if he stopped for a minute he would throw a tomato at himself. He ought too.
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