Tag Archives: Sam Sullivan

Canadian Foreign Policy Press Job

Foreign Policy buffs and International Relations geeks take note:

Embassy Newspaper has just informed me that they are looking for an entry level journalist. This is a great paper to work for. It is small, but has an influential readership: the foreign policy community in Ottawa. If you are starting out and want to learn how the sausage is made, this is probably one of the best places to work.

Journalism Job Posting

Embassy Newspaper is seeking a fulltime journalist to join its Ottawa-based newsroom. The position involves writing in-depth news and features in a fast paced independent newsroom. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in international issues and Canadian politics and be inclined to put time and energy into developing a deep understanding of the people and issues in these communities.

Strong writing, reporting and communication skills are a must.
Specialized knowledge or interest in an international area and language skills would be an asset.
Embassy has an influential readership of 49,000 and is published every Wednesday by The Hill Times. The newsroom environment is demanding but very positive and open.
Salary $26,000- 28,000 plus benefits and 3 weeks vacation per year and growth potential.

Applicants should submit a well written cover letter, a resume and writing samples in a word format or hard copy (No PDF’s) to:
Anne Marie Creskey
Embassy Newspaper
69 Sparks St
Ottawa ON
K1P 5A5

Also, on a completely separate note I’ve recently discovered Picket Boy’s behind the lines coverage of the Vancouver municipal strike now in its 3rd (or is it 4th?) week. For those interested it is worth a look. The two line summary so far is: it’s been a ballad of incompetence (the mayor) vs. miscalculation (the unions). The result is a race for irrelevance. Instead of predicting who will win, I suspect that, as is often the case in these types of negotiations, everybody will lose.

Hope to blog on it shortly.

Sam Suillivan: Public Policy or Personal Gain?

Imagine if, while sitting as Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy had decided to not only place the new concept of “Human Security” at the heart of the Ministry’s agenda but had also decided to trade mark the term – under his personal name.

Clearly the opposition members would have a field day… highlighting how the Minister was using his office for personal gain – using his political influence to create a brand that ultimately he owned the rights to.

Sadly, this hypothetical example is all too real here in my home town of Vancouver. Our Mayor, Sam Sullivan, has personally trade-marked “ecodensity” a term he’s been using to describe the municipal government’s a new initiative to reducie Vancouver’s environmental impact by creating a more compact city. As a few legal experts have noted, this is something that would normally be trademarked by the city’s lawyers… oddly it wasn’t. If that wasn’t enough it was again the mayor, and not the city or its staff, that registered the domain name ecodensity.ca.

None of the Mayor’s gaffe’s – like taking 30 item long priority list to a meeting with the Prime Minister (you should take a list of 3 items and you’ll probably get to talk about one) and then refusing to share anything about the discussion with taxpayers (who footed the bill) – have been so heavy so as to cost him an election, cumulatively however this errors will start to take their toll.

Fortunately for the Mayor, no one is really paying attention to municipal politics in Vancouver.

Two steps (or should I say decades?) back on homelessness

(Small note: For those less interested in Vancouver and looking for a national story check out my man Taylor’s take on Simpson’s Globe and Mail piece and why Iggy’s policy development process lead to such a strong outcome.)

As for me, I’m feeling frustrated about Mayor Sam Suillivan’s poll on Vancouverites municipal priorities. For anyone who hasn’t visited Vancouver in the last year there is no doubt that homelessness is the number one issue – an observation confirmed by the city’s residents. No big surprise, given the rising cost of housing and a sharply declining number of available low-cost rooms in single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels (those most affordable to low-income residents).

The challenge for the mayor (beyond actually solving the problem) is that it is hard to take his concern seriously. We need only recall that, after taking office, his second act was to reduce the amount of social housing that would be part of the Olympic village development. Moreover, during the debate over Project Civil City he voted down a proposed amendment to include the Minister for Housing on the Mayor’s Civil City Leadership Council. If you were concerned about homelessness and were putting together a team to tackle it, it would seem sensible that you’d want to pull together the relevant stakeholders – especially those with access to resources beyond the meager ones available to the city.

Vancouver is now preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympics without an effective homelessness strategy. Sadly, precedent does not look good. In the lead up to the 1986 World Exposition Vancouver managed a similar problem by simply expelling the homeless from the relevant areas. While the city was ‘clean’ for Expo ’86 the long term consequence was the radicalization of civic politics and damaged relations between city hall and the city’s most at-risk citizens. Combine this municipal approach with a Federal Government intent on treating drug addiction and homelessness as a legal and not a social challenge and you have the recipe for disaster. Be prepared for a new effort to ‘sanitize’ Vancouver – an effort that will almost certainly fray or destroy the social and support networks that help at risk communities and push the problem out to the surrounding communities of the GVRD.

[tags]Vancouver, Vancouver politics, Sam Suillivan, homelessness, social housing, 2010 Olympics[/tags]