Tim Laidler’s Political Past and Political Connections (That He’d Really Rather Not Talk About)

Laidler WelcomeFollowing closely the campaign of the Tim Laidler, the Conservative candidate in the newly established riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam, I have been puzzled as to why Mr. Laidler has seemingly insisted on downplaying his extensive past political experience as it seems to me that when you are running for political office, that one’s past political experience is highly relevant.  Instead, Mr. Laidler doesn’t appear to acknowledge any of his past political activities or connections in any of his bios, on his campaign website, or in any of the campaign materials.  I think that I finally may now know why.

As a backgrounder, according to Tim Laidler’s Linkedin profile, from September 2011 to March 2014, Mr. Laidler was a Board Member of the NPA (Non-Partisan Association) in Vancouver.  Below is a photo taken from a November 15, 2013 Georgia Straight Article showing Mr. Laidler at the announcement of the NPA candidates for the last civic election.  Mr. Laidler is quoted in the article.

Laidler Photo

Provincially, Mr. Laidler also worked extensively for the B.C. Liberals under Christy Clark during the last Provincial election, working as the campaign manager for Fatima Siddiqui, the wife of fellow NPA Board of Director and fellow former Alpha Delta Phi alumni Tanveer Siddiqui, in the riding of Vancouver-Hastings where Ms. Siddiqui managed to finish a distant second in the riding, garnering approximately 28% of the popular vote in comparison to Shane Simpson of the NDP who took the riding with almost 59% of the vote.  Below are a few photos of taken of Mr. Laidler out campaigning for Ms. Siddiqui in the riding of Vancouver-Hastings during the last Provincial election.  Mr. Laidler also worked as an event coordinator for the B.C. Liberal party for a year in 2009.

Mr. Laidler campaiging for BC Liberal Candidate Fatima Siddiqui in the riding of Vancouver Hastings.
Mr. Laidler campaiging for BC Liberal Candidate Fatima Siddiqui in the riding of Vancouver Hastings.

Mr. Laidler interestingly also seems to be quite connected politically to former Mayor, former NPA member, and current B.C. Liberal MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, Sam Sullivan.  Below is a photo of Mr. Laidler at a BBQ in honour of Candidate Siddiqui which was attended by Mr. Sullivan. Mr. Laidler also spoke Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon in September of 2012 and was one of the organizers of the “City Social” event put on by the NPA in 2013 at which Mr. Sullivan spoke.

BBQ

A review of the recently disclosed candidate financial statements associated with his campaign for the Conservative nomination in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam I believe finally provide clues as to the reasoning behind Mr. Laidler apparent desire to downplay his past political connections.  The original raw documentation can be found here.  Rather than reproduce the documents verbatim, I have chosen to highlight some selected information.

In regards to Mr. Laidler’s declared expenses arising from the nomination campaign, notable expenses include payments totalling $8,135.40 (representing 86% of the total expenditure of $9,413.68 incurred during the campaign) to ADDO Consulting with the remaining expenses being split between by what appears to be a photographer, Newclear (for a website template I’m sure, seen below confirming the earlier speculation here), his EDA, and two banks.

Welcome Pages
Go Newclear template shared apparently exclusively with selected Conservative candidates

Funds

Who or what is ADDO Consulting you might ask?  A quick Google search confirms that the Principal of ADDO Consulting is in fact Mr. Gavin Dew (see below).  From the expenses noted, it appears that Mr. Dew was presumably working as Mr. Laidler’s campaign manager during his nomination campaign and took care of almost everything for Mr. Laidler.

Gavin Dew

Mr. Dew, for those who are not familiar with him, is according to his Linkedin profile, a communications specialist who’s “sweetspot is at the intersection of business, politics, and communications”.  He specializes in “business and communications strategy, public relations, corporate communications, political campaigns, analysis, business development, community building, next-generation leadership.” Mr. Dew is “currently consulting on issues management, social license to operate for land development and resource companies, and business planning for startups and fledgling organizations”.  As such, Mr. Dew is currently working as a consultant working on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project for Kinder Morgan working on stakeholder engagement and communications for the project.  Mr. Laidler and Mr. Dew in fact go way, way back (back to even his UBC days I suspect) with them both being former directors of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) at the same time (see photo below).

NPA Social
NPA Under 40 Chair, Eli Zbar, with Board Member, Tim Laidler and Gavin Dew in an image from 2012.

Mr. Dew was in fact described as the NPA’s former Social Media expert, and was part of former Premier Gordon Campbell’s constituency campaign, and along with Tim Laidler, was a founding member of the group known as the Build 2030 Public Engagement Society, a group loosely associated with the B.C. Liberals which was described as “a not-for-profit group which caters to what it calls the next generation of movers and shakers”.  Mr. Dew, like Tim Laidler, was also a campaign manager for the B.C. Liberals running a successful re-election campaign for Ralph Sultan in the riding of West Vancouver-Capilano.  Clearly, there are many parallels between Mr. Dew and Mr. Laidler’s political careers.  Additional details concerning Mr. Dew and his and Tim Laidler’s apparent ties to the Tar Sands Industry can be found here.

Pipeline Guys 2
Tweet from the Manager of the Campaigns [Christina Pilarski] for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) showing Donny Mr. van Dyk [Northern Gateway project] and Mr. Gavin Dew [Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project] [“the pipeline guys!!”] at the 2015 Manning Networking Conference.
Tim Laidler (left) and Gavin Dew (right) waiting in the receiving line to meet Christie Clark after her speech at the 2015 Manning Networking Conference in March.

Those long time followers of the blog may remember that in an earlier post here that there was speculation that Gavin Dew was in fact Tim Laidler’s campaign manager for his nomination race.  The former appears to be confirmed.  Not sure if he is the current campaign manager for the election though however.

dew
Gavin Dew at the All Candidates Forum at Inlet Theatre at Port Moody City Hall, July 31, 2014

That actually remains to be established but given the recent gaff regarding the photoshopped campaign sign (see below), I sure for his sake hope not as I can’t imagine that someone as experienced as Mr. Dew would have let anything with Mr. Laidler’s name on it get out of the office without first reviewing it.

sign-compare-900x365

Also notable on the candidate’s financial filings is that the Mr. Laidler’s financial agent is identified as being Katerina Anastasiadis (see below), a former director and Under 40 Chair for the NPA, who was also a director and on the NPA executive at the same time that Tim Laidler.  Again another NPA connection.

Financial Agent

U40 post

Reviewing the actual campaign contributions themselves, there were a total of 41 contributors to Mr. Laidler’s nomination campaign.  Of those 41 contributors, 29 individuals contributed less than the $200 reportable amount and 12 individuals contributed more than the reportable $200 amount.  Below is a table summarizing the individual reportable contributions over $200.

There

Other than his Mum and a relative, notable contributors to Tim Laidler’s nomination campaign include:

Mark Angus: the former Vice President of the NPA and a current board appointee to the NPA.  Interestingly, Mr. Angus appears to be a prolific supporter of the Federal Liberal Party having contributed to the Federal Liberal Party, the campaigns of Justin Trudeau and Hedy Fry, as well as to various Liberal Party constituencies numerous times over many years.  The only donation to the Conservative Party appears to be that towards Tim Laidler’s Conservative nomination campaign.

Peter Armstrong: the past NPA President who served as the party president for three years

David Bassett: A former Conservative riding association president.

Greg D’Avignon: An apparent friend of MP James Moore, who is currently the President and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia, and who is a strong proponent of resource extraction projects and pipeline developments with a focus on expanding Far Eastern economic trade relationships.  Interestingly, Mr. D’Avignon is, like Tim Laidler, also a fellow Diamond Jubilee Award winner. He received his medal at the same ceremony as Tim Laidler (presented by James Moore). He also notably spoke at a North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce event sponsored by Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain Pipeline project with a number of representatives present including Gavin Dew.

Foster Eastman: Who appears to be a friend of Mr. Laidler’s, a multimedia artist who created the tribute pole project that Tim Laidler and other veterans participated in as documented here.

George Hungerford: a prominent Vancouver lawyer.

Michael Korenberg: the Deputy Chairman and Managing Director for the Jim Pattison Group.

Tanveer Siddiqui: A current director of the NPA and a fellow past NPA Board of Director and fellow former Alpha Delta Phi alumni who was on the NPA board with Tim Laidler during his time as a director with the NPA.  As noted previously, Tim Laidler worked as the campaign manager for Fatima Siddiqui his wife during the last Provincial election.

And lastly, Sam Sullivan, the Former NPA Vancouver Mayor, who’s only other recorded Federal campaign contribution other than to Tim Laidler’s Conservative nomination campaign has been to the Federal Liberal Party and Michael Ignatieff.

A few things about this list that should be pointed out.  First, for a supposedly local candidate with deep local roots and ties to the community, other than his Mum, only 1 of his other 12 major contributors (those who contributed more than $200 to his campaign and therefor reportable under the Elections Act) actually resides in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.  Moreover, all of the remaining 10 identified contributors reside well outside of the riding, primarily in Vancouver.  This one could argue would be exactly the pattern that one would expect if one was a parachuted candidate who only recently moved back into the riding (by his own admission) rather than a candidate with deep local ties and extensive local support.  Moreover, being considered an outsider might also explain why despite outspending his rivals by approximately 2:1 (Bernie Hiller) and 9:1 (Janine Davies) margins respectively, that Mr. Laidler still did not win the nomination until the third ballot.  Perhaps being away from the riding so long made it difficult for local residents to remember Mr. Laidler?  I’m not sure.

Also notable of course, as you may have noticed, is that four of 12 contributors identified to his nomination campaign (specifically Mr. Angus, Mr., Armstrong, Mr. Siddiqui, and Mr. Sullivan) all have direct demonstrable ties to the NPA party, this being over and above the demonstrated ties to the NPA of both his presumed campaign manager (Gavin Dew) and his campaign financier Katerina Anastasiadis.

So why downplay the NPA associations and your past political ties you may ask?  He was a Director of a major political party for goodness sake!  Well for one thing, being associated with the NPA may not be considered much of a positive politically these days.  After all, this is the same NPA that was the subject of a defamation suit that was recently dropped after the NPA apologized, that was accused of spreading false personal rumours regarding Mayor Robertson during last mayoral campaign, and has been on a losing streak, losing the last two civic elections in Vancouver in a row.  Could it possibly be that being associated with the NPA and/or the BC Liberal Party could possibly be seen as a possibly detrimental to Mr. Laidler’s candidacy and being elected in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam given the recent influx of former Vancouver residents moving to the riding especially in the denser parts of Port Moody?  Maybe so.

NPA board
Composition of the NPA Board in 2014. Note the number of familiar names associated with Mr. Laidler’s nomination campaign.

Could it also be that acknowledging your past political experience could bring attention to that fact and might lead someone to research those connections?  Possibly.  Researching those connections could lead one to the inevitable conclusion that there is in fact quite an extensive association between Mr., Laidler’s current campaign and the NPA in Vancouver, something as an allegedly local candidate that he would understandably want to downplay.

Lastly, could it also be that acknowledging these past political accomplishments and connections does not fit the narrative that Mr. Laidler and his campaign are trying to portray: that of the selfless soldier wanting to pay back the community and support the Conservative government after the treatment that he had received from them while in the Reserves and the support that he had received from them as a Director of the Veterans Transition Network (VTN).  Instead, as mentioned previously elsewhere, it is abundantly clear that Mr. Laidler is in fact a highly connected right wing politico who just happens to be a Veteran and as such, he fits perfectly within the Conservatives plans to counter criticism regarding their treatment of Veterans under Harper’s regime while at the same time representing the new young face of the Conservative party, a party that is gradually greying and has largely tapped out their immigrant and minority support as suggested here previously.

It could very well be argued that Mr. Laidler would have been a far more appropriate candidate for the riding of Vancouver Quadra given his long-term residence in the City of Vancouver, his extensive experience at UBC, and his familiarity for the politics in the City of Vancouver at both the Civic and Provincial level.   One wonders why Mr. Laidler didn’t choose to run in that riding or some other riding in the City of Vancouver rather than in Port Moody-Coquitlam as he clearly has (as one can see from the preceding) more ties politically to Vancouver?  Was it that he thought (or others thought for him) that he would have an easier time getting elected in Port Moody-Coquitlam rather than in Vancouver Quadra or some other Vancouver riding?  Did he perceive (or others perceive for him) that it was going to be too difficult for Mr. Laidler to defeat Federal Liberal incumbent Joyce Murray or some of the other incumbents so instead it would be better for him to go “back to his roots”, a place that he hasn’t resided in for many, many years? Difficult to say.

What is clear though is that by not acknowledging his past political connections and his past political experience that Mr. Laidler is not being forthright with the constituents of the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.  It come down to a question of trust.  One has to wonder, if Mr. Laidler is guarded with this type of information, why would we suspect that he would do any better if he were elected to Ottawa?  Should we as voters trust him? As pointed out here and many, many other places elsewhere on this blog including here and here, Mr. Laidler’s lack of transparency is a constant theme associated with his campaign.  I can only hope that voters in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam will be able to see through the opportunistic candidacy of Mr. Laidler and vote for someone else (whomever that might be).   The constituents of Port Moody-Coquitlam deserve a representative in Ottawa working for us not a Harper representative in our riding working for him.

Laidler Welcome

Where One’s Sympathies Lie

Manning Logo

Where One’s Sympathies Lie: Tar Sands Pipeline Projects, Old Friends, and the 2015 Manning Networking Conference

Any outstanding questions as to what Tim Laidler’s (the local Conservative candidate in the newly established riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam) position is in regards to the proposed Tar Sands pipeline developments within B.C. was answered for me by Mr. Laidler’s recent participation and interactions, prior to and during, the recent Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa that took place March 5th-7th, 2015.

The first indication was provided by what at first glance seemed to be a fairly innocuous tweet (seen below) from a fellow named Donny van Dyk who posted a tweet saying “Who’s pumped for #MNC2015?” (the 2015 Manning Networking Conference), identifying Tim Laidler and a fellow named Patrick Beatty in the tweet.

Van Dyk Tweet

As noted, at first the tweet all seemed fairly innocuous, a tweet between a couple of young Conservatives (old buddies?) excited to reconnect at the upcoming conference in Ottawa. Who can blame them? Innocuous until you realize that both Mr. van Dyk and Mr. Beatty are both heavily involved in the Tar Sands industry.  In fact, Mr. van Dyk is (since 2013) the Kitimat-based Manager of Coastal Aboriginal and Community Relations of the Northern Gateway Project and was one of the more prominent faces in the recent failed plebiscite in Kitimat.  Mr. van Dyk, who is a former New Hazelton administrator, was also very actively politically in the BC Liberal party and its youth wing (as was Mr. Laidler).  The other recipient of the tweet, Patrick Beatty, is in fact the Governmental Relations advisor at Suncor (since 2012), a major energy giant involved heavily in Tar Sands development.  Interestingly, Mr. Beatty is the son of former Conservative cabinet minister Perrin Beatty who lists maverick Conservative MP Michael Chong as a hero (suggesting that he too may not be a fan of Stephen Harper but I digress…).

The fact that Mr. Laidler was going to be closely interacting with such obvious representatives of the Tar Sands industry was probably reason enough to question where Mr. Laidler’s sympathies lie in the pipeline debate.  This was further compounded however by a random photograph from the conference that showed a receiving line for Premier Christine Clark which showed Mr. Laidler chatting with someone very familiar to anyone familiar with Mr. Laidler’s political past (see photo below).  The person to the right of Mr. Laidler appears to be none other than Mr. Gavin Dew.

Christy Clark Line
Tim Laidler (left) and Gavin Dew (right) waiting in the receiving line to meet Christie Clark after her speech at the Manning Networking Conference.

Mr. Dew, for those who are not familiar with him, is currently a consultant working on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project for Kinder Morgan who works on stakeholder engagement and communications for the project.  Mr. Laidler and Mr. Dew in fact go way, way back (back to UBC days?) with them both being former directors of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) at the same time (see photo below).  Mr. Dew was in fact described as the NPA’s former Social Media expert, and was part of former Premier Gordon Campbell’s constituency campaign, and along with Tim Laidler, was a founding member of the group known as the Build 2030 Public Engagement Society, a group loosely associated with the B.C. Liberals which was described as “a not-for-profit group which caters to what it calls the next generation of movers and shakers”. Mr. Dew, like Tim Laidler, was also a campaign manager for the B.C. Liberals running a successful re-election campaign for Ralph Sultan in the riding of West Vancouver-Capilano.  Additional details concerning Mr. Laidler’s past involvement with the NPA and BC Liberals including his time a director with the NPA and as a campaign manager for the BC Liberals can be found here.  Clearly, there are many parallels between Mr. Dew and Mr. Laidler’s political careers.

NPA Social
NPA Under 40 Chair, Eli Zbar, with Board Member, Tim Laidler and Gavin Dew in an image from 2012.

Very interestingly (and somewhat simultaneously timely and topical at the same time), Mr. Dew’s Masters of Business Administration (MBA) thesis at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School focused on pipeline politics particularly Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project.  In his MBA, he spoke of the vagueness of the concept of “Social Licence” concerning pipeline developments (somewhat echoing Joe Oliver’s recent comments no?) and suggested that “the prognosis for Enbridge isn’t great” as “Enbridge has a major moral legitimacy problem”. See here for further information concerning his MBA Thesis and a survey that was conducted as part of his MBA research.  A September 26, 2012 BC Almanac CBC radio interview with Mr. Dew concerning his MBA, Enbridge, and the concept of Social Licence in regards to pipeline developments does apparently exist but it is no longer available on the CBC website.  Is it any wonder that he was retained by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project accordingly given his familiarity with the failings of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project concerning gaining social licence?  And one wonders whether or not Joe Oliver, Trans Mountain, and others were/are aware of Mr. Dew’s MBA research and thesis given the nature of the social licence discussion that is currently taking place?

(Edit: Rumour has it that Mr. Dew is in fact the campaign manager for Mr. Laidler.  Not surprising given his presence in nomination meeting photos, his past experience as a campaign manager, his presence at campaign fundraisers, and his long-standing relationship with Mr. Laidler).

dew
Gavin Dew at the All Candidates Forum at Inlet Theatre at Port Moody City Hall, July 31, 2014

(see below for a picture of both Mr. van Dyk [Northern Gateway project] and Mr. Dew [Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project] [“the pipeline guys!!”] at the Manning Conference that was tweeted out by the Manager of the Campaigns [Christina Pilarski] for the Canadian Association of Petroleum producers.  You get the sense that Mr. Laidler is just to the side of whoever took the photograph.)

Pipeline Guys 2

A quick few words about the Manning Conference itself.  The conference, which included numerous oil sands interests as sponsors including TransCanada, Enbridge, and the Canadian Association of Petroleum producers, was where Rex Murphy quipped about “ludicrous global warming”, where former Natural Resources Minister and current Finance Minister Joe Oliver suggested that the concept of social licence shouldn’t be used to block pipeline developments(!!), where one of the speakers insisted that society pays a price for “encouraging some of our most intelligent women to have a career instead of having children”, where a New Brunswick Conservative MP John Williamson quipped that “it makes no sense to pay “whities” to stay home while companies bring on “brown people” as temporary foreign workers (not the first time for this particular MP to make racially charged statements incidentally), where one of the keynote speakers (Jason Kenney) two days after the conference tweeted out a series of misleading photos as propaganda on Women’s Day, and James Moore quipped (in a thinly veiled reference to pipeline expansion projects) that when nation building projects are taking place is when Canada is at its best. This was a conference where the very presence of Christy Clark, the Premier of B.C. was questioned by some as not being right wing enough to attend the conference and was branded a Liberal (see tweet below).  This is not the first time that this complaint has come up.  Other “highlights” from the Manning Networking Conference can be found here.

Clark

Back to the matter at hand, as there are now what appears to be some fairly clear and demonstrable ties between Mr. Laidler and both the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project and the Northern Gateway pipeline project in B.C., it is now clear in my mind where the allegiances of Mr. Laidler lie in reference to proposed tar sands pipeline projects.  This confirms my earlier suspicions which were identified during the City of Port Moody National Energy Board Trans Mountain Town Hall Meeting that took place on June 25, 2014 concerning the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project.  During the meeting, at which numerous environmental concerns over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project were expressed, Mr. Laidler stood up, walked up to the mike, and made the following statement/question.

Tim Laidler, Port Moody: Hi there. I grew up in Anmore, but I have recently moved into Port Moody. I think what we’re faced with here is weighing the risks and the benefits of the project. So my question is specifically around the economic benefits and some of the jobs numbers. I, myself, served in Afghanistan with the Canadian Forces and, since coming home have been working at a non-profit organization helping Veterans transition with things like PTSD. And what we found from the veterans is we can help them with some of the psychological issues from war, but if they don’t get back into meaningful careers, they tend to struggle quite a bit. So what would be really important to me and to my colleagues who are all transitioning back into the work force is some of those job numbers, during the construction, but also are there going to be jobs after the construction. Also the second question is around the access to world markets. I’ve heard that a lot, and I was wondering if you could explain that a little bit better.

Michael Davies: Okay, there is a lot there. In terms of economic benefits, it’s a $5.4 billion construction project. About 60% of that will be spent in British Columbia. There will probably be about 4,500 jobs at the peak of the construction and 750 of those would be in Burnaby. And those would develop benefits or spinoffs for all of the local communities along the pipeline and, particularly, there is a lot of construction that is proposed for the Lower Mainland here. In terms of longer term jobs, we have about 130 employees in BC now. I think there would be about another 90 jobs in total in Trans Mountain. About 50 of those would be in BC. What Scott didn’t get to with his part of the presentation around Western Canada Marine Response and those new spill bases and the expansion of the existing spill response; that would probably result in, and the early estimates right now is probably 90-100 new positions as well in those communities along, well there would be more here in Burnaby as well, but certainly along the route through the Salish Sea. The, we pay local taxes. We pay about $50,000 a year in taxes to Port Moody for the piece of pipeline that we have now. That’s not going to change because there is no change to the pipe, but the local taxes in BC would increase by about $20 million. About $6 million of that is for the City of Burnaby. So there are some significant benefits. Those are the ones that are directly related to the project. The second part of your question is about world markets. Of late, the price of oil in North America has been about $20-$30 less per barrel than what it is in the rest of the world. Canada can only sell into the continental US market, that market with the depressed price. So we are selling our oil to the US at a markdown price, where if we had access to tide water and global markets, we would be able to, I mentioned earlier two million barrels a day that is exported, we would have the opportunity to raise the price of those two million barrels a day by $20-$30. That’s a big part of what this project is about. Now those differentials come and go. Things will change in the market and they won’t always be there, but the point is that when they occur, Canada has no opportunity to take advantage of that. And that’s where the interest is in expanding our infrastructure to be able to serve international markets.

Tim Laidler: Thank you. Can I do a follow-up? (Sure.) I just want to say thanks. That answers my questions. And I just wanted to offer something to the process here. Again, my experience in Afghanistan, we saw a lot of community type forums like this that were not nearly as civilized, so I think we all are doing a pretty good job in the process. Thanks so much to the City of Port Moody for hosting.

A link to the video of the Port Moody Town Hall Meeting can be found here on the City of Port Moody website.  Go to 78:21 to see Mr. Laidler’s participation in the meeting.  Please consider his question/statement in the context of the rest of the questions that were being asked that day and remember that at the time of the Town Hall meeting that Mr. Laidler was already actively seeking the Conservative nomination for the riding (note the date on the tweet below indicating that a reception took place almost a full month before the Kinder Morgan hearings).  However, he choose not to disclose that as part of his question/statement.  Knowing now his close relationship to Mr. Dew and in turn Mr. Dew’s employment with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project makes his statement/question even more interesting.  Did he attend the meeting at Mr. Dew’s request I wonder?

So what are we to take from the Conservative candidate of Port Moody-Coquitlam’s question to the NEB concerning the Trans Mountain Pipeline project?  Was he concerned about the environmental impacts of the project on his potential constituency?  Clearly, the answer is no.  Did he somewhat oddly repeat the same talking points about himself out of context when the only instruction to speakers from the NEB was to “clearly state their name, City of residence and whether they are representing a Port Moody business”.  Well, frankly yes.  Did he take the job values and economic spinoff values provided by the Trans Mountain representatives at face value?  Yes, numbers that have since been shown to be greatly exaggerated as identified in the recently published SFU report (Nov. 10, 2014) entitled “Economic Costs and Benefits of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) for BC and Metro Vancouver” which clearly identifies that Kinder Morgan has inflated the pipeline’s job numbers by a factor of three while dramatically underestimating spill costs.  So where does Mr. Laidler stand on the singular most paramount environmental issue potentially facing the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam? His question to the NEB during the Town Hall meeting would seem to indicate that environmental concerns are not a concern of his at all.

In summation, Mr. Laidler’s past participation in public hearings concerning tar sands pipelines and his seemingly cozy relationship with various Tar Sands pipeline proponents would suggest that if elected by the people of the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam, that you can pretty much guarantee that Mr. Laidler will back any Tar Sands pipeline project in B.C. without reservation or question.  If as a voter in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam that is what you are looking for, then by all means vote for Mr. Laidler and the Conservative party in the upcoming election.  If not, if you have at least some question in your mind regarding the projects, then perhaps you will need to seek a candidate from another party that does not seem so obviously tied to the development of the Tar Sands and Tar Sands pipeline developments and who is willing to at least consider the environmental damage that could be caused both locally and globally by the continued unfettered development of the Tar Sands.  Again the above all speaks to Mr. Laidler being a seasoned and well-connected politico who just happens to be an Afghan vet rather than an Afghan vet who is suddenly drawn to politics in order to serve for the greater good.  OK this post is going to get me on the Bill C51 subversive list now for sure…

(PS: Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, I have to point out that I am not against all pipeline developments.  I, in fact, own a considerable amount of stock in a company that will likely benefit greatly from LNG development and in my profession have worked on a number of resource extraction and development projects.  By being against Tar Sands pipeline development and expansion and pipelines in B.C. does not make one by default against all resource development and large scale developments in B.C.  It makes one for responsible, environmentally sensible, development instead).