Big news on the political front: Geoff Meggs is leaving civic politics and moving to the provincial scene, where he will be working for premier-designate, John Horgan, as chief of staff. While I have been very pleased with all of John Horgan’s other announcements so far, this one leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Many will be unfamiliar with Geoff Meggs’ past, but it’s a past worth knowing.
Years ago he held a senior position within the fishermen’s union. There, Meggs used his position to polarize two factions within the union, leading to civil war within it. Instead of building bridges, he sought to divide.
Meggs then moved on to work for then-NDP premier, Glen Clark. Once again, he used his considerable skills not to unify or build bridges but, instead, to divide. He did everything in his power to pit the green, environmental wing of the party against the labour wing. This made it very difficult for the environmental current within the provincial NDP to advance many of its objectives.
After Glen Clark left provincial politics, Larry Campbell was elected mayor of Vancouver. As a sitting city councillor of the day, I witnessed Geoff Meggs’ destructive modus operandi in his role as Campbell’s executive assistant. Meggs did everything in his power to create two camps within the COPE caucus. Every effort by others, including myself, to find common cause between the two was thwarted by Geoff Meggs.
This led to the undermining of COPE with one of the party’s factions going on to form Vision Vancouver. I don’t need to tell readers familiar with civic politics that Vision Vancouver is very developer friendly. Geoff Meggs, of course, aligned himself with this faction.
So it is that I see dark clouds on the horizon with regard to the newly formed NDP-Green alliance. I predict that Meggs will do everything in his power to undermine this potentially very positive arrangement.
I hope I am wrong, but a word of warning to Green leader Andrew Weaver: Keep your eye on Geoff Meggs, for he is a very destructive force.