Squeezing into Vancouver Centre

  3 June 2010

As your correspondent could charitably be described as being at best of only medium stature, legroom is seldom an issue. Returning from the Victoria meet and greet on the floatplane to meet with Hedy Fry, I sat comfortably reading the Economist and glancing (nervously – I am not a confident flyer) out of the window trying to figure out which gulf island is which. Thom, on the other hand, was squished into his seat across the aisle, his knees level with his chin. We had both expected to stretch our legs in the next meeting, however, Hedy Fry’s campaign office is undoubtedly the, er, cosiest I have ever seen. Manoeuvring into a chair opposite Hedy was an operation of some delicacy: mind that CPU; try not to kick over those leaflets. Balancing my notebook on my knee and keeping my elbows close to my sides while Thom resumes his air-borne position, I ask how things are going.
With her customary forthrightness, she replies that she’s in good shape but she’s nervous about the national picture. Shaking her head and poking at a fax machine that won’t stop beeping, Hedy notes that she and her fellow caucus members pushed hard to get a resolution to the section 95 issue and that they support a continuum of housing for people with different housing needs and that co-ops are very much a part of that strategy. “Stephen Harper’s idea for housing is the same one he has for everything – a tax break. How will that create the housing we need? We had $1.6B in the budget with more to come and a national housing strategy just days from Cabinet when the election was called. The conservatives will cancel all that.”
Time – and not very much of it – will tell whether or not Hedy is right and whether a tax break or a national housing strategy sits comfortably in the seat of power in our nation’s capital.