As senior minister from BC and Minister of Industry, you might think that, what with trying to resolve the softwood lumber dispute and deal with the travails of the auto industry, David Emerson (Liberal Vancouver Kingsway) would have little space in his overflowing in-box to spare for co-ops. You would be wrong. A couple of weeks ago he hosted a housing forum at Little Mountain Neighbourhood House with Minister Fontana, to which he invited CHF BC. He is well up to speed on the section 95 crisis having used his position in cabinet to help move Minister Fontana towards a solution. Like Hedy Fry and Stephen Owen, he notes that a housing strategy was on the verge of cabinet approval when the government was brought down. He tells me that the problem will be satisfactorily resolved if he is part of the next government.
David moves on to ask what’s happening with the leaky co-ops and how it got that bad (you can’t expect him to know everything.) Somewhat to my astonishment he seems interested in the details of rain screen design and which building code takes precedence over which. He is a good listener. When I have finished he asks simply “What can I do to help and can you give me a full presentation, if I’m re-elected, so I’ll have some detailed knowledge to take forward in Ottawa if I’m re-elected?”
Should David be re-elected, I’ll be happy to add that briefing to his in-box. After all, it’s not every day someone used to battling a superpower on sensitive trade issues offers to take your side (again) on a vital issue.