What do you get when you have a room full of city councillors during a provincial election campaign? You get a lot of motions that may not have any direct connection to the municipality or city those same local politicians are expected to run. Yes, we're talking about Burnaby's recent motion to have a moratorium on gas fracking in the city, despite the fact that there is no potential - nor probable - gas fracking to be had in the city.
Now, we're not against a good ethical stand on anything - in fact one of the reasons one elects political leaders is to hope for a bit of visionary leadership, and good leaders often take stands on issues outside of their domain. But good (local) leaders also know there are a lot of local issues that could use some action on the old bully pulpit. And those same leaders know it's easier to stir up controversy on someone else's turf than it is to take a closer look at your own turf.
But that wouldn't look good, would it? And, not coincidentally, these are the same leaders who will avoid certain controversial issues by saying that the city has no business discussing issues the city has no control over.
With the provincial election campaign in full swing, expect more of these kinds of motions at all city councils. Motions against climate change, whale hunting, sugary soft drinks, nuclear weapons, automatic weapons, horse meat (but note, shark fins will not be mentioned), asteroid collision avoidance, world heritage sites, world food shortages, world housing shortages (note homelessness here will not be mentioned), transportation issues (not in the city) - the list goes on and on.