Two days ago in this column I wrote about Nicholas Chernen, the political hopeful who was just given the Green Party of Vancouver's nomination to run for school board in October. While being vetted as a candidate he somehow forgot he had co-filed a lawsuit which falsely accused this publication you're reading of being a "front company" set up to funnel greasy cash from real estate developers to city hall.
It was a bit of a doozy.
After I published my column, magically - after more than four years of silence - he was inspired to reach out and ask me to meet. Over coffee. I obliged.
The currently-pending lawsuit that surprised the Greens' vetting committee is "a stretch" according to Chernen, and though he offered no apology he does hope to remove his name from it. He admits that it connects random facts together to try to make me look like a criminal lynchpin and Vancouver Is Awesome like fake news, and I probably don't need to tell you it hugely sucked to be subjected to it. He heard me out as I expressed that.
I'll spare you most of what we talked about during our hour-long coffee yesterday (which I, of course, have tape of) but in a way he appeared sorry; for himself. The man seemed genuinely bummed that he was sitting there talking to me about how he was a founder, director and council candidate of the litigious Cedar Party which gained notoriety after its candidates filed multiple lawsuits which were deemed by judges to be abuses of the Courts' process.
It was a good experience for me, however. Finally speaking to someone from the previously-faceless party that I had been wronged by so many years ago was cathartic. It was nice to have this dude who had been part of an organization that caused me and my publication years of strife answer my questions, shedding a bit of light on how it went down.
Near the end of our conversation he brought up the fact that he knows I have a son who attends elementary school in Vancouver. He said that he had no doubt the lawsuit has impacted my kid negatively, through it being detrimental to me. He then noted that if he got elected into office he'd be helping make decisions for the school board that would affect my son, and that he was passionate about the work that may lie ahead.
I'm not sure if I was supposed to feel horror at that point, but there it was.
Can we trust politicians who co-file Supreme Court lawsuits willy-nilly then forget to disclose them when being vetted? Should they be making public policy decisions on behalf of the people of this great city? I say no.
Going into the October 2018 election Nicholas Chernen will put a black mark on all of the honest and hardworking candidates the Greens have fielded, along with the good name the party's members have built up for it over its years serving this city.
If you lie down with dogs, you're gonna get up with fleas.
This is Vancouver’s Stupidest Politics Column. Further reading: