The City of North Van councillor has missed more council meetings than any of his colleagues since 2015
Craig Keating is a man of many talents. In the morning, you may find Keating the academic holding forth on modern Middle East history to students at Langara College. By afternoon, he may very well slide into his second role as the NDP’s party president, hashing out complex policy positions and fielding calls from party MLAs.
By the time afternoon gives way to evening, he can be seen wearing yet another cap: a City of North Vancouver councillor reading dense staff reports and brainstorming with fellow councillors on far-ranging issues, from density and development to public art. Keating also manages to volunteer with the Hillman Education Fund, an organisation that supports medical education projects in the developing world in South Asia and Africa. According to the CNV website, he is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys jogging, skiing, camping and kayaking in the wilderness of British Columbia. Between being an academic, a provincial party leader, and an elected councillor, Keating must also find time for family, friends and social gatherings.
How does he do it all? Isn’t this multi-talented person with diverse experience stretched thin managing immense responsibilities of being the head of NDP, a professor at Langara, and a six-term councillor at the City of North Vancouver?
Either the man is a God-gifted genius, or he has found an ingenious way to manage time. But if you browse through the council meeting since the last election of 2014, another possibility comes to light. The meeting minutes of the CNV show Coun. Keating has missed far more meetings than his fellow councillors. He has also either arrived late or left early when compared to his fellow councillors.
Take 2015, for example. City of North Vancouver council conducted 30 meetings that year, and Keating missed five. In one meeting on April 13, he joined three hours after it had started at 9 pm. On January 26, he left the meeting at 6:58 pm and joined two hours later on 8:59 pm. Each of the other councillors missed only one meeting in that year. This pattern continues next year in 2016. There were a total of 31 meetings. Keating missed six of those, and was late for an hour and two hours on November 21 and March 7. Mayor Darrell Musatto missed three meetings and Pam Bookham missed two meetings in 2016. In 2017, Craig Keating has missed six out of 23 meetings so far and left one meeting early at 6:39 pm. For comparison, Rod Clarke and Holly Back have only missed two meetings so far.
It’s of course reasonable to assume that a man who wears so many hats would find it difficult to juggle them all. It’s possible that his busy work schedule doesn’t allow him to invest fully in all three positions at once. Would it be prudent for him to leave history behind and be in the present for NDP and CNV, or should he keep putting his Phd to good use but resign either from the NDP or the City of North Vancouver? The Global Canadian didn’t receive any response from him despite phone calls and emails. It’s possible that he was too busy to respond but he should give some serious thought to whether he has bitten off far more than he can chew.
(This story was carried in the print edition dated October 15.)