Update 4: March 5, 2005 - Wow. And I thought I was hard on Mayencourt....
Bear 604 says, "If this actually happened and isn't another one of Mayencourt's rough tricks/publicity stunts, this could be the first time this page advocates violence against an elected official. I hope Mayencourt wasn't seriously hurt, but I also hope he was hurt enough to make the realization that if you bash the poor long enough, the poor bash back."
Update 3: March 5, 2005 - See Haveyouhadenoughyet
MLA gets aggressive with aggressive panhandler. Vancouver police have so far refused to arrest and lay charges against a panhandler alledged to have aggressively hassled people on the streets of Vancouver, or an MLA alledged to have aggressively hassled a panhandler. Lorne Mayencourt, Liberal MLA for Vancouver Burrard, a leading centre of BC's growing panhandling industry, survived an alledged physical altercation with an unidentified person, with only a bruise to the face. Injuries to the other party were not reported.
UPDATE 2: March 4, 2005 - The Vancouver Sun interviews people in the heart of the Westend, asks people about panhandlers, the Safe Streets Act and Mayencourt. Its not pretty, Mayencourt, the Liberal MLA for Vancouver Burrard is not well thought of.
UPDATE: CBC adds this to the story, "And I think they need me to not say anything about this until such time as they've completed their investigation," (Mayencourt) he says.
Mayencourt tells Vancouver Sun he cannot say more, then tells CBC he cannot say more, but he adds more to the story. It is not surprising given Lorne's desire to be seen on TV. The new information Liberal MLA Mayencourt added and reported by CBC is, "Mayencourt says he doesn't know if his attacker knew him – or whether his campaign for the Safe Streets Act had anything to do with the attack.
Quick, someone send in BCTV, he will talk under the hot lights!
Just what would be the odds ...
Lorne Mayencourt, the man who has made a life trying to be something important has reported an incident involving a street person and himself in the Westend of Vancouver, an area he represents as the Liberal MLA in the BC Legislature.
According to news reports Mayencourt told police he was assaulted by a street person on Sunday. He has a scrap on his face he alledges came from an altercation with the panhandler. Mayencourt is being uncharacteristically quiet about this. When contacted by the Vancouver Sun he told them he would wait for the investigation to be completed and then have his say.
Mayencourt was visibly incensed recently when he was told that it was unlikely someone would go to jail for violating the Safe Streets Act he helped bring into law.
Anyone that has lived in Vancouver knows that although some of the panhandlers can be rude, it is extremely rare that an assault occurs. There is a noted increase in the number of panhandlers on the street over the last three years and some of these people do have a more desperate demeanor. The Vancouver Sun today reports that in the more violent cases reported, the panhandlers and squeegee kids are often those assaulted.
Mayencourt and the Liberals brought in the Safe Streets Act under the guise of providing the Police and Municipalities with a tool to address aggressive panhandling. The law provides for fines to be given for those breaking the law.
The recent incident reported by Mayencourt to the police has a bit of stink to it. He has been under considerable pressure from his condo owning buddies to solve the panhandling problem and now the MLA better known for being the Westend Partyboi, is attempting to show them he meant it when he said he would clean up the problem, single handedly if needed.
The Vancouver Sun said today, "Mayencourt has been described by newspaper columnists as a colourful politician with a "hot-headed temper." In 2001, he reportedly told a woman at an all-candidates meeting to "shut up." There is more on another incident reported by The Straight that ran under the headline: Mayencourt Goes Postal on Letter Carrier.
All of this like Mayencourt's week on the streets is a bit bizarre. Most public representatives would have walked away and then reported the incident. Mayencourt should have walked away from the "problem" panhandler and maybe he did. And then maybe there is an election to be won.