Mike Klassen
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Mike Klassen is a Vancouver public affairs and government relations professional focused on health, urban growth, and economic development. He is known for his exemplary relationships across business, government and news media organizations.

In addition to contributing to Huffington Post, he is a civic affairs columnist with Vancouver Courier, the city’s leading community publication.

Mike is President of the board of trustees for PAL Vancouver, a non-market housing development for members of the arts community. At PAL, he is spearheading the launch of a second housing development in Metro Vancouver. Other board positions held by Mike include as a director on the B.C. Small Business Roundtable, and as Vice-Chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission.

In 2015, Mike received a Terry Biggar Award for his work leading a nine-member business coalition advocacy campaign.

Mike is an avid runner, a dedicated community volunteer, husband, and parent.

Entries by Mike Klassen

Gentler Message Could Have Won B.C. Liberals A Majority

(25) Comments | Posted May 12, 2017 | 10:52 AM

"Mr. President, if you run the same campaign as you did in 2008, you are going to lose."

According to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, he gave this blunt advice to Barack Obama after the U.S. president asked him to run his 2012...

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How Will The Next B.C. Government Support Our Seniors?

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2017 | 10:35 AM

With so many issues commanding headlines at the start of the provincial election campaign, it is easy to understand how caring for frail and elderly citizens can drop off the public's radar. For many British Columbians, however, there can be no more important issue than the availability of care for...

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Rachel Notley, Christy Clark Sure To Become Strong Allies

(6) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 2:59 AM

The historic victory of Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP provoked a giddy reaction among New Democrats across Canada. Many even adorned themselves with orange ties, socks and other articles of clothing in a sort of end zone celebration dance.

Among the enthusiastic revellers were members of...

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Metro Vancouver Transit Referendum: Time For The Yes Campaign To Hit 'Reset'

(13) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 7:36 PM

A few weeks back I wrote about my experience of working on the ill-fated 1992 Charlottetown Accord "Yes" referendum campaign, and provided some so far unheeded advice to the pro-transit tax side.

Metro Vancouver's mayors, I argued, must humble themselves with the voters in order...

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Metro Vancouver Transit Tax Debate: Transparency Is Key For 'Yes' Side

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 2:41 PM

Twenty-two years ago last fall, I began a young political campaigner's dream job, working in the B.C. war room for the Yes forces in support of the Charlottetown Accord. For the first and only time in Canadian history, all the major political parties -- Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, and New Democrats...

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Vancouver Election 2014: Who Really Came Out Ahead?

(2) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 1:02 AM

If self-confidence is a quality you need to win elections, then NPA park commissioner John Coupar has it in spades. For years, the affable Coupar assured anyone who would listen that he and his political counterparts were on track to win in the 2014 Vancouver civic election.

Most...

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Vancouver Election 2014: Is 'Change' Really Coming to City Hall?

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 6:49 PM

What to make of the battle for Vancouver City Hall? Millions of dollars have been spent for what seem like a set of jobs on council with lousy pay and unreasonably long hours. But for the city, it matters a lot, and the stakes are huge for all the political...

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Vancouver Election 2014: What To Expect From Vision's Third Term

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 8:06 PM

"All in favour? Opposed? Carried unanimously."

It's October 2018, and so adjourns the final city council meeting of Vision Vancouver's third consecutive term of government. The time also will mark the 10th year of Vision Vancouver's political dynasty, and -- very likely -- Gregor Robertson's final days as mayor.

Of...

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Vancouver's 'Anti-Everything' Mayor May Not Be 'Right Kind' Of Leader

(13) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 2:24 AM

At a recent Vancouver Board of Trade speech, Premier Christy Clark discussed her government's plan to strengthen B.C.'s economy through support of our natural resources sectors, expanding international trade, and by building partnerships with aboriginal communities.

Clark also told the audience that to ensure economic growth they had...

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Canadians May Finally Get To Taste B.C.'s Premium Wines

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 3:28 PM

The annual meeting of Canada's premiers at the Council of the Federation conference in Charlottetown recently was dominated by the topic of interprovincial trade.

It is argued that Canada's economic growth is stunted by a "perfect storm of dumb" -- as federal Industry Minister James Moore recently described...

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Is MMBC A Four-Letter Word For Small Business?

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 10:34 PM

As the only jurisdiction to publicly measure red tape, the B.C. government deservedly received its third "A" letter grade in a row -- the highest in the country -- on the annual Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) red tape report card.

Fighting red tape is now central...

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Vancouver Election 2014: Expect The Unexpected

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 3:02 PM

In 2012, I correctly predicted the re-election of Christy Clark as B.C.'s premier as well as NDP Leader Adrian Dix's rejection of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, both based upon my perception of the political realities in play. In retrospect, I wish I had...

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2013's Top 10 Stories for B.C. Small Businesses

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 8:56 PM

Over the last 12 months in B.C., those of us at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) have seen several positive developments for small business, as well as some emerging problems.

According to our monthly Business Barometer survey, B.C. small business confidence grew substantially this...

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Philip Owen: There Are No Shortcuts When Running a City

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 4:30 PM

Last month I organized a community event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a unique piece of public realm on Vancouver's east side -- the Country Lane. I had discussed the idea of an anniversary fete with a neighbour, who suggested that I invite former mayor Philip Owen....

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Why I Predicted A BC Liberal Win

(5) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 11:51 AM

Last September, while swimming against a tidal wave of negative public opinion, I predicted the BC Liberal Party led by Premier Christy Clark would win the May 2013 election. Understandably, most readers scoffed.

I can assure you that I am no Nostradamus. Don't bother asking me which stock...

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Vancouver, I Love You But You're a Mess

(3) Comments | Posted January 26, 2013 | 5:00 PM

It was crisp and gloriously bright day in early January in Vancouver — the perfect conditions for outdoor chores like taking down Christmas lights.

Or, in my case, it also meant grabbing tongs and a pail to scour my block for coffee cups, bus tickets, plastic packaging, as well as...

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What We Can Learn From Waldorf Hotel Affair?

(3) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 10:42 AM

The news of the demise of the Waldorf Hotel was described by one Vancouver journalist as being like a "small neutron bomb" going off. At least with real neutron bombs the buildings will be left standing, which is probably not the fate of the storied Waldorf Hotel...

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Green Party's Andrew Weaver Case Reveals New Lexicon of B.C. Politics

(4) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 10:27 AM

"The NDP are portraying themselves as sugar-coated candy, but I'm finding that below the surface there's some real ugliness." — Green Party candidate Andrew Weaver in the Vancouver Sun

Welcome to B.C. politics, Mr. Weaver.

Who is Andrew Weaver? According to Wikipedia, he has been named a Guggenheim Fellow,...

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10 Ideas To Re-Engage Vancouver's Reluctant Municipal Voters

(2) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 10:24 AM

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson recently marked the end of his first year of his second mandate, and I would like to congratulate him belatedly on his electoral success. As one of City Hall's close observers (and unabashed critics) I know the mayor is focused on taking the work of successive...

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B.C. NDP, Liberal Nominations Reveal Tale Of Two Parties

(10) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 12:13 AM

Is it time to sell your B.C. NDP stock and buy shares in the B.C. Liberals? It was an off-the-cuff remark by former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan during his interview with CBC radio host Stephen Quinn that prompted that question. Quinn asked why Sullivan would attach himself...

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