The Streatch name is big in Conservative Party politics. Ken Streatch was a councillor in the old county of Halifax who went on to become a Tory cabinet minister. His daughter Judy has followed in Ken's provincial footsteps, and now serves as minister of community services (she's been in the news for letting her son borrow, and destroy, her provincially leased car). Ken's son and Judy's brother is Steve Streatch, who won election to regional council in 1999. In 2004 Steve Streatch came in an embarrassing third place in his attempt to unseat MLA Peter Stoffer, and so he maintains his council seat.
These kind of dynastic political families are troublesome, but even more worrying is Streatch's politics. He openly acknowledges he's the most right-wing of the councillors, and seems to take pleasure in being on the wrong side of eco-friendly initiatives like the pesticide ban, clearing parking from the Grand Parade and Halifax's anti-scent program.
Last year, the Daily News called Streatch out on his repeated absences from council meetings. His response? "I believe my time is more valuable than going back and forth .... I find it a waste of my time, which I consider valuable. Regional council is one of my jobs. I have a family farm...."
If Streatch's farm responsibilities demand so much of his time that he can't adequately represent his constituency, he should step aside and let someone else do the job.
Grade: F Steve's Cell: 497-2995
WHAT WE SAID IN 2007 (Grade: F)
"Getting things off to an unresponsive start, councillor Streatch’s response to our email survey was nowhere to be found---unfortunate, but also somewhat appropriate: Streatch had one of the worst attendance records at council over the past year. Between June 1 and May 1, Streatch missed almost one quarter of all Regional Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings. Not good. Also on Streatch’s mind this year: the extent of the longhorn beetle quarantine and how that would affect the local logging industry, and getting high-speed internet to his rural constituency. Streatch also reacted with skepticism to Halifax’s now-infamous “Canada’s most violent city” title, generated from a 2005 Statistics Canada report. Streatch remarked in a July budget meeting, “We all know that this is not the crime capital of Canada.” Granted, it probably doesn’t seem that way in Musquodoboit. Anyway, if you’re more concerned by beetles than beatings, Streatch is your man."
"Remarks: The absenteeism alone is enough to earn a failing grade. If we couldn’t get away with that in grade two, why should it be admissable now?"
WHAT WE SAID IN 2000
Report Card Grade: C-
"Some people know Little Steve as son of longtime provincial PC cabinet minister Ken Streatch; to others he is HRM’s newcomer who came out strongly against a pesticide ban, the no-scent policy, and is leading the charge to regulate raves. The assessed worth of District 1 in 1997 was $218 million, making it not only HRM’s most rural, but also it’s poorest relative. Streatch therefore has quite a different perspective than say, Downey, whose district - $1.2 billion in 1997 – is the richest. The youngest councilor stands up effectively for his residents against the giant SuperCity Machine - he has backed District 1’s volunteer firefighters who wish to separate from city-offered services- but when it comes to tackling regional issues, he’s inflexible. The Class of 2000 schoolyard bully, grilling staff like he’s the nastiest new DA on prime time, Streatch is solid, but unpleasantly narrow-minded."