Our report on Friday that Vancouver decided to skip recognizing one-year countdown of the 2010 Games and hold a private "invitation only" party created quite a stir. Since there seemed to be more interest in details of what actually happened that day, we chatted with Councillor Suzanne Anton about what city hall watchers are referring to as "The Vancouver Club Snub."
"I do not know who was invited to the lunch at the Vancouver Club by the Mayor other than Councillors Chow, Meggs, Jang. There may have been others," states Anton. "I'm certainly not saying there's anything wrong with the Mayor taking Jacques Rogge out for lunch. I'm glad that we were able to host this important dignitary. But to have only members of the governing caucus invited is an odd break with protocol."
In our previous post, we indicated that only certain members of the governing city council caucus were asked to attend the Vancouver Club do. Whereas over at the Board of Trade, Vancouver was a no-show at the Spirit of Vancouver 2010 luncheon that members of council have sat at the front table for the past six years.
"The City of Vancouver was not represented at the Spirit lunch," says Councillor Anton. "The Mayor of Richmond, the Mayor of West Vancouver was there. I actually showed up at the lunch, but not in a formal capacity. I always go to this event, and would have been happy to represent the City if asked. In fact, I was quite surprised to be the only Vancouver council member there. They didn't even look to send anyone to this great event which raises money for athletes."
We asked Anton wasn't it fair that as the governing caucus that Vision could send anyone they want?
"The fact is when you have an event like this that everyone on Council should be available to go, not just your favourites. In our political system all councillors are considered equal. This appears to be a new precedent being set by this administration. Mayor Sullivan was always extremely gracious and fair to all city councillors, regardless of their political stripes, especially when it came to public protocol."
Anton adds, "I'm just a little surprised because Mayor Robertson campaigned on the goal of ending partisanship at City Hall. So this does not reflect well on that idea."