Is it the chip on her shoulder talking? Councillor Andrea Reimer disses Rich Coleman
It is with amazement and an amount of chagrin that we report that Vision Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer has personally insulted the one person in the Provincial government who has been most generous to our city. In a mean-spirited post on her Twitter page [note, link now removed by Reimer], Reimer refers to Minister of Housing Rich Coleman as follows:
Thinking about introducing a motion requiring police to pick up Minister Coleman next time in Vancouver and dropping him off at Jenny Craig.
Minister Rich Coleman is a big man. He's also seen as someone whose heart is firmly in the right place on the housing and homelessness file – note the thousands of units of housing he is providing. On one occasion, after he dashed up to a podium to speak out of breath, I heard him say, "Yes, I'm fat." But just because Minister Coleman can be self-deprecating, it certain doesn't mean that a sitting City Councillor can toss insults at him.
To date CityCaucus.com has held Councillor Andrea Reimer in relatively high regard within the Vision Vancouver caucus in spite of some shortcomings. For example, we've described what we see as a "chip" on the young woman's shoulder, that shows itself in a sometimes arrogant disposition in the council chamber. Today's remarks have us rethinking our assessment.
Tomorrow, Mayor Robertson will be joining several other dignitaries on the front steps of the legislature as the Olympic torch is brought to British Columbia, for the beginning of the torch running ceremonies. The actions of a member of his caucus certainly brings the work of Robertson's council into disrepute.
Andrea Reimer must apologize immediately to Minister Coleman to prevent further embarrassment to herself, her party and the city.
This will be a true test of Gregor Robertson's leadership. Reimer is seen as one of his closest allies on council. They both espouse a "green" lifestyle, and are closer politically than most of Robertson's caucus.
Reimer's remarks are a huge setback for the Mayor's attempts at generating goodwill with Victoria. She will have to be seen to be punished by Robertson for her idiotic remarks, removed from key files and as chair of the Planning and Environment Committee at least for the short term.
This is a huge loss of face for Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver on the eve of the biggest day for Vancouver in almost a generation – the symbolic beginning of the 2010 Games, and the arrival of the Olympic torch in Canada.
Reimer's immature remarks are unbecoming of her position as a Vancouver city councillor.
UPDATE: Since we've posted this story Andrea Reimer has removed the item from her Twitter. Reimer explains her remarks as a reaction to new proposed legislation to get the homeless off the street during extreme weather. She now says she "regrets" making the comment and will contact the Minister.