Was Gregor Robertson caught in lie about Tsisserev's firing?

Post by Mike Klassen in


Gregor Robertson claims no knowledge of the firing of one of his direct reports

On this morning's Bill Good Show featuring guest host Michael Smyth, Mayor Gregor Robertson took questions from open line callers. The final caller threw a curve ball question about the recent dismissal of Chief Electrical Inspector (officially titled "City Electrician") Arkady Tsisserev, asking the Mayor about the "illegal" firing of this senior bureaucrat.

Back on February 7th, Mayor Robertson was interviewed by CTV's Lisa Rossington about Tsisserev's dismissal. You can see it in their news clip that Robertson's response was to plead ignorance, saying "I'm too busy with Olympic preparations to deal with human resources issues." For weeks, political commentator Alex Tsakumis has doggedly reported on Tsisserev's firing, and has been particularly critical of both Robertson and City Manager Penny Ballem, and the overall lack of media interest in this story.

Ballem, Tsakumis writes, was constantly changing her stories as to the reason why the Mayor and his colleagues had fired the Chief Electrician. First it was stated that he had retired. But Tsisserev had been marched to the door with virtually no notice of his dismissal, as described in Allen Garr's column from today. Tsisserev was reportedly very shortly about to retire. Next Ballem said that he was being let go due to budgetary restraints, but later on the City Manager claimed that the City's plan for layoffs had been radically cut back.

The City of Vancouver's Chief Electrician is a direct report to Mayor and Council. Like the City Manager, the position is only one of a handful where the Mayor actually does the hiring and firing. Tsisserev's dismissal happened just over a month ago and the decision was made in-camera by Robertson and his council.

So you have to wonder about his response to a direct question on-air this morning. Here is the exchange – or you can listen to the full clip below.

Caller: "What are you going to be doing about addressing the illegal dismissal of Arkady Tsisserev?"

Robertson: "It's human resources department dealing with this, and those are decisions made by staff. I don't have any inside knowledge of what exactly has taken place there..."

One of two scenarios result from Roberton's reply. He either was not telling the truth, or he is unaware of a decision that he signed off on just a few weeks ago. Remember, he was asked directly five weeks ago about this by CTV.

It's time that Mayor Robertson comes clean on this controversy once and for all, and stops trying to hide behind the City Manager. Vancouver City Council hires and fires the Chief Electrician – full stop. Mayor Robertson, did you or did you not participate in an in-camera decision to fire Ark Tsisserev?

- post by Mike


Alex deserves a Webster's for his coverage of this scandal. Too bad only CTV has bothered to cover this.

And Jonathan Ross will have another chance to write a Sun OpEd on the benefits of politicizing City Hall??

What a joke this all is--- if it wasn't so damn sad for the citizens of Vancouver.

RESIGN. RESIGN. RESIGN. This is why politicians have such a bad rap. Robertson has goofed up on this one and should just admit it. Then he should tender his resignation.

...And that's why, you may say what you want about him, bad hair day, big mouth, lots of wives, but you have to give it to him, when it comes to business and pleasure nobody does it better than... The Donald!

You were thinking for a moment that I was talking about Alex, haven’t you? Well, I have you punked for a moment, haven’t I?

Of course, Alex has the huge merit of covering the City’s “Lie and Run” BS in his outstanding pieces on his blog (www.alexgtsakumis.com) but that’s not enough, is it?

Where was the rest of the media? In bed with the BS providers, there’s where they were. Shame!

Going back to Mr. Trump, even his top show “The Apprentice”, in its weirdest moments, provided better quality candidates for the position at hand than the Mickey Mouse candidates the City Hall has acquired in the past year and a half.
Not only that they hired inexperienced, unqualified candidates, without the minimum of due diligence, but they were hired as replacements for those fired, in a pure Bolshevik biased way. More or less they all came via a ”couple retreat” connection. Coincidence? I think not!

Going back to The Donald, in his utmost arrogance, which he is known of having galore, he was asking for advice from one or two of his many executives, on live TV!
I’m sorry that he cannot be here with us today but he entrusted me with this short transcript taken during the time spent with the “Hollyhock Corporation” in the boardroom:

“The Vanpprentice”, Final Episode, to be aired in Nov. 2011 or sooner

THE DONALD (facing the HC members):

“So, what happened? I’ll tell you what happened. You lost. Badly! What is the F-bomb? “Your Testicle Ad (looking at Gregor, the Team Leader) compromised the ability for you to win the task.” You lack them. That I can see. Now the problem is who should be fired. Tough, eh! I like that. (Turns to one of his advisors) Remind me who said that. Was it you Penny? I’m sorry but after tonight you’re not likely to see my apartment. “I show this apartment to very few people. Presidents, Kings... and they walk in, they look around, and they really can't believe what they're seeing.” You're very cold. You're a cold-hearted person.
Make me understand this: “You have your finance person and you have your team leader and the money somewhere disappeared between the hand and the ass. Right?”
It feels like I’ve been duped. “I have. I've been duped... I've been duped many times. Everyone's duped.” You've been duped also. Do you want to know why? Because... Hollyhock Corporation...

”You are fired!"

"All of you! Now, get out of here." (Points to the door behind them)” And don’t worry, you can leave the door open, I don’t care much about a little draft, “At least now, in this wind, people are gonna realize I have my own hair. They always say, "Trump - does he wear a wig?" I say, "I have my own hair." At least they'll see it now in the wind.”

Off camera: “That was a tough one!... Not! [on HC's loss] Well, we've had some disasters, but this is the worst.


We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

What a confused bunch this group at City Hall is. Gregor, Raymond, Tim, Heather, George, Kerry, Andrea, Geoff, David , Ellen, what a group of incompetent idealogue whackos. Off with their heads.
Be gone, the lot of you, as the old English saying goes.

Glissando for mayor!!


Robertson is lucky everyone is paying attention to the paralympics and not his incompetence. Either he didn't know about this firing (why???) or he lied to the public. Both scenarios look really bad for him. Yet the mainstream media continue to give him a pass because of his looks. I say send him to hollywood to do movies and let's elect a mayor with real ideas who is competent enough to implement them.

Can't you be a little more clever and less obvious in your ongoing efforts at discrediting Mayor Robertson. Gawd, your incessant whining and obsession with him makes me think of the unfortunate fat boy in grade school who can't complete socially or academically (yes, not politically correct, but is a truth that has existed throughout time.) There he sits in the back and secretly plots against the other, more successful and attractive boys. Nothing comes of it normally, but here you are with a blog...your time has come for revenge. It's payback time. Please your obvious partisanship and political alliances make this blog akin to some of the really goofy right wing blogs in the US....all bluster, signifying nothing.

Dear WES, it might be fine with you to be blithely ignorant of what's happening in our civic government, and to give someone like Gregor Robertson who has shown no leadership, nor demonstrated his fitness for holding Vancouver's top job, a pass. So be it. You're in good company, as there are no mainstream media who bother to analyze this government either.

We may be the "fat boys" of the school you describe, but we've never obscured our political past. If you bother to read some of our archives you'll find that by in large there are few sacred cows here, regardless of their political stripes.

If you are not interested in a critical analysis of Gregor Robertson and his Vision government, nor our commentary and stories about urbanism in Canada, you've got plenty of other venues to spend your time.

@Glissando I love your script!

Seriously, though. If I was CEO of Vancouver, Inc. and had hired Gregor Robertson based upon his plumped up résumé (his handsomeness of course would be a company asset) and asked him to run the job of building a city, dealing with the tough challenges we face, I would have fired his sorry butt months ago for cause.

You are either in your late 80's or going blind. Please stop the insanity! Stop this "mainstream media continue to give him a pass because of his looks" What looks? He is a 45 years old,in the middle of his own crisis with nowhere to go but down from here. They (MSM) are giving him a pass because they are lazy, sorry asses and easy to corrupt. Simple.

Thank you to all for your kind comments and to Glissy for pointing out that I MAY have my own hair...LMAO.

Many thx also to Daniel and Mike for the credit. If you see the sanitized version of this sad story in Allen Garr's column yesterday, where I received no credit, you'll find the definition of lazy journalism just below it... I provided Allen all the information I dug up and he chose to hide the truth.

I was also provided a clip of this interview with Gregor, and two things came out of this.

Mike Smyth ALSO received copies of this story from me--I guess he only reads what's convenient.

And, I am compelled to show you in detail this coming Monday, in another post, why the Mayor of Vancouver is a LIAR on this issue at least. I will, of course, happily link to your post here.

Stay tuned, there is much more to this than you think.

Thank you again. Enjoy your weekend.


No one here needs to discredit the Mayor.

He does a fine job of doing that, all by "hiself!"

Any chance we can start a recall petition in Vancouver. This type of deception should not be tolerated. Of course the mayor knew about this guy's firing. Why doesn't he just admit it?

Glissando for Premier!!!
LMAO too!

Gregor Robertson was written to by ALL of the top life safety experts in this city. He recd an additional give dozen letters from concerned members of the electrical contractors association including a letter from the executive director.

How is it possible that he didn't know about it???

Plus, his office recd a call from me, he was interview by CTV's Lisa Rossington and Dr. Ballem was interviewed by CKNW's Janet Brown--AND the Mayor chaired an in-camera session where Arkady Tsisserev's appointment was rescinded and Will Johnston's was approved (BTW, no one asked what a structural engineer was doing being hired as the city electrician, including Suzanne Anton, who claims to media that she doesn't have the first clue about any of this...)

So, is the Mayor trying to tell us that:

a) after being interview and PRESSED by Lisa Rossington over 11/2 mths ago, he didn't ask his staff to look into it?

b) he hasn't seen a single letter, including the one from the executive director of the electrical contractors association?

c) he doesn't remember the in-camera session that he chaired?

This is not your garden-variety omission. You are talking about the expert of life safety issues in CANADA, being frog-marched from his office to his car and told to leave the property.

Of greater concern is that Penny Ballem told council that this man was "retiring", as confirmed by Clr. Geoff Meggs. THAT, is a complete LIE by Dr. Ballem, which all bring s you to ask the question...

Why was Ark Tsisserev fired and so unceremoniously bounced from City Hall?

....and who benefited from such a departure...

Alex, do you know if the new guy has any connection to Hollyhock in any way? Did he attend any yoga sessions or get married at their special retreat?

Hi Carl,

Very funny... No, Will Johnston is not in any way related to Hollyhock. But I've got some other goodies this week.

And I'll start tomorrow, Monday.


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