Is Mayor Robertson now the "Colonel Sanders of Fairview"?

Post by Mike Klassen in


Mayor Sanders
Mayor Sanders: "our greenest city will be built one bucket at a time"

It has not been a good media week for Mayor Gregor Robertson, City Manager Penny Ballem and Vision Vancouver. We broke the story about the $34,000 party for city staff, with GlobalTV we've covered subsequent remarks by Penny "drop in the bucket" Ballem, there was the 12% increase in homelessness, and the embarrassing tiff with the Housing Minister that followed. And of course, Vision laid an egg when it finally approved almost at midnight Thursday the $20,000 homeless shelter for chickens and a chickens bill of rights.

Vision Vancouver's very first policy initiative entirely of their own making is not resonating as they would hope. In fact, you feel the swell of mocking remarks starting to identify this problematic city government. Province columnist Mike Smyth launched into one of his best tirades of his career this morning on CKNW, referring to Robertson as Mayor Moonbeam in a tip of the hat to the old Doonesbury-promoted spoof of Governor Jerry Brown. And this morning's weekly provincial political panel Cutting Edge of the Leg' dissected the chicken subject, with Keith Baldrey being teased by his colleague Vaughn Palmer as the "Colonel Sanders of Fairfield". Better yet, Gregor Robertson's new handle is the Colonel Sanders of Fairview.

Gary Mason wrote perhaps his most hard-hitting op-ed in the last 15 months for the Globe and Mail, giving you the distinct impression that Vision's shine is wearing off for him. You have to wonder if any of these pundits must be hearing from business people and homeowners who are saying, I just paid $2 million for my Dunbar bungelow, and now I have to deal with the aroma of chicken shit?

Then there is this delicious story by veteran TV reporter David Kincaid of CTV. The banter at the end with Pamela Martin, who herself puzzles over the chicken bill of rights, is worth watching it alone.

Veteran CTV reporter David Kincaid explains Vancouver's Chicken Charter

Interestingly, on the chicken file we see that Coun. Andrea Reimer, who hatched this idea in the first place, is nowhere to be seen in the media defending the decision. Many have noted to us that Coun. Kerry Jang and Heather Deal have been hung out by the Mayor's office to sell this jalopy, and neither look particularly happy doing so. Reimer, considered the Mayor's most loyal member of caucus in true Hollyhock fashion, is being brought under the Robertson's wing to shield her reputation from the bad old media.

The other casualty of these policy disasters is possibly looking like City Manager Penny Ballem. We're hearing substantive rumours of concerns within Vision about the woman heading Vancouver's civil service. It probably doesn't help her that when you google her name a post comes up first. Ballem must be taking a hard look at going back to the private sector, given the recent bumpy ride she's had.

For Vision Vancouver, the words 'thank god it's Friday' must take on a whole new meaning today.

- post by Mike

UPDATE: Columnist in the Surrey Now Ted Colley has a laugh at Vancouver's expense


Watching the wheels come off the Vision Vancouver bus is oh so enjoyable. Perhaps with all this battering (not the chicken kind) this group of politicians will come off that high perch and stop being so arrogant. Doubt it since they seem to know what's best for all of us.

After all, we all haven't had the luxury of being able to purchase property on Hollyhock. All this preaching about vegetable gardens, bee hives and now chickens is just too much too deal with. Vancouver has become the laughing livestock of metro vancouver. Our policies are finally coming home to roost. For many of us, we're now realizing our unsustainable lifestyle is not all it's cracked up to be.

Mayor Moonbeam, listen closely. People are now LAUGHING at you and your colleagues. That's right, they're not laughing with you, they're laughing AT YOU! The cocktail circuit (and developers) on the west side snickers when your name (or your party name) is mentioned. Not a good sign your worship.

Do us all a big favour and announce you're going to be a one-term wonder like Campbell and Sullivan. Pleeeeasse say you are going to back to your farm on Cortez Island. Put an end to all the snickering. Perhaps then some bright lights within your party (aka Aaron Jasper, Raymond Louie) can take over. Pleeasse!!!

And now Vancouver is becoming the laughing-stock of other Metro Vancouver centres.

"We look to future while Vancouver lays an egg..."

"I was reading about the City of Vancouver's plan for a chicken in every backyard and it made me think about the contrast between that city and Surrey. It also made me think about how our mayor differs from theirs."

"For some reason, I started laughing. I mean, think about it."

"Gregor wants chickens everywhere."

"Now, while Mayor Gregor and Blurred Vision Vancouver transport their city back to the Middle Ages, Mayor Dianne Watts and Surrey First are applying themselves to elevating this city from suburb to...urb?"

"Watts and her crew are committed to reclaiming Whalley and remaking it into a bustling, modern urban centre, the downtown Surrey has never had. They envisage a green, clean city centre achieved through measures such as LEEDS-standard buildings, transit planning with an eye to the future and the creation of jobs where people live to reduce commuting.

Jeez, that all sounds, I don't know, progressive."

Yep, the eccentrics at Vancouver city hall sure are making a hell of a name for themselves.

Re: Chickens.

What is wrong with simply permitting this to happen? Now an entire bureaucracy has been created - even before the first 'official' backyard chicken.

Much of this is simply a symptom of what is wrong with the CoV: Too many regulations! Too many inspectors!

The same goes for so many aspects of life and culture in this city, from live music to liquor laws. The CoV exists to sniff-out,regulate and eliminate anything that smells of fun and spontaneity.

When will they learn? When will things change? When will they lighten up?

who cares about chickens? I'm concerned about the many Donkeys and one bovine in City Hall.

PK chester,
I agree with you totally. Robertson has become a laughing stock. But remember, jasper and Louie are two arrogant, flip-flopping, backstabbing junkies as well. They stuck it to COPE and and then jumped ship to Vision for no other reason than their own crave for power and attention. Period. As for Jasper the "Real Estate Agent" how much can one trust a Realtor anyway?
they have to go too. Do you agree?

I don't know if I totally agree with you. However you make a good point that they did backstab COPE and they do seem to crave power and attention. I just think Jasper is more "sellable" than Robertson right now, even if he did backstab his party. I wouldn't say Louie is arrogant however.

And before Mayor Moonbeam and The Moonbeametts came along, I thought Sammy was a nut bar. Sorry, I didn't really know what a nut bar was. Maybe the chickens will get their own special lane on the bridge so they can visit each other. I'm sure that must be in the new chicken bill of rights.

PK Chester,

I simply can't believe you think Jasper is a decent guy or better than anyone in the Vision party right now.

This is a guy who voted to close the conservatory and then showed up at a fund-raiser demanding the couple's ticket cost to save a few bucks from an organization on life-support, with HIS OWN HAND on the plug.

This is the same guy who as a realtor regularly uses his city parking pass to avoid paying parking fees, while he's selling real estate. For more information on this, you can find it on Alex Tsakumis' site.

This is the same guy who has no FN backbone to stand-up to Gregor and Ballum regarding the hiring of a new GM for the park board.

Jasper is the same guy, who's wife sits on the board of variance and has been in a potential conflict of interest since her appointment by Gregor and council.

Jasper is the same guy who led the charge to try and revoke a contract awarded to a private operator by the previous board, before realizing that he was about to get the parks board sued if he went ahead with his pro-union private-contract bashing.

Do I really need to continue?

Aaron Jasper is a bigger douche than Gregor could hope to be. And that's saying something.

Glen Hall,

And thanks to you :-),I have nothing to add!
Other than...

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

...Please add Mt. Pleasant Pool to the list...



And the funny thing about this is that everyone made such a fuss, including council that it did turn into a gong show. Cities across North America allow backyard chickens. It's really not a big deal.

But, people like to bitch. The regular gang that gets their yayas out here would complain about anything coming out of city hall no matter who was in power. Unless of course it was tax cuts and increased services. But even then, I'm sure they'd have something to moan about.

There goes the vegetarian vote. Who's next?

Finger lickin' BAD!

pretty hilarious that you refer to Gary Mason's piece in the Globe and he is being HAMMERED by an informed public.

His piece also demonstrates the sad state of affairs in journalism these days when a quotes from my comment on this blog the other day saying "Other backyard chicken advocates say it's all about “food sovereignty.”

Nice to know your friends are reading Mike.

This has got to be the stupidest idea the City has had in a long time (and that's saying something!)

While I'm no fan of Mayor Moonbeam, and laughed at the quote and the image, I do have one issue with this post and it's got to do with accuracy.

I am a fan of accuracy, as I'm sure you are too. Not only did you misquote Vaughan Palmer, you also mistook the reference of the quote to Gregor Robertson when he was referring to his fellow journalist Keith Baldrey. Keith who said raised chickens and lives in Victoria's Fairfield neighbourhood, along with Vaughan, said "He [Keith] was known as the Colonel Sanders of Fairfield".

SC, such is the beauty of blogging that you are easily and transparently corrected. I've updated the post accordingly. It's such a great handle, we're taking credit for it ourselves!

From Ted Colley's column----"Mayor Gregor and Blurred Vision Vancouver"----
Now isn't that the best comment? It appears that not only does Surrey have the best Mayor in the Metro region, but it has the best civic affairs reporter in the print media.
Yes it is a blurred vision isn't it?
Mike you should expand on the sun columnist's writing on the poor planning for the coming next phase of downtown development and how it looks like it will be helter skelter.

MAson is hardly getting hammered for (finally) writing an accurate column on Gregor.

What is really entertaining is all the sycophants and brown-nosers, who come on here and talk about what a great initiative this is.

NONE this crap belongs on the city's agenda. There are far more important issues that are being ignored or kicked up to Victoria.

As for the comparisons to Portland or New York, give your head a shake BS (aptly named).

Neither city has the same problems we do (and nowhere as intensely), in fact, we are singular in having homelessness, drug addiction and mental health issues so lavishly occupying the top of our agenda.

But don't tell that to Vision Vancouver, that has done nothing to truly address any of those issues except to conjure up some dreamy Hollyhock answers to social change and satisfy the idiots thinking that Vancouver can afford anymore of this stupidity. Accommodating the various nutbar constituencies in Vision's bailiwick is one thing, but ignoring everything else while doing so is quite another.

I love VISION's ever changing spin on their once a week bonehead moves.Now VISION is saying the cluck cluck bylaw was in response to demands from residents to protect the existing urban chicken population. What a bunch of lying, moronic clowns.

This quote from the Courier -- Vision Vancouver Coun. Heather Deal said the report was created in response to concerns from residents. "We know we already have chickens living in the city," says Deal. "This is about us doing our due diligence. It's a detailed report, but that's our job. We need to make sure these chickens are cared for, it's as simple as that."

sycophants and brown-nosers? really? not sure we're reading the same thing A.G.

the thing I will agree on is that the city shouldn't be wasting time on this, it should be a given. the whole chicken shelter came about because the humane society and spca were getting hysterical about feral chickens running loose around town.

And more energy is being put into it, including by myself writing this, when we should all just let it pass and get on to other things. like getting quality food into the mouths and stomachs of our most at-risk citizens. (Which is also being worked on my the city.)

and if you don't think that NY has problems equal to ours you are crazy! BTW, I never made comparisons to those cities, I could list dozens of municipalities where chickens are legal in backyards.

Funny how it's easy to tell when Jonathan Ross posts here; even when he doesn't identify himself.

Holy smokes, I really have to meet this Jonathan Ross guy. Still don't know who he is, but been accused of being him a couple of times. Talk about sycophancy! A.G. is that what you meant?

Камрад BS,

Я очень много наслаждаюсь прочитать ваш революционный памфлет на как сделать этот город более привлекательным к койотам и другим хищникам.

Зрение Ванкувер с своим камрадом Robertson и их Генеральным Cекретарем Ballem руководителя под сразу наблюдением Kамрада Koммиccap Solomon на их путе на становить больше всего ое на людях в этом городе, в этой провинции, в всем Канада.

Длиной живет Kомедия!

Мы живем в Ванкувер и это держит нас многодельно.

For you unilingual bourgeois counter-revolutionaries :

"I very much enjoy reading your revolutionary pamphlet on how to make this city more attractive to the coyotes and other carnivores.

Vision Vancouver with its hive mates Robertson and The Secretary General of Ballem under the direct supervision of Comrade Commisar Solomon are on their way to becoming the most ????? people in this town in the province in all Canada.

Long live Komediya!"

Or something like that. Pozhalusta.

the translation should read like this:

"Comrade BS,

I very much enjoy reading your revolutionary pamphlet on how to make this city more attractive to coyotes and other predators. Vancouver Vision with its leader Comrade Robertson and their Secretary General Ballem ,under the direct supervision of Comrade Commissar Solomon are on their way on becoming the most laughed at people in this city, in this province, in all Canada.

Long live the Comedy!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy."

You missed the point completely. It wasn't that important for me, that you are able or not to read it.
Next time when you don't get it...simply ask.
And by the way, even if it wasn't meant to be read in English, I did write it in such a way so it would make sense, when and if someone like you is curious enough.


i guess everybody wants to move to surrey now right?

shinjuku: let's hope

Glissando: I get it now! Maybe you have some political (childhood?) baggage to deal with.

It's very odd that you equate all of this with an evil communist plot. If anything the actual spirit of backyard chickens - and bees which you've mentioned a few times even though it was a previous administration that made them legal - is libertarian. Yes, it got bogged down in process at City Hall, but that's just because there's naysayers around every corner and council is just covering their backs.

I hear certain substances make a person lose their memory. BS did you forget your earlier posts on this topic? Where you said it was about FOOD SOVEREIGNTY? Then it was OK because some nut-bar in Calgary started the CLUCK party? Now you say it is in response to the deafening thunder of people complaining about chickens in the neighbors' yards?
Just like your beloved blurred VISION Party no one seems to know why this whole thing started- I guess you all just can't remember that far back.

Omoishiroi: Interesting. First of all none of the things I actually said excludes any of the other. Food Sovereignty is about every person being in control of how they access food. A pretty libertarian idea that fits nicely with the ethic of keeping chickens in a backyard for food.

I never said anything was "in response to the deafening thunder of people complaining about chickens in the neighbors' yards." As far as I know, and when I called animal control to ask they confirmed, there had been zero complaint calls about backyard chickens, even though, as we've established, people are already keeping chickens in backyards throughout the city.

As far as "my beloved Vision" I have no love for any political party. This isn't about politics for me in the least.

nuff said


You are such a mosquito. I like that. They are my favourite snack.

My comments are not about chicken, or bees, or garden plots. You have to read through the lines, dictionary in hand.

One day I'll draw a Legend for you.

Till then though,

we live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Chickens are allowed in NYC ?? -- or so claims your VISION party. Here is the bylaw for NYC - I would hardly call this a ringing endorsement of urban chickens!!! But hey -- let your VISION overlook the facts...

161.19. Keeping of live poultry and rabbits. (a) No person shall keep a live rooster, duck, goose or turkey in a built-up portion of the City.


Nice try.

You'll notice the law refers to roosters, not hens. Odd that you didn't include the second part of the bylaw which states:

"A person who holds a permit to keep for sale or sell live rabbits or poultry shall keep them in coops and runways and prevent them from being at large." etc.

Check out the following link - since you seem so interested - which includes a mention of support of an Alderman. Looks legal to me.

Check out!

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