Mayor chasing green dream while cruise ship industry fleeing Vancouver

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


cruise ship
There are a lot fewer cruise ships and Alaska-bound tourists visiting Vancouver this year

A few weeks ago Vancouver’s mayor flew out to New York for the latest in what seems like endless photo ops with the world’s big city mayors. Just prior to the Olympics, the paparazzi (otherwise known as his staff) snapped a few shots of Gregor Robertson and the Mayor of London holding the 2010 Games torch. His Worship's most recent trip to the big apple was ostensibly about attracting “green” jobs to Vancouver. If you recall, the Mayor made a commitment of creating 20,000 new enviro jobs in the city by 2020. So far the results of his efforts are best described as anemic.

What’s so frustrating about watching the Mayor jump aboard one carbon emitting plane after another in his quest to lure green companies to Vancouver, is the fact that he’s ignoring the jobs disappearing from his waterfront at home. For example, yesterday representatives from the tourism industry were out in full force reminding the public that Vancouver’s cruise ship industry is in dire straights. There will be only 179 sailings this year compared to 256 last year. That's a significant drop of 30% in a relatively short period of time.

This loss of all these Alaska cruise ship passengers is a big blow to small businesses in the Vancouver area. Whether you’re a bus tour company, souvenir shop, restaurant, taxi driver will be impacted by this massive decline in tourist revenue. Meanwhile, our agri-mayor is busy building homeless shelters for chickens, installing beehives and vegetable gardens at the City Hall precinct.

What has Robertson done since we first alerted our readers to the warning bells coming out of the industry last year? Well, besides jet setting around the world in search of those elusive green jobs, he supported a proposal to increase Amtrak traffic between Seattle and Vancouver. While this is laudable, it will take a lot of Amtrak trains to make up for the loss of 300,000 passengers aboard luxury cruise liners. Clearly this mayor has to “kick it into gear” soon if Vancouver has any hope of maintaining Vancouver's position as the cruise ship hub of the west coast.

At a minimum, the mayor should be calling an urgent roundtable meeting with all the key stakeholders impacted by the decline in the cruise ship industry. He should then come up with a comprehensive strategy to help stop the bleeding and begin to reverse this trend for 2011. Perhaps a trip to Miami (where most of the cruise ship HQs are located) would have been more fruitful than a trip to New York. Opening up an immediate dialogue with cruise ship executives and letting them know you are interested in fighting to retain those jobs is a good first step.

Few will argue that trying to create new "green" jobs in our economy is a bad thing. However, to use a term that our agri-mayor will understand “a chicken in the hand is worth six in the bush”. The mayor better move quick to come up with a strategy to keep those tourism-related jobs, otherwise his schemes will have little or no net impact on our local economy.


But think of how much "investment" can be bragged about if Hollyhock Boy gets some green jobs to come to Vancouver?

Each one will require a huge subsidy, because none of the ever so progressive green industries is profitable. Just look to Europe where green subsidies kill real jobs in real profitable companies that pay real taxes that keep real roads repaired, real poor housed, real parks and schools open and support real social progress.

Somebody better whup young Gregor up side the head with the reality of the global warming ponzi scheme . . . its over.

I guess the mayor is too busy with other priorities. Let's see, on April 13th Robertson announced he was working on The Dialogue Project. It is described as "A City of Vancouver project that brings together Vancouver’s diverse cultural groups is designed to bring greater interaction, understanding and opportunity for our Aboriginal and immigrant communities."

He also recently announced that he's convening a symposium "to discuss
early care and learning." Aren't both of these provincial priorities??? And he doesn't have time to meet with cruise ship industry reps?

Mayor Moonbeam, get your head out of the clouds and start doing the real work of running our city. Enough dreaming already.

We may take a hit because of this initially, but seeing as the cruise industry is hardly more sustainable than oil companies, it's not that big a loss. If they are smart, eco-friendly travel and tour companies will jump in and make up the difference.

"We may take a hit because of this initially, but seeing as the cruise industry is hardly more sustainable than oil companies, it's not that big a loss. If they are smart, eco-friendly travel and tour companies will jump in and make up the difference."


and there you have it, Eco-ignorance at it's best. Because 70 year old obese Americans (have you seen the demographics of these cruises look like?) are going to wake up 5 years from now, at 75, and decide they want to chase whales in a solar powered zodiac, feasting on seaweed, tofu, and lichen. This zodiac will be wheelchair and oxygen tank equipped. Metamucil and prunes will be banned to ensure minimal human waste. A Kwakutil faith healer will be on board with a special set of dances just for those with Type 2 diabetes.

You have basically just suggested that a fleet of 2 seat solar gliders will eventually replace the need for each Boeing 747.

Back to Cortes island with you CS. Say hi to H.R. Puffinstuff.

Or it might be about the significant decline in the cruise business related to the US recession plus the high Canadian dollar, but that would be reality based, something this increasingly Palin like site is moving away from.

OK, the Mayor may need to focus on the things Council can realistically hope to accomplish, but the cruise industry is going away because of stupid laws and regulations passed by the state of Alaska under the leadership of some airhead weather-girl that the oil industry made Governor.
Get your telegenic figureheads straight.

The reality is Gregorina is not lifting a finger to save the cruise ship industry because they are not "green" jobs. He and his supporters want to see these "dirty" jobs go away and be replaced by wind turbine manufacturing and urban agriculture consultants. Now those are "real" jobs as per the Hollyhock handbook.

I see the mayor's apologists are blaming the US recession for the lack of ships in Vancouver. Hellllloooooo. Give your head a shakey shake. There still about the same number of people travelling, but they're not leaving out of Vancouver any longer. They're leaving from Victoria and Seattle. So your argument that this is all about Obama's policies is a tad weak. You NDP/visionistas never want to accept responsibility for anything! And you want to run the province too? God help us. If that happens, I may well be getting on the last cruise ship out of here.

Put your political associations aside for a minute and be honest. A drop in the cruise ship industry is a bad thing for the economy in Vancouver, a very bad thing.

Add it to the ever-growing list of bad economic issues this city is facing now and in future.

Alaska has a head tax for cruise ship travellers thats why there are less cruise ships going to Alaska. Do your research and get the story straight.

The amount of waste and gluttony that one Cruise ship amasses is absolutely, abhorrently, disgusting.
Change and adapt, thats the only way to survive.

The old ways of operating are not going to sustain us moving forward anyway.
Get you heads out of your asses and quit complaining.
Do something about it and come up with better sustainable, alternatives. Attract a different crowd.

The travel industry has been haemorrhaging for years they will survive, the vision of future should not be one of greed and waste on a barge of consuming hippos.

No thanks.

The way I see it, the mayor has a responsibility to "all people" and "all business" in Vancouver.

His responsibility is to assist people and business in a positive way, regardless of ideology. He was elected to be a manager not a visionary.

Under his watch, if you don't sit on the socialist side of the fence, he isn't interested in:

a)allowing your kids to enjoy themselves at a petting zoo,
b)allowing your kids to learn about flor and fauna at the Bloedel,
c)backing businesses that are hurt by economic forces unless they are green,

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Since day 1, Gregor has not accepted that he is governing a city full of people with diverse interests including those that disagree with his personal beliefs. He continues to pander to the cycling nazis, unions, and dope-smoking Bula-mafia. It's pathetic.

The city has close to 800,000 people of which only 65,000 voted for the guy. He needs to get off that soap box of his and start governing for all of the people instead of those 15,000 that swung from the NPA he hopes to keep in 2011.


By your rationale, we should then tell the port to close up shop and go somewhere else, along with the oil and gas business, and every other industry that doesn't conform to your set of ideals "because the world is changing".

Get your own head out of your ass.

150 years of industry isn't going to change overnight. Stop dreaming and beam yourself down off of mayor moonbeam's cloud.

Yo Glenn Hall...The city population is not even close to 800,000! Its only about 600,000 (it was 578,000 at the 2006 census)

Thanks for the words of wisdom, MB. You're right. It's unsustainable. Completely unsustainable. (Then again, at this point, let's be honest: Living is unsustainable.)

In fact, let's cut to the chase. We should just get on with it and switch the electricity off in this town. How's that for a "better sustainable, alternative"? We can also stop driving cars. Park 'em all. And switch off the Skytrains and park the buses. It's walk, run or bicycle from here on out.

It would certainly make us the greenest city in the world very quickly. Maybe that would attract new tourists to Vancouver?

Oh gosh, can't have that. They'd fly in. We can't have those big, fuel-consuming jets landing at YVR in greater and greater numbers. Hmmm, while we're at it, let's limit how often people can fly out of YVR. After all, it's the same amount of obnoxious fuel being used whether you're coming or going, right?

Um, just a thought here, and I know this sounds crazy, but breathing isn't all that great either... Too much breathing going on. It creates a HUGE carbon footprint.

Yes, it is declared: The Vancouver of the future should have less breathing.

[ Wait... Is toking a joint considered breathing? ]

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us high.

Job retention / the growth of existing businesses = the thing that economic development officials should care about the most.

Job retention ends up being the thing that economic development thinkers care about the least.

It's never sexy enough to drive ten blocks to a local office and say "what will it take to get you to stay forever, even if you have to expand?" Not when there's fresh canapes waiting a few hours flying time away.

The Thought of The Day

“Vancouver Vision made the City of Vancouver the biggest Developer in town. It would be a mistake for them to NOT go into the Cruise Business. How are they going to sail away to Cortes Island...with no ship?”

Nice comment, John. However, the Carbon Offset Racket IS a TAX on BREATHING!

The Global Warming Con Men like Gore, Suzuki, Solomon, Robertson are already peddling their business interests in bicycle, orgasmic juice, or butterfly catchers manufacturers. Most probably ALL Made in China! But that's another post.

I always liked this following joke, unfortunately so very true...
'What is the difference between a “Developer” (here you can have any individual that wants progress, at any moment in time, that is affordable and/ visionary) and an “Environmentalist” (here you can have any member of any society that is already “sack full” )? The Developer Wants to Build a House in the Woods, where the Environmentalist Already Has a House in the Woods!
Hence the Hollyhock retreated bozos that have it good on their “purchased” piece of island and who don’t want to be inconvenienced by too much second hand progress , like in “take it easy in the clouds”...

As for the cruise industry in Vancouver I think this is what Vancouver Vision might support based on their HOLLYHOCK TRAINING VIDEO ON HOW TO SUSTAIN AND HANDLE THE CRUISE INDUSTRY:

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Check out!

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