The Mayor's office blog you pay for was discovered to be registered to Vision insiders
Around the time of the 2010 Games we noticed a significant shift in a longstanding city policy with regards the political promotion of the Mayor via the City's website. For many weeks a new website promoting Mayor Gregor Robertson was linked on the home page of vancouver.ca. There is no precedent for this kind of politicking on that site, nor in any City communications.
Under Sam Sullivan's administration the City Manager's office made any kind of direct link to his website ("mayorsamsullivan.ca") verboten. Despite the fact the Mayor had many policy communiqués, photos and surveys for the public, the rules were strictly observed about keeping the Mayor's office website distinct from the City's.
Under Vision Vancouver all that changed. As part of their ongoing policy to politicize the traditional non-partisan public service, the City's website has been used to continually shill for Mayor Robertson, and even provided a link to a "blog" called mayorofvancouver.ca which is written and managed by his political aides.
Mysteriously, the registrant of that domain name was private. Who actually "owned" the license for that domain? When Sam Sullivan had his staff register the term "Ecodensity" for a new political initiative, I was asked to register the domain "ecodensity.ca" on the office's behalf. Then a Vision councillor leaked a story to reporter Frances Bula that Sullivan had "trademarked" Ecodensity for himself.
The response from the Mayor's office – which is that the office, not Sullivan, had secured the name on the City's behalf – was buried in the final paragraphs of Bula's front page story in the Sun. Bula made no effort after that to correct the record, thus igniting a Sullivan smear campaign. The Ecodensity domain name was already in the process of transferring to the city months earlier, but the accusation that Sam was aiming to personally benefit from it stood.
Fast-forward to several weeks ago when CityCaucus.com FOI'd the "mayorofvancouver.ca" domain name. We wanted the public and our readers to know who owned the license to the domain name. What a surprise, it was registered to a Vision Vancouver-friendly media company who helped build the website – FD Element. The domain was registered with the names Mike Wilson – Vision communications insider – and company CEO Don Millar.
Now, you'd think that Frances Bula might try to take this story and turn it into a headline for the Globe and Mail: "Robertson to Trademark 'Mayor of Vancouver' For Himself". Well, sadly she won't get that opportunity. That's because as soon as our FOI went into the City of Vancouver they coincidentally transferred the domain over to the City of Vancouver, the folks who probably should have registered it in the first place.
So it's kind of funny to see history repeating itself in the form of a lovely bit of Vision Vancouver hypocrisy.