GlobalTV reports on how Gregor mocks citizens at a public hearing
People who I speak to that voted for Vision Vancouver are highly aware of the broken campaign promises. The tweaking of the homelessness commitment, the lack of openness & transparency, and especially their betrayal on including the public in on how the City moves forward. The revelatory video which has as of today been viewed about 40,000 times listens in on Mayor Gregor Robertson and his fellow Vision councillors chortling to themselves over the idea that citizens might want to have more say in how their community is developed.
In his report in today's Vancouver Courier, City Hall watcher Mike Howell interviews Coun. Heather Deal who confirms that she didn't make the barbed "Democracy Cubed" remark, yet she refuses to identify the woman's voice who does make it. You can bet the Vision councillor would gladly blame COPE's Ellen Woodsworth or the NPA's Suzanne Anton if they had said it. Which leads one to surmise that Coun. Andrea Reimer – the meeting chairperson – is also one of the participants who mocks the speakers. Given that Deal, Stevenson and Robertson have all apologized, should we now expect the same contrition from Reimer?
Remember that Councillor Reimer is already experienced at giving public mea culpas.
On yesterday's Bill Good Show I commented that Vision Vancouver member and supporter Randy Helten – the person who is spearheading with his community the opposition to the recent STIR developments – exemplifies what the party once stood for. As Vision has become increasingly arrogant in government, so have they distanced themselves from grassroots community people like Helten.
Is it too late for Vision Vancouver, who are already past the halfway mark in their term of government, to re-embrace the principles that helped to get them elected? For that to happen under Gregor Robertson's watch seems highly unlikely. The Mayor's office have taken an extremely antagonistic view of anyone who doesn't support them.
It makes you think what may have happened to Vision had Coun. Raymond Louie won the leadership of Vision Vancouver back in the middle of June 2008. Louie had a formidable campaign organization, lots of financial backing, and deep support in the ethnic community, yet he came up short. Unlike Robertson who barely knows his way around town, Louie has longstanding relationships from his life growing up in Vancouver. He was also flagged by former Mayor Larry Campbell as the person who would be Vancouver's first mayor of Chinese heritage.
Louie's experience in the council chambers virtually assured that he wouldn't be drawn into the reckless conversation started by the Mayor, although you have to wonder what Councillors Stevenson and Deal were thinking last Thursday night. Not many are buying the "long, frustrating day" excuse.
We've certainly had our differences with Coun. Louie in the past, but you can't hardly blame him for some of the more flakey policy directions taken by his party. Right now Vision needs someone in their ranks to stand up for the ideas they ran on in 2008. Raymond Louie as an experienced member of their caucus and someone who has not been attached to the chickens & gardens agenda, is possibly someone Vision supporters could rely upon to make sure that they uphold those principles moving into the 2011 election.
If Vision is to govern our city for the years ahead, the organization and those who support it must ask themselves if they will stand up for principled leadership. Who will lead the party in that direction is an open question, but it's possible the person who once challenged Gregor Robertson is the right person to do it.
- post by Mike