Local commentators rankled by Mayor Gregor

Post by Mike Klassen in

39 comments

blue-streak-24hrs

Not good media coverage for Gregor Robertson, and it doesn't end there

Sometimes when the tide turns there's not much you can do but go with it. In the case of Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver, I would hardly put them down for the count. They have a lot of money from mysterious sources, experienced political machinery behind them, and several months before people go to the polls.

But...

You get the sense that the bloom has worn off for many on Mayor Moonbeam and his happy Hollyhock team. This morning's 24 Hours cover (title of their story is "Vision is like a bully misbehaving") is just a sampling of the media assault we've seen lately – and not only because of his dismissive and arrogant remarks made at a public hearing.

Take for example the no-holds barred commentary from CKNW's Bruce Allen, heard on the station last Friday:

Then there is Michael Smyth's spanking in today's The Province newspaper titled Robertson reveals himself as ignorant, arrogant. Ouch. Then there is Smyth's colleague, Province columnist Gordon Clark who sounds like he's just plain tired of Gregor's politics. Even the Opinion page editorial from the normally supportive Province newspaper strikes out at Gregor and Vision Vancouver:

But what should be more concerning to Vancouver residents is that the tape shows what many have long suspected about the mayor and Vision Vancouver: they're ideologues with an agenda who have little time for the majority of residents of this city who hold different points of view.

Perhaps the most derisive opinion piece to result from Gregor's display of arrogance was today's Vancouver Sun column by Pete McMartin – Mayor Gregor Robertson: 'Is this mike on?'. And in spite of Vision's best attempts to spin this into a story about whether the Mayor should swear, political pundit Alex G. Tsakumis sets them right with his comments here. There's also Gary Mason in The Globe and Mail with these cautionary words for Vision Vancouver:

...it’s the derision wrapped around the word, a disdain that could become a symbol of the pompousness for which Mr. Robertson’s governing party is increasingly becoming known.

Even up on the North Shore Gregor's getting folks riled, as in the case of North Shore News columnist Trevor Lautens, another writer who is luke warm on Gregor the Green.

What's astounding is all of this media is only from less than the past week. It's not just a little bad press, it's practically a torrent.

While the recent bad press is not so great for Mayor Gregor, it does make for some enjoyable summer reading for some of us. Let's face it, July is supposed to be when civic politics is in its doldrums. Not so this month, however.

They say when the media label you as arrogant and they begin to laugh at you, it's hard to turn that around. Vision Vancouver are well aware that there is barely over a year left in their term of office, and things are not going as well as they would like.

- post by Mike

39 Comments

...but wait! There's more!

Mike Smyth is doing another segment on this fiasco, at 12:35pm on CKNW.

So muchfor this only sticking around for one media cycle.

By the way, my mom now thinks Gregor is an ass---she is a lot like Paul the Octopus. Never wrong.

Some things just make you smile.

Great summary of the "summer of disdain" for Vision Vancouver. Gary Mason is hands down the best of the bunch regarding his analysis.

Vision may have paid for some plumped up polls a few months ago showing how popular they were. But that poll isn't worthy of wiping your A$$ right about now. Everyone at the water cooler is salivating to get rid of the buggers.

My prediction is the NPA will attract a good mayoral candidate and give Gregor and his merry band of nutbars a run for their money. Let's hope the voters of Vancouver don't make the same mistake twice.

PS another prediction (and you heard it here first) a well known civic reporter will throw her hat in the ring and run for vision. Hmmmm, guess who that could be?

And which civic reporter was out there all over the TV news last night putting out the spin that this is all just a little silly over a bad word? Why, it was Francis Bula!

Quelle surprise!

Dave,

I think Gary Mason has some tugging of forelock to do, to make up for laughingly soft past articles on the Mayor. Even in his column today, he still managed to bobble details about why the citizens are concerned about stir (no, it's not NIMBYism. It's about sane planning for them and for the rest of the ciyty).

Well, it could have been worse, I suppose.

It could have been Miro writing this stuff. Abandon all reason, all ye who have a man-or-woman crush on Mayor Moonbeam!

It's too bad the NPA is lost in the wilderness and won't capitalize on any of this.

Suzanne Anton needs to be excommunicated from the party like yesterday. She's outlived her welcome and votes with Vision on key issues, taking away a voice from many Vancouverites who want an opposition. The public see no difference from her and Vision right now, regardless of how much Vision likes to dog her out the odd time she votes against their insanity.

The longer she sits in council as an NPA member, the harder it will be for the NPA to rebuild. Ask her to leave, revoke her membership, do what you have to do today, she's a liability.

If the current board doesn't have the ability to see this and the balls to act, they certainly don't have what it takes to win an election. You can claim to know all the neighbourhood results from all the polling stations all you want, but knowing stats doesn't get you votes. From what I hear, certain NPA board members are driving others crazy. A complete unmitigated disaster.

F--k this, f--k that......Vision has been arrogant since day 1 and aren't going to change.

Has it helped the NPA so far?
Not a bit.
Why not?
Because Suzanne is still there, the president has been completely useless, and the board still remains complete disaster.

The lack of leadership in this party is as disgusting as Vision's arrogance.

Patience oh little Glen. Patience. Listen to the Force and let it guide your thinking. Do not be distracted by meaningless acts of stupidity.

That sound of buzzing you hear is not the woo woo zela, it is voters who are beginning to awaken to all that is Gregor. By the time the moon beams over the planet Cortesia, the sound will be deafening.

Hmmmmmmmm. When fighting the Dark Side, one must not get distracted by a single politician who may think she wields power and influence. Like the Death Star which exploded in a grand fury, Anton's star will fade as the NPA star rises once again.

I may be short and green and walk with a cane, but I am all wise and know that folly hock politics is wearing thin on a populace looking for their leaders to simply remove their garbage pave their roads.

So when you get frustrated by the fact Anton votes more often than not with her Visionless colleagues, take a deep breath and let the Force guide your actions. She may look like the NPA, but not is she. The NPA is actually much bigger and will have more impact than she can muster.

As I close my eyes I can see a tectonic change coming on the horizon. Hmmmmmmm.

The era of divide and conquer politics is soon coming to an end in this part of our galaxy. A new beginning for a new leader who has led us before. Oh little one, we must bite our Tung in order to protect his identity from the Dark Side. Take no Chan-ces shall we if he is to be victorious. For we know what the Dark Side is capable of doing to anyone who dares question their master 500 year plan.

Victory comes with patience I say. Press on with your efforts and be unaffected by small minds or foul mouths.

A true Jedi realizes the only real victory won is that delivered on election day.

Hi Glen:

I disagree with your opinion that the NPA needs to turf Anton. Do I think she is Mayoral material - nope. She is not strong enough - she is more reactionary than pro-active.

She is well liked by many of the ladies in the DTES and that is where Greggy and crew have a foothold - the East Side of Vancouver.

How do I know this - I volunteered at a shelter in the DTES for several years and worked as a scrutineer at the last election at Carnegie Centre. I have first hand knowledge of the feedback on her.

They like that fact she spends time talking to them. Something other NPA candidates need to do more of. Get out and talk to people - make that connection.

I do agree they need to get their ducks in a row, sooner rather than later. Waiting for nominations in the late fall is a mistake.

They need to recruit people that are middle of the road, as well, step away from the 'retired' image the party puts out. And this may be an very odd suggestion, but I would start by chatting with Randy Helton, from WEN.

He could quite feasibly go head to head with Stevenson in that riding - and win.

And yes, I do know he is a Vision backer, but he may be somewhat disenchanted and looking for real change.

Glen, to capitalize on this, the NPA only need do one thing right now: absolutely nothing. Gregor and Vision seem to be doing a stellar job at destroying their reputations than anything the NPA can do.

If you're so frustrated with the NPA, why don't you volunteer or try to get elected to the board? That would be far more productive than criticizing those who do volunteer on this blog.

I strongly disagree with Glen Hall's remarks about Councillor Anton. She is someone with tremendous character, integrity and intelligence. Few have her grasp of policy issues, and few have such a good record of voting on principle regardless of the politics, which is what the NPA seeks in its elected officials.

She is also tireless, working harder than any other politicians I've met - at countless events every day of the week, endlessly meeting with concerned citizens and constituent groups and trying to help anyone she is able to deal with the byzantine city hall we now contend with.

The city would be well served if we had other representatives on council half as moderate or principled as Suzanne Anton. Vision does everything possible to grind her down and place her votes in a bad light.

It would be a shame, Glen, if we help them in that task.

And here you go folks, exactly what I was referring to.

A failed council candidate with the NPA and local everyday cheerleader for them until today.

Max, so Suzanne is down on the DTES and talking to people and they like that, great....how many votes do you think that gets her? The only person Suzanne is out for is herself.

If you want to talk arrogant, why not ask Suzanne yourself about her comments over the past year to anyone who will listen that she believes she's already "earned" the right to lead the NPA in the next election. Although now she's supposedly reconsidering because some of her close friends are convincing her to wait another term because VV will win another term in 2011.

Tom, have you had the chance to hear Suzanne speak at events where people are there to have a good time and rambles on about making sure people fill out their questionaires....while everyone in attendance is rolling their eyes and waiting for her to shut up and get off stage?

No. Well then I suggest you get out more and see what happens when she speaks in public. As for my volunteering Tom, I've done more than my share in my lifetime.

Wake up NPA. Let her sit as an independent and go out and make some policy decisions, stake some ground and tell people what you're for and against.

If you can't do that you're finished, Gregor can continue being arrogant along with Deal and Louie, and Stevenson can have all the uncomfortable laughs he wants.

Right now you stand for nothing, except for how Suzanne votes in council meetings. Every vote she makes, it is her who defines the party in the news. That has been and continues to be a HUGE mistake and if you can't see that you're finished.

Time for a new party and not just a name change. Bickerton, you're clueless.

Kudos to Susan for battling it out in a difficult trench, but she really doesn't appeal to the average voter. If she could get a voice transplant and learn to talk without leaning her head to one side and sounding like a elementary school vice-principal....maybe....
She can be a force without being mayor. Whether she has it or not, she just doesn't come off as having poise.

Note to Glen Hall: Personal, ad hominem attacks tend to betray the weakness of the arguments being made ...

Glen...you're way out to lunch on Suzanne Anton and you really need to reflect on why you're in politics to begin with.

Your posts show that you only understand politics as grabbing power. Suzanne shows that politics is about public service and listening to your constituents. What you're suggesting is that she should do exactly the same to DTES citizens that Gregor, Heather and Tim did to West End citizens last Thursday.

If talking to citizens, listening to their concerns, and then making your own decision based on the facts can get you kicked out of NPA, then they would be just as harmful to the city of Vancouver as Vision is.

We need a third way...and it certainly isn't COPE.

Reality Check,

Can you point out exactly where you claim I suggested any of the sort: "What you're suggesting is that she should do exactly the same to DTES citizens that Gregor, Heather and Tim did to West End citizens last Thursday."

Where, please in my words to I suggest any of the sort?

And for you to write and claim: "Suzanne shows that politics is about public service and listening to your constituents.", is a complete load of horse manure.

Not once has Suzanne listened to her constituents and voted in a way that reflected their opinions. Suzanne votes what Suzanne personally believes in, and is as arrogant about her positions as Vision is.

If you have any examples of where Suzanne has taken a position and reversed it after hearing what the people had to say, I'd love to hear them.

You're talking complete nonsense and being disingenuous as well. Why not write your real name and tell us who you are?

Sean,

Oh yes the "ad hominem attacks" come back. Good one. It's no wonder you can't win a debate.

The reality is that you failed to get elected and you still cling to the party, offering opinions that didn't work to get you elected. Good for you. But its bad for the NPA and of course you're not going to like hearing the truth, who does?

There are a few problems within the NPA, and some of them relate to a set of people that won't ride off into the sunset after failing.

Other problems relate to letting people partake in the party that shouldn't be there in the first place.
And this time I'm not talking about Suzanne, I'm talking about some others that shouldn't be there either.

If you don't know who I'm talking about, again that means you're part of the problem. If you do know who I'm referring to, and you haven't tried to do anything about it, again you're part of the problem.

If you want a reality check, and I'm not referring to the person who posts under that name, Vision Vancouver changed politics in this city in a number of ways. One of them being that they defined themselves, staked some ground, and campaigned as such. I'm not going to get into their lies, I'll leave that for another day.

The NPA's days of picking a bunch of people from a wide range of the political spectrum and running them on a slate without pre-defined policies is over.

You're only hope is a "star" candidate to carry the day. Yeah, that's a long-term strategy....please.

For those of you lost souls without a political party to join, sorry but you're old news. Sitting on the fence and hiding behind a non-partisan slate isn't going to cut it anymore.

People want to know what you stand for, "truthfully", and voting for a slate of people that could as easily be Vision councillors isn't going to carry an election.

Now, does this mean I support the arrogance of Vision and the continuing lack of public consultation, while carrying about their ideology without giving a shit about the public...NO it doesn't so don't bother trying to put words in my mouth.

I've supported the NPA to date. I'm extremely frustrated with Vision. But right now I see a bunch of people running the NPA that I have absolutely no faith in and you all deserve that feeling.

That means something has to change and if you can't see that, a new political party without the lot of you is the only answer.

And it just so happens there are a whole bunch of people who feel exactly like me. If you don't believe me, just check the last count at your AGM.

Once again, Glen shows why he's more interested in grabbing power for power's sake, as opposed to public service. It's prevalent attitudes like this that stop good people from going into politics. They have to waste time dealing with petty personal attacks like those we have seen here.

And sensing the personal vindictiveness of some of the comments, I don't think I'll be posting under my name any time soon. It might not be safe for me or my family.

Does anybody else see the irony of this ridiculous banter back and forth? Rather than focusing on Robertson's foibles we are wasting time attacking the NPA and it's elected officials. I think the public simply wants the NPA to get its act together and put up a credible slate of candidates. Only then will voters have the opportunity to show Vision Vancouver and their cronies the door!

To Henry,
It is not "we" who are engaged in useless banter, it is "they". And "they" want to focus on the shortcomings of the NPA rather than on intellectually challenged poster boy Gregor. Don't fall for it.
Stay focused on Green Gregor's inability to deal with complexity and the resultant superficial bafflegab that he spouts forth and that he is so instructed to do by his handlers.

Agreed.

Especially now as Vision tries to turn this current controversary back on "special Interests" (condo owners) by insisting that it is they, not renters, who are are against the ad hoc STIR developments. They are trying to box the protesters into acorner by now suggesting/encouraging WEn to have members on the advisory committte.. But of course what they don't say is that in its original form, the co-chairs, Reimer and Stevenson were the ones who were going to APPOINT the members of that committee.

Now the fatuous suggestion from Reimer is that , gosh it WOULD be good to have "different" voices on that committee. And precisely becaus ethe WEN group is a loose coalition of concerned ratepayers, they are not quite sure how to play this game.

If Randy et al say "no, we won't join because we don't trust you, there are no clear rules, the system is flawed" then Vision will cry "fowl! (pun intended) and claim that this group is only interest in protest.

If the WEN folks do come aboard (but only a few as per report today) they are likely only to be paid lip service and then overruled by the rest of the hand-picked Vision appointed advsory committee. Yes, Gregor has tasken notes from Gordo on this one...

Boy, Mike McGee and Kevin Quinlen are certainly burning the midnight oil over at Hall in this little game of chess/chiclen.

And for our next lesson kids, we'll be learning just how Andrea Reimer ran the Western Canada Wilderness Committee.

Heather Deal is now denying she said "democracy cubed" on the YouTube video. The Courier is reporting she claims it was another woman who just happened to be walking by, but she can't seem to recall who.

There are a limited number of people permitted where the councillors are seated, so just which person could it be? Should we anticipate yet one more official apology and mea culpa? Which other woman could have been participating in this revealing discussion? I think Deal should really think hard and try to remember who made the infamous "democracy cubed" statement. The citizens of the Vancouver have a right to know.

@ daniel,
I posted this yesterday and wondered why no one else noticed. I too found this troubling.
If Heather didn't say it why apologize?
Why damage your own reputation to protect someone else.....

equal treatment = democracy squared

The NPA is as dead as the dinosaurs and Social Credit. It doesn't know what a grassroot is, and it's organization is moribund. Vancouverites need to get up off the mat and reorganize around neighbourhood organizations in a focussed drive to unseat this renegade council.

PS "And for our next lesson kids, we'll be learning just how Andrea Reimer ran the Western Canada Wilderness Committee".
Tell us more about this, Dennis.Thanks.

Whatever happened to Sadhu the Green Guru? I saw a sign in the engineering office telling staff to remember to turn the lights out. If that's what wey're paying $150,000 a year for they could have hired my Mom...

Wow, watching you guys attack each other is quite telling. Ironic that you claim to be watching gregor implode while you do the same thing here.

I think it would be beneficial to all to shed these silly labels of 'vision' or 'npa' or whatever the hell else.

Did anyone see Global news last night: the piece on the reconstruction of the seawall at Stanley Park?

Seems Jasper and Robertson hung a local granite company out to dry.

The City was provided Federal Stimulus dollars for the repair - $2 M.

The local company had put in a bid to supply the granite - they were excited about getting the work. (From what I under stand, the are a one and only in the lower mainland)

Jasper and Robertson opted to buy the granite from a company in China.

So Canadian Federal Stimulus dollars are heading to China - to help boost their economy rather than being spent in Canada and supporting our own businesses and workers.

Nice one eh.

Max, well played. I, too, watched that news. And I was angry. Why is the city giving the contract to a Chinese company and not a local company?

But the CSIS boss‎ is 'irresponsible'.

Right.

City gets a better offer and takes it from Chinese company they are destroying local business.

City takes more expensive local option and they are wasting tax payer money.

It's a lose lose.

Interesting enough - the Chinese Consular office used the local business when they built a wall at their site.

In this case it is Federal stimulus money that should be used here regardless of price.

It is funny - Vision is strong NDP,who is always crying about minimum wage and outsourcing of jobs. Yet given the opportunity to help out Canadian workers - they opt to help out the Chinese.

Take the difference from the $25 M allotted to the 'bike lanes'.

The seawall gets more traffic than the bike lanes ever will.

This is true.

But here's another twist. I have met sales people in the stone business who have immmigrated from China and are now working in Lower Mainland companies.

They told me that they made money as sales people there, BUT that their wages were WITHHELD FOR A YEAR as those companies built up business, maintained cash flow and dominated the markets they sell to.

It seems incredible to us here, but it shows the determination of the Chinese and the extraordinary lengths they will go to capture their markets. I think we have all heard today of our new trade deficit.

There are different ways to look at spending taxpayers dolars.

Federal stimulus dollars largely go to infrastructure projects, and won't be around for much longer. Spend them ALL in Canada, please, especially as the benefits go partially to Canadian workers.

If you want to get a true scope of how factory workers are treated in China - watch 'Blue China' about the blue jean industry. And there too, wages were held back for a period of 3 - 4 months to make sure the workers 'can't' leave.


Anyways, back to the granite for the wall - the difference was $95,000 and will take 3 months to get here by boat.

Personally, I would have chipped in my $0.15 share - the amount it would cost each taxpayer in Vancouver to use a local product and have those dollars paid to the company and their workers trickle their way back into our economy.

This also flies in the face of Robertson's entire buy local campaigning - regardless of it be a food product or not.

And while I am on that rant - where do those mangos used in your fruit smoothies come from?

Two words: BUY LOCAL !

...and again the public hears nothing about it until after the fact. The least transparent government I have ever seen.

Ah, more tiny ironies...

The people that we are making wealthy, on the backs of their own factory workers, because we LURV cheap goods...

...at the cost of Canadian jobs...

...further ensuring that our own trade deficit skyrockets...

...while those same folks that we have enriched with our valuable Canuck bucks, are coming to Vancouver...

...propping up a grateful real estate development industry...

...therefore driving up property costs, with your tax dollars...

...in order to buy "cheap" (to them) property...

...meaning that local Vancouver citizens have to look to the 'burbs, or to RENTAL STOCK here in Vancouver...

...that is composed mostly of 500 square foot 1 bedroom places, overbuilt and stacked one on top of the other like so much cheap Lego pieces...

...that the "average" Vancouverite, earning an average of $50,000 would find IMPOSSIBLE to rent because...

..MARKET RENTS for those kind of units run about $1,400-$1,500 per month!

And those towers, placed willy-nilly throughout Vancouver, will FOREVER change charming areas like the West End while not solving the affordability problem we have here in Vancouver.

Rental housing? Sure! But not 8-24+ stories all over the city. How about AFFORDABLE rental housing so that the locals, including working families can stay in this city?

Come on, you smart folks at City Hall, there must be a way to have mixed market/rent controlled places. Hey, why not a premium to developers to build more co-ops, which the city could share in. Or was that how Milleniumm was supposed to work???

By the way, the GREAT cities of the world (save New York which is unique because it is ALL towers), have maintained their low level cityscapes in order to save heritage, give people a break from the utter dominance of really DREADFUL architectural crap made of glass and steel and ensure that the sun, when it deigns to visit us, will occasionally hit our upturned faces.

Take away the seawall (more irony!), the mountains, the access to spaces where you can actually feel in scale (yes, humanized, even!) and in touch with the environment, and with theis "STIR Creep", we will eventually look like f**king Akron, Ohio, Mr. Mayor---but without the culture!

We are rapidly becoming the mid-size city of choice for the lucky few who can afford us: the global real estate investor immigrant who will use us as a "safe haven" with little intention of building any sustainable businesses, drug dealers and rich, flaky American heiresses.

No class. No planning. No Vision.

NO WAY!

@ Glen, @tom Hu;

'If you're so frustrated with the NPA, why don't you volunteer or try to get elected to the board? That would be far more productive than criticizing those who do volunteer on this blog.' Tom Hu

Can I respectfully suggest that Glen & others who have been on the sidelines because of their take on perceived attitudes within the NPA leadership get off their duffs, get constructively involved [& please trying not to debase themselves & dumb down the level of discussion via 4 letter words] & make the organization better. That's what I & a number of others are doing.

Constructive alternatives & hard work are meaningful & productive. You & others who regularly comment on these blogs sound like capable individuals with something to contribute. Get involved. Constant, repetitive critiques are not helpful after the initial go.

Bill, point well take.

And I will be contacting you!

Cheers

“You want a broad spectrum of opinion on committees like this, not just one opinion,” Ms. Reimer said

(From the Globe & Mail, July 13, Bula)
***********

I LOVE this comment.

They dis the people that put forward their opinions at the meeting and now are inviting them with open arms.

What Reimer fails to include in this comment is the fact that no one else's opinion matters but theirs.

But hey, we want you to join the committee.

What a bunch of muppets.

When she says "one opinion" who's one opinion is she talking about?

Jim Green's? The Mayor's? Because there is no one opinion in the West End. There is however one petition at 7,640 signatures and growing asking for no more rezonings without a comprehensive plan.

Hi Dennis:

My take, she is referring to WEN's opinion. However, from recent City Hall activity - it seems it is only their opinion the counts.....

Did your read Alex G.'s blog today?

A bit of ammo for WEN - they need to get this all over the media.....

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