Vision Vancouver arrogance exposed in off-guard moment

Post by Mike Klassen in

81 comments


This unbelievable video reveals that Mayor Robertson is completely out of touch

It is a rare moment of candor from our slickly managed and pre-packaged Hollyhock figurehead Mayor. Gregor Robertson, sounding like he just landed in Vancouver from Mars, turns to his Vision councillor colleague and asks, "Who are these f***ing hacks? Are they NPA hacks?"

"NPA hacks" is the label which Vision Vancouver uses for all who disagree or challenge them. Randy Helten of the West End Neighbours? NPA hack. Ned Jacobs? NPA hack. Me? Mais oui!

Name-calling and labels are the easy out for those who don't have the patience to understand the issues. From the get-go Vision Vancouver has circled the wagons, eschewing public process and relying upon spin to gain favourable notice for their weak term in office. If you do not agree with Vision, you are immediately personna non grata.

Whether it's accurate or not, Mayor Robertson is perceived by many to be a puppet of his handlers. Robertson's Chief of Staff Mike Magee – the person who really holds the levers of power at Vancouver City Hall today – clearly has failed to brief Robertson as to what the community's objections to a "Mayor's Advisory Council" might be. Surely Gregor assumes he's doing the right thing – he's going to provide access to a pre-selected group of West Enders to himself. Who could possibly complain about that, he wonders?

"NPA hacks" of course.

Vision Vancouver have the earmarks of a one-term administration. Whether it's Aaron Jasper & the other aimless Vision reps at the Park Board flip-flopping their way from one decision to the next. Or whether it's Patti Bacchus & the Vision/COPE trustees dutifully abiding by the wishes of their BCTF masters. Or Councillors Tim Stevenson, Heather Deal and Mayor Robertson chuckling about how the public would like to be consulted.

The arrogance is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

As of my coffee break I've already had over a dozen people forward me this video link. It's pretty clearly going viral – as it should. Short of shutting down YouTube, Mike Magee and Kevin Quinlan in the Mayor's office can't control the spin on this story. Gregor Robertson will hide under his desk all day avoiding media calls as he does whenever there is a communications crisis from his administration.

What the Mayor and Councillor Stevenson should do is apologize for their arrogant and inconsiderate remarks. Then someone should help Gregor to bone up on what's happening in the City he tries to lead. If there is something that Vancouver voters will not abide it is this kind of arrogant government.

What was turning into an uneventful summer at City Hall just got a whole lot more interesting.

UPDATE: The Gregor swearing at the public story has gone viral. Hundreds of views of the video already, plus CKNW ran the story at top of their 10am newscast, the Vancouver Sun is running the story at the top of their web page. The Mayor's office and Frances Bula are working hard to spin this as a "humanizing" moment for the otherwise tightly scripted Robertson. The public isn't buying it.

UPDATE #2: Gregor Robertson apologizes. In a statement released this morning, Gregor Robertson came out from under his desk long enough to apologize for his "inappropriate" remarks. We've still not heard from Councillors Tim Stevenson and Heather Deal for their derisive laughter at the expense of the public who waited all evening to give their remarks. As for the media who came to defend Gregor, they'll have to do some 'splaining too.

- post by Mike

81 Comments

I have walked away from council presentations more than once with the distinct impression that nobody was really listening. In fact, I have watched councilors reading email and I have seen Gregor texting. OK, let's be generous and assume it is something urgent.

It is disheartening to know that decisions are made long before anyone in the audience gets up to speak and it is infuriating that council does not have the guts to tell the audience they are wasting their time.

The disrespect this illustrates is shameful. Good on the West End bunch for catching them at something I always suspected.

Can you believe that Frances Bula is actually spinning this into a positive on her blog? She's saying it's so great to hear Gregor using the F-bomb and "sounding relaxed". Shameless.

http://bit.ly/9JqzOQ

Finally we get to see the real Gregor. This is disgusting. Does he know where his salary comes from? People like these "fucking hacks" is where. The man needs to go back to making fruit drinks for the west side elite. He's pretty, pretty vacant.

This is not unique to Gregor.

"Name-calling and labels are the easy out for those who don't have the patience to understand the issues."

Oh the irony!! It hurts!!!

The "real" mayor and his arrogance if finally exposed. What a shameful bit of video. Notice how Deal says "shut off your computers" as if to say "we don't want the little people listening to us."

As for the Globe and Mail's Frances Bula, she has lost ALL credibility. To claim this shameful act endears her even more to Gregor is simply appalling. Talk about having a man crush. Does Doug read her postings?

I hate to say it, but teflon Gregor and his angelic caucus will get another pass from the media on this one. Don't expect there to be any political fallout. Now just think what would have happened if an NPA mayor had derided a neighbhourhood like that. Shame on you Robertson.

Boohoo,

Multiple exclamation marks show me that, indeed, contrary to what you would like us to believe, this little purely partisan political diatribe is like an arrow to your hysterical, little heart.

Now, let's review.

"Boy Mayor" sounds like grade school bully boy. Except not as intelligent.

Disses local ratepayers. Besmirches the whole concept of participatory democracy and public engagement---I believe they usually use the word "inclusiveness". Since they obviously don't believe in public consultation, why waste more taxpayer money in having planning staff hold these bogus consults or form these little committees? Why should citizens sit across from these bozos, knowing that it is all a totally faked, manipulated enterprise? Pat the "little" people on the head, and then literally bulldoze your way to what you want.

Other councillors on that side of the ledger sound like snide, inarticulate ape-like creatures. You can HEAR the smug, self-satisfied, overfed-on-the-taxpayer-dime sound in their arrogant, puny voices voices. Au revoir, Tim. Adios, Heather. Don't let the council chamber doors hit you on the bum on your way out.

I don't think I overreach here, boohoo. All this, the week after Art Phillips, a sterling example of true leadership, a mature voice of reason, is celebrated as one of this City's best Mayor's.

From First to absolutely WORST. Wow. I didn't think it was possible that this party of chicken promoters and hot dog vendors could possibly bring more disrepute to the office of mayor.

Delightfully, they prove me wrong. Once again.

No, Carl. I think MSM will follow this one. If not, they are surely out of touch.

I just heard it on CKNW 11am news.

I hope Mike gets to bring it up on Bill Good show, tomorrow.

That's quite a reply to my simple observation. An arrow to my heart? I mean come on...this blog calling out the mayor for simplistic labeling? That's rich.

Note, I'm not saying the mayor is right or what he said was ok. Your assumption that because I called out this sillyness I therefore must be a left wing Gregor lover just furthers my point.

The true problem is not the arrogance or the preplanned agenda, it's the fact that nobody in the media is truly questioning his statistics or "facts"...Gregor claims everything is a success, "the millionth" cyclist crosses the bureaus street bridge, that the dunsmiur bike lanes are already a success....with no organized opposition and the media just repeating these "facts" verbatim, we end up with a mayor and council that can say and do whatever they want....

Wow. The arrogance and contempt for the community they claim to represent is mind-blowing.

Hi Jason:

I know for fact - there are several journalists in the MMM that are 'looking' real close at those numbers - among other things at city hall.

This just up: (notice it has been 'edited' to remove the 'f' reference)

Mayor apologizes for insulting remarks

7/12/2010

Vancouver's mayor issued a statement Monday apologizing for swearing and insulting speakers at a City Hall hearing last week.

Gregor Robertson and other city councillors had finished hearing speakers about a West End Community Advisory Committee.

The cameras, which normally record council meetings, were turned off, but the microphones captured a post-meeting conversation in which Robertson makes disparaging comments about people opposed to the committee.

"Who are these hacks? We're just trying to have a little advisory committee."

The conversation between Robertson and Vision Vancouver councillors Tim Stevenson and Heather Deal were originally on the city's website, but has been taken down.

Afterward, someone posted it on YouTube.

In a statement, Robertson said:

"I want to apologize for the comments I made after last Thursday's council meeting. They were inappropriate and disrespectful. I was frustrated after a long, contentious council meeting. Either way there is no excuse and I want to express my apologies to the people who came to speak at council."

No, I didn't say you were a left-winger.

I am implying that you are an apologist.

Carl, I might have "misspoken" myself on what the MSM is covering. Bill is, even as I write this, celebrating the fact that the Cactus Club restaurant chain has been nominated for having, like, the best restrooms in Canada, EVER! Epic!

Watered-down trebles all round!

So you're assuming that I'm apologizing for Gregor when I make a comment about this blog. Interesting take, unfortunately incorrect.

Did Frances Bula take down her own apology for Gregor's disparaging remarks? I can't find it on her home page anymore. If you this click you can still find it on her website.

http://bit.ly/9JqzOQ

Frustrated!? Was he even paying attention??

I doubt it---the guy has an attention span of a bee.

Please don't play the "pity" card on this, Mr. Mayor. If you can't stand the heat...

I note that you don't seem to appear on anyone else's civic blog, questioning their partisanship. And since most blogs are, by their very nature, editorial, I am curious as to why you don't show up elswhere.

Don't throw stones, boy. You live in a glass house/condo, yourself.

I take your ignoring of the point as an apology. No problem.

Interesting that you call me 'boy'. Trying to be tough on the internet are we :)

Now, what other blogs can you recommend?

Now when will Heather and Tim apologize to all of us living in the westend? Their silence is deafening. They equally mocked us and should also issue a statement. We'rrrrre waiiiitttttinggg!

I just love these "apologies". What he really meant was "I'm truly sorry for being careless and getting caught".

Ahhh the wonderful Vision Progressivistas.

Such nice fascists at heart.

CTV.CA has picked this up as well...

'Mayor sorry for swearing, criticizing speakers at meeting.'

The mayor and his senior advisors are hunkering down here on the third floor at city hall. Gregor apparently doesn't want to leave his office for fear of having a camera put in front of him. It's all quite comical to watch from my vantage point. We're all loving it and having a good chuckle. They're getting exactly what they deserve for what they've done to us.

Taxpayer,

Since boohoo likes to remain anonymous and only posts here at city caucus, it's clearly someone tied to Vision.

Although you don't post with your real name, I do so I'll call him/her out to prove they aren't a Vision staffer, follower, member, contributor or even little Jonny Ross using an aka because everyone knows what a complete hack he is.

Or maybe its the person who used to frequent Bula's blog and called themselves "Vision Governs" before disappearing. The two personas are equally as arrogant.

Not once has this clown criticized city council for anything and has shown thier partisan stripe while calling out everyone else.

If it walks like a chicken, talks like a chicken and shits like a chicken, clearly they belong in old MacGregor's garden.

I visited this story on the CBC website - read through the comments.

Seems like Vision must have rallied the troops to downplay this.

For 29 comments, some have received over a 100 thumbs up, or, let me clarify that - anyone saying the mayor is all good received big kudos.

I find it very interesting that there are may 'poster' handles on that site that I don't recognize, and as someone who comments somewhat frequently, you get to know 'who's on board'.

Sorry to disappoint Bill, I'm in no way associated with any political party in this City or any other. I did ask for links to other blogs, perhaps you'd like to share?

This is quite the spectacle, I simply pointed out that this blog calling Gregor out for labeling is pretty funny. That's all. But what is my political stripe? Don't tell me you're argument is 'he doesn't like party x therefore he must love party y'. Please don't tell me that childish level of thinking still exists here...

He's an idiot for saying it but all this faux outrage claiming he's destroying democracy is comical.

oops, that should read Glen.

The Vision PR machine is going full bore today, with their minions out in force on blogs and news sites frantically posting comments trying to downplay the only moment of transparency we've ever had from Vision to date. Their message is that saying a curse word is no big deal, after all, Joe Biden and Dick Cheney have done the same thing. Notice the references to American politicians.

What they seem to be trying to downplay is the absolute contempt exhibited by a Mayor that promised a more open and transparent government for every community. Instead, they mock and demonize those who won't just agree with everything they say like a high-school clique. They did the same during the election campaign, where I witnessed Vision campaigners screaming "Fuck the NPA and Fuck You" at several NPA candidates after a public forum.

No renters! No renters!Yaddayadda-blahblah....!

Listening to the whiniest of whiny Vancouver NIMBYs, I would blow a gasket too.

It's time for the City to grow up and stop pandering to self-centered community groups worried about nothing more than their own property values.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Thank you Mayor Robertson.

I guess when you aspire to nothing more than subsidized housing its hard to imagine why someone should be concerned about their property value. Considering that real estate is often the biggest asset that people have and, in most cases, worked damn hard to get, they should be concerned about what happens in their community.

One day you may grow up (may) and perhaps own your own home - something to take pride in.

I hope for your sake that no issues such as these arise, because I have a feeling you would fold like a cheap suit.

And when you voice your opinion in hopes that your Mayor or Council member may listen to your concerns - remember you cried 'NIMBY'.

Yada, yada, yada.

I think you'd do well not to take Councillor Stevenson's statement as fact.. This is not about excluding renters from the highest per capital renter populated neighbourhood in the city, nor is about subsidized housing for that matter.

The real issue here is :

1.) STIR proposal that promises a sweetheart deal for developers to increase density with NO GUARANTEES of rent control (to the very developers who brought us debt and "social housing" at the Olympic Village)

2.) the sham of a Vision appointed "citizen's group" to consult on Vision's vision

3.) the obvious disdain Herr Gregor has for those who oppose him

The upside is we are finally seeing the ugly truth behind Gregor's pretty boy veneer.

Thank you but the pedantic tone is not necessary (Max); nor is suggesting you know anything about my aspirations (Bill).

All I'm saying is that these types of issues are *not* the big issues they are made out to be – and never will be to me. Agreed: the Mayor should not have used such language. However the CoV, known for the noisiest NIMBYs on the planet, must learn to not be handcuffed by the squeakiest wheels.

I, like most normal sentient beings, will never complain about issues "such as these"; issues that put self-centered personal interests above all else.

What's most laughable? …watching the puritanical and righteous grasping at thin air and salivating in overdrive.

Based on that video vision sure seems to have a real contempt for homeowners. In their perfect world everyone would be renting and or living in a subsidized coop. That would mean a lot more potential vision voters. Why does vision dislike people who own their homes so much? Aren't we voters too? Don't we count for anything.

It's almost three o'clock. Any sighting of Gregor yet? Do Kevin and Mikey still have him locked away at city hall? Here is an excerpt of their discussions:

Kevin: "we have got to keep the mayor out of the media. Evey time he goes off script he gets us in a big pile of crap"

Mikey: "can't we send him to the US again on some foreign mission asap?"

Kevin: "I'll get on the blowhorn with Joel right now and see what I can do. Everytime he goes out of town the media go lady ga ga for him. I'll make sure he buys a new pai of spectacles before he leaves and I'll leak the news to our favourte media"

Mikey: "Kev you are brilliant. Now get Gregor on the next bus out of here before someone from the local media thinks they are going to win their next Webster Award."

.....the Mayor should not have used such language. However the CoV, known for the noisiest NIMBYs on the planet, must learn to not be handcuffed by the squeakiest wheels.....

************

Does your statement include the cycling lobbyists?

Because Lord knows the Mayor has been handcuffed to the handlebars by those 'squeaky wheels'.

And it seems to have paid off for them.

What's being lost here is WEN's great work at exposing how some politicians at city hall are in the back pocket of big developers. A fact that is lost of the MSM who are still in their honeymoon phase with Vision Vancouver. I applaud these local residents for what they've done to expose this arrogance. Good on you.

Thaks, Tom. That is a great comment.

"Who are these f***ing hacks? Are they NPA hacks?"

-------------------------------------
Well beam me up Scotty! Ya ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer, are ya?!

LOL - One is a staunch supporter of VV and the other was a former COPE council candidate.

Way to go Mayor Moonbeam!

Maudern,

Don't be so fatuous.Payback's a bitch, ain't it?

Your party has cornered the political market on cynical, self-serving rhetoric. They put the "ack!!" back into "hack".

boohoo: the tyee, bula, david berner, tsakumis, harvey oberfeld, ross, etc. etc.

Of course nothing says you can't have multiple nom de guerres.

You guys who are supporting the Mayor's DISGRACEFUL performance on this issue should read Doug Todd's recent excellent Sun column on "moral relativism".

This is the ultimate, local example of that thinking.

I'm deeply concerned this is part of a larger pattern of contempt for the people of Vancouver that stems from the very top of the administration.

The Mayor's comments are reminiscent of the same type of comments Councillor Jang and the Mayor made about residents of False Creek North when they dared to complain about the mayhem caused by No-Rules Shelters forced on that neighbourhood.

As Michael Smyth wrote in the Province a year ago after reporting on the legitimate concerns expressed by residents at a public meeting: "Even then, some of Robertson's Vision Vancouver councillors opted to lecture and harangue residents rather than respond to their concerns. Instead, Jang suggested the residents simply don't care about poor people."

And that's just what they said in public ...

They are creating a class war.


Sadly, even the Mayor's Spin doctors don't get it!

This is more about West End residents’ outrage at his lack of understanding of the democratic process by his Motion to appoint his own select committee, than whether or not he chooses to demean them after they too have had a long day when the planned Agenda went astray. They were asked to return later to speak to Council. These are people with jobs too.

That he swore and cursed them for reminding him of his duties to the citizens of Vancouver is a mere bagatelle.

The issue is STIR projects, and due process.

However, must say am glad that the Mayor was his own worst enemy and showed Vancouver what he is really like behind the City Hall spinners!

By the way, has he personally called any of the Speakers to apologise for his name calling? Doubt it. Report it here if he does.

I was going to say - go and voice your opinion....but we can't have that!

Submitted by Tim Chipperfield on June 22, 2010 - 11:42am

You are invited to Vision Vancouver’s Summer BBQ on Sunday, July 18th. Join us for a fun evening featuring organic food from a local caterer and live music on a rooftop patio. This will be a great opportunity to meet Mayor Gregor Robertson, elected Vision officials and members of the community.

Vision Vancouver wants to celebrate our accomplishments with you. We are embracing a new future and working towards solutions to end homelessness, building a green economy, investing in creativity and innovation and improving the quality of life for all.

Admission to the BBQ is free but tickets are required. To request a free ticket or to obtain more information about the event, please contact Tim Chipperfield at 604-568-6914 or timc@votevision.ca.

Actually, what's laughable, Maudern, is how the left is always promising a kinder, gentler and more inclusive brand of politics and castigate the right as mean spirited with hidden agendas. And when the mask slips you always have a rationalization.

You higher purpose people really scare me because you can justify any action however undemocratic on the basis that you are creating a better, greener, fairer world for all.

Thank you Sean Bickerton for your comments. When I saw this video clip I too thought, I wonder what the Mayor and Councillor Jang said about the residents at False Creek North behind closed doors. Their arrogance was striking during the HEAT Shelter fiasco and the meeting the mayor invited some of us to, was a joke and frankly, insulting. This city council has no respect for citizens who dare question their decisions. I am reminded once again, why I sold my Vancouver condo and recently moved to...you guessed it.. Surrey. I have moved to a city where the council has real vision.

Kery Jang, Kerry Jang...

The same Kerry Jang, who, when running for nomination for councillor in his own Vision party, let everyone know at the JCC all candidates meeting, that, er, uh...well, maybe THOSE needle exchanges/treatment centres really wouldn't work in his Collingwood neighborhood?

That Councillor Kerry Jang? Really!?

Proving once again, that in VisionLand, some neighborhoods are more exclusive than others...

@Deirdre

I sincerely hope that last sentence was sarcasm.

I find angry taxpayers last post strange... It's as if he believes that any member of any party isn't/hasn't done the same thing--that is catering to their little interest/riding/etc...

Is that really a newsflash to you? To anyone here?

Posters he get all up in arms declaring the end of times when they're doing what politicians always do. Yet we keep voting them in. So why the surprise?

Face it unless you are a Bike riding vegan poverty pimp Vision has no use for you
I say it's time to change the whores in the brothel

The Mayor was on Global TV tonight. He looked very contrite and sad that he got caught. He fully apologized and wants this matter behind him. Okay folks, let's move on. He made a mistake and he's sorry. Stop making such a big deal of this. So he dumped on westend residents. Haven't we all at one point made a snide remark or two, but we weren't being recorded. We're lucky to have a mayor with such vision. We're also lucky he has such great staff who are smart and put in such long hours serving us with little or no gratitude from people in the blogosphere.

Boohoo Byron,

No, I am pointing out Jang's obvious hypocracy in defining the West End neighborhood as "other" and "bad" when he himselfs has a bad ol' case of NIMBYISM.

I think it is always responsible to point out 180 degree turns, whenever and whomever makes them.

The pols---and especially this crowd---think we can't remember their promises, their backroom deals, their "friends' whom they choose to hand pick for bogus "committees".

They think the electorate are always lulled to sleep with promises of Ovaltine before bed, a chicken in every pot, and, wow, food carts! everywhere. They hope that they can dole out enough small goodies, studded with "infotainment photo ops" to special interest groups and a disengaged public so as to maintain their power.

But we do remember. Oh, yes, we do...

We won't forget that THIS Mayor, and THIS council has taken us from "No Fun City" to "No Class City" in a very few short months. And in the process, cemented our reputation as a second rate resort town run by third rate politicians .

EA,

Why stop now?

This is a Mayor who supported---and sat through---a bloody pounding at UFC 115. And seemed to really, really enjoy it. Another example of "Mean Gregor" versus "Gregor the Good".

Who is this man, really?

Anyways, it's Gregor's turn to take a little pain, now. He can't run and hide behind Geoff's apron on this one.

"your caption - proves hes out of touch - " \
.How about proves hes "human"...we all do this...he got burned..but I heard about this wholething today before hearing the clip..I cant believe this is even news,,its not at all what I expected...and not a big deal to me...
Way to go Gregor - we are all human - even these "paparazzi / Tabloid news sites are run by humans too...heck we are everywhere...and none of us are perfect...

Handcuffed to the handlebars,squeaky wheels...ha ha Max,you ROCK!

Nice try, Jamie.

Playing the "he's everyman" angle.

Sure, if by "everyman' you mean the mouth of Lenny Bruce or the "we'll get even with those guys" wiseguys of the Soprano's.

He's the Mayor. He needs to have some dignity. And, to not sound like the partisan he obviously is.

What next from him: a Nixon-like enemies list?

Plus ca change...

Enough already,

Gregor didn't look contrite on the news, he looked like the arrogant prick he has been all along. Put down the bong and give your head a shake. Gregor can't act and he didn't look like he gave a damn despite how you try to spin it.

Nice try though....now go back to that calendar on your fridge where you have the next Vision meeting circled, and try and channel some of Mike Magee with your retort, because if thats the best you could come up with to defend your "man", you need some help.

one big difference between you and I and the Mayor -- HE'S THE MAYOR!!! Of course now we can call him the f***ing Mayor if we like but it isnt the slip of the F bomb that is the issue. It is the disregard to any opinions other than those of the freakishly left wing VISION party - F bomb or not. Has everyone forgotton the HEAT fiasco? This is a group of delusional nut cases who run your city...run it into the ground that is and they don't give a rats fart about you and I buddy!

BooHoo - Vancouver's idea of culture an 'colour' is the peirced and tattoed druggies and dealers and "homeless (street or not) who regularly pee, crap, smoke crack and shoot heroin in the little parks all over the city - I especially like the one on Commercial Drive with the memorial to our war heros. So before you take a swipe at Surrey open your eyes - Vancouverites are leaving - not in droves but they are leaving - take away the sea wall and Vancou