Mayor Gregor Robertson's shaky record on the gang wars

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

97 comments

ak47 2.jpg
An AK47 was found at the scene of a recent gang shooting in Vancouver

You just knew it was bound to happen in Vancouver at some point. I'm referring to the 10 person gang-related shooting that took place over the weekend only a block from Mayor Gregor Robertson's home. In fact, he was one of the dozens of people that hit the 911 button and called emergency response to report the incident. On the 6 o'clock news, it all looked like something out of a bad Hollywood gangster movie.

We're told by our sources that Mayor Robertson refused to do a media scrum on this serious incident, choosing to send out a news release via email instead. His well-crafted statement (which many simply reprinted verbatim) is trying to show how concerned the Mayor is when it comes to the issue of gang violence in his city.

Really?

Not long ago Mayor Gregor was interviewed by Petti Fong from the Toronto Star regarding his views on the significance of gang warfare in Vancouver. Although the article didn't garner that much attention back here on the wet coast, it was an interesting insight into Gregor's perspective on gangs and guns. Here is an excerpt from the piece:

Mayor Gregor Robertson said compared to major American cities, Vancouver is one of the safest cities in the world.

"There is no cause for concern," Robertson said.

If you recall, we took Robertson to task a while ago for his lack of interest in attending an urgent meeting convened by Mayor Dianne Watts when her community was rocked with gang violence. Within days of the shootings, Watts stepped up to the plate and immediately called all local leaders together to map out a plan of action. Unfortunately, Mayor Robertson never showed up to the meeting. We subsequently found out he chose to attend a 2010 Olympic photo op instead and didn't bother to send anyone else from his council in his place.

Through a well-placed FOI we did a while back, we also discovered that Robertson sees plenty of opportunity to get good press out of these types of gang shootings. In fact, one email we uncovered revealed that he was trying to get Federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff his share of the "gang press" as he calls it. Here is the email in its entirety (our emphasis):

From: Robertson, G

Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 11:07 AM

To: Dobrinskaya, Maria; Magee, Michael

Subject: Iggy

Let's get some private mtg time nailed down. Not sure if the brek mtg got booked but let's grab it if that's the only private time possible.

He might also want to do some Chu time to get his share of the gang war press. That's useful for [THE REST OF THIS SENTENCE WAS BLACKED OUT BY CITY STAFF. THEY CITE SECTION 16 OF THE FOI LEGISLATION]. Good to ask if we can help set that up. Jim can join for some of our mtg, though that needs to be contained as there's lots of other stuff to talk about.

G

Gregor Robertson

Mayor of Vancouver

t. 604-873-7621

Over the coming days there will likely be numerous calls by local media commentators and citizens for someone to step up to the plate, and put end to this violence before another innocent victim is killed. As the police have already hinted, these types of events are normally followed up by several other violent acts of retribution. Therefore, despite what Mayor Gregor told the Toronto Star, there is really a need to be concerned and aware of our surroundings – particularly in the coming weeks.

Let's hope that one day we can finally put an end to the drug-related violence plaguing Metro Vancouver, but until then we need our civic, provincial and federal politicians to take seriously what just happened on Oak Street. The solution isn't simply hiring more police officers but rather, we need to find a way of eliminating the profits related to the multi-billion drug industry in Canada.

The level of violence is escalating, and sooner or later someone's family member will be innocently caught up in the crossfire – again. The fact this recent spate of gang violence happened in the Mayor's backyard may finally awaken him to the reality of what's taking place on our streets. Sadly though, I'm not convinced it will.

It has just been announced this morning that the Mayor has scheduled a news conference with the Chief of Police today to discuss the gang shootings. Rest assured, the news coverage tonight will likely focus on Robertson's "personal experience" with the shooting, rather than his track record.

What do you think? Is enough being done to combat gang violence? Has Mayor Robertson and other civic leaders done enough to combat gang violence? As long as there are billions to be made in drug profits, will we ever be able to stop the shootings? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

UPDATE @ 12:01 PM: The Vancouver Sun is reporting that Mayor Robertson tried to call 911, but got a busy signal. Here is an excerpt from their story now online:

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who lives one block from the shooting, said he was awoken by the shooting and got a "sinking feeling" in his stomach.

"When it happens in your own neighbourhood, it's a shock," said Robertson.

Robertson said he tried calling 911 but got a busy signal.

Robertson called the shooting "despicable" and said police will do everything they can to catch the people who did it.

- Post by Daniel

97 Comments

Gang violence is an issue, but relative to other issues for me it's near the bottom of the list. People get up in arms at how dangerous it is and how they feel unsafe. But I would bet statistically you are at far greater risk of death everytime you get in your car. So...meh. There are bigger fish to fry.

Interesting 'Dianne Watt's comparison. This is why she's on the list of the World's Best Mayors, while Gregor doesn't even make the list. The Press release on Gregor Robertson's part is typical of how he handles situations that he's too chicken to speak up on, lest he get stumped by a difficult question. Let's not forget that Gregor is also trying to further remove himself from dealing with these serious issues by having himself removed the the Police Board, which every past mayor has been a part of. Nope, we've got a defunct mayor here who doesn't seem to comprehend anything beyond bike lanes and other 'fun-filled' ideas. He runs this city like everything is a high school Pep Rally.

The difference between gang violence and the danger associated with cars is that gun violence, homicide and the enrichment of organized crime networks which enables them to buy weapons, etc. is, not totally, but largely, predicated of the Drug War.

Shootings like this will continue until drugs are re-legalized and the status quo before the pharmacists got their Gravy Train in 1891. Prior to 1891, British Columbia's drug market was free and open. The 1891 Pharmacists Act provides the Gravy Train College Kids with their monopoly as an "expedient public benefit." Is it a public benefit for the public to have guns fired within city limits?

For the bulk of human history, access to drugs has been similar to access to every other product: buy what you can afford. It was only very recently, on the historical scale, that the Bright Boys of the University system decided the commons were too stupid to decide what foods to eat and what medicines to take.

It's time to kick their gravy train off the tracks, which will also reduce, if not eliminate, this sort of gang violence.

I'm curious -- did anyone else report a busy signal on 911? Seems a little far fetched...

As you predicted, the mainstream media is gobbling up Gregor's version of events. They're hanging on his every word as he recounts the impact to him and his family of this shooting. not a critical question of his trackrecord and lack of action. He'll come out of this smelling like a rose. Take that to the bank.!

I've had that experience on another occasion.

Jeez omoi, why on earth would he lie about that? You guys will think anything to get a jab in...incredible.

Here's a policy suggestion for the Provincial Government.

If you are shot/injured, in what is deemed to be gang violence, and do not cooperate with police, the province doesn't pick up your medical bill.

You get to pay as per the provincial fee schedule.

It makes sense on so many levels. If you are drunk and crash your car, ICBC doesn't pay to fix it.

Let the NDP and co. argue how everyone is entitled to free healthcare, even if you get shot up for being a drug dealer.

While we are on this thread, is anyone else concerned about the new casino and the process by which the business partner was selected? This casino, and problems with gambling, seem like a good way to increase crime in the city. See also http://www.vancouverobserver.com/city/2010/12/03/false-creek-residents-association-votes-against-bc-place-casino

Question:

What is the 'cut off point' for leagalizing drugs?

Or are you ready to include all 'designer' drugs that will keep popping up. I have zero problem with legalizing pot, but a lot of the violence isn't just over the pot trade, but meth, heroin, crack.

And I disagree people will only buy what they can afford. We see that now - people stealing in order to support their habit.

You over estimate the ability for people to recongnize what is good or what is bad for them. If it were that simple, the DTES would not exist to the capacity it currently is.

And unfortunately, as soon as something goes wrong in someone's life - they blame the government for not 'regulating' them one way or another.

The Mayor really is a publicity hound isnt he.

I like the reference to Chu and the Gang War Press.

AK47.
What an interesting 'object'. I find it interesting that this is the most recognized symbol of violence throughout the world.
In fact, the worst and most destructive form of violence is... poverty. Sustained by indifference, apathy, cronyism, censorship, nepotism, propaganda...etc. etc. etc. Started by the Gordon Campbell Liberals, VISION Vancouver led by Captain Gregor Robertson (a Gordon Campbell Light), juiced its way into THE most despicable period of municipal administration that I can remember going back many decades.
Sunday's Gang violence, hurt 10 people. That's BAD. VISION/ Hollyhock's Gang 'silent' violence hurt the whole city of Vancouver. In two years they managed to put the city in Olympic size financial jeopardy, gagged the media, and shuffled the senior management in a manner only second to that of Stalin's. After reading this post however, I came to the conclusion that the irony stands not in the fact that the fight broke at Oak & 23rd (allegedly where the Mayor's corporation owned 'urban farm' house is located) but that we were reminded again how hard it is for this Mayor, an English language native, to articulate a few words. Not even in writing, where the spelling and grammar software programs are galore.
LOL.I hav2go; brek mtg to attnd. Chu!

Gregor's email about capitalizing on gang war press is SO revealing. This guy is such a phonie and it takes a blog like this to expose it. Where are the journalists in this town? Why aren't they investigating this? Oh yeah, their at the mayor's news conference gobbling up his sob story about how afraid he was when he heard the gunshots. Give us all a break buddy. You don't care about gang warfare, that's pretty obvious from your comments. Hope you enjoy all your gang war press today. Hope you called Iggy so he can get his share too.

The Mayer should step down ,clearly he can not do this JOB !!! and Dianne Watts should now more than ever run for ( P ) of British Columbia ,she knows how to get the job done right !!!! GET RID OF THIS MAYER AND THE GANGS OUT OF (CANADA )!!!!!!

@Steven Forth. Vancouver Observer's close connections to the Mayor and Vision Vancouver rule them out as a voice on any topic relating to city policy. While a debate on this topic might be worthwhile, VO's take has not been exactly balanced.

I don't trust anyone to present criticism of city policy that regularly hangs out with the Mayor and is the sister of his number one donor and mentor.

I am not a 'you guys' as I am far too right wing even for the CC guys. All I am saying is he first reported that he called 911..then it changed to no 911 was busy. If in fact 911 rang BUSY there would be an outcry from many people - do a quick search on 911 ringing busy as it is a rare and serious allegation.
I dont know but I wonder - is Gregor spinning a white lie - trying to get 'in on' some free 'gang war' press? I'm just asking - just curious. And you should also be curious - if in fact 911 can get overloaded from a localized incident imagine what happens in a bigger scenario where more than a 1 block radius in impacted.

Agree. Very serious allegation to suggets that a local incident such as this caused an overload of the 911 system. I beleive the Mayor is being dishonest but the reason escapes me. 911 is designed and engineered with siginicant redundantcy and can handle siginicant traffic volume. No other reports of busy signals to 911??? Media should investigate with Ecom.

I wonder if this will prompt the good Mayor to remove the hiring freeze of new police officers that he placed on them earlier in the year.

I don't think Gregor's really feeling you right now. Being close enough to hear the gunshots tends to get your attention.
The only way to stem the violence is to co-opt the drug trade the same way the liquor trade was co-opted after prohibition. That requires a 180 degree change in societal thinking, but the demonization of traffickers and their markets inevitably leads to a scenario like Mexico.
Is that going to happen in the near future given federal and provincial political realities? Not likely. In the meantime, we all gotta keep our heads on a swivel, and learn to duck.
As a footnote, the VPD might want to consider if the money spent on armoured cars, acoustical weapons and Granvillle Entertainment Zone street closures (a total of about $800,000) might be better spent elsewhere.

Interesting that the Mayor's story is already falling apart. Today on CBC's Power and Politics he stated he was still awake (since 2am is about his bedtime), not asleep and therefore not awoken by the gunshots.

The shallowness of this Mayor's responses was clearly evident in the interview on CBC - especially when he was asked about issues related to policy changes at the municipal level (his own priorities, like affordable housing, are more pressing to him). Yet again he repeated the nonsense about Vancouver being safe when compared to other (US) cities.

I doubt if anything this Mayor says about his "personal experience" is completely truthful - he has this way of changing his story whenever he's questioned by the media.

No wonder he's insisting the media go to the City's communication department instead of staff - he needs someone to write the story out for him so he doesn't get caught up in his own misstatements of fact.

It seems that Vision's "vision" is to turn a blind eye to the problems caused by their mismanagement of this City and its resources (including the police department).

Correction "Granville", not "Granvillle"... :-)

Free gang war press? I'm surprised no one has blamed him for the sink hole on Marine Dr yet. A diabolical plot to put bike lanes in!

Gerry,

"In the meantime, we all gotta keep our heads on a swivel, and learn to duck."

No, we don't. That's the thing, you're significantly more likely to die in a number of different ways. Spare us the fear mongering.

boohoo:

I NEVER considered experiencing random gun fire.

That was cancelled out when a shoot up happened in my neighborhood in Kits on a hot summer night and when the streets were still littered with people.

1 block from my house.

At least with the Angles, they keep it more or less 'to themselves' but these new gangs either homegrown or coming into the country through immigration don't give a damn where or when they open fire.

More than once 'innocents' have been caught in the crossfire.

YES!!!

Stay tuned. I understand that several groups are coalescing around the casino question. I agree that not only does it create organized crime problems, it sucks ever more people into the hardest addiction to rremedy: that of the problem gambler.

!@#$%^ can't this city and province come up with a plan for REAL jobs (or encourage business to set up shop here) for Vancouver citizens, where business and consumers can pay taxes on consumption instead going to such a "misery tax" as that of gambling and and parting daddy or mommy from their rent or food purchases?

Thanks Mike

Where can I go to get basic information on the Edgewater Casino? Before a debate I think we all have a right to be informed on how this deal came about. All the parties involved seem to have shut down the flow of information.

I have found the Vancouver Observer to be good on other issues though I understand you do not see things that way.

On organized crime in BC, the issue seems to be even more serious in some of our smaller cities. This is something that needs to be dealt with at the provincial level and I hope it well emerge as an issue in the leadership campaign(s).

Cheers

Steven

Max, I'm not suggesting innocent people might get killed by gang violence. I'm saying the odds of it are tiny and there are many other dangers out there at far greater odds to kill you.

Perspective please.

the '911 was busy' allegation is pretty serious stuff. Is anyone following up? Ecom needs to either admit this has happened or say the Mayor is lying. should be interesting either way.

Petty Fong is also published as free-lance articles in the Hong Kong English-language daily, South China Morning Post. So her Toronto Star articles get around.

Ecomm is a disaster--doesn't talk to all agencies, the fire part still filled by uniforms, 60 percent of the calls are mobile phone 'accidentals', compromised staff in the past and is enormously expensive for what it is and takes over valuable Hastings Park land.

Sorry, boohoo, old boy...

BUT let me lay out the gang attitude. Regardless that they are not from the States (what a crap default is that!)our homies are more emboldened than ever, since even the basic things, like funding for getting rid of gang "tagging" graffitti (bragging rights and turf claim for these neanderthals) is being ignored or those budgets are being cut by this council.

It appears that Chief Jim Chu, the City Manager and His Dizzoner are more concerned with the PR optics of policing: handing out blankies to the homeless (because, we don't have any chritable organizations doing that, do we??) or tweeting about getting a cat out of a tree than in having any kind of stern presence in this town.

The facts are these: gang members know that the cops are really not up to the job. Let me give you a personal example.

I like to go to the Starbucks at 3rd and Burrard, a well-know cop stop for coffee. I noted the tag on the post by the parking lot first last summer. It is still there.

Then, I noted groups of 5 or 6 cars coming round nearly daily, disgorging your MMA worshipping guys and their girls in the parking lot in front of the store.

Tats, souped up, expensive muscle cars and SUV's, etc. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, etc. They hung out in front, stereos blaring, PASSING ENVELOPES to each other---in the effing parking lot in front of the Starbuck's, in unhindered view o0f the local contabulary. The cops are seated on the side of the cafe. Occassionaly casting a glance, but basically, happy to stay out of harms way. The punks just laugh and continue to do whatever it is they are doing.

Now, I know there are laws around casual search and seizure, and gracious, we wouldn't want to profile anyone now, would we? But, NOT ONE COP stopped by to make his or her presence known to those punks during any of the numerous times I observed them taking up space and pwning that parking lot.

I know that we have I-Hit blah-blah, and integrated blah-blah and super integrated blah-blah. Yawn.

But the fact of the matter is that this mayor and his group of huggsy supporters are blind to the obvious incursions that these gangbangers and their wannabe friends are making into every neighbourhood in this city. It's more important to make the cops appear cuddly to the populace.

BUT, now, the negligence from this City hall crew is, like one of their IMPORTANT projects, pet chickens, now coming home to roost. The blight that is these juiced up steroid monkeys is starting to hit awfully close to (his) home.

Perhaps Gregor's attitude will now adjust itself and he will start to take policing these idiots a little more seriously. Don't forget to tell Jim Chu, Greggy!

Until I get proff of that, however, I guess I will be putting on my Kevlar underwear.

PS.

Apparently, according to THIS mayor, and some on this thread, a 10-person body count is nuthin' to worry about.
It's all "relative", you see.

Great. As long as it's not one of my relatives...

Pathetic. Weak. Spineless.

Not really for this thread, but generally I think any government give aways to attract foreign companies are a bad use of our money. What we really need is policies that let capital accumulate and get invested in Vancouver. Bidding to attract external investors is a beggar your neighbour game.

Steven, you are right. what on earth does your comment have to do with this thread. Why not start your own blog and then you can talk about whatever you want.

@Angry,

ok...you never really said anything about my post. Yes, as I've stated, gangs are an issue and they are something that needs to be dealt with. But where's the perspective?

Anecdotal stories aside, there are bigger issues to deal with. So you can wear your kevlar vest if you makes you feel safer, the fact is, statistically you aren't.

Yet another maudlin soundbite.
Nobody cares about you or what you think about anything anymore. Take the hint and resign or take another long trip to China if you feel unwanted as you are here. You have no credibility left.

So you don't like violence in your back yard? Then stop targeting the West End for your unwanted, unnecessary rezoning and lucrative development. If that isn't violence, what is?

If the Mayor called 911 it's been recorded. Let's hear it.

The "butt-call" story is true. Please people, it's just 3 lousy digits, un-program the emergency speed-dial.

Favorite E-Comm story: shortly after it opened (extensive publicity about seismic standards, impervious to flood, fire, etc.), in the middle of an average morning, there was a gentle earthquake.

All the operators jumped up from their stations and ran outside, where it's safe.

Thanks for this comment Julia. Not only does something seem a bit fishy about that in general, don't you think the 'MAYOR' might have hotline/bat phone that can get him help ASAP should he need it? If the mayor can't even get through, don't we all think there is something seriously wrong with the system and an investigation should be launched immediately? I do.

Aside from that, I had to call 911 once during a major incident not unlike this and it was much earlier in the evening and was witnessed by many more people and I had no problem getting through.

Sickening. I just watched all three newscasts and they played Gregor like a crime fighting hero. Are the mainstream media really that stupid and gullible?

The mayor had his constipated look on and said "I'm so concerned about this. Gang violence is wrecking our city".

Gimmie a break. I'm going to forward this blog post to all my friends and family to let them know how much of a fraud this mayor really is.

Kudos to you Gregor. The media gave you a tonne of "gang press" today. Let's hope it boosts your poll ratings.

Further to my last reply, I am in fact, I'm shocked that the mayor hasn't demanded an investigation into why the system couldn't handle his call.

Good questions!

"What is the 'cut off point' for leagalizing drugs?"

There is none. The regulation that should exist is that drugs should be sold in measured doses and, perhaps, it should be required that every sale include an informational bulletin concerning dosage, harm reduction, etc. As I said, up until 1891, there was a free market in drugs in British Columbia. I'm in the process of researching it, but, as far as I can tell, drugs were not a large problem. Indeed, I can find precious little information as to what prompted the "expedient public benefit" of granting a monopoly on the sale of opium to the University Pharmacists. Keep in mind that before 1891, anyone smart enough to run a pharmacy could open one, and the market would decide if he remained in business. Today, you have dullards whose only claim to fame is being able to memorize textbooks making scads of money.

And here is another reason why all drugs must be legalized: it is unlawful to grant to any body of individuals, such as university degree holders, a monopoly over a trade or profession, the sole exception, perhaps, being the administration of criminal justice. That is well-settled law, part of the Magna Carta clause beginning nullus liber homo. And before anyone pooh-poohs that, I invite such a one to go down to the Law Courts: the only legal document they have on permanent display on the wall is Magna Carta, June 15 1215.

It is a fundamental right for anyone to open up as a chemist, apothecary, dispensing chemist, chemist and druggist, call it what you will. To give the monopoly on the exercise of those trades to the University-degreed is properly called tyranny. Further, if the idiotic public only wants to use University-educated pharmacists, nothing will stop the University-educated from proudly displaying their crackerjack degrees on the wall, and nothing will stop the idiotic public from demanding the false sense of security provided by those degrees.

"Or are you ready to include all 'designer' drugs that will keep popping up. I have zero problem with legalizing pot, but a lot of the violence isn't just over the pot trade, but meth, heroin, crack."

Yes, for the aforesaid legal reasons, but also because such drugs will continue to be used: as you seem to understand, they are lucrative. So, we have the evil triumvirate of meth, heroin and crack. Leaving aside how bad they are for people and community (alcohol is worse, according to a recent study by Nutt, et al. in the Lancet), consider where you want the money going from that market. Do you want it going to registered business owners who pay taxes, or do you want it going to gangsters who purchase AK-47s and pay no taxes? The notion that any regime of prohibition will eliminate the demand for heroin, cocaine and meth is naive and, to be honest, at this point, retarded. It is also immoral to suggest that your dietary preferences should be law. It is possible to use meth, heroin and cocaine recreationally and in a responsible manner. Is it my cup of tea? Nope. Is it yours? Probably not. Should our preferences be Law? Absolutely not.

"And I disagree people will only buy what they can afford. We see that now - people stealing in order to support their habit."

For people who are actually addicted and in poverty, that is where a prescription system comes in. I know, to many working-class retards, the thought of their precious tax dollars being used to treat addicts with drugs smacks of unfairness---they should suffer in the gutter like the scum they are. But for those of us who've reviewed the research, there is simply no excuse for not providing prescription drugs to addicts. Further, as many addicts are looking for an effect obtainable by many different drugs, prescriptions for addicts would allow the substitution of safer drugs for the street-drugs to which people unfortunately become addicted. To anyone who has a problem with a prescription system, you should realize that impoverished addicts who steal to support their addiction are not "living the dream." They're not living high on the hog at your expense. They're victims of over a century of abusive, unlawful conduct by the University educated, and what is even more insulting is that the abusive, unlawful conduct of the Convocation Critters has been sold to the public as a "benefit."

I challenge any pharmacist to explain to me how it is to my benefit that I cannot buy opium for cash on the line if I am in pain, especially when his monopoly on opium sales comes at the price of gun violence, higher homicide rates and enrichment of organized crime networks. And that's not the conclusion from some stoner group:

"the existing evidence
suggests that gun violence and high homicide rates are likely a natural consequence of drug prohibition and that increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting Canadian gangs involved in drug distribution could unintentionally
increase violence. From an evidence-based public policy perspective, gun violence and the enrichment of organized crime networks appear to be natural consequences of drug prohibition."
http://www.cfenet.ubc.ca/publications/effect-drug-law-enforcement-drug-related-violence-evidence-scientific-review-uhri-repor

As I said before, it's time to get smart on drugs and stop allowing the University-educated, who are in many cases addicted to large salaries that are only possible due to prohibition and their monopolies on doing certain sorts of work, to run the commons for their own benefit, like head of cattle. Their gravity train is a clear and present danger to the community.

The mayor's version of events if VERY fishy. Couldn't reach 911? Hmmm...why did nobody else in the neighbhorhood report this problem?

I bet he thought it would help him get some great news coverage if he said he called 911 to report this. What a load of bull$h*$. This guy is like a Pinocchio mayor. His nose is stretching each day.

When is the election?

boohoo,

The fact is that most gun murders in this city are gang related. So, statistically you have a better chance of being in the wrong place in a wider area (Oak Street, Gastown, 1st Avenue in Kits, Oakridge, Marpole, etc.) at the wrong time any time a gun murder is going down. Or a knife attack, I presume.

It's not like there a few dozen of these hoods out there. Schinder Kirk will tell you that there are thousands of these armed idiots jauntily driving around town. No, they might not always pull a gun, but I've seen several instances where they all jump out of cars with baseball bats and go after another vehicle.

Really, you need to get out more often. I'll even loan you my Kevlar!

LOL!

Just heard one wag ask if the guns used in the commission of this crime were registered.

Funny, if it weren't so damned sad.

from eComms web site:
•Answers 95% of 9-1-1 calls on the first ring (less than 5 seconds) on an annual basis
•The system has many levels of redundancy

AND the FOI contact is:
FOI Officer
3301 East Pender Street
Vancouver, BC V5K 5J3
Fax: 604-215-3933

Here is what I suspect little boy Gregor did. He woke up to CKNW, heard the story, realized it was in his 'hood, thought he should appear 'mayoral like' and tough on crime so rather than admit he did nothing he cooked up the bit about calling 911...makes him look involved, concerned, TOUGH neighborhood watch guy. But as quickly as the words come out of his mouth he realizes the next question will be "then what happened" so just as quickly he comes up with the busy signal story and then changes that to say he was on hold and never spoke to anyone. Yuh huh. And how's the 'solve homelessness' thing coming along?
All I am saying is I will put hard money down that this is fabricated bunk - dollars to donuts. The man is a fraud - and this is just another bookmark in the story that started with not paying his transit fare and ends....???

@angry,

No thanks, I prefer to not let fear drive my life.

Oh and a few stats, not to burst your bubble...but yeah.

350 automobile fatalities in 2008--a six year low! All of which I would presume are 'random' as opposed to hits.

http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2009PSSG0018-000230.htm

225 workplace injuries in 2008 as reported by worksafe BC. Again, I would presume all are random.

http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/reports/statistics_reports/assets/pdf/stats2009.pdf

And:

58 murders in 2008, unsure how many were innocent bystanders but certainly a minority. Nor are they all gang related.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/article971070.ece

So...yeah. Sorry about this.

He probably dialed 311 because he wanted to bolster the service's stats.

I agree with most of your analysis, but I'll bet that he came up with the "line was busy" story when he realized (or someone told him) that all REAL 911 calls are recorded.

really? my posts are censored now?

Yet another hypocritical pipe-dream of a soundbite from a stupid or guilty conscience.

No Vancouver or West End resident wants your opinion or what you think about anything anymore. Please take another very, very long trip to China – where your (Bethune) ideology is still enforced - if you feel unwanted as you are here. You have no credibility left here.

So you don't approve of gang violence in your own back yard? You know nothing of the history of West End where your unwanted, unnecessary, rezoning but (for you) ultimately lucrative, palm-greasing development will result in only exponential carnage. The real consequence is violence against West End residents. If that isn't gang violence, what is? You and your cronies are sickening hypocrites.

Or lost in the abyss? Apologies if that's true.

Shame, angry I had some stats showing your fear isn't based on reality!

With idiots like boohoo around, this city will just continue to sink into the muck.

"Gang violence is an issue, but relative to other issues for me it's near the bottom of the list."

Idiotic to the point of being unbelievable.

Anybody catch the CBC national tonight. They gave Gregor all the "gang press" he so desperately seeks.

Gregor 1: National Broadcaster 0

Not an ounce of research. Not a critical question. Nope, CBC soaked up every bit of acting Gregor gave them. Gregor the crime fighter! How outrageous. And to think our taxes pay for that tv station.

Comments with hyperlinks get caught in the spam filter quite often. I found yours and published, boo.

John,

It's easy to insult me, but have a look at the statistics I provided. How is my view idiotic when faced with hard numbers?

Mayor G dialed 910 or 991 or ?
That's why he got the busy signal!

No one is disputing that you're more likely to die in a traffic accident than from gang violence. The issue is that gang violence is more or less totally preventable, by cutting off the funding that these kids use to buy guns. It's all drug money. Do you think there are just "criminal types" out there who enjoy violence for the heck of it?

This is what happens when you force a billion+ dollar industry underground: the people in that trade make do.

It's fallacious to suggest we need to pick dealing with automobile related preventable injury over gang violence. Both can be dealt with, and both ought to be dealt with. I somehow suspect that your dispassionate statistical analysis would fail to comfort you were a family member an innocent bystander caught in crossfire.

Bigger fish to fry than the inability of the civil authority to keep the peace within the city limit? Right, OK!

Busy signal or not? Most media outlets are reporting today the mayor got a busy signal when he called 911. Yet we're also being told that Robertson was quoted saying he got through to 911, but was put on hold.

Did anyone actually hear Robertson say that he was put on hold? If so, which media outlet reported that?

If someone does call 911 and is put on hold, there will be a record of that call at the emergency centre...even if they didn't speak to an operator. It's something we can look into, but only if we can determine that Robertson did in fact say he was put on hold, and not that he got a busy signal. Anyone with info can let us know.

booboo,

Your own stats belie your insinuations. From the link you provided (April 9, 2009):

'There were 58 murders in the Metro Vancouver region last year, compared with 41 in 2007. There have been 10 so far this year.(NOTE: WHERE ARE THE 2009 STATS?)

Not all are directly gang-related but police believe most are when killings tied to the street-drug trade are included.

But it's the gun deaths that have put residents especially on edge'

This is from the info you provided. 'Most (murders) are (gang related)'. It went on to say that John van Dongen, then Solicitor General was looking at all stats.

Regardless, there is a pattern of gun murders--that is, pre-meditated, gang oriented shoot-outs. Because they are pre-meditated, it makes them all the more heinous when innocent bystanders get caught up in the mayhem.

Quite unlike the unfortunate car related deaths that I am going to guess are mostly about people not realy aiming to take anyone out, but who are not paying attention, talking on acell, drunk or stoned.

To even try to draw a line between car accidents as a measure against pre-meditated gang-land murder (58 in 2008!) is very, very disturbing to me.

Perhaps you should talk to a counsellor about this rather cold, callous attitude and your theories of moral relativism.

"It's fallacious to suggest we need to pick dealing with automobile related preventable injury over gang violence. Both can be dealt with, and both ought to be dealt with."

If people were more attentive to traffic laws, drove with due care and attention, or chose the bus whenever possible, the police could spend more time chasing gangs and less time dealing with traffic infractions and serious accidents.

Oh. Dear. God.

Chris Keam, ladies and gentlemen! Here to push his smug transit/bike message, in the midst of gunshot chaos.

If you just all bought a Metro pass, why, we could get those nasty drug dealing meatheads off our streets in no time flat---and, be able to get to Capers in time for the Quinoa Festival!

Cripes, whatever would we do without these one-note wonders? The upside: listening to Keam's and boohoo's 'reasoning', is like an enema for the mind!

@ William James

It was hard to follow your rant. Could you restate it for me. What zoning policy are you opposed to and why you think it will increase gang violence in the west end.

It is paramount for BC to get gangs under control before they destroy the social fabric as has happened in large swaths of the US. But the gang violence seems to be a lot worse outside Vancouver than inside.

Getting control of gang violence also means getting the drug trade under control as it is drug money that is the fuel.

To pretend this is a Vancouver issue or one that the mayor or chief of police can solve on their own is stupid. It is a provincial and even a federal issue.

Steven,

I don't understand why you keep trying to fob the issue of local gang violence off on the prov/fed governments. Yes, there may be problems with them elsewhere but you seem to be using that as a reason for Vancouver not to deal with it's own problem. Do you really think that both the mayor and the police chief should just shrug and say that it's up to someone else to deal with? What a cop out! Sorry, but if the plan is for us all to just sit around waiting for the cavalry to show up, we may as well cede the city to the gangs now.

Before you decide that a mayor can't do anything about gang violence, I suggest you take a look at Dianne Watts' record.

angry,

I don't know where the 2009 stats are, that's why I used 2008 stats for all 3. I don't know why you need to yell your question either...?

Yes, gun murders are perhaps 'scarier' than workplace accidents, car crashes, etc... But my point was if you're running around in a kevlar vest with your head on a swivel, I assume it's because you're afraid of being killed. And if that's true, then statistically, you're doing it wrong.

@CoCo this is the same council that later today is voting on CRTC policy and a motion about Macleans magazine and their "too Asian" article. Clearly they don't have a problem swaying into other jurisdictions when needed. Why doesn't Forth slam that for a change?

Oh and see where you said there are 58 'pre-meditated gang-land murders', that's not true either. It didn't break it down like that. Half those could be scorn lovers.

"When it happens in your own neighbourhood, it's a shock," said Robertson.

Does it matter which neighbourhood it happens in? Would it be less shocking if it happened on the East side???

@Ranting when necessary.

There were over 40,000 traffic tickets handed out in Vancouver in 2010. It's clear that there is an opportunity for individuals to help the police allocate resources towards serious crimes... and it won't require great gobs of extra funding or manpower.

The Quinoa Festival. Sweet.

Mr. Robertson on CBC Early Edition this morning:
"We've had a lot of meetings to talk about this."

Then he pointed the finger at other regional, provincial and federal governments. The problem will be solved when they spend more money doing more of the same, only better.

I feel safe now.

If you can't trust the Observer, who can you trust?

"I had "a rotten sinking feeling," he said. Robertson picked up the phone and dialed 911, but the number was busy because so many neighbours had also called. Robertson refused to comment on his involvement once police arrived on the scene."


http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/news/2010/12/13/mayor-robertson-outraged-weekend-gang-shooting

Cell-phone call #2: Joel, thank God you're OK. It's me. Greg. Gregor Robertson. Right, in Vancouver. Listen Joel, you need to go in the panic room right now. There's a f**king tar sands hit squad coming for me. Remember what you said about taking care of my family? Hello? Joel?

LOVE it!! Thinking it maybe went down like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnfbhdELQLA

Best line comes from the Province crime reporter. He said on NW yesterday while this mayor has been focused all on green, there is now red all over the streets. Shame Mr. Robertson. Shame.

When are these cops going to start following the money?
The first thing I took from this story was that Best Neighbors restaurants is a gang front. It's all about money laundering.
They are busy following guns and bodies when they should be following the money.

Migz restaurant on broadway. Former owner Miguel Rodriguez got his head blown out at 33rd and Arbutus a couple of years ago. Ding Ding. The restaurant was a money laundering opp/drug front.

Platinum car wash at 5th and Pine. Daddy dearest/wife of owner pays a border guard $50k to skip the detention centre and head back to Iran a couple of years ago.
Hmmm....wonder why the coffee shop is open at 6pm on a Sunday in a deserted industrial area while the car wash is closed? Ding Ding. Money laundering/drug front.

Forget the bodies and start following the money.

The other thing about Robertson's statements to the press that makes me nuts is the way he says that our gang violence isn't like it is in the US. I guess he means in places like Compton, Detroit, St. Louis or Baltimore - you know, all those other 'world class' cities.

And what does that have to do with our gang problems anyway? I'm sorry they have their troubles but pointing out someone who is worse off than you does nothing towards resolving your own problem. It's a bit like an alcoholic who thinks they're drinking isn't a problem because they know someone else who drinks more.

Failure of leadership? They're all just re-cycling their talking points from the last time.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0641180720090306

Solution? "Toughen" the anti-gang laws (result: longer sentences in prison, where there are no gangs); hire more police (their union supported Vision); do nothing about drug policy; in short, more of the same failed policies.

Take Mexico, for example (as the article suggests). Police death squads, armoured personnel carriers, summary executions, barrios armed to the teeth, hundreds of murders, everybody on the take. Current policy taken to its logical conclusion and still a complete failure.

Advice to the public? Run for cover.

Police sources would neither confirm nor deny that they found the Mayor hiding under his bed wearing a Glenn Beck t-shirt with the slogan: "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?".

Reading this on CKNW:

Weekend shooting gets political
VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980)
Janet Brown | Email news tips to Janet
12/14/2010


Opposition Councillor Suzanne Anton says Vancouver's mayor is not taking the gang problem seriously enough.

After the past weekend's mass shooting she says Gregor Robertson never bothered to show up to a meeting on gangs called earlier this year by Surrey's Mayor.

She also says Vision Vancouver needs to better fund the police department so more officers can be hired, "The police force is short 80 people, it's short 60 uniformed officers and it's short 20 civilian staff. And that's not because they're not authorized; they are authorized but they're not funded and this Mayor has chosen not to fund them."

Anton says the shooting, just blocks from the Mayor's house, should be a wake-up call for Robertson to put citizens' safety at the top of his priority list.

Meanwhile, responding to claims from Councillor Anton that Vision Vancouver won't give police the funds to hire more officers, Councillor Raymond Louie says Anton is just trying to score cheap political points, "There's no proposition before us about funding 60 officers, she's plucked this number out of the air. I'm not sure where she gets it from but the voting record is really what you should be looking at."

Louie says Vision has voted to increase the police budget every year while Anton has voted against it. He says Vision continues to call for a regional police force to help deal with gang problems, adding Anton and the NPA haven't made their position clear on that issue.

*********

Now, I am pretty sure that I read in the MSM that Vision did not fund the police this year for new hires. They placed a hiring freeze on for 4 years.
And, our fire fighters are facing shortfall as well.

Check out Quadra Liberal MP Joyce Murray's tweet!!!!!!

"8 Vancouver's shooting spree victims still in hospital, our thoughts are with them. Wishing a speedy recovery and resolution of this crime"

Is that part of the Gregor/Iggy alliance to get them good gang press!!!!!

Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!

"All I am saying is I will put hard money down that this is fabricated bunk - dollars to donuts. The man is a fraud - and this is just another bookmark in the story that started with not paying his transit fare and ends....???"

Turns out the Mayor wasn't making things up, contrary to Omishiroi's rant -- according to the live feed of CC tweets running on this site.

Now the question is whether Omi is as good as his/her word. I'd suggest a donation to the Food Bank would be appropriate.

Mike! Are you going to let Joyce Murray get away with this tweet.

It's magically disappeared after being there for a day!

She makes Andrea Reimer look like Mark Twain!

Hey CK - I still dont see any contra evidence. But I'll give $5 to any charity supported by Alex T - how's that?

Omi:

From CityCaucus' Twitter Feed:

# E-Comm tells @cknw that even a fender bender in Vancouver can overwhelm the 911 emergency lines. Huh? about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

# E-comm admits their system was overwhelmed. That's why Mayor Robertson was put on hold when he reported gang shooting about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

$5.00 is hard money? Talk is cheap I guess.

Utter nonsense This is fabricated gibberish. No name for the source at Ecomm, nothing from CKNW website (check it yourself) nothing other than some quips on a twitter feed. If the 911 system was overloaded there would have ben incident reports generated to support the claim and none have materialized. As well, the Ecomm switch has software that records dropped calls and calls that come in and receive busy signal ( ie like any basic call centre). Anxious to see some serious follow up on this issue

I can't think of a reason for City Caucus to spread incorrect information in this regard. If you take issue with their reporting Skippy then you should definitely request additional information.

Transcript of 1 pm newscast on CKNW:

News Anchor: When that weekend shooting on Oak Street happened, 60 people called 9-1-1, including the mayor of Vancouver.

With most people carrying a cell phone, even a fender bender can result in a barrage of calls to the emergency communications center where all the 9-1-1 calls go.

Spokesperson Jody Robertson says it can be frustrating for callers to wait in a queue to speak with an operator, as was the case for the mayor.

Gregor Robertson: There are times when someone may have to wait and it all depends on the number of calls that come in at the same time.

In this particular case that happened on the weekend there was almost 60 all at exactly the same time.

News Anchor: Robertson says, how long people have to wait in that queue depends on the information callers have.

Robertson: We need to make sure that we appropriately speak with every caller to ascertain as much critical information as we can.

well CK as I mentioned earlier if a small local incident can overwhelm 911 we should all be concerned - if the mayor had functioning grey matter of his own he would be furious.
Now about that contribution - I have donated $20 to roadJustice.ca....in your name. Have a good ride to work today!

PS - I was about to donate $50 but I deducted to accommodate the donation I already made to the Hornby bike lanes - $3.2 million / 100,000 (est) property tax payers = $32 each.

"Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!"

You called someone a 'fraud' and a liar, without evidence or forethought Omi. Just another example of why one is more likely to get better information from the op-ed column of a high school newspaper compared to an anonymous, unrestrained Internet commenter.

And yet here you are, again and again and again.

"Asses are made to bear, and so are you."
- Taming of the Shrew, II, i

Odd thing is Robertson initially said he got a busy signal,not that he was put on hold and that his call was subsequently taken by a 911 operator...or was it? Did he stay on the line did he hang up..?? Is there an actual recording of his 911 call. I note too that in CKNW's story, there is no confirmation from Ecomm that the mayor called but rather the reporter simply assumes Robertson to be telling the truth. Again, no indepedent follow up or confirmation of the Mayor's very odd and seemingly changing claim.

Egads. . . . It's like listening to tea party birthers constantly extolling the president was not born in the U.S.

Yes I had considered that. I do not question Roberson's legitimacy (as the birthers do Obama's), but rather his leadership ability and quite frankly common sense. Robertsons glib and soemtimes vapid statememnts are also not vigoroulsy investigated by the press. The fact of wheter he did or did not call 911 is trivial given that 10 people were shot in the manner they were but this very trivial question is being discussed because Robertson included the detail in a press conference on a very weighty issue. Again, where's leadership and common sense.

"Just another example of why one is more likely to get better information from the op-ed column of a high school newspaper compared to an anonymous, unrestrained Internet commenter."

It's lovely to see one unrestrained Internet commenter berating another...kind of poetic.

Feel free to point out where and when I've called somebody a liar and a fraud and then had to backtrack.

You're absolutely correct Keam, my apologies...if you called someone a fraud and a liar, no matter how wrong you were, you'd never backtrack.

"Never ever admit you're wrong"
- Chris Keam, from his book "Way of the Keam"

http://www.vancouversun.com/Four+callers+waited+more+than+minutes+answer+Comm/3989056/story.html

exerpts:

Of the roughly one million 911 calls E-Comm has received so far this year, 95 per cent were answered within five seconds or less and 99 per cent were answered within 16 seconds.

Perhaps his honour dialed 3-1-1 by accident?

Interesting article this morning from CBC...

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/12/16/bc-progress-board-report-crime-poverty.html?ref=rss

I'll love to see how Robertson spins himself out of this one.

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