Vancouver media gag policy creates Pyongyang City Hall

Post by Mike Klassen in


Has Vision's crackdown on communication from City Hall gone too far?

It was a delicious bit of radio to wake up to this morning. On the CKNW Morning News, host Philip Till spoke with NW News reporter Charmaine De Silva about the gag order choking normally available civil servants at Vancouver City Hall.

Yesterday reporter Janet Brown reported on comments made by Mayor Robertson on the information crackdown taking place under his watch. Gregor, never one to actually own an issue, deflected blame onto the City Manager, saying "he understood that it was a best practice" and that the new policy will make City Hall "more efficient."

There was plenty of gagging of another sort by media when they heard this nonsense from Mayor Gregor.

So this morning veteran journalist Philip Till described how Vancouver has "taken a leaf out of the book of the Kremlin." Till should know, as he's been to virtually every despotic regime on the planet during his career. As De Silva and Till agree, this clampdown on media access and freedom of information begs the question, "what are they hiding?" Listen to this clip below (mp3):

It was astute of De Silva to recall that this mess really started when Mayor Robertson quietly approved renovating his own office for $240,000 last August. He went AWOL when the media wanted to talk to him. Till wraps up the conversation saying that "it's not Vancouver City Hall, it's Pyongyang City Hall." This is a great reputation our city is gaining under Vision Vancouver's watch.

It's no wonder Paul Hancock left when he did. We have to ask whether new Director of Communications Mairi Welman knew what she was entering into before starting down her career path at the City.

Whether it's the Kremlin or the capital of North Korea, Vancouver certainly has a shadow cast over it by this Mayor and his unaccountable Vision/COPE council.

- post by Mike


I don't mind City Caucus attacking a policy if said policy is not conducive to democracy and good governance. However, this particular piece features a member of the blogging media (Mike Klassen) writing about an interview conducted by another member of the media (Philip Till) in which he interviews yet another member of the media (Charmaine Da Silva).

There have already been a number of blogs from C.C. commenting on the flow of information from City Hall, some dealing very well with the process itself.

Here though we have media commenting on media interviewing other media ...

am I the only one who finds this particular piece a bit tedious?

Aahhh, but the picture is pure City Caucus brilliance. Can we get it on a T-shirt?

Douglas, are you suggesting that a piece on the city's new policy for dealing with media should not include reference to comments from people in the media?

Who should the blog post rely on? Arborists? A little input from some baristas? May a tidbit from some commercial fishermen?

there are already better pieces addressing the facts (already known) on earlier blogs. Frankly it is the navel gazing aspect of media with nothing new to add that gets to me. Frankly the long and short of this piece in my opinion is that it exists solely to deliver the Pyongyang one liner

But I totally agree with 'Red' - the image should be a t-shirt. Save the verbage and just print the picture... worth 1000 words right there - which is more than you'll otherwise get out of Gregor and co.!

Apparently so!

This mayor is a toad - when is the next election and when can we get rid of these weasels???

wouldn't it look cooler with Penny's face?

Classic, Klassen! This is but one of the many Vision 'intolerables' that deserves to be complained about, loudly and continually by media AND citizens. Democracy matters and we should fight for it.

Funny, I've been comparing VV's style to North Korea for some time now. What I can't get over is how Vision campaigned on the very opposite.

Check out!

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