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