Mayor Gregor's congratulatory note to Premier Clark was wrapped in a lead balloon
With the dust now settling from last night's leadership convention, BC's premier-designate Christy Clark is beginning to receive a number of best wishes from across the country. It's normal protocol for elected leaders of all stripes to drop their swords and be gracious when someone steps into this type of position. As we all know, it won't be long before we return to the cut and thrust of the political world.
Clark has already received phone calls and emails from leaders across the country including the Prime Minister. One of the first politicians out of the gate was none other than former NDP MLA and Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. Instead of just sending a short congratulatory message to BC's new Premier, he sent out what many consider as a very classless news release which isn't going over so well in the blogosphere.
Robertson fired off his letter shortly after the results were revealed. In it he states:
We’re at a point in time where BC faces a number of crucial challenges, whether it’s a lack of affordable housing, adequate public transportation, or a clear plan for creating jobs and keeping our province competitive. These are some of the issues we’re dealing with in Vancouver and I know other municipalities across BC are grappling with as well.
My hope is that as Premier, Christy will waste no time in meeting these challenges head-on, and will seek a new level of collaboration with BC municipalities. I look forward to working closely with her on the issues that matter not just to Vancouver but to people throughout the Metro region and our province.
Could Gregor not have waited even a few days before sending the new Premier his policy wish list? Why did he need to include this in his congratulatory message? I spoke to a number of BC Liberal members earlier today and they are all scratching their heads wondering what the strategy was behind this - assuming there was one.
Wouldn't it have been better for Mayor Gregor to simply congratulate Clark then request a meeting as quickly as possible? That would have offered him a good opportunity to deliver his message in person rather than through the news media.
When Jeff Lee from the Vancouver Sun posted his take of the Mayor's message on his blog, it quickly generated over 60 comments which looked and sounded a lot like this:
Juice Boy lecturing another politician. Now that is a ripe one. Perhaps Gregor if your own house was in order and backyard clean you might be listened to. Look a little further out in the valley and the City of Surrey. Now Gregor, who do you think the Premier is going to listen to!
Get your resume ready Juice Boy as you do not have much time as Mayor. - Sam
Hey Juice Boy...I hope you read these comments and can see the writing on the wall - Anonymous
Mr. Robertson, please just shut your mouth and mind your business... you still haven't clean up your bike lane mess and along with a long list of things! - Robertson's Victim
Vancouver taxpayer to mayor: get out of the city and go back to your island.
You have destroyed this beautiful city with your personal agenda for you and your friends. You WILL be leaving in November, but do the right thing and go now so we can rip up the cement "temporary" bike lanes that hamper emergency response vehicles so your 10 friends can ride around the city with their foul mouths and road behaviours. - Van Tax
Ouch. Ouch. And double ouch. All those nasty comments resulted in Lee having to update his post at noon when he informed his readers:
Okay, so this little blog post, which was essentially written entirely around Mayor Robertson's Saturday night statement, has generated a lot of comments and traffic. Part of that is because of the headline, which sounds like the mayor was giving Clark marching orders. I don't think anybody reading the last paragraph of his statement would miss his concern about wanting to make sure municipal issues are met by Clark "head-on". But I also don't interpret that he was being critical of the new premier-designate. Why should he? He probably has a lot more in common with her than he does with Kevin Falcon or Gordon Campbell.
Not sure I agree with Lee on this one when he says Robertson and Clark have a lot in common. I've been a regular listener of the Christy Clark Show over the years and there does not appear to be any love lost between these two politicians. As radio host, Clark repeatedly took Gregor to task on a variety of issues including bike lanes, wasted tax dollars, Olympic Village and backyard chickens to name but a few. Maybe that could explain why he never found the time in his busy schedule to appear on her show. Contrast this to when Robertson was out in public promoting Gordon Campbell's threepeat.
Only time will tell if Premier Clark and Mayor Gregor see eye-to-eye on most policy issues. What's easier to confirm is that Vision's "congratulatory" news release is going over like a lead balloon with many of the rank and file.
- Post by Daniel