“Please don't throw me under the bus, Gregor!” City Engineering staff horsing around
In perhaps one of the biggest breaks in protocol during this term of government, COPE Councillor practically "threw City staff under a bus" in order to defend Mayor Gregor Robertson in a CKNW radio interview this afternoon. In a two minute clip we've taken from the exchange between host Mike Smyth and David "Carbon" Cadman it's as though the COPE councillor is using the term "staff" as though it's a curse word.
Listen to how many times David spits "staff" in the following recording. Just imagine it was a drinking game and you had to have a shooter each time Cadman says the word, you'd be out cold by the end. The recording features the remarks of a caller who says he hopes Mayor Gregor Robertson is voted out of office. Cadman quickly runs to the defense of his political coalition partner (mp3):
Neither Vision, nor the COPE party which helped them form government want to carry any responsibility for the so-called "Protest Tax" bylaw aimed at Falun Gong protesters. However, you can be absolutely sure that not only did Penny Ballem, Robertson's hand-picked City Manager, give the report her full blessing, it would have never been put to council without the approval of Mike Magee, Gregor's chief of gaffe.
Now it seems Vision are in a panic to reassure their members that they're not against civil rights, despite the heavy criticism of their new bylaw. An email blast delivered by Vision Vancouver party organizers today was meant to cool down angry party supporters. The obvious question though is why only contact party members?
Why does this Vision Vancouver government continue to shut out other Vancouver citizens in yet another decision? Here's the e-blast sent out to Visionistas:
Last night at City Council, Vision councillors heard a staff report on regulating protest structures in the City of Vancouver. There is a lot of misinformation floating around about what the language in that report means, and we at Vision want to make our position clear.
Protests and free speech are part of the culture of our city. They are part of the culture of our party. We will not accept changes to the law that restrict these critical social expressions.
The staff report on protest structures has come to city council because of a BC Supreme Court ruling around the Falun Gong protest hut on Granville. We are working to abide by the court's decision. For us to do it in a way that reflects the wishes of the city as a whole, we need your help.
Right now, Gregor and the Vision councilors have a lot of questions and concerns about the scope of the proposed changes. City council will not vote on these changes until April 19th. Between now and then, we need your feedback. Read the report and then tell us what you think.
You can email us at info@vøtevision.ca. Please feel free to forward this request to individuals and groups that you think have a stake in this decision. We need to get the broadest possible input.
Gregor was clear yesterday when he said “Vancouver is a free speech zone”. Work with us to make sure that happens.
So, if you're a Vision Vancouver member, naturally Robertson & co. want to consult you. If you're a member of the general public, well, not so much...
How City staff will continue to handle the disrespect doled out by COPE's Cadman and his coalition partners in Vision is another matter. Vision and COPE think they have a free ride going into the 2011 election with the future of the NPA uncertain. If there is one group you don't want to mess with it's the people who actually do the work to run the City of Vancouver.
Criticizing staff is a no-no for elected officials. I can't see how Mayor Gregor wouldn't require an apology from his COPE ally immediately over his careless remarks.
- post by Mike. Follow @MikeKlassen & @CityCaucus on Twitter.