Will Mayor Gregor apply the same standard to himself he has others? Photo: Vancouver Sun
In February of 2008, when the homeless count in Vancouver stood at 1,580 people, Gregor Robertson declared he was running for Mayor. As the Province reported then:
Robertson said yesterday he wants to be mayor of Vancouver because homelessness has reached "a state of emergency" and he can "no longer stand by in good conscience."
Speaking to more than 100 cheering supporters at the Vancouver Museum, Robertson accused Mayor Sam Sullivan of "failing" the people of Vancouver.
This morning Metro Vancouver announced the results from the 2011 homeless count and compared it to their count in 2008. Their press release states that, after three years of Mayor Robertson's tenure, "statistically, the number of homeless remains virtually the same."
In Vancouver proper, homelessness has actually increased, up from 1,580 in 2008 to 1,605 in 2011, according to Metro Vancouver's detailed preliminary report.
The Mayor is entitled to take credit for convincing the Province to fund emergency shelters that have helped save lives and connect some people to badly needed services.
But if Mr. Robertson honestly believed in 2008 that the Mayor had failed the people of Vancouver when the homeless count in our city stood at 1,580 people, then he must admit he too has failed the people of Vancouver now that it stands higher, at 1,605.
Unable to admit the facts he once politicized to get into office, Mayor Robertson states on the City's website today that: “It's great news to see a decrease in the number of homeless people in Vancouver ..." despite the fact that there has been no decrease.
Tragically, under Mr. Robertson, the "state of emergency" he decried just three years ago has only gotten worse. And unfortunately for the homeless he once championed, today he calls that sad reality "Great News!"
- Post by Sean Bickerton. Sean is a city council candidate for the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association (NPA). If you're an elected official or candidate seeking a nomination and want to write about urban issues, please send your 450-500 word submission to CityCaucus@gmail.com.