"Dumb and Dumber" is now playing at 12th and Cambie cinemas
It's rare that our team will take an editorial from the mainstream media and post it here in its entirety, but that's what we're doing today. That's because we feel an editorial written by The Province newspaper captures what many people are thinking after the farce of a council meeting that took place earlier this week.
If you recall, Mayor Gregor limited the NPA opposition leader Suzanne Anton to only 5 minutes of questioning regarding Robertson's Riot. Meanwhile, he allowed over 50 minutes of puffball questions and pontification from members of his own caucus. It's been compared to watching a bunch of backbenchers roast their own Premier in Question Period over the budget.
When Anton attempted to ask for a few more minutes to grill His Worship and staff regarding their role in the riot preparations, Robertson simply shut off her microphone and moved on to the next item on the agenda.
Here is an unedited copy today's editorial (bold emphasis ours):
Of course it's about politics, stupid
One of the dumbest comments to come out of Vancouver City Hall in many years — and that's saying a lot — was blathered Tuesday by Vision Coun. Geoff Meggs when he accused his Non-Partisan Association opponent, Suzanne Anton, of engaging in "petty politics" for trying to get the mayor to answer questions about the Stanley Cup riot.
If anyone knows anything about politics it's Meggs and the rest of his visionary pals, whose own politics are so petty they spend more time worrying about front-yard wheat fields and backyard chickens that they apparently don't have time to make sure the city is managed properly.
Mayor Gregor Robertson, Meggs and the rest of the Vision Vancouver eco-activists masquerading as civic politicians are reaping what they've sowed.
The mayor's incompetent decision to invite what became an estimated 150,000 people to party in the streets without taking serious interest in how it would be policed was itself an act of "petty politics."
He was hoping the Canucks would win the Cup so he could lead the victory parade and enjoy new support.
Everything this mayor does is about politics, including handpicking city manager Penny Ballem, whose total lack of previous experience in municipal government is now showing.
Anton is asking what many Vancouver voters are asking: If Robertson took so little interest in the policing plan that night — bizarrely he still hasn't demanded that his police chief reveal how many cops were on duty — is he really competent to run the city? No wonder he doesn't want to answer questions.
And then there's Robertson's arrogance, not to mention his continued disdain for democracy, in turning off Anton's microphone after five minutes, citing council's regular rules.
The first meeting of council after the riot should have been an open discussion by all the councillors about why it happened. Instead, Vision shut down discussion to get on with voting for those wheat patches and the rest of the $100,000 in taxes they're transferring to their eco-buddies. Petty politics, indeed.
Also noteworthy is the Vancouver Sun sounding off on the independent review process now supported by the provincial government.
[To be able to answer the questions about why the riot happened], Doug Keefe, the former deputy attorney-general of Nova Scotia and the better known John Furlong, former head of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, will have to show greater curiosity than that evidenced so far by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
...That number [of police on the streets] has rightly become a focus of public attention, however, because of the refusal of Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu to reveal it and Robertson's assertion that it really is not part of what he needs to know to carry out his responsibility as mayor.
While it is inevitable that in an election year, much of the debate at city hall about the riot has become overly political, it is also true that just as he happily rode the wave of positive publicity on the way to the Stanley Cup, Robertson must take responsibility for the ugly ending.
This happened in his city, under [Robertson's] watch.
...it should go without saying, given the reticence of Robertson and Chu to discuss details, it has to be said that the review must lay out publicly all of the assumptions made in the planning for Game 7.
This review is as much about restoring confidence in our civic authorities as it is in discovering what went wrong.
In the third week since the Stanley Cup riot, the debate in the media and in the public is as strong as it was the day after the tragic events of June 15th. It will continue unabated until Mayor Gregor demonstrates leadership, and admits the buck stops with him.