MSM Editorial: Robertson displays "arrogance" and "disdain for democracy"

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

55 comments

dumb and dumber
"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.

geoff-meggs 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.

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus. Or you can "like" us on Facebook at Facebook.com/citycaucus.

55 Comments

Maybe for the next council meeting they can all where T-shirts with arrows pointing at Geoff Meggs that say "I'm with stupid"!

Vancouver is not, or I hope it is not, a private company where the managers and major shareholders have captured the company and run it for their own political benefit not for the benefit of all the shareholders (ie voters).

Yet that is what seems to have happened. Establishing the roots of the riot decisions made by the city, call for impartiality and a judicial, impartial mind yet what we have are communications experts (or so it seems) already massaging the potential outcomes.

Bush league for a world class city.
-55-

From the Vancouver Charter

"Mayor's duties
208. The Mayor shall

To enforce law for government of city
(a) be vigilant and active at all times in causing the law for the government of the city to be duly enforced and obeyed;"

It's beyond politics. Gregor Robertson must resign.

I thought the Mayor put Anton in her place. She is so annoying.

Charlie,
Being annoying doesn't change the fact that she was right....

Gregor was arrogant and condescending with his handling of the situation, a total lack of dignity on his part.

She annoyed the Mayor by asking him to be a big boy and own his mistakes....hummm

Yes, one must shut down their critics. Democracy is for annoying losers right?

Charlie Harper, perhaps you need to check into rehab.

If you believe that any part of the 'Mayor's' behaviour was appropriate, then you are part of the problem this city currently faces.

The Mayor embarrassed himself - his true self is shining through and the media was there to witness it.

Councillor Anton handled herself with dignity and grace.

Mr. Mayor, please resign now and save us all those $$ for the multiple reviews and inquiries. Admit you made a big mistake and save us the weeks of headlines and nasty editorials. Do the right thing.

I'll tell you who's annoying. Rioters are annoying! In fact, rioters are a LOT more than just annoying.

Vancouver is very lucky that no one died on June 15th.

Gregor Robertson just RESIGN, RESIGN, RESIGN. And take all of your vision eco freaks with you while you're at it. We've had enough of your wackiness.

They are both annoying it's just that the Mayor is a bully.

Is there an anti bullying campaign at city hall?

I can't help think that if Councillor Anton wasn't a female, Robertson would not have treated her as he did.

Sweet, let's dig into the sewer some more and bring sexism into this.

You know I hear he hates black people too! (joke, everyone calm down)

This whole thing...my god, talk about blown out of proportion.

Gregor & Meggs are playing bully boy because they know had badly they screwed up the planning for the Live Site.

But these tow morons seem to have not learned the # 1 rule of politics.

It isn't the crime, it is the cover up that gets you in trouble.

And right now Gregor & Meggs are in 100% Cover-Up mode.

Rest assured we will find out what Mayor Moonbeam and Mr BC Federation of Labor goon Meggs are hiding.

boohoo,
some jokes are still in very bad taste...interesting how you manage to link gender and color...that wasn't a joke... funny Vision uses the race card a lot, when they cry foul..

In fact a Vision PB commissioner has used the "he treats me badly because I'm a woman card" she called the Georgia Straight and had them do an article..rolling eyes.

That was going overboard..there is a huge difference..Gregor, Kerry Jang, Geoff Meggs.. have always been very disrespectful to Suzanne Anton, all recorded.. the verbal abuse would never happen if the NPA Councillor were a man...

All incidents documented and available for viewing..

lol, always good for a laugh George.

".. the verbal abuse would never happen if the NPA Councillor were a man..."

Tell us more Kreskin!

boohoo

Can you prove otherwise?

only boohoo laughs....

as I said boo there is documentation for everything ...

Max,

Can I prove that IF Anton were a man Robertson would have treated her differently? How exactly would I go about proving that. I believe the burden of proof is on the one lobbing out the accusations.

George,

Where is the documentation showing that Anton would have been treated differently if she were a man. I would like to see that.

no boohoo

I stated that a Vision PB commissioner USED the press..

a second Vision PB Commissioner called the press and used the bully card...

Do your homework boohoo..

Anton did neither.. she did her job and Gregor behaved like an arrogant bully, as do the other Councillors I mentioned..

You can access any Council Meetings online and observe for yourself...

Then ask yourself this question.. If your wife/daughter was spoken to in this manor at work/school...

what would you think/say...think before you write a comment boohoo really think about it...

The amount of aggression displayed towards this woman is unacceptable... these men don't speak to each other in that manor... never, and I am always observing council meetings.

Now lets get back to you, what made you think it was acceptable to bring a tacky race comment into the discussion?

Here is the rub boohoo, you and I have had this exact conversation before.. and at that time I asked you exactly the same question...

what if it were your wife?

and what if I am black?

So where is the humor, I fail to see it.

George,

Sorry George, I guess when you wrote there's documentation for everything immediately after stating the 'abuse' wouldn't have happened if she were a man I assumed you were talking about that. Silly of me.

"The amount of aggression displayed towards this woman is unacceptable..."

Why do you bring up her sex as an issue? Provide some evidence for your accusation. I think we all agree they all act like idiots, but what does their sex have to do with it?



Pop Quiz: Do any Visionista's know what Canadian event is coming up next month that will feature over 6 hours of weekend coverage live from Vancouver?
CBS will be televising the event nationally, have a blimp overhead providing live shots of our city for 2 beautiful weekend afternoons. Perhaps a chance for a city to redeem a little bit of it's image?
Of course, the City is not making it very easy to prepare for. There is a ton of equiptment and seating that needs to be trucked in still. They've decided it's the perfect time to start a construction project on the only non-residential road in and out for the next few weeks (maybe more) leading up to it. And it's about as "green" and event as you can have.

Anyone want to guess what it is?

boohoo,

my irritation with you started with the race joke... my focus there for now..

I haven't received an answer nor an apology...I'm more offended by your racial context right now...

I can't converse with you at the moment, because that is something I take such offense to,

it hits very close to home...

Oh jeez George, it was clearly said in jest (I even spelled it out for you at the time) to show how silly it was to bring up the accusation of sexism without proof. I could have said he loves to eat puppies, hates the Dutch or anything else as ludicrous as my comment.

Just forget it, have a great long weekend.

boohoo

"LOL, always good for a laugh"

You are the self anointed proponent of serious and polite debate yet here you come straight out with a glib jibe clearly intended to provoke another spat with George. You make me think of one of those annoying little dogs that starts yapping over nothing and just won't stop and for which the best cure is a bucket of cold water!

Normally I'd think it over for ten minutes before posting something like this, which would be good advice for you, but in this case, WTF.

Is there recall at the civic level? Or should we just wait a few months for the election? I think I know my answer.

Good riddance Robertson.

When a serious topic comes up, I will debate seriously. I never said anything about polite ;) (Winky face means I'm joking fyi).

boohoo, shouldn't you be spending your time more productively like preparing those "On Strike" signs for the BCTF?

boohoo,
when it comes to race... it isn't a joke it is a deep seated prejudice.

Still fail to see the humor... and a smiley face does not make up for the inappropriate comment..rudeness you can work on, anger management has classes,skin color you can't change...

Your name is very ethnic sounding but I would never make a derogatory comment, nor would I use the word "hate and an ethnicity" in the same sentence..

As for having a nice week end... even your apology is sarcastic...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzTeLePbB08

boohoo is 'very ethnic' sounding??

Tell me you see the irony here.

George, if you can't see past your hangup and you think I'm a closet racist because you feel like I am, so be it.

Honestly, have a super weekend.

To answer rf's question
It' the Bell Canadian Open Golf Tournament. I believe the event in 2005 brought in 50,000 spectators.

@George and Boohoo - you two are at it again!

boohoo

I'm from a mixed race family..I have a black sibling.

If you had any decency you would apologize and then shut up..

Just as Gregor Robertson should have done..

George,

That's great. I've already explained my point--I could have said blue people, Australians, vegetarians, whatever. If you don't get it/choose to ignore it, so be it.

I agree. Robertson could have solved this easily by being engaged in the planning process and asking intelligent probing questions. Instead, two weeks after the fact he has done nothing. There are no results from him in terms of review, solutions or a way forward. He hides behind Clark’s skirt. Instead, through Robertson’s indifference to warnings as the VPB Chair, ignorance, arrogance and cowardice we see continued denial, deflection and obfuscation. What’s been blown out of proportion here is Robertson’s fear. Fear that the voters are on to his inability to perform the job we e we elected him to. That is now the story. His abject fear and cowardice. People see that he is not a leader and lacks integrity. That is now the story and the fact that he has blown this out of proportion continues to grow and fester because Robertson is a child in an adult's job.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for our fire fighters...this is an eye opener...Gregor should stop hiding..
this situation is only getting worse..

http://alexgtsakumis.com/2011/06/30/breaking-news-vancouver-city-manager-penny-ballem-plays-fire-department-boss/

And I believe you are the one suggesting that I was dredging the sewer by posting an observation.

So the burden of proof, that this was not a case of sexism falls into your court.

Moving forward -

Many men in power feel highly threatened by strong females. And especially those that question their authority and or decisions.

Robertson's over reaction is a bit telling.

How about you ask your wife how her male collegues react to confrontation by their female equals - especailly if they know they are wrong. And Anton is Robertson's equal whether Robertson chooses to recognize it as so or not.

I can tell you, this type of piss poor behaviour would be addressed and addressed quickly in the private sector. It bothers me to think this can play out in the public domain without reprecussion.

I've met Mike Klassen, and I can honestly state, Robertson would think twice about treating him in the same manner. Not because he is NPA and an adversary, but because he is a man. I don't even think Robertson would go after Meggs or Louie in this way.

Robertson is standing on the roof top waiving sparklers and showing his true colors.


To all the female voters out there - abuse comes in all forms and at all levels, regarldess of the 'packaging'. Remember this video clip - heck, pour through previous videos and see how Robertson and the other male councillors on Vision have belittled Anton and others voicing their opinions.

Come November, remember this and say 'No' to accepting this behavior in our City Hall.

Stop the bullying.

Stop it in its tracks.


We also have the National Out Games coming next month.

Vancouver won them this year due to the infrastructure the Olympics provided.

I found it interesting, that buried at the end of a Malcom Perry column in the Sun, he had a piece on the Manager, or VP, of London Drugs talking about the riots.

The London Drugs rep said that once the riot hit they executed their emergency plan and had new product and glass coming in overnight so they were able to open in the morning, only an hour and a half late.

This seems to say that London Drugs had a plan for riots. If London Drugs can see the need for a riot plan, how is it that our fair Mayor couldn't. Probably not a stretch to think that London Drugs is better managed than our city.

Booboo is a distraction artist, so one more time:


From the Vancouver Charter
"Mayor's duties
208. The Mayor shall
To enforce law for government of city
(a) be vigilant and active at all times in causing the law for the government of the city to be duly enforced and obeyed;"
It's beyond politics. Gregor Robertson must resign.

This is off topic but speaks to companies that are actually moving to being'green' without the need for city grants.

Local children's clothing company, Please Mum, has recently reinvented/introduced their new store concept: Karma Kameleon.

They are offering kids clothing that have been reconditioned/repurposed. These items are previously owned/lightly worn.

They have been triple washed and re-dyed. They are all, more or less unique and the items run from $4.99 - $14.99 (from what I saw)

There are only two locations of Please Mum offering these finds under this branding - West Broadway and Metrotown location.

For people with children, worth checking out!


Max,

You made the 'observation' that sexism was at play, you back it up. (Should I point out you're 'deflecting' from the conversation with your latest post? No, that's silly...)

I'm not distracting from anything. Newsflash (though I've said it 100 times), I don't care if Gregor resigns or not. He'll be replaced by the same thing in different clothes. Everyone is frothing at the bit to get rid of him without an ounce of thought as to his replacement. I've still heard nary a peep about what the NPA thinks on any topic, nor from any other candidate.

The problem is, Gerry, that there's no way to ensure they actually act in accordance with the Vancouver Charter, unless someone brings a private lawsuit against the Mayor or City, which the City's lawyers would vehemently defend the Mayor against using our tax dollars!

Consequently, they don't feel obliged to actually act in accordance with the Charter, and often violate it's express words.

I think Robertson would have handled Anton differently if she had been a man. I can't go that far with Meggs. He is rude and obnoxious regardless of who is in his way. What makes it worse is his smug arrogance that goes along with it.

@boohoo:

I've deflected in what way?

I think I have pretty well stated my thoughts on this matter, yet you have reverted back to the same old, same old boohoo, non-comment, comments.

Time to move on everybody.

What are we ALL going to do to make this City what it could be?

Remind ALL politicians (every party) that we pay their wages and we pay the bureaucrats, and we pay the civil servants.And all the bills.

And we want RESPECTFUL behaviour.
And solutions not rhetoric.

So on the topic of arrogance...

this is something I've been paying attention to for awhile now.

"Heather Deal
It was an emotional day in Council as we heard from people who live in deplorable conditions in DTES hotels. We granted injunctions
5 minutes ago via Twitter · Like · · @VanRealDeal on Twitter"

So it was an emotional day was it Heather... are we sure this isn't one of those Kerry Jang poke moments ;-) ;-)

I'll give you the back ground on my disgust with this scenario..

First really Heather, these conditions come as a surprise to you?

They sound just like the conditions that the three men on Pandora were experiencing before they died in that fire last Christmas... so what is different now?

Recently there was a great deal of media coverage on the revitalization of the Save on Meats....

Global covered it and if you watched closely, in the very corner of the shot when they showed the Save on Meats sign...was the name of one of the Hotels showcased today in Council..

Well we just watched as Council gave out grants for organizations for various things...

now don't get me wrong the Save on Meats is a stroke of genius.. even though heavily politicized..

Oprah even thinks so..

They have DTES residents working,minimum wage?? PHS's Pot Luck Cafe will be doing food service, there is composting on site... humm that will attract those rodents next door..from said SRO's

They have bike delivery service for linens... then recently I read the part about housing...

If an injunction is now in place and the landowner defaults the City takes over the property...for public housing..

Won't that make them look good when the Inquiry into the Pandora incident takes place??

What a warm thought, is it enough to distract from the riot fiasco?

I wish Heather Deal had shown that much compassion when 3 men died that were living in squaller, or when she bragged about her lobster dinner....

Just once I wish this Council would do something from a true place of leadership..not politics..

sorry Heather...as much as I think you are a lovely woman... right now your politicking is creeping me out..it reeks of a very disingenuous scenario..

Some of us are paying attention..

Arrogance...boo-hoo!
It's been a long day for me George.
After reading all these comments, I'm a bit disappointed, maybe stressed out. Dunno. I need to read something uplifting, I know not a chance in hell when the topic is about Vision and Robertson's arrogance. Where is Glissando Remmy when we need him?
:-) :-) :-)
Can you sum arrogance up for us Glissy? If you read this...

Been a long day for me too Ned...

try reading the funny pages of the newspaper if you need cheering up.

Ned
found something to make you laugh... about arrogance... my apologies language warning..after all it's George Carlin :-)

Enjoy... feel better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cjRGee5ipM

Max,

Here:

"This is off topic but speaks to companies that are actually moving to being'green' without the need for city grants." etc...

I don't care, I'm just laughing that you berate me for the perception that I do it and here you flat out point out you're doing it. Kinda funny don't you think?

The Thought of The Evening

"Arrogance, Thy Name is Robertson,
In French,you would be called 'Personne'.
Frailty, Thy name is Ballem,
Same trade,from Bangkok... to Harlem.
Misogynist, Thy Name is Meggs,
Rags to Riches,back to Rags.
Fawning,Thy Name is Chu,
A silent 'Cock-a-doodle-do'!
Dishonesty, Thy name is Clark,
The One and Only, Left behind by Noah's Ark.
Four months, Two weeks,Five days...
Count on it, 'Carambole' ever pays!"

(from Glissando's Sonnet No.XXI)

So there, Ned!
You wanted 'arrogance & comp.' summed up. Hope it helped.
George,
Your choice of Carlin was one of my favorites!

Hey, look at the time...it's Canada Day! Time for the...Heebie Jeebies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCVm_-aqsxI

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Why be so fierce in our castigation of our city's leadership? How could they possibly be at fault for the riot? Worry not, they will most certainly get to the bottom of it and give us someone to blame.

As for blame - I perused through that 1994 post-riot recommendation report. Despite being well-written with tonnes of uncannily prognosticative recommendations - there was a glaring omission. Missing from the sundry recommendations was a recommendation to actually read the report! So I blame the author.

We are unduly harsh in our criticism of our city’s current leadership, they are no more guilty than the rioters themselves. My heart goes out to those rioters being so unfairly shamed in the social media! Why doesn’t anyone understand the immense pressure put upon the individuals present to join in the mob hysteria? They were as helpless as Cordyceps infected zombie ants. I wonder if there’s some site where I could donate to the cause of their defence.

And how about that Councilor Anton? She's so irksome! I for one think 5 minutes is a perfectly adequate time limit for uncomfortable questioning in regards to an incident that only resulted in a few hundred million dollars in damages. She should move on to more important matters! For instance, with this Lawns to Loaves thing, will I be able to get some kind of credit towards a threshing combine if I trade in my rider lawnmower?

I'm not counting on the November elections to accomplish anything -- not when so little of the population is politically literate, let alone capable of thought.

"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."

Where has the author of this line been? Ms Ballem's incompetence as a City Manager has been evident from day one, starting with her disregard and lack of respect of City Staff, (except, perhaps for the hand picked few), allowing governance, decisions to become completely politicized, firing or edging out most of the senior level of administrators thereby losing not only their accumulative experience but also the City's corporate history, allowing decisions requiring approval to made without the required presentation to Council. These general things have been going on since she arrived and does not even begin to refer to individual decisions.

50,000 a day, for almost a week.

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