Robertson's Riot: Mayor Gregor should have asked tough questions

Post by Kathryn Marshall in


Doubtful this picture will be part of Vancouver's next tourism marketing campaign

Mayors aren’t in office just to cut ribbons, attend events and pose for photo ops. The mayor’s job is to ask questions, be on guard for the best interests of the people and ensure things are done right. The mayor doesn’t have to know every detail of every department, but he does have to ask the right questions.

These questions can be “How much will it cost?” about city spending, or “How long will it take?” about infrastructure. The mayor can’t just sit back; put his feet up and let things happen, blindly hoping for a decent outcome. The mayor is in charge, and asking the important questions is a big part of his job.

One thing is clear in the ongoing saga of the riot aftermath: Mayor Gregor Robertson didn’t do his job.

He didn’t ask “What’s the plan for a riot?” or “Have all the recommendations from 1994 been implemented?” ahead of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Robertson has now admitted he didn’t ask the right questions and couldn’t even get the number of police deployed on the night of June 15 from Police Chief Jim Chu.

Not only is this unacceptable, it calls into question Robertson’s competence on other files beyond the riot. What else isn’t he asking questions about? What problems are boiling under the surface because the mayor is more interested in letting Vancouverites grow wheat in their front yards and raise chickens in their backyards?

Nero played his fiddle while Rome burned. No one is exactly sure what Robertson did while Vancouver burned, but I don’t recall hearing fiddle music. In an interview with the Globe and Mail, he said he was “pissed” when he got reports of the riots downtown.

Vancouver needs a proactive, not pissed mayor.

Robertson should get answers from the chief of police. He needs to start asking the tough questions – or in November voters will ask him the toughest question of all: “Why should we re-elect you?

- Post by Kathryn Marshall. She is a writer and broadcast commentator on Canadian politics and current affairs. Kathryn has worked on political campaigns across the country at all levels of government. She is originally from London, Ontario and has also lived in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. Kathryn has a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Western Ontario and is currently completing a Law degree at the University of Calgary. Before Law School she worked for the Fraser Institute, Canada`s largest think tank.You can follower her on Twitter @kvmarshall.

This column first appeared in 24 Hours Vancouver on Monday, June 27, 2011.



I would suspect he didn't ask the right questions because he didn't want to know the answers.

Way too many people (not only the Mayor) want to live in La La Land Vancouver.

We're being branded as safe, beautiful, and FUN.(whatever that means)

This is the 3rd (4th) post by this person that does nothing but regurgitate previous discussions. I'm not sure why it is here?

I do not normally agree with boohoo but this Kathrine Marshall is a catastrophe. I have no idea why CityCaucus is pushing her "editorials" LOL! Could we get someone who can write instead of ...regurgitating?
What is happening Daniel and Mike, have you ran out of writers or ideas?

Great editorial . . . hits all the right notes and leaves Mayor Moonbeam looking like the fool he is.

Time for Gregor to go back to Hollyhock and beat on his bongos . . . that's all he is really good for.

Maybe because this story needs to be kept alive? The Sun and the rest of the LSM in Vancouver certainly have swept it under the carpet already.

Well, not in the media.
Anton's motion is a good start for giving some life to the facts, not the "story", but in the media this thing needs to die--unless it is editorials and outrage of the lack of public consultation in the provincial review, &c &c.

But, I mean, why consult the public---their TeeVees already told them what happened, right?

Are you freaking kidding me - another stellar 'lawsuit' from the whiz kids at Pivot. First it was protect the junkies and now they have moved up, or down the chain to alcoholics. No wonder they keep their offices in the DTES - no shortage of clientelle!

Civil suit filed against Harbour Centre Mall for alleged assault


We were beaten-up because we're alcoholics.

That's what three Vancouver men are alleging after reportedly being roughed-up by security guards at Harbour Centre Mall. The men claim the guards attacked each of them on separate occasions, after taking them away from the view of security cameras. Now the trio are launching legal action with the help of Pivot Lega Society.
Lawyer Doug King:

"There's going to be civil suits from all three of the people involved in small claims court, for damages from physical injuries that were caused to them. And then there's also a human rights complaint by the group of them, on behalf of all alcoholics that attend BC Liquor Stores, basically saying that in this case, they were targeted because of the fact that they were alcoholics."

King adds suits will be filed against the Harbour Centre Mall, the guards involved, and the mall's private security firm.

The sad consequences of the Cup riot are a perfect example of one of several major flaws in this Vision Vancouver Council's administration.

Penny Ballem is really running the show. She' got every department head terrified of going over budget (will it be Engineering or the VPD who pay for the damaged porta-potties?). It appears she even has Jim Chu so frightened of cost over-runs that he didn't plan for one very possible outcome -- expect the unexpected. Or, is he just taking the can on this one. Hopefully we'll find out from the Provincial Enquiry. Neither Chu nor the VPD deserve to have been put in this impossible situation.

Meanwhile Mayor Greg is relegated to being Chief Cheerleader rather than what he's supposed to be, the Chief Constable.

That's not the way the City governance is supposed to work, and it's quite obvious based on this Vision Council's blunderings that their way of doing business is, in fact, not working.

I also take issue with former Mayor Harcourt that Mayor Greg didn't need to ask the 'tough questions'. He did, and because he didn't he is responsible for the consequences. I remind Mike that he didn't ask enough questions about Bingogate, and it cost him his Premiership. To his credit, he resigned on principle. It seems that Mayor Greg has more to answer for now than Mike did then, so he will suffer the same end. It's a question of sooner or alter.

Check out!

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