YouTube creation captures essence of Robertson's Riot

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Need to know everything about riot in under 2 minutes? See video

If you happen to be driving by Vancouver City Hall today around 2 pm, you can expect to see a few satellite trucks and TV cameras hanging around. That's because it's the first official council meeting since Robertson's Riot. You can expect that a few politicians and senior staff are going to be asked a few more tough questions.

However, despite Robertson's Riot, the first item up for debate is Mayor Gregor's latest green scheme (see video above). It's part of a larger $100,000 program encouraging people to grow wheat on their front lawns. His Worship was grilled about "Lawns to Loaves" at a news conference yesterday. Global TV reporter Aaron MacArthur cracked me during the news conference when he shouted out from the back of the room "Mr. Mayor, just one more question about farming in Vancouver."

Yes these are truly crazy days at City Hall. That's why the digital media department staff located on the 14th floor of our downtown offices decided to whip together a little creation. It's a short montage about the riot and wheat fields. I think you'll like it. But be sure to flip it around if you do! Our digital media guys (yes, it's only guys) love nothing more than watching one of their brainchild's go viral.

The Robertson's Riot story continues to have legs with Vancouver's media. After a rock solid story on Saturday, Gary Mason over at the Globe and Mail provides us with part two of his interview with Mayor Gregor. He references the fact that Robertson never spent a day in the Chamber before becoming Vancouver's top politician. Unfortunately, that's becoming painfully obvious:

Mr. Robertson is a young mayor who, in many respects, is still learning to run a big Canadian city. Certainly, nothing could have prepared him for the events of nearly two weeks ago. And so, to some extent, he did what many mayors with only two years on the job would have done – left policing matters to the police.

On one level that’s fair enough. The police have the expertise. However, if and when things go wrong, the mayor bears ultimate responsibility. It is he – in this case – who is answerable to his citizens when a violent event causes major destruction to property.

Mason goes on to express a bit of frustration that Robertson's didn't do enough homework prior to inviting over 100,000 (mainly drunk) people downtown for Game 7.

Therefore, before a pivotal Game 7, especially given its historical context, you might have thought the mayor would have sat down with his police chief and had a chat.

“Take me through your plan,” you imagine the mayor saying. “We could have more than 100,000 people downtown today. Tell me what you’ve got in the works if this thing starts to go sideways – starting with the number of officers you’ll have on the ground.”

Instead, Mr. Robertson admitted he “didn’t know any of the details.”

Oddly enough, NPA opposition leader Suzanne Anton is also starting to feel the heat. A few of the media are beginning to attack her for for not being tough enough on Mayor Gregor.

It's something akin to what happened to former BC Liberal leader Gordon Campbell back in 1997 after he failed to win the election the year prior. Every time NDP Premier Glen Clark did something "bad", the media jumped on Campbell saying he should be more vocal and keep the government to account. I can vividly recall people saying "if Gordon Campbell were a stronger leader, then Glen Clark wouldn't be able to get away with what he's doing."

I too would agree that the NPA needs to step up their game if they want to be seriously considered as the "government-in-waiting" this November. They will never be handed a more golden issue than Mayor Gregor's mishandling of Robertson's Riot. If I were them, I'd begin drafting the radio ads and social media campaign and get the campaign kickstarted in earnest. 

Here is Mason's perspective on Anton's performance and whether Mayor Teflon will wear any of the riot going into the fall election:

So far, none of this appears to have hurt the mayor. His remarkable revelations on the weekend barely caused a stir in his sleepy hamlet. Suzanne Anton, the woman running against Mr. Robertson for mayor, didn’t even seize on the fact the mayor admitted not knowing what the police plan was for dealing with a potential Game 7 riot. Or that he backed down when his police chief refused to give him information that he requested. The media showed no interest in the revelations either.

No wonder Mr. Robertson laughed when I asked him if the riot could be his Olympic Village, a reference to the controversy that virtually wiped out the Non-Partisan Association in the last election and which paved the way for his victory.

He knows it won’t be.

As you can see, the riot story is far from over. I'm also not sure I fully agree with the Mayor's assessment that this issue won't become a factor in the fall election. It may well wrap itself in a the larger issues of accountability, competence and priorities.

Later today City Manager Penny Ballem will rise in the Chamber to provide her first update on what went wrong leading up to Robertson's Riot. One can only hope Anton will rise and use her former crown prosecutor skills to grill a few politicos (I include staff in that) about just what did and didn't happen on June 15th.

One more note on the riot. The BC Government has appointed Douglas Keefe to head up the independent review into Roberton's Riot. Our sources tell us he's never stayed at Hollyhock or visited Cortes Island. Hence, we think the review should be fair and unbiased. We all look forward to hearing the results.

As I've said many times before, this is Robertson's election to lose. But for the first time in almost three years, it's looking like there's a slim chance he just might.

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


I am thinking about this as I watch 'violence' break out in Greece - Day 1 of a general strike. This strike will hurt the already struggling economy, but why take that into consideration.

I have a friend working there right now. Current 'goods' taxes sit at 28% and will be going up in the very near future. And wages, will go down.

Employers must have both medical/dental coverage for their employees - it is mandatory. The cost $300 euros/month ($450 cnd).

Makes you think about piorities.

I'm not an expert in farming or baking, but if you can get these figures it would make interesting reading I'm sure:

-the amount of wheat produced per acre or hectare the amount of flour...

- number of loaves of bread using that flour then divide that by the size of an average front lawn to get the loaves per household and would that be the anticipated yearly consumption for that lawn's family?

Max, with all due respect I have dozens of Greek friends with relatives and friends back in Greece. You don't know what you are talking about. The Greek People and their economy was hijacked by IMF, European (German, Swiss) and American Banks hand in hand with the corrupt politicians of that country. There is an attempt to their suzerainty at the hands of the global pawnbrokers, and you know who they are.
I give Greece a few more months (weeks?) until they will go into bankruptcy. Bye, Bye Banking Usury.
If you want to find out what is going on inform yourself about what happened in Argentina and how the major banks split the country in the middle of the night under military protection with billions of dollar of Argentinians money. Just like thieves. Which is what they are, darling. Have a nice day!

Ron good you asked.
This is the breakdown written by one of City caucus commentators (The Angry Taxpayer)
We thank him for that!!!!

"Reading this has caused me to ask a rather logical question: How much wheat would it take to provide a family of four with enough bread for a year?

So, off to the internet I go. Here is that same question being posed by the author of the "Howling Duck Ranch" website:

"Despite the fact that I no longer needed to buy wheat from the Loiselle Organic Family Farm, I did have a bunch of other questions which Marc was kind enough to answer.

The bigger questions for me with respect to my ‘Year in Provisions’ project for which I needed answers to were: how much wheat to grow, how much land to sow, and how much wheat might I need for my family for a year; I had no idea.

All I knew was that a loaf of bread takes about 4-5 cups of flour, but that was the limit of my knowledge. How many wheat kernels it takes to make 4-5 cups of flour I also had no idea–let alone how many kilos of wheat one needs to sow over how much area of land, or how much yeild to expect, or how much we’d need to supply us for a year in bread.

To answer these key ‘Year in Provisions’ questions for me, Marc Loiselle, rose to the occasion:

'Sounds like a great project you have going! I’ve never had such a question about growing a certain amount for a year’s supply. But, presuming that you want to grow enough for your food needs and have enough left over for a subsequent year’s sowing, and are able to sow and harvest adequately, I suggest you could purchase a single 25 kg bag for example. If you sow 1/2 of it in good fertile soil with adequate spacing (30 lbs would sow about 1/4 acre….and save the other 30 lbs in case of need to resow due to natural disaster such as hail…) and it grows well, you could anticipate harvesting up to ~ 6 bushels (360 lbs) and that is based on a GOOD yield of 25 bushels/acre.

A single bushel of harvested and clean wheat kernels would make ~70-80 regular sized loaves of bread. So you could do the math and sort of figure out what that would mean for you; especially if you have a family to feed too. 6 bushels x 75 loaves = ~450 loaves potential, which would be more than 1 loaf per day.

So, now I get to use my long division skills to make an apples to apples comparison, using Vancouver land values.

Started working on the 1/4 acre premise as suggested above, in order to come up with enough wheat (6 bushels) to provide 1.25 loaves of bread a day (based on 450 loaves)to feed a family of 4.

I then went back to my findings to see what a 1/4 acre looked like next to, let's say, a "typical" 33' single family lot in Vancouver.

An "English" acre (as opposed to Scot or Irish acre) is described as 4840 SQUARE YARDS. So, a 1/4 acre would be 1210 SQUARE YARDS.

How does that compare to that "typical" lot in Vancouver? Let's say, 33' wide by 15' deep, at the the front of the house.

So, we have 494 square feet OR approx. 30 SQUARE YARDS. 30 square yards is just 1/39 of the 1210 SQUARE YARDS (1/4 acre) that make up the assumption used above.

Your Vancouver wheat yield then,based on 1/39th of the 1/4 acre example given above, that everything must go absolutely right, and given that you use your front yard of your 33' lot only, and given that you find a strain of wheat that withstands the 'wet coast' elements...

...produces an underwhelming 5/8 of a bushel---which would produce about 40 loaves of bread a year---or less than 1 loaf a week, for a family of 4.


Twenty slices in a loaf means 10 sandwiches a week, or approx 1.3 sandwiches a day. A few people in this family are gonna go hungry.

But, I suppose half a loaf---or a half baked idea--- is better than none at all...
The Angry Taxpayer | June 18, 2011 4:25 PM | Reply"

The behavior of Mayor Robertson and Vision/Cope Councillors was a display in pass the buck. Absolutely a display in cover ones a**...

Gregor Robertson displayed a great deal of anger when he spoke with Suzanne Anton, he should be ashamed.How dare he demand respect, when he clearly did not offer any respect to Councillor Anton, an absolute abuse of power in my opinion.

Councillor Deal feels we should find out if Surrey offered face painting to calm the crowds by providing activities... huh??

The singing of Oh Canada was a nice touch..

what a dog and pony show I strongly recommend everyone watch the meeting online to witness for yourself the absolute disgrace of the Council..

Sorry folks

I was so angry, I forgot to point out my rant was about today's Council meeting...

A couple of loaves of bread from front yard wheat fields,


Pitiful amounts of electricity from turbines and solar panels that really produce huge get rich easy subsidies rather than useable amounts of electricity,


A weedie vegetable patch on city hall land that produces enough crops to make a few batches of soup.


Chickens in backyards and taxpayer's money for a chicken sanctuary.


Beehives in City Hall's bonnet.


What it all means for Vancouver taxpayers and voters?

Proof that Mayor Moonbeam is totally out of his league, completely out of touch and incapable of living like an adult instead of a Hollyhock Hippy.


Nice fiction, Mira. The problems of Greece are self made - propensity of individuals to avoid paying tax, public service that receives 14 months payment for 12 months of work, individuals that can retire at 50 if they are in a hazardous occupation - like hairdressing, 4,500 dead civil servants still collecting pension and the list goes on and on.

Greece is a democracy and Greeks are responsible for their own politicians. The only thing instructive for Canadians is a warning as to what happens when weak governments let the public service get out of hand.

Certainly Greece put itself in this position but ignoring the responsibility of the financiers in this is, well, nice fiction.

The current view of the banking geniuses who, as you may remember, came close to busting the world economy is that everyone except themselves should take the pain on the reckless loans they gave to Greece. Loans given with clearly predatory intent to a country with a history of defaults ( the same applies to Spain ) and insured by the likes of Goldman Sachs in the knowledge that they are unable to back their guarantee.

If these vampires are not given given everything they want whatever the human cost now and for future generations, the explicit threat is that a second recession will be precipitated. In other words they add blackmail to their other vices.

The spendthrift Greeks story has enough truth in it to be a very good smokescreen but it is very far from being the complete truth, as sooner or later we are all likely to discover.

Bill are you Greek?
Do you know any Greeks from Greece? When was the last time you visited Greece?
What do you follow...the MSM? LOL
You are a big fool my friend.
According to them there was no Riot in Vancouver.
Robertson is the best Mayor, and we are so blessed that we have Dr. Pain as city manager.
As per David Hadaway, check out who are the crooks behind Banks like Goldman Sachs, Freddy Mae, AIG, Lehman Brothers, does the name Maddoff rings some bells? How about that former IFM degenerate Dominique? Good for them they elected a woman as of yesterday, but still they are a gang of speculators. Do you want to find out more? Phone anyone in Greece, most of them speak English. probably anyone who will pick up will; tell you the same story.
Good for them... they are not giving up. It's their country after all, they are the Greeks after all. Enough with having the Banking system rule sovereign governments. I'll tell you what fiction is...your comment.

the level of disrespect towards Anton today is nothing new. Even the previous Council was pretty obnoxious towards each other.

So many times I have sat there waiting to speak for hours on end while Council members snipe each other like children on a playground. Totally disrespectful of each other, the office they hold and the people that pay the bills - you and me!

And we wonder why we have a society that displays zero respect for authority?

BTW George, I just heard on the radio that councilor Anton stormed out of the meeting after that idiot of a Mayor bullied her to the point of no return. Let's see what the MSM is going to report on this one. How nicely are they going to paint the whole story. But don't tell that to Bill. he is a believer in MSM and other reliable sources.
I never encountered such a weak, bullying, useless council and Mayor in my 30 years of being a resident in this city. Let's give this Clown Mayor and his Vision party ...THE BOOT.


I was so upset today just with the behavior towards Anton. The need to control chambers until the media left was awful... you really must watch...

I'm not even an Anton fan, but what happened today was just shameful...and very staged for the media.. just the opening statement by George Chow was condescending to any adult taxpayer with half a brain..

And seriously, face painting as a question for the internal inquiry... was Deal serious?

You are so,so correct.
I watched at many,many meeting where I felt like spanking little brats.

Oops, I shouldn't say that. It sounds abusive.

Well, what I have witnessed lately is REALLY abusive.

The City being torn apart over what?
A supposed hockey game.

Chris (OoM) spanking would be very appropriate in this situation. It fits with the playground and 7 year olds and bad behaviour that would have got us the strap or grounded for life.

I am anxiously awaiting a full comment from Jeff Lee on today's silliness.

George, I just watched the arrogant performance of Greggy and Meggy and now fully understand your outrage. It's very difficult for a woman to deal with that kind of bullying behaviour without coming over as shrill and Ms Anton maintained her dignity but I wish she would push this self righteous cabal harder and force it to show its true colours. Even to the extent of making them openly silence her and force her out the chamber.

This pathetic mayor is often called a Ken Doll and, as I remember from my sister's Barbie collection, he is just about as lacking in the attributes of a real man.

Bill Tieleman in the Tyee relates the riot to society's leaders,

Robertson's performance was a classic example of the hollow men he describes.

Regarding the other off topic topic,

I'm short on sleep, haven't read this thread and lost some EXCELLENT footage from today's Council meeting, but here's a little tidbit I pasted together from the shreds of what I had left. I'm off to Creekside to catch the tail end of a Transportation 2040 meeting. What a charade that is. ttys

As much as I am not a fan of Anton after viewing Robertson's shenanigans at Stalag Gregor today I would support anyone (even her) against Robertson.

Let's Roll!!!

excellent Gerry.... my favorite line.. the rules are our friend...not our master!

I was at VEF tonight, and a woman from the Vancouver Economic Development Council spoke about a fund that has been set up to help those businesses that were effected by the riot and have no insurance.

I Googled it, found a Facebook page, but the only article is currently in the Leader Post, with credit to the Province. (maybe tomorrow?)

"BTW George, I just heard on the radio that Councilor Anton stormed out of the meeting after that idiot of a Mayor bullied her to the point of no return."
Actually she went into the foyer to do media, half a dozen TV cameras and even more radio and print,and was followed by Jang and Meggs who got some lens time too. Ten minutes later the foyer was empty as the electronic media flew off to get their (dinosaur) tapes to the studio for processing.

Looks like Anton is stepping up her game. She was all over the media today including this.

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Suzanne Anton angrily stormed out of this afternoon's city council meeting.

The lone NPA councillor was repeatedly cut off by the mayor as she tried to grill him and the city manager over the independent riot review.

Robertson says she was violating procedures. An outraged Anton sounded off outside chambers.

"I think it's a disgrace. I don't think he wants to be questioned himself and I don't think he wants questions to be asked. This is the most important even that's happened in Vancouver recently. How, how could you imagine it's the right thing to do to cut off questions in council?"

She accused the Mayor's office of planning live site events without involving city council or sharing details and costs about policing and crowd control.

"The mayor is not the President of the United States. He is the Mayor of the Council. The council should have directed the event in the first place. The council should be directing this review."

LOL Gerry,

Smart lady go for the media... what I find interesting about your comment is that Jang and Meggs ran out too..

What a joke...the dudes were afraid of what she would say...

I just bet that room was tense..Gregor's hands were doing that dance they do when he's stressed...

That's the thing about body never lies..and these guys are so unable to hide it..

How did the transportation meeting go tonight?

The Thought of The Evening

'I know what is going on! In reality, a Shadow Council and Mayor are making the decisions for this City Council and Gregor. Just take a look at the man!'


Hush, hush on the QT...
I was told in confidence, that in order to better control the city, Vision has hired eight people, one for Mayor and seven for Councilors. Their goal: to try to replicate their majority in Chambers, with one distinction, they would be voting off camera on the major issues but this time with only the Public's best interest in sight.
Before we go further on this one, a bit of the background; this group of people,as per Vision, went through a rigorous selection process, and all duplicates are known to be true, down to the show size, gender, upbringing, education, wealth, even to the way they speak, cross their legs, even down to their hidden tattoos.
They are sequestered in an undisclosed location, with access only to the City Camera Feed during meetings,to Fabula's blog, and to the VanCourier. They discuss the daily issues and then vote on them... first! A judgement is then passed over via electronic feed directly in the Chambers, to the real council.
Should you want to blame anyone...blame them!


It's been almost three grueling years, since the still unsolved sudden disappearance of eight Flying Monkeys from the highly successful traveling Circus 'Holly Hockus'.
'A novelty act like no other!' some are saying.
The whole affair is surrounded in mystery, especially following the finding of eight brushed up resumes. The forensic experts don't know what to make of it all, they never seen anything like this before.
Will keep you informed.


Gerry! Gerry, thanks for the video-link.
I especially liked the body language of Councillor Andrea Reimer, her back to the camera.
Starting at 1.10 min
'Tz, tz, tz, this woman,this woman, talking back like that, she has no shame, la, la, la, la, la, I'm not listening to this, la, la, la, la...any moment I'll receive my instructions...'
(then @ around 1.20 min you see her checking for the mike behind her left ear)
'What? Oooo, Ooo, Oo? To take a look at man. What man? I don't get it!'

We live in Vanc...Oooo,Ooo,Oo...uver and this keeps us busy.

Who is to the left of Reimer? Looks like she is on Facebook.

Why hasn't the term "Robertson's Riot" caught on?


Only the BCLibs and Alise Mills can save Vancouver now from this lefty loony loser. Anton is just being turned into NPA spare parts... watch for yourself.

The JUNTA (Robertson-Ballem-Chu) plan was to create conditions where they could put on Canucks' jerseys after victory, and join Christy C on a Fanzone platform, then hand Chu a 3 year contract - leading to over $400,000 per year - with which VPD would become co-equals with City Management, and enable the JUNTA to eliminate rivals. Funny, I thought VPD was not a legal entity, and bore a status like Engineering and Waste Removal.

After the FIASCO, the JUNTA removed an embarassing pdf "Stanley Cup Playoff Live Site Activation Costs," and went so far as to block same from Internet Archive and Google Cache.

However, an html copy of the pdf, slipped through JUNTA coverup. Under Peter Judd's (Engineering Services) authorship, VanRIMS No.: 08-2000-20 was released until the JUNTA decided to coverup the incompetence those clowns deliver for their cumulative $1,000,000 in unearned wages.

It has become plain and obvious that the JUNTA created conditions for pilfering funds from the City's "Contingency Reserve" without required approval of Council, because the JUNTA believed that the appearance of Robertson-Ballem-Chu in Canucks' jerseys at a victory celebration, would put them above all political limitations. Adding Christy Clark to the mix - in spite of Robertson's fictional NDP leanings, would have ensured both easy election and use of VPD as Vision-appendage.

VPD already Extorts one-quarter of the City budget; after June 15, Chu could have expected blank cheque support for his worthless 9 to 5 briefcase, money-burner.

You have a Duddley Do-Right image of VPD? Let's check their policing on June 15: 85 arrests for breach of peace; 8 for public intoxification; 8 criminal code arrests (theft; mischief; assault with a weapon - and that Evan's charge is garbage - break and enter). Huh? Seems like someone wanted 9 to 5 briefcase "policing." That's not service; that's not protection.

Again, given 1300 VPD slugs, shift setups and "response team" staffing (600!!!), at any given time Chu's six-figure per year gangsters, deliver 1 cop for each 7,000 wage-payers. No wonder Chu resorts to kiss-ass/kick-ass politics.

I got it mixed up-it was a Parks Board open house. I got there as they were folding the tables but did manage to network a bit. That's a bit of a charade as well, but Parks Board is very important delivering frontline service. Any volunteers to cover tomorrows meetings, 7 pm at 601 Keefer? There's also Transportation 2040 at Van Dusen 7 pm also.

Parks Board has gone through the same thing as City Hall with many top managers being forced out during Ballem's reign of error.

re Riot-here's section 208 of the Vancouver Charter. The language is stilted but unambiguous. Robertson's behaviour is such a clear dereliction of duty that it should result in calls for his resignation. He's broken his oath of office by neglecting his duty. Any surprise given his transit ticket debacle and the fact he and his council rode into power using stolen information?

"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;"

The problem with Greece is an easy one to diagnose. The stat last night on the news was that only 5000 people (in a country of 11million) paid taxes on income of over $130,000.

I would estimate there are 5000 people making $130,000 in the Bentall towers.

gerry et al

Had the fortune of attending last night's VPB Strategic plan meeting.

It was good for learning how wonderfully inept feel good buzz words such as 'World Class" Greening" blah blah blah are used describe the woefully inept VPB with which we are all now saddled.

I also had the misfortune of attending the VPB meeting on Monday night. It would best be described as 3 hours of my life I won't get back.

Unfortunately, this is typical of what we now have when the nuts and bolts of everyday affairs are put aside for blatant political grandstanding.

Just to give you an idea of how bad this Board is.. they were discussing non sensical motion about field houses that gave many arts groups hope to access space that doesn't really exist.

No questions as to the safety of the spaces, the appropriateness of the space, the amount of space nor when or if might even be accessible. Don't even think there was mention of cost to refurb the space to even make it meet basic code....

Typical Vision MO - promise lots deliver nothing.

This is symptamatic of the reign of error this continuing clown show is reigning down upon the City.

Dave Pasin,

Could you possibly give me a little education on the field houses.

My understanding was they were there to house onsite security, washroom maintenance etc. in exchange for rent and utilities...

Last year in the budget process the Parks Board was thinking of stopping the washroom maintenance to cut costs.

In this new proposal my understanding is Parks Board is thinking of giving the space to artists, will this be rent free?

Am I as a taxpayer expected to pay for an artist in my public park... will the City get some of the proceeds of that artists work or is this a freebie for another special interest group.

I can't help but feel that Vision is trying to create a duplicate of Cortez Island, creating an artists haven in a public park financed by taxpayers.

Will these artists be responsible for cleaning or is this another free ride..

I have nothing against artists.. without them life would be very bland...

I have a great problem with gifting free rent to someone that chooses to be an artist... I would also like free rent...

Could we hire a homeless person and give them a home and the responsibility of security and washroom cleaning for our parks.

The Vision Parks Board, I believe it was Sarah Blyth in a Courier story, that came forward earlier this year stating that Community Centres will be allowing the homeless to use their showers, so they could get jobs....

Why not kill two birds with one stone give them the field housing with a job...

Hi George

the original motion was allow arts groups access to spaces available in park fieldhouses throughout the City.

Blyth's motion was changed by meeting time to say consult with groups who wish to use them with no mention of arts groups or anyone else.

Blyth asked staff at the meeting how many there actually were and the staff didn't even know.

Even more surprising was Blyth's refernce to witnessing the shower program and relating that to the fieldhouses. MM as far as I know and anyone else for that matter the feildhouses are NOt used for that purpose and very few are FAR from even being close to being suitable for such use.

It was obviously originally pandering to Arts groups that had a basis in reality. This was very unfortunate.

There was absolutely NO discussion pertaining to any cost involved to refurbish the spaces to bring them to code or even somewhat suitable for use by arts groups or anyone else for that matter!

As one who is very involved with sports groups and very aquainted with many of the parks that still have these fieldhouses,I can tell you that many were closed for a variety of reasons. These included asbestos, mold, inadequate and antiquated plumbing,no hot water lack of insulation, oil burners, inadequate and unsafe electrical and similar such deficiencies.

The policy has been to tear them down and gradully replace them with more modern, cost efficient structures.

Some still have caretakes in them and have been somewhat modernized but are by no means what you might call very good housing.

The caretakers suites in these buildings were usually in the range of 250 - 400 sq ft.

Hope this helps

More's the pity that arts groups and other potential users were led to believe otherwise.

Thanks Dave for the FYI, that helps...

just to be clear I was referencing the shower program as an example of the blurring of boundaries and out of touch realities of Parks Board...

Out of curiosity, I wonder if the thought process is to demolish and rebuild the field houses for the artists..which I can see leading to a slippery slope of artists selling their works in the public park, commercializing the parks further..

I noticed yesterday that it appears that a field house has been built in the park on Commercial Dr. that is currently under construction with the bike polo court..

Somehow I think field houses in parks belong to sports groups/caretakers, but that is just my opinion...

I have an acquaintance that lives in a field house. It is not much more than an SRO. If it was free market rent, perhaps $5-600?

In trade, they were cleaning the washrooms, picking up litter, and providing night security (within reason). I consider it more than a fair trade off.

I am wondering if they want to turn those spaces into mini community studios? If I think about the one I have been in... the light sucks, the space is tiny, and by the time you fix it up, you may as well have torn it down.

Sounds like someone at the VPB has some pretty unrealistic ideas.

"Sounds like someone at the VPB has some pretty unrealistic ideas."

My concern Julia is that there is more to this than meets the eye..could we be looking at an overhaul to Leed standards, using the asbestos as an argument to further the agenda...

It sounds as if the parks board is getting fair work for the rent..

I might be cynical here, but I see a bigger agenda.

you could be right... or it is simply nothing more than someone thinking out loud without doing an ounce of homework first.

Not sure they are smart enough for the bigger agenda.

Here is a report posted by Jamie Lee Hamilton, she has been following this issue for some time now..her link is posted in CC recommended links..

of our Oldtown neighborhood and other political news
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sarah Blyth Changes Her Motion after Pressure Brought

Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

Why Are Park Caretakers being Phased Out?

Commissioner Sarah Blyth originally planned to bring forth a motion on June 13 which was called contentious by the Vancouver Courier news. The motion asked park board staff to explore re-using empty park field-houses for artists-in-residence. The motion asked that artists-in-residence be allowed to stay for a number of years.

Our field-houses traditionally housed park caretakers and still do and who provide 24/7 security in our parks. They open, close and clean the park washrooms.

The park caretakers are given free rent and are paid no salary. This has been good value for the citizens as it has kept our parks safe from hooligans and predators who prey on children.

Tonight June 27 at the Park board meeting, Commissioner Blyth changed her motion to include community and sports groups besides arts groups having access to the empty field-houses. Ms Blyth said she did this after hearing that many citizens were outraged that she appeared to be favouring one group over another. Perhaps Commissioner Blyth should have thought of this before bringing forth such a divisive motion that has as it's intent to pit one group over another.

But nowhere in Commissioner Blyth's motion was there any talk of park caretakers. This even though in December 2010 Park Commissioners clearly asked staff for a report on the field-houses.

Tonight when this writer asked Park Board Chair Aaron Jasper to clarify what happened to this long awaited report, he enquired from the general Manager about the status of the report. The General Manager replied that it was his understanding from the December 2010 meeting that Commissioners were seeking a report on Park washrooms. Yes folks that is what you get when someone is making a few hundred thousand a year. Nice isn't it?

Green Commissioner Stuart MacKinnon thankfully reminded the board that in fact Commissioners had previously requested from staff a report on the field-houses.Commissioners decided to support Sarah Blyth's motion which I assume was a result of her changes to her original motion.

A looming question though remains and that is why are there empty field-houses? Why when they become vacant are they not filled with new park caretakers?

A few Commissioners although they won't say this publicly, allude to that there could be liability issues for the Park board regarding park caretakers. This however, makes no sense since it seems that park board liability insurance which covers all park employees would also extend to park caretakers.

It seems very suspicious if liability were the issue would this not also be the same concern if community, sport or arts groups were housed in the field-houses?

So why is the Park board not allowing the empty field-houses to house park caretakers? Is there some plan to empty all field-houses of park caretakers and someone at Park board needs to answer this.

Even though the General Manager makes a few hundred thousand a year, I am not betting that he can provide an in-depth report on the status of the empty field-houses and why when park caretakers retire they are not replaced by new caretakers.

Jamie Lee Hamilton

LOL, I rest my case. I wonder if they even have a list of field houses......


Lets not forget it was Commissioner Blyth that stated during the consultation over Bloedel Conservatory.... "

"we have decided to focus on more "Green Buildings"

The commissioner was not aware that Bloedel Conservatory was the very first "Green Building" in Vancouver...huh!!

if this was not so disturbing, it would be funny. Sort of like those stories about stupid criminals.

Richard, the debt did not cause the economic problems for Greece, the economic problems created the debt as the Greek government continued to borrow to finance unsustainable deficit spending. While it is likely the banks will have to still take a haircut, the danger is that a sovereign default in the Eurozone could cause a ripple effect destabilizing the global financial system worse than in 2008.

Before you say "so what" think about where the funds that are going to support your pension are invested. Right, in those same bonds and big bad corporations you like to slag. You will not escape the fall out of a financial collapse even if you are in a gold plated public service pension plan.

Like it or not, we are all interconnected and need a strong private sector economy if we are to meet the future financial challenges of an aging population.

Greek parliament passed the asuterity measures reading.

France has stated that their banks will lend monies to Greece.

The rioting in the streets probably will not cease after the 48 hours oringially 'planned' by the unions and the damage is mounting up. More monies needed for the clean-up and repairs.

So aside from belt tightening right across the board, Greece is losing valuable tourism dollars due to continous disruption and protests.

Sadly, the Greek people have no one to blame but themselves. They elected weak governments that gave them what they wanted - the wealthy escaped paying taxes and the unions got unrealistic compensation and they paid for the deficit by borrowing. Now they have no choice but to bite the bullet and it is going to be painful.

You are right. By rioting they are going to make things much more difficult as tourism is a big contributor to the economy. It will take a few years offering discount holidays to attract tourists back.

The Thought of The Day

'Sadly, the Vancouver and the BC people have no one to blame but themselves. They elected weak governments that gave them what they wanted - the wealthy escaped paying taxes and the unions got unrealistic compensation and they paid for the deficit by borrowing. Now they have no choice but to bite the bullet and it is going to be painful.
You are right. By rioting they are going to make things much more difficult as tourism is a big contributor to the economy. It will take a few years offering discount holidays to attract tourists back...'

The Irony is too obvious to pass, Bill!

OK, how many of you have read Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary?
Emma Bovary...that's your Greece.
Disillusioned young adulterous housewife, that gives over to vanity, purchases increasing amounts of luxury items on credit from the crafty merchant, Lheureux (Free Market, Credit Banks, IFM), who arranges for her to obtain power of attorney over Charles’ (her husband) estate, and crushing levels of debts mount quickly...sounds familiar, right?
When Lheureux calls in Bovary's debt, Emma pleads for one helps, she commits suicide (Greece declares bankruptcy).Ugly!?

When you read in the papers about what is going on in Greece, all done from the comfort of your own living room, sipping a ice cold Margarita, petting your sleepy dog... you read it as a Desperate Curiosity. 'Those Greek bums, eh!?' you think.
But here's the thing.
One day, in the not so very distant future, when your neighbor will be losing his job, you'll say that he has no one to blame but himself, plus there is a Freaking Recession going...
However,when you'll be losing your job, you'll blame everybody else and not only that but you'll shout out loud that is a... Unfair Depression.

I have to agree to disagree with you guys, on this one. The Greek people (and I'm not talking about their feckless corrupt government, no)and Kudos to them, are fighting for the future of their kids here. They don't want their kids to become the new age slaves of Europe, and for their country to be sold to profiteers like Goldman Sachs who BTW, are hugely encouraging borrowing, betting on default (Merchant of Venice's Shylock, anyone?).

Financial PorKorporations.

The Austerity plan is nothing but a forced future life of poverty for the vast majority.
Question:'Did you hear anything about any politicians paychecks cut?'
I didn't think so...

Given the same circumstances, don't you think for a moment that whoever will be at the time in the Premier, PM, or Mayor's office, will do anything differently than the powers to be, have done in Greece.

As you may know (just take a good look at the self entitlement of Gregor, Christy and Stephen) the ones that cannot teach or do... like to lead!

They couldn't 'find & fund' a couple of hundreds police officers to patrol during game 7, but I bet you a million dollars they would manage to get a 1,000 Riot squad for You, and Me,and for Her.

Chin up. If you concentrate on high octane Booze, high cholesterol Foods and Cigars,all this... will never happen in your life time...if you catch my drift.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Just to add to your point GR.

Canada has the worst household debt to income ratio in the OECD (which includes Greece) at $144 debt per $100 income. The BC rate was last reported as 160%.

Our savings rate nationally is $2.80 per $100 income, in BC it is actually negative, -$4.20 per $100!

Our personal debt service ratio stands at $9.40 per $100 disposable income.

All indicators have a negative trend.

Debt dealers and drug dealers, ruining lives and nations.

GR, you are wrong about Greece. They have a significant primary deficit which means the government spends more each year than it takes it before considering interest costs on the public debt. It has for years and it would only get worse with an aging demographic, generous pension benefits and no prospects for significant growth in the economy. The Greek protesters are not fighting for their kids future but trying to preserve their past - an unsustainable economy.

However, I do share some of the sentiments you expressed about our future. We have significant challenges to compete in the global economy and create productive employment opportunities. But if there is any lesson from Greece, having the public sector take a bigger slice out of the economy with compensation significantly higher than the private sector is not the way to do it.

"Debt dealers and drug dealers, ruining lives and nations"

David, so what happens if the "debt dealers" stop lending? What happens if we just cancelled all the debt?

@ Bill

Well, to my mind there is honest lending, predatory lending and usury. And then there are investment banks promoting loans to Greece while conniving in the cover up of the country's true economic situation, selling insurance to the lenders they duped then betting on failure with credit default swaps. All while actually being unable to meet their obligations if called upon and using their influence in government to ensure that this risk is unloaded onto the public while their profits are guaranteed whatever the political and economic cost.

So I am not advocating defaults or an end to lending as a general rule, nor attempting to deny the other important factors at play, but simply drawing attention to the predatory nature of much modern banking practice and the terrible human consequences.


I am not a fan of the big investment banks either as I believe their share of the economic pie is not justified by what they do - some would make the same arguement about professional athletes or entertainers. It is one of the downsides of a free market system but as imperfect as it is, it is still better than the alternatives.

It’s amazing we still get decent results from our police officers given that they have leaders like this. Amazing.

Bill, let me remind you that perverse, predatory banking practices like the ones we see today were in part the seeds for starting the WWII. Poverty, usury, and a total distrust of the people in their 'bankers' allowed the Nazis to come to power. Germany was at the point of collapse... so they chose the alternative...and they went to war.
Do you see anything differently that it's being done today. Think!

Check out!

Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement