Anton challenges Mayor Gregor to a public debate

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Robertson unlikely to debate Anton regarding Vancouver's Stanley Cup riot

UPDATE July 6th, 7:00 am: Since we published this story yesterday, Mayor Gregor has confirmed he will not pubilcly debate Suzanne Anton regarding the riot.

He told Metro News “I really look forward to having a debate with her when it’s election season in the fall."


It is increasingly becoming clear that Robertson's Riot has become the unoffical kick off to the the November civic election. If you want proof to back up this theory, you need look no further than a news release issued by NPA opposition leader Suzanne Anton earlier today. She is challenging Mayor Gregor to the first public debate of the campaign, and she wants the topic to be the Stanley Cup riot that took place on June 15th.

Already the Georgia Straight newspaper has offered to host a one-on-one debate between the two civic leaders if it can be arranged. It's only a matter of time before other media outlets follow suit.

The real question is whether Robertson will accept the challenge, or stay confined to the comfortable confines of his west wing office. My guess is he'll politely turn down Anton's offer and get out of town faster than you can say "Cortes Island."

What follows is an unedited copy of Anton's media statement:


July 5, 2011

"The public deserves to hear what the plan was for the fan zones"

NPA Mayoral candidate Councillor Suzanne Anton is calling for an on-air public discussion on both the preparations for the taxpayer-funded fan zones during the Stanley Cup finals and the contingency planning if those celebrations got out of hand.

"The overwhelming message I've heard from the public is that they want to have confidence in their city government to be able to organize large public events," says Anton. "Vancouver is the metropolitan centre and people want to be able to celebrate here."

"The public has had no opportunity to come to council to give their input or ask their questions. When I tried to question the Mayor, he shut off my microphone," adds Anton.

The May 31st staff report did not incorporate any concrete details regarding the Mayor's plan for a 100,000+ outdoor party on Georgia Street for Game 7. No one outside the Mayor's inner circle was consulted when it came to creating plans for the fan zones.

Since then, the Mayor has announced an internal review. The review was not debated in council, offers no independence, and does not, to date, allow for public input.

"The Mayor has been reluctant to answer any of the tough questions regarding his role in the lead up to and during the June 15th riot," says Anton. "I'm prepared to clear my schedule and have a respectful and meaningful discussion as soon as possible. We need to be able to restore the public's confidence that City Hall can safely play host to major public gatherings once again."



One could well argue the 2011 civic election started only hours after the last one ended in '08. But at the very least, we now know there will be at least four full months of campaigning, versus a more traditional 30 day civic campaign.

Over at the Straight, Charlie Smith provides some interesting analysis regarding what seems to be transpiring in the campaign so far:

The tactic of calling the most shameful event of the year "Robertson's riot" has the potential to inflict real political damage on the mayor.

Robertson has a choice. He can become a political punching bag just as former NPA mayoral candidate Jennifer Clarke did during the 2002 election when she was blamed for Philip Owen's departure from politics.

Or he can start fighting back by pointing out that Anton and her NPA colleagues drank the Canucks' Kool-Aid just as heartily as members of his party.

Elections often revolve around what the pundits like to call the "ballot question".

Vision Vancouver's story line goes like this: "The NPA made a mess of the Olympic Village, but we came in and fixed the problem, saving taxpayers millions of dollars."

The NPA's story line appears to be that a bumbling mayor who wasn't paying attention is responsible for millions of dollars of property damage and an international black eye for the city. Then he tried to cover it up with an "internal review".

In both cases, these are gross exaggerations. Vision politicians played a role in creating the Olympic Village financial imbroglio, dating back to 2002. And NPA politicians were just as eager as their opponents to have a downtown party to celebrate the Canucks' run for the Stanley Cup.

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


The Thought of The Day

"Trying to fit a picture of Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton on an article re. Gregor Robertson and Suzanne Anton is like trying to fit an Adult Diaper on an Infant. Bring wipes. Lots and lots of wipes."

Not only that the two (BO & HC) were rivals from the same side, but the man can articulate and she can really roar.

"Anton and Robertson" sounds more like the opening act from Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde'.

Mysterious yet terrifying. Sophisticated yet naive.
Serious yet comical.

From bad to worse.
Why would anyone want to engage Robertson. It's like going out with an ugly chick, it sticks on to you like a condom, sooner or later people start talking.

Geez, maybe I shall agree to the terms offered by Vancouver Observer, The Tyee and VanCourier. At least in their case everybody knows they are douche bag tabloid rugs.

The humanity!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Glissando...I assure you the above photo was for illustration purposes only. There was no intent on the part of our editorial department to in any way make comparisons between Prez Obama and Mayor Gregor. Nor Hillary and Suzanne.

The photo was merely meant to help our readers wrap their head around what a democratic (small "d") debate actually looks like.

But once again...I tip my hat to you. Well said.

Your Humble Editor

@ Councillor Anton:

Take off the white gloves and fight.

Women typically make the mistake of trying to be 'nice' - let go of that.

Robertson is far from you intellectual equal - use that and do not be afraid.

Make no apologies.

Read: Office Politics for Women....learn how to handle male egos when you are smarter than them.


couldn't agree more Max. Gregor really doesn't have the geniune support of many male voters. I don't know who on this planet actually admires or looks up to the guy.
He's just a pretty face for a green religious movement.

Men don't vote for a woman because she is the nicest.

They vote for women who are willing to be nasty and put a man in his place. They vote for her because they respect that they wouldn't want to get caught on the wrong side of her. I'm talking about in business, not in the feifdoms of unions and schools (where they spend more time trying to figure out what's fair over what's important). In business, where fair doesn't matter, the tough women are so amazingly successful if they just slap the flaky men aside.

Have we ever had a socialist female party leader elected mayor, premier, PM....anywhere?

It's always tough right of centre women.

Start smacking this guy around. A lot of fiscal conservative/socially liberal men get a real kick out of watching Gregor get slapped around. The word around downtown is that the mayor is a total flake. He can't carry a room or engage anyone outside the drumcircle.

Bust him up, recklessly, and you will win.

I'm in agreement with 'max' and 'rf'. Go for it Suzanne. Many men are completely uninspired with Gregor Robertson as Mayor. Look, he may well be a 'decent' guy. So what? This is now a decent sized city with a place on the map and this latter day hippie puppet is not only way out of his depth but he's become a bloody embarrassment. His whimpering over the control of policing of the riot really shows he buckled under Ballem, who ran the show on saving money alone, and then the police chief who, having had to cave under Ballem, essentially then told his worship to take a hike!

Maybe Ghandi Gregor told Ballem that little money was to be spent (save it for the 'let them eat bread' campaign) and they should all meditate together for peace, so the police decided that all they could do was triage. Let things burn a bit but only get into it if blood started to gush big time or major buildings became engulfed in fire.

You're onto something rf with your:

"Maybe Ghandi Gregor told Ballem that little money was to be spent (save it for the 'let them eat bread' campaign)..."

There's a little item in the City's Budget called the Contingency Reserve and $4.00 million is set aside in it. It's supposed to be used in the case of unforeseen circumstances (like maybe a riot).

Ballem's comments clearly indicate that this slush fund MUST not be messed with by minor irritants such as a riot. No, no. All Departments will just have to tighten their belts once more. Can you see those Parks Board washrooms closing once again? Or, parks with grass and weeds (for the 1st time ever in Vancouver parks!!!) already so high kids can't even play in the parks?

Why one may ask, is the Contingency Reserve sacred? I suggest that Gregor and his Vision pals are going to use it as their last minute taxpayer funded re-election campaign fund.

It might be interesting what an eventual forensic audit of the City's books might uncover along those lines.

Suzanne Anton

Yes yes yes, a thousand times yes. A debate with a clown, a puppet. Look out for the Mike McGee text messages. Insist on no electronic help and no five minute timer.

Robertson, you fumble mouth, will you step up? Or are you CHICKEN ???

The Thought of The Evening

"All Suzanne needs to prepare for her debate with Gregor is... her Opening Statement."

I even feel it is my duty to pen it for her. If she ever wants to use it... here:

"Mr. Mayor,

Based on your known habit for abandoning almost every venture you've ever started in your life before maturity,or every political vehicle you ever boarded off before reaching its destination, I feel obliged to start with my last question I have for you:
Mr Mayor, do you, or do you not, consider yourself a Premature Political Ejaculator?"

Not to worry, by the time his time to respond comes up, he'll be already gone.

Easy breezy beautiful cover girl!

The debate I would like to see though... something like this:

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Good luck to her but not sure she can slay the bicyclist. He is a slippery Teflon coated politician.

Go for it Suzanne. Keep up the pressure on Robertson and get him to debate you. He will flop.

I doubt he'll take up your challenge though. He's too much of a backyard chicken!

In a reply to another thread, someone mentioned seeing a "Gregor's a Riot" t-shirt. Was that true, and if so, who is selling them?

Bob H (2):

Someone downtown was printing them up the morning after the riot, so they are around.

For that matter, grab a t-shirt and head to Cherry Bomb on Granville or the Oddball Workshop on West Broadway and have them pop one (or more) up for you. More than likely, less costly.

I can't believe they are selling the 'I Love Vancouver' t-shirts at London Drugs for $19.99.

I am the first to say the city needs to control its spending so we can get taxes under control but the priorities within our current budget truly make me shake my head in disbelief.

Not only is there 4 million in contingency reserves, there is about a billion dollars in accumulated surplus that never gets rolled in the subsequent budget to reduce the tax ask. It gets buried somewhere for who knows what.

Does Mayor Moonbeam know how to use a teleprompter like Obamassiah?

Interesting Julia:

One of the NPA candidates mentioned he was going over the City's financials and couldn't figure out why, when they were showing a surplus, property taxes were increased as well as things like parking metre costs etc...

Anton is quite obviously the more intelligent of the two but Robertson can be surprisingly fluent and persuasive when well rehearsed and staying on topic, just look at some of the last campaign debates. He really only starts to stumble when caught unprepared. Anton tends to a rather dry delivery of her thoughts, she writes better than she speaks, which I like but which, unfortunately, might not appeal to a public wedded to charisma.

The truth, astonishing as it may seem to many here, is that this is still Robertson's election to lose, particularly with COPE now on side and with opposition to him fractured, each candidate bleeding support from the other. Having nothing much to gain, why would he or his puppet master take pointless risks? We can say what we like about the man but he is a smooth and plausible operator with deep pockets, it's nearly half a year to the election and the public is still not engaged.

I have seen t-shirts that read "Robertson's a RIOT" for sale on Robson St near Thurlow. the letter "a" is in very tiny font. So from far away the shirt looks like it reads "Robertson Riot". Hillarious.

They weren't anywhere near the $19.99 sweatshop created "I love Vancouver" shirts. I think they were selling for $9.99 or something like that. Good luck.

2010 - consolidated surplus - $119.4 million.

sorry, I miss-quoted. Reserves are now at $471 million.

The surplus appears to be an accounting surplus (maybe another "aspirational surplus") as actual net debt increased by 25 million. The operating surplus and the net debt is offset by the increase in capital assets of 144 million. Similarly, the 471 million in reserves is an accounting number only and not represented by cash.

perhaps I am looking in the wrong spot for the number.

All I know is, the annual budget surplus is NEVER carried forward to offset expenses the following year. It is tucked away for ???? (wheat fields?)

Where is that accumulated surplus recorded and how much is the fund?

I saw another tee shirt that read "Went to Robertson's party, had a Riot!"

I think that and the other tees may become the uniform of choice for some campaigners.....

Where is the DVBIA on this? Is "I "heart" Vancouver" the best they can do after they dropped the ball on representing their members' interests while kowtowing to Robertson and his band of merry idiots?

I suspect the DVBIA is avoiding the media and putting extreme pressure on where it needs to without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

This is off track:

I watched the noon news and see bus drivers handing out anti-HST pamphlets to tranist users.

1) Not their job

2) Are they doing this on or off the clock?

If they are standing in uniform at the entrance/exit ways, then are they 'officially' working? And on the taxpayers' dime?

I have a huge problem with this all the way around.! Glissy!!!



I have heard that too. Can you expand? Is it "off book"??? Where the hell are they keeping it?

Thanks! Missed that reply.

The annual operating surplus "goes into the pot" to pay for capital purchases and debt repayment. You have to go to the actual financial statements ( to see how it is all connected. The terms "surplus" and "reserves" are a bit misleading as they do not represent actual cash in the bank. In fact, the net financial debt of the city is 348 million and increased by 26 million in 2010.

This story (Rocky Mountaineers) will not come as a surprise to anyone who has had any contact with a union either as a member or as an employee.

"employee" should be "employer"

Interesting, ICBC is stating that the number of vehicle accidents at the north end of the Burrard Bridge, has seen a considerable increase along with the number of injuries sustained, since the bike lane was introduced.

Once the cowardly Premier of CKNW has the spine to debate Adrian Dix on the HST, then we can schedule the next debate between The Mayor and Madam Flip Flopper ...

The HST is going to referendum you muppet.

Go smoke some more weed then come back and enlighten us all with some other riveting comment.

Insults insults insults all around today. Hot weather getting to people?? lol

èICBC is stating that the number of vehicle accidents at the north end of the Burrard Bridge, has seen a considerable increase along with the number of injuries sustained, since the bike lane was introduced.è


Sorry...french is on.

The only politician running from debates is Premier Drop-Out that refused to debate David Eby and runs for cover when given the opportunity to debate the Leader of the Opposition on a very important public policy question that is going to referendum ... why is she so afraid to debate, is she that incompetent??

The red light camera which has been at the north end of the Burrard Bridge for the last few years is now absent? Why?

One would logically think it a rather useful tool to record the pot pourie of accidents there as they happen. Wouldn't such photos be useful as evidence?

Back to the topic at hand (now that BC bud is raiding his fridge). Is Mayor Moonbeam a Chicken farmer or just "Chicken Little"?

I would think so Bill.

And the spokesperson had a valid point. The issues surrounding this pathway need to be fixed before looking at expanding others.

"the number of vehicle accidents at the north end of the Burrard Bridge, has seen a considerable increase along with the number of injuries sustained, since the bike lane was introduced."

Burrard Bridge bike lane kangaroo council November 3, 2009. Particularly sickening is Deal's condescending exchange with Ron Appleton (1:50:00 approx) and Jang's insinuating approach shortly thereafter. I'm on at 2:57:00 and talk about exactly that merge about four minutes in.,003

Is there a source for this claim from ICBC??

There should be, it on Global news at 6:00 last night.

I vote for chicken little. The fact he won't debate Anton demonstrates his disdain for basic democracy. What is he afraid of? No wonder even his leftist pal Allen Garr calls him bubble boy.

I would like to see the unedited facts, but it sounds like the City recognized there were issues and is waiting to see if changes worked.

As for Kon, (the interview) he also goes by the name 'vancouvercommuter' here:

Now why would they interview him?

The interesting question raised was why did the city press ahead with expanded segregated bicycle lanes without waiting for the results of the "test" on the Burrard Bridge.

I'm kind of curious as to what 'changes' have been made that will slow down this issue.

I cross that bridge several times a week, mostly by foot, and haven't noticed anything.

The entry point onto the bridge at the north end is a mess. The layout makes no sense. There is too much driver's have to watch in order to merge.

Check out!

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