Anton seeking public feedback regarding Robertson's Riot

Post by Suzanne Anton in

18 comments

pennyandgregor.jpg
Who will review the actions of Ballem and Robertson leading up to and during riot?

Last Tuesday, Vancouver council met for the first time since one of the worst events in our city's recent history: the 2011 Stanley Cup riot.

Following a morning meeting about the wheat-in-front-yards report, council was finally able to spend some time discussing the events of June 15, two weeks after the violence.

It is important to remember that the event luring people downtown before the riot -the big-screen TVs on downtown streets -was a city project. The 150,000 people were there at the invitation of the city. When things went badly wrong, with traumatized staff unable to get out of their buildings, with lootings and car burnings, and with a major black eye to our international reputation, it was up to the city to determine what had happened and how to prevent it happening again.

After all, that was the process the city went through following the 1994 Stanley Cup riot. An excellent road map was drawn up at that time. Prevention was key.

A most excellent road map which, in 2011, no one read.

At 2 p.m. in council, I was prepared for a good debate, some interesting questions, and the development of a new road map. Council needed to direct the new process, and it must be one in which the public has complete confidence.

What did we get instead? No formal direction from council was requested. No budget was presented. No discussion of public process or input. And no hard questions. In fact, astonishingly, Mayor Gregor Robertson hid behind the procedure bylaw to cut the questions off altogether.

I was so disgusted that I left the chamber.

Here are some of the questions about the city review which should have been addressed:

Where is the independence? Will the process give people confidence that the tough questions have been asked of the right people? Self-examination is not enough here -an outsider's eye and thoughts are needed.

Will the review hear from those affected: the citizens who were injured or terrorized, the small businesses that have been shut down, or the fans caught up in the riot? Public input in 1994 was extensive.

What was done in the planning of the celebrations to ensure the safety of citizens and businesses?

Why was the previous experience, like the City's own Review of the Management of Large Events in the City of Vancouver from 1994, not considered?

Did Robertson participate in and review the plans with the city manager, department heads, the police chief and the fire chief to ensure the safety of our city, its residents, its businesses and its image?

Unfortunately, the mayor would hear none of this: He simply shut off my microphone.

This response shows not only arrogance, but also inexperience, and that is worrying in many ways.

Compare this mayor and council's response to the 2011 riot to Non-Partisan Association Mayor Philip Owen's response to the 1994 riot. In the same time frame, Owen had terms of reference for a review and council had approved the budget.

Our current mayor and council did not even consider an internal review until they were pushed. They seem more concerned with limiting Robertson's political exposure than in answering the tough questions.

So, citizens, are these the questions that are important to you? What other questions do you want answered? Send them to me (suzanne@suzanneanton.ca) and I will work to make sure you are not silenced.

Vancouver, after all, is a metropolitan centre. The 2010 Olympics showed how much we love to celebrate downtown, and how well it can go when we get it right. When we celebrate, it is everyone's celebration. For the city, the region and the country, we need to get it right again.

- Suzanne Anton is an NPA Vancouver councillor, who is running for mayor in the November election.

18 Comments

Questions for the mayor/council to answer: (Choose answers from all that apply from the following)

1. Who wrote the police announcement that there was no political involvement in how the VPD were to run their Stanley Cup game coverage?

A) Dr. Ballem
B) Mickey Mouse (Mike McGee)
C) Propeller head (Robertson)

2. Why was Dr. Ballem not fired for pretending to be a Police Chief or Fire Captain?

A) Robertson wouldn't have anyone to hide behind anymore.
B) Council is too weak.
C) She has a contract. (so what, let her go. It'll cost us less in the end and 7000 employees will throw a party)
D) All of the above.

3. Why is Ballem given control of all sensitive investigations? Riot, FOI, Pandora, Robbins, Tsisserev.

A) She's to blame and has the most to lose and Robertson knows it.
B) Sadhu Johnston is too short.
C) Nobody else can withhold information like Penny.

So many botchups in such a short time. No wonder they want four year terms. They're not sure they can completely demolish the neighbourhoods in only three.
re Ballem's contract-dismissal for cause is free.
re the vertically challenged-I think it's a tie between Penny and Sadhu. Gregor loves feeling like a redwood among the saplings.

Lest we allow all this PR (post riot) kafuffle to distract us, here's a reminder of another recent folly.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdSVcPCO2i0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

@ BruceWayne
1.A; 2,A; 3,A or B.
Ok, let's fire them ALL!

@Gerry McGuire
4 year terms, because their NY pal Bloomberg advised them so. In New York he conned his way in to a newly invented third term. To better "administrate" the city my behind! A power grab so he could finish placing all his friends, relatives and other affiliated acquaintances. Mazel tov!

Julia I wish I wouldnt have read that,now Im really creeped out,thats been my nickname for years!!!!

Off topic:

I love when money directs editorial content:

***

Dear Friend of the Tyee,

There's a big election coming here in British Columbia. It could be as early as August, if the buzz proves right. It will pit Clark against Dix -- not just their personalities, but their agendas. The issues they try to champion. Or ignore.

Which means what gets reported could determine the province we live in for years after.

So here's our proposal to you. Tell us your top issues. Donate whatever you can -- $25, $50, $200 -- and we'll see that money goes to pay a reporter to cover your issue during the provincial contest.

As you know, The Tyee produces hard-hitting, award-winning journalism.

Problem is, original reporting is expensive. That's where you come in. We need you to:

Tell us what matters to you.

Is climate change making you hot under the collar? Does the prospect of a pipeline across the province and oil tankers on the coast make you squirm? Are you losing sleep over the HST? Do you have access to affordable childcare? What about the privatization of public services? Tell us.

Donate to our election reporting fund.

Every dollar is a vote for the issue you care about. The more dollars, the more comprehensive the reporting on a particular issue.

So, please, give us your feedback, donate now and together we can inject reliable, fact-based reporting into the democratic conversation.

Vote and donate online >>

Sound familiar?

In the weeks leading up the the 2009 provincial election, we made a similar appeal. And we were overwhelmed by the response. Readers spoke to us with their donations, other media took note, and our reporters uncovered major scoops. Just check out this list of stories.

In short, together we made history. Your donations, your issues. Let's do it again. Let's show 'em what a determined school of fish can do! All together now!

Vote and donate online

Thanks for your support!

Warm wishes

David Beers
Editor, The Tyee

Dear Friend of the Tyee,

There's a big election coming here in British Columbia. It could be as early as August, if the buzz proves right. It will pit Clark against Dix -- not just their personalities, but their agendas. The issues they try to champion. Or ignore.

Which means what gets reported could determine the province we live in for years after.

So here's our proposal to you. Tell us your top issues. Donate whatever you can -- $25, $50, $200 -- and we'll see that money goes to pay a reporter to cover your issue during the provincial contest.

As you know, The Tyee produces hard-hitting, award-winning journalism.

Problem is, original reporting is expensive. That's where you come in. We need you to:

Tell us what matters to you.

Is climate change making you hot under the collar? Does the prospect of a pipeline across the province and oil tankers on the coast make you squirm? Are you losing sleep over the HST? Do you have access to affordable childcare? What about the privatization of public services? Tell us.

Donate to our election reporting fund.

Every dollar is a vote for the issue you care about. The more dollars, the more comprehensive the reporting on a particular issue.

So, please, give us your feedback, donate now and together we can inject reliable, fact-based reporting into the democratic conversation.

Vote and donate online >>

Sound familiar?

In the weeks leading up the the 2009 provincial election, we made a similar appeal. And we were overwhelmed by the response. Readers spoke to us with their donations, other media took note, and our reporters uncovered major scoops. Just check out this list of stories.

In short, together we made history. Your donations, your issues. Let's do it again. Let's show 'em what a determined school of fish can do! All together now!

Vote and donate online >>

Thanks for your support!

Warm wishes

David Beers
Editor, The Tyee

Sorry all, doubled up on the copy....ooops...

Max...wow, that's ballsy, eh? Ad revenue is obviously in the toilet. Buying coverage... hmmm.

I can't believe he can string the words 'award-winning journalism' into it.

And note; all subject topics listed are anti-Liberal/

I mean, who the heck does he think he is kidding?

The Tyee, another paper with no integrity and no credibility.

This rant was free of charge, not bought and paid for.

MSM have always told advertisers that they have zero control over the news or editorial departments. While that has been frustrating on a couple of occasions, I respect and appreciate the position.

I don't have a problem with the Tyee trying to pay the bills by appealing to all those like minded readers, but to tie donations to content focus really makes me feel very uncomfortable.

How is that any different than paid advertorial like you see on late night TV where they want to sell you something but wrap it up in a news style format.

Bad credibility move Mr. Beers.

Julia;

Editorial is suppose to be hands off to any influence. They are expected to report the facts, the news, the good and the bad.

Advertising depts have no control over editorial and that is the way it should be.

Advertorials are a whole different creature and are tagged as such. And some MSM will not run editorials even though there are good revenue dollars behing them.

The only pubs I know that will offer free editorial based on an ad purchse are some trades pubs (mining being one)which leads to highly biased editorial.

Perhaps I should take advantage of Mr. Beere's offer and suggest a writer cover a story on ethical journalism.

I see Vancouver Observer is also putting out the begging bowl. However while I wouldn't give a cent to the Solomon's vanity project the Tyee does deserve respect for much of what it has done and I would just look at this latest money raising concept as an unfortunate idea that is open to misinterpretation.

On another note has anyone noticed that the lenses of Mayor Robertson's glasses do not distort the line of his face even when viewed from an acute angle, as in the picture above? Sort of what you'd expect if they were plain glass and just worn to give an air of Gravitas.

@ david:

Several months back, the Vancouver Observor posted an editorial/sales employment ad on CL.

They were paying $3,600/month - so they can't be that broke.

As for the Tyee, the have outed themselves for what they are. Cheap, paid for journalism, zip credibility, no integrity and zero ethics.

Agreed Max. As a former journalist, this type of crap completely makes me want to throw up. The NUMBER ONE thing you must have as a journalist or media outlet is journalistic integrity.

I can accept a slant from columnists. What I can't accept is selling journalism and then trying to claim you're reputable. Frances Bula and Jeff Lee come to mind. They both are definitely slanted in their opinion, but I trust that their employers aren't taking "donations" or sales to make sure those two continue to report with their slant.

Anything the Tyee does now is brought into question. They don't have a shred of respect left.

To the best of my knowledge 'give us money so we can report on the stories that interest you' pretty much describes every media outlet and online news/opinion source in the world, including this one right here.

http://www.citycaucus.com/support

"In order to bring you even more high quality writing, video and audio features about urban politics and governance in Canada, we need your financial support through buying an advertisement or through a Monthly or One-Time Payment, or by inviting us to speak to your organization.

If you want to help us to continue to raise the profile of civic issues throughout Canada, then please consider providing us a financial gift through the convenient and secure payment options provided below."

Would love to know why the above quoted pitch is substantially different from the Tyee's.

Chris;

There is a world of difference when the Tyee is openly stating send us money and we will write what you want.

'So here's our proposal to you. Tell us your top issues. Donate whatever you can -- $25, $50, $200 -- and we'll see that money goes to pay a reporter to cover your issue during the provincial contest.'

Where on the CC site do they state they will do the same?

It says they'll cover the story, not write what you want.

"There is a world of difference when the Tyee is openly stating send us money and we will write what you want."

As Boohoo notes, they're not saying that.

All media outlets seek direction from their audience. Suggesting the Tyee is crossing a line that others aren't doesn't stand up to scrutiny. If that sort of thing bothers you, then how do you feel about consumer advocacy reporters, who often take story ideas from individuals with a vested interest in seeing their story get told?

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