Monday, April 28, 2008

Tieleman endorses Gregor Robertson for Vision Vancouver mayoralty nomination

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column

Tuesday April 29, 2008

Gregor's the one


The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. With-out it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.

- U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Vancouver needs a new mayor who will inspire the city, instead of infuriate it.

Vancouver needs a new mayor who will give citizens a sense of hope for a better future, instead of a feeling of hopelessness.

And Vancouver needs a new mayor who is passionate about solving our worst problem - the disgraceful homelessness that leaves those most in need with the least to deal with it.

Gregor Robertson is the right person for that job.

Robertson has impressive credentials - currently Vancouver-Fairview NDP MLA, he has also been a successful and progressive businessman who co-founded Happy Planet juices and an organic farmer.

What's more important, is simply Robertson's integrity and sense of public service. He gave up a respected business to get into provincial politics, not because of ambition but out of a deep anger at Premier Gordon Campbell's attacks on social programs and the environment.

After meeting Robertson years ago, I was so impressed that I urged him to run.

I'm still impressed, especially with his fighting for compensation for Cambie Street merchants whose businesses have been devastated by Canada Line construction, and for people with mental disabilities who faced eviction from Hampton Court, their long-term home.

Now Robertson seeks Vision Vancouver's nomination for mayor, and at a critical time.

As he said about homelessness in launching his campaign: "In the midst of our affluence, we see soul-crushing poverty on a daily basis that is deplorable."

Meanwhile, Non-Partisan Association Mayor Sam Sullivan has been such a disappointing failure that his longtime colleague - NPA councillor Peter Ladner - is challenging Sullivan for that party's nomination.

"Overall I feel the mayor has lost the confidence of voters," Ladner says.

Robertson faces two contenders for the Vision Vancouver nomination - Coun Raymond Louie and park board commissioner Allan De Genova.

Louie is a good councillor but was part of the acrimonious 2004 split within the Coalition of Progressive Electors that saw he, then-mayor Larry Campbell and councillor Tim Stevenson leave to form Vision. To win, Vision Vancouver and COPE must bring together centre-left voters, a real challenge for Louie.

De Genova was a veteran NPA commissioner before a bitter split with Sullivan. He has considerable experience but cannot easily attract the centre-left votes needed to win either.

Gregor Robertson has none of that past history and is the best choice to take on Sullivan. If you agree, visit his website: before the May 15 Vision Vancouver nomination sign-up deadline.


DL said...

I don't get to vote for Gregor because we no longer live in Vancouver. But I do follow his web site and did so before he announced his intention to run. We used to belong to COPE, and assisted in local elections for COPE, when we lived in the city and were upset when they, after getting to run the places started their infighting. When the left and center start arguing in public the right side of things really prompt them to keep at it. I feel that Gregor can make a good mayor and has the ability to get COPE folks onside. Go prove us right Gregor

Chris said...

I'm really rooting for Gregor. He'd make an awesome Mayor. I'm upset I won't be in town on June 15, but I'm signing up as many friends as possible.

Go Gregor!

Bill Tieleman said...

More endorsement news today for Gregor Robertson:


April 29, 2008

VANCOUVER - NPA School Trustee Eleanor Gregory today endorsed Gregor Robertson for mayor. Gregory says that it is time for a clean break from the overly partisan politics of the past.

"This city wants and needs a leader who will bring people together to focus on the issues that are important to us all. Gregor Robertson is that kind of leader. I believe Gregor can lead Vancouver beyond the divide and conquer politics we have experienced in the past."

Gregory says that her decision to support Robertson is consistent with her view of what politics can, and should, be.

"I have always believed that a good idea is a good idea regardless of where it originates. I have worked well with my school board colleagues regardless of their political affiliation and I am looking forward to working with Gregor in the weeks ahead."

Budd Campbell said...

I don't doubt that Gregor Robertson is a good candidate for Mayor of Vancouver. And his departure is a significant loss for the provincial NDP and for BC politics.

However, the fact remains that in an unamalgamted Greater Vancouver all these local races, for Mayor of Vancouver, or Surrey, or Richmond, or even Burnaby are of remarkably little consequence. The GVRD cannot solve fundamental problems and lapses instead into a background service role, doing principally sewer and water works. All the thornly problems around crime and policing and most of all transportation and land use either are mishandled by the local yokels, or else Victoria selectively intervenes.

Not a healthy or functional situation, and one that leads to among other things the exhorbidant price of housing. That, of course, may well be the hidden agenda behind keeping this apparently useless arrangement, making sure that people who have already gotten into the housing market can maximize their untaxed capital gains in their principal residence.

Anonymous said...

Is the National Endowment for Democracy throwing its support behing Raymond Louie?

Anonymous said...

Went to a Raymond Louie event last night. 15 persons there.

Whoever runs for Mayor of Vancouver will be up against unscupulous, bizarre behavior from the current incumbent with his personal slush fund of $$$$ & is known to crush opponents ( or words to that effect). Perhaps, Bill, you have seen that movie?

tinaz said...

hi Bill

I live in the city of Vancouver and I don't always participate in civic elections however our present Mayor has made me want to vote and I believe that Gregor would be what Vancouver needs.

Knowing Gregor cares about the environment, I copied a letter that had been sent to Mayor Sullivan regarding the cell towers being installed on the roof of the building I live in.

Unfortunately by the time Gregor gets elected, the cell towers that the city is approving around the city, will be all over town, including a building next to yours.

Tina Z

Anonymous said...

Go get them Gregor! Take the whole works of these NPA bums out and bury them and their corrupt corporate buddies!
Sullivan is very good at covering his money trail he is like a snake in the grass especially when it came time to protect OUR Democratically elected BC Transit board from the fascist turfing and Gordo's appointing his own "ye boss" idiots especially exNDP Premier Mike Harcourt = turncoat

Anonymous said...

Gregor Robertson's my MLA & definitely seems like the best option out there for Vancouver mayor. Not very experienced and likely to stumble here & there, but you get the impression that he's a genuinely good guy with the right intentions who will try to do the right thing for the city.

Sam has been a disaster and I think if the Vision folks choose Di Genova instead it would lead to a disastrous split of the progressive vote and just help Sam get re-elected.

tinaz said...


I was thinking today that since there are no good leaders right now to take the place of Carole James, Gregor may have been a good candidate for that party as leadership.

I don't believe that Mike Farnworth's got what it takes. In my opinion there is no substance in him but there is or it appears that Gregor has lot's of substance, but the question is whether he would be able to stop the criminal organization that is effecting all of the residents of BC?

Certainly Gregor's heart appears to be in the right place, however poverty is only the tip of the iceberg.

It would really pain me to see Campbell win the next provincial election and see Wally Oppal appointed again as AG of this province because nothing is being done regarding criminal organization in British Columbia.

I heard Misha Glenny on Global TV this week when promoting his book McMafia saying that BC has the most criminal organization per capita in the world due to its narcotic trade and apparently law enforcement can do nothing about it.

We have a serious problem Bill especially when the AG and the courts together are failing the populous.

Tina Z

John said...

Gregor is not ready to be mayor. It seems from the information available Gregor was encouraged by political influence (read NDP) to quit mid-term as an NDP in opposition MLA to run for mayor of Vancouver - a position he is unprepared for and indeed, a position which he once stated publicly he held in lower esteem than his MLA position. I believe this is a career choice for Gregor, not the best choice for Vancouver. I do believe Gregor when he says he wants the best for Vancouver, but his record and experience are much too incomplete and suspect - not for intent, but for ability. Further, Gregor's idea he can use his position as candidate to publicly demonstrate such disrespect for the rules, right or wrong, regarding his outstanding fine for cheating (incompetent or corrupt?) the transit system really brings into question how he would lead. The mayor is head citizen, but citizen none the less. I have seen nothing but unsubstantiated promises from Gregor's slick campaign. He is running on empty. I encourage all voters to read everything they can, especially away from the party sites, and educate themselves on the candidates. We need substance, not slick promises. These are my impressions, but I believe strongly in each to their own. An informed voter will best serve their city. Please, don't spontaneously accept the hype. We're supposed to be smarter than that. Beware a hollow campaign from any political initiative.