Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Gregor Robertson is the best choice for mayor of Vancouver

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column

Tuesday November 4, 2008

Robertson's the one for mayor


Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.

- Peter Drucker, management consultant

Non-Partisan Association mayoralty candidate Peter Ladner is a good man who has dedicated much to public service.

I have known and liked Peter for many years, before he became a city councillor.

But I believe Vision Vancouver's Gregor Robertson is the best choice for mayor of the city.

I have also known and liked Gregor for a long time - and I encouraged him to run for mayor because he is the right person at a very challenging time.

Why? Homelessness is Vancouver's biggest issue and Gregor Robertson has the commitment and energy to help solve it.

It's an embarrassment that in a city with Vancouver's wealth we cannot house the homeless.

Recently I was downtown on Burrard Street early in the morning. On the steps of a church were a dozen homeless people sleeping while BMWs and Porsches zoomed by. It's shameful.

Robertson has promised to end homelessness by 2015, modelling his plan on successful examples in Portland, Calgary and New York City.

It will be difficult and ambitious - but that's exactly what Vancouver needs.

And it's obvious to anyone who walks around Vancouver that our homelessness problem has got dramatically worse during three years of NPA rule under Mayor Sam Sullivan and Peter Ladner.

Sadly, Ladner said in a debate, October 9, when asked what he would do as soon as elected: "I don't have anything that's burning in my mind that we're absolutely going to jump in there and change the minute I become the mayor."

Robertson's answer: "On day one, we need to pull people together right away to start crafting our plan to end homelessness in Vancouver by 2015."

That sense of urgency and commitment are what Vancouver wants - and not just on homelessness.

Affordable housing in Vancouver is as rare as homeless people on the streets are common. That has to change - and you do that by changing city hall.

Why Robertson?

He has already demonstrated his commitment to righting wrongs as an MLA by fighting for compensation for Cambie Street merchants whose businesses were devastated by rapid transit construction and for people with mental disabilities who faced losing their group home - Hampton Court.

Robertson has a remarkably successful background as an entrepreneur who co-founded Happy Planet juices. The combination of business expertise and social justice makes Gregor Robertson my clear choice for mayor.

And to ensure Robertson can deliver on his commitment, he needs a strong Vision Vancouver/Coalition of Progressive Electors/Green Party team at city council, school and park board after the Nov. 15 election.

No column next week on Remembrance Day but check my blog for more on the municipal elections.

And I will be commenting on election night on CKNW AM 980.


Anonymous said...

After another story like this don't ever, ever make a comment about the major media and their favortism. You are no different.

DPL said...

Everyone has a opinion, but to try to connect the selling power of a couple of large media companies to a blog is a bit of a stretch. At least one editorial has told us the NPA guy is the only sensible way to go. Folks hiding behind anonymous usually are often dismissed.Annd of course can appear on either or both sides of anything. People pretty well know which side of the fence BIll T. is on

BC Mary said...

Oh yes he is different, 8:39!

Bill T.'s opinions aren't sold to you as News of the Day, with a bias masquerading as analysis.

Bill T. is not a Spin Doctor on our government payroll as a "Public Affairs Officer".

Very different. Count your blessings.


Anonymous said...

A colleague of yours had this to say about Robertson's recent indiscretion:

I was the moderator at a Ladner-Robertson debate 6 days ago.

Here's what Gregor Robertson said.

"People need to pay their fair share of Translink."

He said that while not for a moment admitting that he had this charge waiting for him or that he was going to go to court to contest it.

And we are being asked to trust him.

Although I loath most of what this curmudgeon posts , on this one I must agree. Trust is sacred 'n' Roberston has just proven that he cannot be trusted, but then again, has there ever been a politician one could trust?

Anonymous said...

I was really excited when Gregor announced he would be running for mayor. Sullivan has been both an embarrassment and a dismal failure; likely one of the worst mayors Vancouver has ever had. Gregor appeared like a breath of fresh air.

But his handling over his transit ticket mistake shows he is clearly unfit for the job. People make mistakes; we all do. And when we make mistakes we pay. Had Gregor manned up to his mistake and taken responsibility he would have impressed me as an honest person. Instead he tries this last minute political spin show and that tells me he is no different than any other wannabe politician

Ask yourself this; with Vancouver property taxes sky rocketing; taxes that are also harder for low income home owners to pay. Is it OK if we all decide to follow Gregor’s lead and not pay our taxes out of the principal we think they are too high and not fair to lower income home owners ? Come on that s a crock of crap as Rafe Mair would say. I expect Gregor to know better.

If he want’s to re-earn my vote ne needs to come clean, apologize; and pay. Anything else is just lame political spin. I would suggest that Tielman knows better too; but in all reality it was likely Tielman who gave Gregor this stupid spin idea in the first place.

DPL said...

Het anon 801, you are a bit behind the facts. The media mentioned yesterday( Wed) that Gregor Robertson paid the fine, even thogh it was his reported intension to fight it because it was simply too hight for such a minor error. The Transportation Minister Falcon,was doing his best to discredit Rorertson as well. Falcon never did have any class, but low, and he is proving it again. Maybe it's time to talk about real important issues. It'[s time to stop tripping over wet, cold people in doorways. Maybe Falcon can direct his voice toward such issues.

Anonymous said...


yes you are right. I saw the headline on the Vancouver Sun at 8:31 am…..30 minutes after I posted my comments here.

I was very relived and glad to see that Gregor has come to his senses and done the right thing. If this had been Campbell the guy is so stubborn he would the fought the thing all the way. He is incapable of every deciding he took the wrong course of action. Campbell is the most stubborn politician I have ever come across.

It is refreshing that Gregor realized he made a dumb choice trying to use political spin instead of common sense. In the end common sense has prevailed and that is a quality I look for in people running for public office. I am much happier now than I was this morning

8:01 am singing off

P.S. Mark my words; Gregor just won the election !

Anonymous said...

That is a quality I look for in people running for public office.

Deceitfulness is a quality I also look for in someone running for office 'n' then I cast a vote against. Simple as that!

Robertson? Ladner? Robertson? Ladner? A true dilema!

To paraphrase Churchill: Ladner is the worst of all possible choices until one considers the alternatives.

Anonymous said...

The NPA have been in power too long and even with the three years of Larry Campbell as Mayor there still wasn't a dent made on how the NPA controls what's happening behind the scene changes at City Hall.

What time is it? Time for Change!

The NPA may be in deep over the Olympic Village.

"A Global News story implicates the former president of Ladner's NPA party, Paul Barbeau, with Armeco, the group who owns the Millenium Development Corp - developers of the Olympic Village and a potential recipients of the city's $100 million loan.

To quote:

"Millenium is the development arm of the Armeco Group. The NPA council picked Armeco's Millenium for the massive (Olympic Village) deal, and Paul Barbeau was the President of the NPA and the President of Armeco Construction Limited in the years prior to the award.""

Anonymous said...

Bill, this is somewhat off topic but with the scandal around the $100 million guarantee by Vancouver Council, Ladner appears to have no hope. Googled one of the principals of Millenium and find their office is at 198 Hastings???? Yesterday (Fri) NYTimes has an article on Fortess the supposed financial backers. Stock hit low of $2.15 which shows what the stability of this outfit is. And Armeco Group partnering with Millenium has only one director, one Paul Barbeau, former head of Vancouver NPA. This one sure smells. And what is Sam (let's create a police state) doing writing the Liberals about their Convention in 2009. He won't be Mayor then. Does he not
understand this?