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National Post review of Vancouver’s “hybrid mayor”

September 5th, 2009 · 3 Comments

It’s always interesting to see how those of us outside the bubble view Vancouver politics and personalities. The mayor is always the key character people like to focus on.

I’d say that for those who cover city hall intensively, Gregor Robertson is still a conundrum. He’s kept mostly under wraps and only allowed out to talk to media when the game plan has been carefully scripted. As a result, it’s hard to get a sense of what real impact he is having on city initiatives and policies (as opposed to what impact his political team around him is effecting).

I hear he’s the one who pushes for some of the most radical actions — but I have no real idea if that’s true. It’s all hearsay, unlike what I used to experience with Sam Sullivan or Larry Campbell, where I felt like I got a pretty good read on what they really cared about personally and their operating style.

I do hear (and not just from the predictable right) the occasional comment from average people that they find him a bit flaky. Or that he hasn’t done much besides community gardens and chickens. But I have no idea whether that’s a widespread view. The only indicator around are the recent results, partially published today, in the Globe about who a good potential successor to Gordon Campbell would be. While Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was way out in front of the pack, ahead of even long-time ministers like Rich Coleman, Kevin Falcon and Colin Hansen, Robertson barely registered.

But there’s one outside-the-bubble assessment, Brian Hutchinson at the National Post weighing in on Gregor Robertson and what he deems to be his successful term so far.

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  • Coneilius

    I think looking at who supports GR is important. There are his american organic food contacts, who donated substantially to the campaign, then there are his original business backers, Joel Solomon and Carol Newell of Endswell Foundation and finally the Union donations, of which I know little about (maybe someone can fill in this blank).

    If you look at Cortez Islanders two americans pop up again, Carol Newell & Joel Solomon. Both of whom are an integral part of Cortez Islands Hollyhock, which hosted that other Cortez Islander, Tzeporah Berman at the beginning August at an invite only conference about leadership and change (I think). Was GR in attendance? Berman sits on the board at Hollyhock and is also executive director of PowerUpCanada, of course she is also spearheading the fight to allow IPP’s in BC and if you read PowerUp’s blog, she waste’s no time in attacking many of the stances of local grassroots enviro groups.

    On the one hand I like what GR represents. On the other I am curious to understand why he associates with Berman, whom for me the jury is still out on.

  • Bill Lee

    Might T.O. be examining another “leftish” mayor (in that odd inane Canadian way of seeing ‘left’) as a precursor to the re-election campaign for David Miller who cut out toys-for-the-boys when he came to power.

    The (Toronto) Star is all over the campaign in Saturday’s turgidity.
    Linkname: COLUMN: Men who would be king,

    also titled

    Linkname: | GTA | Tory or Smitherman to take on David Miller

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    I’m wondering where in Hutchinson’s column he arrived at the conclusion that Gregor has been “successful”?