I notice that other media keep reporting on what people around Gregor have to say about the mayor’s enthusiastic introduction of Gordon Campbell a couple of weeks ago (previous story here). You know, the introduction that would have gone unnoticed if the province weren’t on the brink of an election and if people weren’t looking for signs of hot schism.
First, there was a story in the Georgia Straight about Geoff Meggs saying what he thought the mayor regretted his glowing intro of the premier. Then there was another story today about “someone” in the mayor’s office saying the mayor did not endorse having his comments used in the Liberals’ campaign brochure.
Unless I’m missing something, few people have talked to the Robertson himself, except for Bill Good, who had him on a show recently and questioned him about the kerfuffle.
Out of idle curiosity, I asked the mayor a couple of days ago, while I was interviewing him about something else, what he had to say about the whole thing.
“I was over-exuberant in introducing the premier to an international audience,” he said, sounding a little exasperated but patient. “There were almost no voters there. I wasn’t thinking politically. It was a sport and environment conference. But given that we’re so close to an election, some of my comments were misconstrued by people. There have been people interpreting it as a political statement and it’s not.”
He also notes that he was also supportive of the principle of a carbon tax, though he “voted agains the one that got brought in without debate.” He said the province’s current carbon tax is problematic because it’s revenue neutral, which “doesn’t make any sense.” [For those who might argue that he’s fudging, I asked him about his position on the carbon tax back last July, when he was just running for mayor. He told me that while he wasn’t that happy with the way his former party had focused on the “axe the tax” message, he supported the fact that they had put forward an alternative plan, one that he’d had a part in. He wished they had focused more on that, rather than making it seem as though they were opposed to any attempt at carbon reduction.]