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Where is Gregor?

November 24th, 2008 · 37 Comments

I’m hearing a lot of grumbling from media types about Gregor Robertson’s sudden invisibility. His handlers say that he’s in deep transition mode and unavailable.

Critics point out that Barack Obama is in deep transition mode but manages to make a public appearance every day.

This could become a sore point as the weeks go on. People were already noticing during the campaign how hard it was to get hold of him, as his schedulers had him in “meetings” to the point where it took a couple of days to get a phone call returned. (Even I, who throw prima donna tantrums if I don’t get the access to which I feel I’m entitled, having covered more hours of committee meetings at city hall than anyone else alive except for the long-suffering city clerks, have felt a certain

Certainly a different style from Larry Campbell, who was always out and about and ready for a comment — sometimes to the horror of his fellow politicos and staff handlers.

I have no idea what the heck is going on in the Vision backrooms, but the lack of availability, if it continues, could lead to a suspicion that his team is afraid to let him go out on his own before he’s been completely programmed.

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  • Bill Bickerson

    I still give Gregor the benefit of the doubt. When does he officially become mayor anyways?

    By the way, did Peter Ladner actually go on vacation like he said he would on November 17.

  • Stepan Vdovine

    I hope Peter got a good deal on his holiday package, there are many fantastic bargains out there!

    Perhaps Larry Campbell’s “out and about” and constant “readiness for a comment” has something to do with his enormous egomania , his insufferable self-congratulations and his constant desire to make it to the front page.

    The current council term ends and the new term begins on December 1.

  • Bill Lee

    Look for the implant feeding verbal instructions from Mr. Meggs
    and gang. Look for a clear plastic ear-piece or they may try
    a bone conduction device from down below.

    And who are you, the Press, to expect hourly contact with His
    Worship. He has to share his time with thousands of city workers and
    lobbyists to space more than once a week with you people.

    And how does “Even I, …. feel a certain ” sentence end.
    A verb or three are missing. Two weekends off slow the mind or
    fingers, eh?

  • Wagamuffin

    LOL! I am so glad to see noone has given up here! Just back from licking my own wounds, looking forward to inflicting same on St. Gregor.


    Bill, the benefit of the doubt for Gregor ran out the moment he was announced the winner of the race. Get used to it, Vision boosters. ‘Tis the way of the world. It may be dumb to say you’re gonna take a vacation when you first become mayor, but dumber to be elected Mayor and appear to do the same—-without even leaving the city.

    I leave you with the words of a former union head who told me prior to the election, “Yes, he vacuous. And vapid. And less. But he’s OUR vacuous and vapid”.

    At this rate, this may be the shortest honeymoon on record…

  • Wagamuffin

    And please, can we refrain from mentioning “Obama Robertson” in the same story from here on in? As if they are somehow inextricably intertwined in some meaningful way (other than the “hope “message, which by the way, David Axelrod and his media group first used to great effect on the Governor of Massechussets campaign a few years ago. Good messaging—the gift that keeps on giving)?

    It’s an oxymoron, like “Jumbo shrimp”. Emphasis on the shrimp. Or the moron.

    Sir, Joel Soloman (or one of his other American money backers) knew Barack Obama. Or worked with Barack Obama—or knew someone who knew Barack Obama’s dry cleaner’s sister-in-law.

    You, Mr. Robertson, are no Barack Obama!

  • Indepedent Mind

    The election is over. Give Gregor a break. What is so important that you have to have a quote now. He is not Mayor until the beginning of December.

    Once Gregor Robertson is sworn in I am sure you will be able to find him. Look for him in the big building on Cambie.

  • Wagamuffin

    I didn’t know he was still working the breakfast shift at White Spot…

  • Vancouverism

    What, not even the slightest mention of the coverage on Gregor’s U.S. donors? How can it be?

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    What I find extraordinary is the willful shamelessness on the left…

    If Peter Ladner had won, and it was previously discovered that he had donors from the U.S. who were supportive of some moderate to right wing cause(s), how fast do you think questions would have been raised by the local press??

    I’m not saying St. Gregor’s donors are problematic, but how do we know that for sure? Only time will tell.

    I like Gregor. very much. He’s a friend, but something’s going on…

    As to the “absence (non)alert”, I refer to my own columns in the lead up to the election: Gregor has been consistently slipping from about the end of August. His own higher-ups admitted that much, his finish was hardly stellar. The NPA lost this as much as Vision can claim victory.

    It will be very interesting indeed to see which side of the NDP gets hold of the agenda; Gregor’s more moderate side, with the doctrinaire American New Ageists, or the traditional NDP Kingsway Mafia, who must touch upon each and every base to score.

    What will happen after it’s discovered that the Millennium deal, although handled very poorly, was just an extension of a previous commitment? What will happen to the “investigation” for more openness and honesty ends in foam and more rhetorical platitudes?

    What will happen when the promise to end homelessness arrives at ground zero and the Sainted One realizes that the issue is greater than the lather he spewed? What happens when the IDIOTIC, MORONIC promises of more needle festivals, and shooting casbahs runs up against the realities experienced and retold by the top addictionologists in the province? How do you ignore that and embrace the povertarians and harm seductionists? They had ten years of one godamned pillar, and failed.

    If His Holiness is taking a well-deserved break, fine. But if he’s being shielded, as he was for the final 45 dys, then you can ready the popcorn because ‘Gregor’s Excellent Adventure’ will end like the ‘Titanic’.

    Remember, you heard it here first…

  • Wagamuffin

    Yes, it’s passing strange, isn’t it?

    Were it any other party, we wouldhear cries of “American Imperialists!” raining down on us., ad nauseum.

    In the “Shoe is on the other Foot Department” I actually tried to make a donation to Hillary Clinton’s campaign because, after all, bitch is the new black, so I can totally relate. Ixnay on the anadian-cay stuff. The website wouldn’t take my credit card (and sternly informed me that ONLY Americans could donate. Seems they have some silly laws about that) ; therefore I was unable to do my part for Yankee democracy. Guess they don’t like foreigners butting into their elections…

    The odd collection of back-to-the-landers, triple bottom liners, wealthy, bored heiresses and health gurus from South of the Border that supported His Opaqueness should ring alarm bells up here in The Great White North. If only because I have seen Dr. Weil naked in a hot tub at Hollyhock–and lemme tell you folks, it’s not a pretty sight.

  • Wagamuffin


    Do you remember the marvelous film “The Candidate”? In it, a more than passingly handsome senatorial candidate , played by Robert Redford, rides a wave of uncritical media adoration and spews simple-minded slogans and platitudes to the public.

    Of course he wins. The electorate likes happy stories with simple messaging.

    The memorable last line in that film—Redford turns to his campaign manager after the win and at the celebrations and asks:

    “Now what?”

  • Wagatoast

    So let me get this straight – the critics bash the guy throughout the campaign for being all about looks, flash but no substance, just doing it for attention. Then 9 days – that’s right, 9 – after he becomes mayor, you decide to bash him besause what – he’s not mugging for the cameras?

    What exactly has happened that you need to hear from him on? Let the man get to work.

    If anyone out there can explain to me what Gregor has needed to publicly weigh in on since the election, that wasn’t dealt with ad nauseum during the campaign, in the election speech, the scrum following the election speech, or the scrum two days following the election, I’m all ears.

    We just had a mayor who spent every single moment trying to get media attention. We don’t need another. Even more telling is a failed mayoral candidate who is still trying to get attention with a shamelessly partisan witch hunt motion, despite an electoral humiliation resulting in the rejection of the tired, failed party that he led.

  • Wagatoast

    By the way, Alex, you should fire your pollster that gave you that ridiculous 3-point NPA lead poll.

  • Wagamuffin

    We don’t want mugging, Wagatoast. We want answers.

  • Not a Gregor Fan

    I remember Gregor saying at the Science World debate, that he would start the next day, he would be “chomping at the bit” so where is he??? This doesn’t suprise me, coming from the man who claims to understand and protectthe hardships of “Joe Average” and union workers, however, a corporation in California ,which his wife is the director of, owns his home (thanks for that info Frances).

    Gregormania is over and now that the smoke has settled, people are starting to realize that Gregor can’t end homelessness with happy planet juice and his good looks won’t stop our taxes from rising. The electorate wanted to punish the NPA, fair enough, but at the end of the day, they are really only punishing themselves… he is already going back on what he said he would be doing……

  • I was wondering the same thing. I am also very concerned that he is backtracking on what to do with City Hall officials and the $100 Million loan fiasco, and the shamefull way the Esther Lo situation was handled courtsey of Judy Rogers. Judy Rogers having the final say?

    Here is a quote from

    “I’m very concerned when a chief financial officer steps aside and resigns,” Robertson said. “I’d like to know why and what concerns exist around that.”

    But he acknowledged Judy Rogers, the city’s powerful top bureaucrat, would have the final say on the matter.

    “I’ll see what the city manager says about whether these concerns can be aired,” Robertson said.

  • Dawn Steele

    You guys are going to make me pull something – I’m sitting here scratching my head while gazing at my navel (and typing over my morning coffee) trying to figure out whether I’m an American Imperialist, a doctrinaire New Ageist, a traditional NDP Kingsway Mafia, a back-to-the-lander, a triple bottom liner, a wealthy, bored heiress and or a health guru from South of the Border.

    Isn’t there a category for ticked-off Main Street Moms who just think we can do a lot better for our kids and for all the folks being left behind (…which might be us if things keep going the way they are)?

  • Wagatoast

    Thanks for the Columbo-style inspiration, Wagamuffin. Last time I checked, our city’s top cop is already investigating – we don’t need Ladner’s keystone kop routine dragging it down.

    At least Jennifer Clark and John McCain knew how to exit gracefully.

  • ptak604

    For the sake of clarity, can we list the questions he should answer one at a time? That would give us all an idea whether there is

    a) an important and pressing matter or matters that need comment/insight

    b)if it’s just the media need to feed the news beast;


    c)posturing from a defeated right-wing party looking to undermine his leadership.

    I’m thinking I’m seeing more b and c in this thread than a, but am willing to be proven wrong.

  • MB

    I met Gregor while he was campaigning on West Broadway the week before the election, and I am quite sure he didn’t have a plastic ear implant. But I admit I didn’t look very closely because I was too distracted by an antena protruding out of the side of his head, waggamuffining away at the traffic to his left (at least it’s better than to his right).

    Why only one? I asked myself. I concluded that’s all they had time to install, and they hit a glitch and it got stuck before they could retract it with a remote beam from a suspicious Presidential Black Van With Tinted Windows parked nearby. But then, maybe the other antena was already fully retracted.

    For the record, I voted for him, antena and all, because the other candidate was worse … a zombie.

  • Wagamuffin

    Wagatoast, nobody likes a sore winner 😉

    Are you feeling a little nervous about what Gregor may have to say or do about all the Millenium bunk? Maybe he won’t come out looking so good? Perhaps it will appear that he smeared his way to the top spot? That his “win” will not be seen as the pristine vision of hope and change he had been offering up, but that indeed, he won after devising a campaign of fear mongering, half truths and perhaps outright lies?

    The Emporer may not too many clothes on after this all gets sorted. I doubt he did it on his own—let’s give his campaign staff some of the (dis)credit. There’s enough mud on this to pass around.

    And MB, I am thrilled to be a verb! Thanks for the props…by the way, I identify as a liberal as do many supporters of Peter Ladner. To say that any one candidate has cornered the market on compassion, idealism or action over the other is to show the world a level of ignorance that beggars description. Though I still try.

    I’m not too concerned with “right” versus “left” but I am concerned with “truth” verses “lies’—no matter which side of the political spectrum it comes from…

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    Actually, a little clarity on the press policy of the current Mayor…Sam was NEVER available for the hard questions or the tough interview, unless he was pumped full of rhetorical garbage that he would spew regardless of the question or the follow-up; or, he had some two-bit hack hovering over him, or around him, that would cut the interview short, so as to avoiding showcasing how triumphantly ill-prepared he was as Mayor.

    Otherwise, he was wrapped tighterthanthis and never allowed to freestyle.

    He did that once: And the strike lasted forever…

  • mezzanine

    I found it unusual that he was a no-show for the Aga Khan’s appearance. Gordon Campbell and Derek Corrigan were there – if Bronconnier in Calgary, and Derek Corrigan could attend, what happened to Robertson?

  • Gregor does not strike me as accessible at all.

    Not that that matters. More important to see how he and the new power council move things along.

  • Lolo

    Let’s hope they can get it together and effect some positive change together without spending us into a debt that cuts services and takes a decade to clean up.

    It doesn’t take much for the truth to come out.

    Frances, it is a bit quick to announce there is a problem when the G-Man.

    Let’s hope he is doing what he should be, working hard to not F things up for the left civically like his COPE predecessors.

  • “The NPA lost this as much as Vision can claim victory.”

    I am so bored with this old line. Can anyone name one election where the losing party didn’t lose? No media screw-ups, no scandals, no bad party/candidate history to blame, just a battle between two really great candidates that was fought fairly and the winner out-policied and out-debated the loser?

    And what do you mean by “problematic” donors? Linked to crime? Linked to people trying to make the world a better place for their children to live in but too New Age for you?

  • ptak604

    So no real questions, just some innuendo from the lesser of two Wagas? Huh. Fancy that.

  • A. G. Tsakumis


    I ask you to look at the background of the individuals in question before you judge my statements. I think you might find it enlightening.

    Also, I’m sorry that I was not more precise in the line which you are “so bored” of…

    It goes without saying that Vision ran a very good campaign, but the NPA spectacularly lost it’s bearings, on a number of fronts. the ‘Sam Factor’, which was huge particularly in traditional NPA territiory ate into any potential Peter had to do well. Frankly, I’m suprised you don’t understand this.

    In the course of battle, yes, there is one winner to whom the spoils go, but when the losing party was magnificently deficient, then, yes, too, the line you are “bored” of, is certainly apropos in describing said battle, more accurately.


    New sport…
    I win!

    I saw Gregor on Nov 24th at Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre.

    Probably at the same time you were writing the article. Sorry I didn’t report sooner… but been kind of busy…

  • Wagamuffin

    No innuendo, at all ptak604. Alex pretty much summed up what I’m thinking. Gregor’s made some serious some allegations couched in rhetoris as a way to try to stay out of the line of fire—now, he has to explain his way out of them.

  • Wagamuffin

    Actually, upon reading your comments about “innuendo” in relation to Millenium, ptak604, I wonder if you understand how the term “ironic’ could be applied here…

  • Wagamuffin

    Time out: I hope everyone here will condemn wholeheartedly the violence that has just occured in Mumbai. A tragedy, a travesty…

  • A. G. Tsakumis


    Until the world recognizes that we are, and likely have been for some time, in an utterly false state of security, nothing will change.

    The bombings will continue and the terror will receive extended play in the countries where ‘social’ norms include, but are not limited to, female genital mutilation as a (terrifically sickening) form of behavior modification and malicious religious indoctrination, that at it’s zenith, produces the kind of arresting evil which you appropriately condemn herein.

    What we witness today, is no different than any other terrorist attack, in its intent; which is to say that the swine who find this mode of deadly political expression, a par exercise, will continue, must continue, because it is the only method by which they can claim the last half century of rank insanity as being the norm in their armpit of the world.

    You will not, dear heart, hear from the obliviots who cannot defend the gallant Israelis from the same scourge that became manifest today. It goes against their sense of ambiguity, in fact, hypocrisy.

    Terror will actually be defended by some, as a retaliatory effort by an oppressed lot, whom have been brought to their knees by Zionist/American imperialism–the purest horse manure available to mankind today.

    India is not compliant enough to the want of Islamofacism, so, we see the acts today as a response, when it is anything but…

    Pierre Elliot Obama has inherited the inbox from hell, to be sure, but with Miss Piggy-In-A-Pants Suit as SoS, he has made a complete mockery of American foreign policy, and no less so than the doctrinaire ramblings of the wayward Bush Administration. Notwithstanding her conflict-a-minute resume and that fact that she has accepted campaign funds in both senatorial races from proven terrorist affiliated Islamist groups, she will be monumental disaster.

    Get ready for the crowpie folks. I’ll agree that Palin was a mess and the wrong choice, but we survived Quayle…Obama has already backtracked on everything he promised.

    So, don’t forget to really kiss the kids, because we are about to enter one of the most dangerous times in world history with Gilligan and Mrs. Howell at the wheel of the Bismarck…

  • “It goes without saying that Vision ran a very good campaign, but the NPA spectacularly lost it’s bearings, on a number of fronts. the ‘Sam Factor’, which was huge particularly in traditional NPA territiory ate into any potential Peter had to do well. Frankly, I’m suprised you don’t understand this.”

    I understand the dynamics of the election just fine, thanks. I understand that Vision’s campaign was well-run if not overwhelming, I understand Sam’s legacy was weighty, I understand that Ladner didn’t deal well with the issues that came up. You should be surprised if I didn’t understand that.

    That wasn’t the point, however. In most elections I can think of one party has been hampered by poor leadership, bad history, and/or scandal or mishap. It’s simply a tired and rarely insightful phrase.

  • ptak604

    Waga-yes, he should probably explain a lot of the things that were said during the campaign. If you think that he needs to do the RIGHT NOW, you are either an idiot or playing one on the internet. There is more than enough time for him to answer questions, and probably nothing will fall down in the next week if he hasn’t answered before the new council is sworn in. Either stop pushing buttons for the sake of your partisan motives, or give up the question(s) that simply must be answered today, and your reasons for that.

    And please gentlemen, get into detail about your concerns in regards to Gregor’s donors. So far, the only thing I see are vague generalities about “social engineering,” which is something all sides of the political spectrum do at all times whenever they take any action whatsoever. Anything substantive you can add would be appreciated.

  • “And please gentlemen, get into detail about your concerns in regards to Gregor’s donors….Anything substantive you can add would be appreciated.”

    Agreed. I recognize a few names in the list of donors of $5000 or more, but I’m not really familiar with them.

  • Maybe he was resting, it can take a lot out of you, it’s not as rough as the one man machine, but having no space with a handler prison has got to require some rest and escape. A vacation from sicophants is not outrageous.


    Gölök Zoltán Buday
    “Delusion has been defined by some as a strongly held belief not held in popular thought,
    so essentially we have pollsters and pop-culture marketeers deciding what is delusional and what is clear thinking, not [even] psychiatrists.” — Black Jester, aka Gölök Z. L. F. Buday.