Gregor Robertson: Invincible?

Photo by Trevor Jansen, Creative Mornings

Photo by Trevor Jansen, Creative Mornings

Vancouver’s municipal political scene has begun to show signs of pre-electoral activity- an unexpected turn of events since the electoral year has proved somewhat boring so far. But campaign teams may be starting to spring into action. News about a Non Partisan Association (NPA) fundraiser emerged shortly after Vision Vancouver released an electoral video, starring none other than its flag-bearer, Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Both events remind us that in less than six months Vancouver’s residents will be called to the polls. But, so far, the upcoming election’s main characters have been fairly absent from the local political sphere.

This could be partly because no candidate, at least none able to shake the Robertson fortress, has as yet made an appearance. As we know, the NPA hopes to deprive Vision Vancouver of a third mayoral mandate. In fact it is the NPA president’s prime objective, going as far as personally financing a small team of electoral organizers.

The success achieved by the recent NPA fundraiser now allows him to believe that change may just be in the air. Honestly, there seems to be a sense of unease floating around the current mayor. He appears vulnerable. Many Vancouverites believe that as mayor he simply doesn’t listen to the majority and only gives the appearance of consultation when it comes to the city’s major development projects. If we are to believe the NPA’s web slogan –
“You Deserve a Voice” – their internal polls seem to come to the same conclusion.

However, even though the NPA is reasonably well positioned to exploit Vision Vancouver’s apparent weakness, they will still need much more to secure the mayoral chair. First and foremost, they will have to release sooner rather than later the name of their candidate for mayor. Time is of the essence. If they don’t reveal the name of that candidate before the end of June, it might look like they are having trouble finding someone able to challenge Gregor Robertson.

A change may very well happen. Many Vancouverites’ apparent indifference to the election so far is not unwarranted. Take, for example, Vision Vancouver’s online electoral video. Notwithstanding the fact that this sort of electoral tactic is often grandiose in tone, this particular one takes the cake. In fact we hear in it the most extraordinary declaration. I don’t know if you have seen it but it’s worth doing so. Mayor Robertson is seen, in all seriousness, declaring that Vision Vancouver has “fixed” the traffic congestion problem in Vancouver.


Unless one has been away from the city these past few years, one would say that this is not the case. On the contrary: never has this city been so congested. And most insulting is that this situation is mainly the consequence of policies implemented by the current team. Whether you are for or against bike lanes and other obstacles to traffic flow in the name of the pipe dream of making Vancouver the greenest city in the world is of no importance. The result is that cars running on idle are the norm in this city. And this goes very much against the green dream. In fact the whole thing could be nothing but a mirage.

Let’s wait and see what voters decide come November.