Condo king Bob Rennie condemns NPA board for not allowing members to elect a mayoral candidate

Vancouver real-estate marketer Bob Rennie has blasted the Vancouver NPA board for selecting a mayoral candidate behind closed doors.

In an interview with the Georgia Straight, Rennie said that he agrees with NPA director Ken Charko, who recently slammed his party's process in an interview with the Straight.

The NPA director said that he abstained from voting in what he characterized as a "star chamber" proceeding, in which prospective mayoral candidates were interviewed for the job by the NPA board.

"I'm with Ken Charko," Rennie said. "The system seems tainted that only a board would vote on who's going to be the head of a party."

Rennie, a long-time supporter of Vision Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, said money can no longer determine the outcome of Vancouver elections "because the one percent don't control it anymore".

"And we saw that in the last municipal election," he claimed.

Rennie also questioned why former Vancouver Sun managing editor Kirk LaPointe is being considered as an NPA mayoral candidate.

LaPointe, publisher at North Vancouver's Self-Counsel Press, and former NPA park commissioner Ian Robertson are the two remaining mayoral under consideration by the NPA board. A third possibility, tech entrepreneur Leonard Brody, dropped out earlier this week, throwing his support behind LaPointe.

"Watching Kirk LaPointe, where has he been in my city before, caring for the common good?" Rennie asked. "I feel I'm one of Christy Clark's strongest provincial supporters yet I was not a supporter of Christy Clark to drop into our city [to seek an NPA mayoral nomination in 2005]. It's not the right thing for Vancouver. If Kirk LaPointe's putting on a political suit of armour so that he can carry on and do things elsewhere, go use someone else's city." 

Then he added this: "Gregor is doing a wonderful job keeping Vancouver alive on the business front and on the green front. And I don’t see what Kirk LaPointe has done to improve the common good for our city, and now he’s just going to want to drop in because he’s looking for a job.”

But Rennie saved perhaps his sharpest criticism for NPA president Peter Armstrong, who founded the Rocky Mountaineer rail service.

"Peter Armstrong said six months before the provincial election, 'Let's change leaders and not have Christy Clark.' I look at Peter Armstrong as needing to be right more than protecting the common good," Rennie said.

Rennie also revealed that Armstrong approached him when he was speaking with four people and declared that he knew of Rennie's political leanings.

"I said to Peter, 'I've never hidden who I'm with'," Rennie said. "I'm very transparent with my politics. I said to Peter, 'There is no other choice.' "

Rennie added that Armstrong replied that "we have a plan."

"The plan doesn't seem to be what the NPA is planning," Rennie continued. "It seems to be about what Peter Armstrong is planning. And that frightens me. That sincerely frightens me when you see one person having that much control over a party—and then when I see only the board is electing who they're going to choose rather than the NPA at large voting with who they want to choose.

"I'm with Ken Charko," Rennie repeated for the third time in the interview.

Armstrong couldn't be reached for comment late this afternoon to reply to Rennie's remarks.

Comments (19) Add New Comment
Bob Rennie likes to run the City of Vancouver HIS way.

Can't stand the competion, eh, Bobby?
Rating: +67
Canada’s condo-mania to blame for lack of affordable rentals: OECD From @GlobeBusiness
Rating: +61
Drew Meikle
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose for the tired old NPA.
Rating: -13
A bit rich, coming from Rennie
For Rennie to bemoan the state of the democratic process in the NPA rings a bit hollow. Rennie and his crew will simply buy the next election for Vision.
The developer financed Vision machine will simply steam roll all opposition, but hey, at least Vision's nomination process will be "democratic".
Rating: +51
Perhaps Rennie should run for mayor just to make it official. He rules the City anyway. #25Klunch
Rating: +47
I am more concerned with Rennie's influence with the Mayor and his $25,000 per plate lunches so people can talk with Robertson. Selling access to politicians is illegal in some places but Rennie bragged about his plan.
Rating: +50
Save Vancouver
So the real estate salesman who pimped out access to Gregor to developers for $25,000 a plate doesn't like the NPA? What a surprise.
Rating: +52
So Rennie IS working for the common good of the city? And what would that be? Using political favour to make buckets of money for developers and "condo kings?" Man, I feel better already.
Rating: +48
White Spot
So wait - Vision and the NPA are just different groups of BC Liberals? Good lord. I'm sick of people using Vancouver's City Hall as a pipeline to provincial or federal politics.
Rating: +21
Mark A
These comments by Bob Rennie are almost comical.
This is the guy who sponsored a meal with the Mayor to the tune of $25k per plate. When will he release a list of the people who took him up on the 1 %'s little party. Something to hide, Bob ?
How much money have you and you developer friends given to Vision and how much control do you wield ?
This is the guy who is definitely part of CANADA'S 1%. I would love to know how the balance sheets of his marketing and sales company have grown during his "friendship" with Vision Vancouver dominated council.
How conveniently the article quickly mentions but does not explain that both Vision and Cope boards have also picked their candidates in the past and continue to do so for Mayor and Council. That is the proverbial "pot calling the kettle black".
As for saying that Kirk LaPointe is "using "Vancouver for something else , might I suggest that Vision and it's bankers ( Tides Canada et al ) stop using Vancouver as an experiment in social engineering.
Rating: +51
White Spot
I think Vision is as terrible as anyone - but the TIDES conspiracy? What dreck.
Rating: -16
Dave Harper
Does Rennie denounce the assertions of Denike and Woo that senior realtors believe that policies in support of trans-gendered students negatively impact property values?
Rating: +6
T-Bone Stallone
Why is this guy even getting any air time?
Rating: +21
Alan Layton
Let me guess. All those who are slamming Rennie live in basement suites off Commercial Dr.
Rating: -42
@Alan Layton
And what if they do? What are you saying?
Rating: +26
Vision Vancouver chose Jim Green in 2005.
And this self proclaimed "condo-king" has received SO MUCH benefit from his personal relationship with Gregor that to say anything positive about NPA would have Gregor's head spinning in a negative direction. Rennie was the person who organized a $25,000 a plate luncheon for his pal Gregor... So any words that Rennie says should be taken with many grains of salt... he is, after all, biased in favor of the mayor who gives developers whatever they want... including - as declared by Andrea Reimer a while ago: "Vancouver has many ugly buildings".
Rating: +19
Alan Layton
Stuart - won't disagree at all that Rennie is a major and very open supporter of Robertson. As with many supporters, they choose candidates that will most likely help their own personal causes and agree with their philosophies. Lower income people might vote more for COPE since their platform is to increase the comfort of people making less money.

However, I don't see how you can attribute Reimer's statement to only include buildings that were built in Robertson's era. Vancouver councils have been approving ugly buildings for many decades, not least of which were those belonging to the style known derisively at Brutalism, from the early 1970's - when Robertson was just a kid. If you have an evidence that she was talking about buildings from Robertson's era then it would be great to see it.

I think the worst architectural transgression was the Hong Kong style design built en masse on the Expo lands. One of the reason that Vancouver has very few iconic buildings is due to the 'mountain view' folks who go nuts whenever a building might conceivably compete visually with our rather dull local mountains. That alone is responsible more than anything for our rather dull buildings and streets - remember the anti-neon movement of the 60's and 70's?
Rating: -7
All our lives, we have been taught to relish the victory of the underdog. It's instictive to root against the Bob Rennies of this world because he is an overdog, therefore he and all he touches must be wrong.

But you have to root FOR something too. What's the NPA going to do for you, Straight reader and person of conscience? I am uneasy about a clean sweep for Vision because the role of a loyal opposition is not to be underestimated, but the NPA and for that matter COPE are furiously bailing water. I hope they can get it together in time for the election so that people who don't like Vision can actually vote for something.
Rating: +2
Because Bob Rennie is such a Vision acolyte, I have to wonder how the 3rd Floor feels about him calling David Suzuki 'David Fu*king Suzuki' in a recent speech. Of course Suzuki was railing against wealthy real estate purchasers, so i guess that makes it OK, eh Bobby?
Rating: +11
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