Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, a former NDP MLA, "regrets" that he went over the top in praising B.C. premier Gordon Campbell, a member of the mayor’s caucus told the Straight.
Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs, an old NDP hand, said that he spoke with Robertson about the mayor’s glowing introduction of the Liberal premier at a March 30 conference.
"My concern is that people will read this as a partisan statement, and I don’t think it was intended that way," Meggs said. "The mayor regrets that his language was a bit unguarded."
In his introduction of the premier, Robertson commended Campbell’s "leadership", and said that he may actually have "a bit of advantage" in going for a "three-peat", or a third term.
Meggs said that the mayor is working to get the province’s help on municipal issues, and that’s why he needs to have a "relationship" with the governing party.
"He really regrets the confusion that this has caused in some quarters," Meggs said. "There’s no doubt it has frustrated some people, but I think the long gain here is to make sure that we get everything done to fight homelessness, work on transportation issues."
Mel Lehan, Campbell’s NDP challenger in Vancouver–Point Grey, hopes Robertson will turn up one of these days at his events. The NDP candidate claimed he is "doing stuff in the community that earns respect", while the premier has alienated a lot of people.
"The thing is, the mayor and I have a lot in common," Lehan told the Straight. "We’re both community people. He and I are both very involved in food-security issues. He and I are both bicyclists. He and I are both very involved in environmental things, and we’re both fighting climate change. And we’re both involved also in homelessness."
Lehan noted that he’s organizing a public meeting on the impact of building a UBC–bound rapid-transit line along the West Broadway corridor. The forum will be held Tuesday (April 14) at St. James Community Square starting at 7:30 p.m.