Former FD Element employee fingers Gregor Robertson's chief of staff in allegations of dirty tricks

Last night, Global TV inteviewed an unidentified man who claimed to be a former employee of FD Element.

In the broadcast, he alleged that Mayor Gregor Robertson's chief of staff, Mike Magee, orchestrated a campaign to discredit critics of his boss.

According to the report, a company that has received untendered contracts from the mayor's office, FD Element, paid for the creation of a Web site called civicscene.

The man behind the Web site, Jonathan Ross, is a former Vision Vancouver campaign operative and has frequently attacked journalists and politicians on civicscene.

(Full disclosure: I've been the target of several of Ross's posts, including this one, entitled An absolutely classless piece of journalism by Charlie Smith.)

The unnamed employee claimed that Magee directed the content through a private e-mail account. Ross, however, has claimed on his Web site that he wasn't a paid hatchet man and that he did this work in his free time for no pay.

The mayor's office informed the Straight that Magee is unavailable for comment this morning because he's "in transit" returning from China.

FD Element has distributed the following statment to the media: "As a matter of policy we do not discuss the details of client engagements, but we feel compelled to set the record straight with the facts. FD Element did not pay Jonathan Ross to write for his blog,, nor were we directed to do so by the Mayor’s office. Jonathan Ross and TDH were subcontractors for unrelated client engagements. As we have noted previously, this work was completely separate from our work with the City of Vancouver, including the Mayor’s office."

Related story: Gregor Robertson's chief of staff, Mike Magee, says he was defamed by ex-FD Element employee




Sep 15, 2010 at 12:49pm

The real question here is who paid those invoices and where did the money come from, the City of Vancouver or Vision? If ANY city money was used to fund Ross' blog, then this is a much bigger and more serious problem for Magee, Quinlan and Robertson.

East Van Arts

Sep 15, 2010 at 2:46pm

Ziggles is correct.

When stories like this break, they are inevitably made worse when the folks involved tell fibs. The lies are almost always bigger than the first transgression. The old Bill Bennett Socreds learned this fact the hard way.

IF City money has in any way been converted ("re-distributed") to a pro-Robertson blog, that should be acknowledged and those monies repaid. Immediately.

This is only happening because Gregor is in so much trouble with the Dunsmuir bikelanes. They are little used now. They won't be used at all when the rains start. And business along Dunsmuir is horrified.

Gregor is doing to Dunsmuir what he opposed doing to Cambie.

He can't have it both ways, though certain paid bloggers pretend he can.


Sep 15, 2010 at 7:27pm

Jonathon Ross's blog is a nasty low class piece of work. If Vision Vancouver are found to somehow be behind that nasty bit of ranting I suspect that they will have another F-bomb moment.