Gregor Robertson not seeking B.C. NDP leadership, Vision executive director confirms

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      Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson is much admired by Bob Simpson, the NDP MLA whose expulsion from the caucus in October forms part of the chain of critical events that led to the resignation today (December 6) of Carole James as party leader.

      But those wishing to see Robertson riding to the rescue of the deeply divided party will be disappointed, according to the executive director of the mayor’s Vision Vancouver party.

      “All I can say really is he’s been very clear to Vision,” Ian Baillie told the Straight about Robertson. “He’s running for mayor. He stated that on many different occasions. He plans to run again for mayor.”

      The NDP may choose a new leader in early 2011. The next municipal election is set for November of next year.

      Baillie said that he’s amused but not surprised that many have been asking him whether or not Robertson is going back to provincial politics.

      “I think clearly he’s a very well-liked figure,” the Vision executive director said. “He’s perceived to have done a really good job. When you have that sort of qualities in a potential candidate, people naturally want to go out and recruit that candidate.”

      A former NDP MLA, Robertson was elected mayor of Vancouver in November 2008.

      “No, it’s not surprising for me at all that people would want him to run but it’s becoming a little bit more surprising because he’s stated several times that he’s planning to run for mayor,” Baillie added.

      Robertson issued a statement today in response to James's resignation.

      "I want to thank Carole James for her service and dedication to our province. As Opposition Leader, she was a tireless and passionate advocate for the people of BC. In the partisan and often gruelling world of provincial politics, she carried herself with dignity. Carole brought a thoughtful, more respectful tone to provincial politics and I wish her all the best in her next endeavours," Robertson stated.

      “As Mayor, I look forward to continuing to work with all members of the legislature to ensure we get results for Vancouver on issues like affordable housing, transit, public safety, and the economy."

      In a separate phone interview, Bill Saunders, president of the Vancouver and District Labour Council, said a new NDP leader should be able to unify the group that supported James and the one that called on her to step down.

      “The person, whoever he or she may be, has to be widely acceptable to both groups,” Saunders told the Straight.



      Ken Lawson

      Dec 6, 2010 at 4:19pm

      You have to be nuts, did Vision Vancouver give you this idea, he is not even a good candidate for mayor of Vancouver, will not be re-elected.

      11 9Rating: +2

      R U Kiddingme

      Dec 6, 2010 at 6:02pm

      Very good, Mayor McBikelane. It would be unseemly if you appeared to be interested. However, don't make us coax you indefinitely. If you were drafted at the convention, deign to show up!

      11 8Rating: +3

      glen p robbins

      Dec 6, 2010 at 7:37pm

      Gregor has pretty good numbers - if Christy is bold enough to make a run for it, with education issues swirling in Vancouver, Gregor can run against Christy - and she has a mountain to climb.

      Just push the rocks downhill.

      14 9Rating: +5

      Ad nauseum

      Dec 6, 2010 at 10:49pm

      No more bike lanes until Vancouver brings back licensing, and ticketing for cyclists!

      Bikes aren't bad, they're just ridden that way, sometimes.


      Dec 7, 2010 at 6:53am

      I'm confident that Gregor Robertson would do as good a job ignoring the citizens of BC has he has the citizens of Vancouver.

      Incidently, does anyone still have illusions that this guy is popular?

      9 7Rating: +2

      Happy planet boy can go....

      Dec 7, 2010 at 9:17am

      I hope the NDP takes him. Let him destroy another political party and get him out of Vancouver at the same time. Two birds with one stone.

      Chairman Gregor has got to go....

      Dec 7, 2010 at 12:00pm

      Are you kidding me? He isn't fit to be Mayor let alone Premier. This guy has spent $800K on new carpets and $200K for renos to his office, when property taxes continue to skyrocket. Never mind the $130K for him to fly to China and complain about Democracy repeatedly. The worst part is American Millionaires paid several hundred thousand into his compaign war chests. Disgusting. He doesn't listen to the taxpayers, and he won't get my vote, my friends votes, or my families votes.

      12 9Rating: +3

      bought and paid for media

      Dec 7, 2010 at 1:11pm

      Why did the Toad's Gregor smear campaign begin a few months back again?


      Dec 7, 2010 at 3:46pm

      It's one wants Gregor - not the citizens of Vancouver, and not the NDP.

      Let's vote this turkey out of office. I'm sure there's a job waiting for him in the Tides office in the USA.

      Petey J

      Dec 7, 2010 at 7:15pm

      bike lanes, moustaches & cooking turds to heat the village
      who has the time ?