Gregor Robertson's new home raises a question about his political ambitions

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      Mayor Gregor Robertson’s office has issued a statement after a local blogger revealed that his home was for sale.

      In a post entitled “Guess who’s trying to cash out of the real estate market in Vancouver?”, the Whispers from the Village on the Edge of the Rainforest website provided the listing information for the mayor’s six-bedroom and four-bathroom residence at 912 West 23rd Avenue.

      “Built circa 1912, this beautiful mechanically updated Craftsman home retains its original charm with refinished fir floors, stained glass, casement windows, parlor pocket doors, deep baseboards & spacious principle rms,” the listing states. “Very bright open plan with windows abound & an amazing light filled top floor master bedrm + ensuite. New electrical and plumbing(2005), new roof (2002/7), kitchen & bathrms (2005).”

      It’s being advertised for $1.95 million.

      “So it begs the question, if even the Mayor of Vancouver is bailing on the Vancouver real estate market, has the slide begun in earnest?” the blog cheekily declared. In response, the mayor’s office claimed that Robertson and his wife Amy decided to downsize because “their kids have graduated from high school”.

      They’ve bought a new home within a block of York Avenue in Kitsilano, but the location isn’t being disclosed for “security reasons”.

      “In recent weeks the Mayor apprised senior staff, including the City Solicitor, of this property transaction and they were requested to provide advice and a legal opinion on any possible conflict that the Mayor might be in with regard to future decisions of Council related to the Point Grey/Cornwall bike corridor,” the statement reads. “The City Solicitor has informed the Mayor that there is no legal conflict with voting on matters related to the Point Grey Cornwall bike and pedestrian safety upgrades at this time.”

      Despite receiving this clearance, Robertson intends on “recusing himself” from voting on the matter.

      Not that it matters, because his Vision Vancouver party still has a substantial majority in the council chamber.

      What's intriguing about the move is that Robertson now lives much farther away from his workplace at Vancouver City Hall.

      Normally, cyclists like to live closer to the office.

      Perhaps this suggests there could be federal political implications for Robertson, who is sometimes viewed as a future candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada.

      His old residence is in the proposed new riding of Vancouver-Granville, which would be carved out of parts of other federal electoral districts in the city. There is no MP for this riding yet.

      His new home is likely in Vancouver Quadra, which is represented by Liberal MP Joyce Murray. That's because most of York Avenue is west of Arbutus Street, which is the boundary for the riding. East of Arbutus is within Hedy Fry's riding of Vancouver Centre.

      Murray ran against Justin Trudeau in this year’s federal Liberal leadership race.

      Whoever becomes the Liberal candidate in Vancouver Quadra is likely a shoo-in to get elected to Parliament.

      Could Robertson be planning a challenge against Murray for the Liberal nomination after he wins a third term as mayor in 2014?

      Stay tuned.

      Comments

      14 Comments

      FanBoy

      Jul 10, 2013 at 1:35pm

      That is the wildest of wild speculation.

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      Have some class

      Jul 10, 2013 at 2:02pm

      Wow, that was really weak Charlie.You printing the man's address was equally immature. Can't you be grateful that we have him instead of the pink tinted man in Toronto?

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      DavidH

      Jul 10, 2013 at 2:39pm

      @ FanBoy -- More importantly, it's an example of how sad our world has become since the destructive tsunami of amateur blogs.

      Today, no matter how thoughtless you are, no matter how ignorant, no matter how illiterate ... you too can make your "voice" (cough, cough) heard. Worse, the thoughtless, ignorant and illiterate will listen.

      Who is "Whispers from the Village on the Edge of the Rainforest"? Why do we care about such a moron?

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      Charlie Smith

      Jul 10, 2013 at 3:32pm

      He's already moved out of his house. It's always relevant to report which electoral district a politician moves to.
      Robertson chose Vancouver-Fairview to seek a nomination many years ago in part because it had the highest number of members of environmental groups. He didn't seek office in Langley or on Cortes Island, where he lived before entering politics.
      If he's moved to Point Grey, I'm going to mention it to our readers.
      Charlie Smith

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      anonymous

      Jul 10, 2013 at 4:04pm

      GREGOR KNOWS THE SHIP IS GOING DOWN--ON TO OTTAWA
      SYMBOLIC NO TO COAL IS ALL IT IS THE LAD HAS NO ABILITY TO PUT "BOOTS ON THE GROUND" TO STOP COAL TERMINALS.

      ONCE CHRISTY CLARK RICH COALMAN AND HARPER SITS ON HIS ASS--HE'LL PUT HIS TAIL BETWEEN HIS LEGS AND RUN.

      WHEN THE BIG BOYS KICK SAND IN HIS FACE --HE'LL RUN AND HIDE BEHIND JUSTIN TRUDEAU.

      GREGOR ROBERTSON CAN ONLY BEAT UP AND BULLY THE DOWNTRODDEN AND VULNERABLE IN THE DTES

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      Ducky

      Jul 10, 2013 at 4:16pm

      Good for you Charlie.
      Hope he has covered his tax liabilities with this sale. i.e. paid rent to the Corporation that owned the house. Wonder who owns his new one? A corporation or personal buy?.
      The corporation will need to pay capital gains on the sale. He cannot roll it over personally. Trust they had a bad year so as to keep the taxes low:)

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      Gerry

      Jul 10, 2013 at 4:19pm

      I didn't vote for him. I live in delta. Yet his decisions ruin my day. Traffic

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      Dudes Got Ca$h

      Jul 10, 2013 at 4:34pm

      Good on you Charlie I always like to know where our weasel Politicians live so that I can ensure my property is in the 'neighborhood'.

      You just know whatever neighborhood any friggin Mayor lives in will be well maintained by the City ensuring property values keep going up while property assessments will be reasonable :).

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      And so

      Jul 10, 2013 at 5:36pm

      AND SO WHAT if he wants to upgrade to a nicer neighborhood. He is the founder of Happy Planet he's made his own money. Quit being judgmental freaks.

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      Green Billy

      Jul 10, 2013 at 6:47pm

      Gregor's home is actually owned by a corporation called Ohana Partners Ltd.

      Ohana Partners Ltd has two listed directors, Gregor and Amy Robertson. It was started in 2005, right before Gregor took possession of the house. In his financial disclosure on the City of Vancouver website he describes is as "land holding, one property only. [Address blanked out], Vancouver BC"

      Seeing as this is a common method of avoiding the Property Transfer Tax when transferring ownership between family members, it will be interesting to see who it gets sold to.

      Nice work leaving all of this public knowledge out of the article.

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