Homeless in Vancouver: Gregor Robertson is looking pretty good right now

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      So Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has admitted he smoked crack—once—well, actually, he was so drunk at the time he’s not actually sure, but he sure is sorry. In fact, he might be the sorriest excuse for a politician I’ve ever seen, but he’s still not sorry enough to resign.

      This is absolutely guaranteed, the first time in my life I have felt sympathy for Toronto. Sitting all the way over here on the West Coast, I can only watch the Gong Show tragedy unfolding in central Canada, and shake my head, as I do so. How is it that Toronto “The Good” can be so in the thrall of a… a… goof?

      Did Ford and his band of cronies put something in the water supply? He’s like your best girlfriend’s bad boyfriend—what does she possibly see in him?

      Mayor Ford is a toxic spill; he’s a 50-car pile-up on the 401; he’s a train wreck. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, not so much.

      Until I found a deeply shocking photo of Mayor Robertson quaffing a brew, I never even imagined him drinking beer. I could see him drinking some wine with a meal, and yes, maybe the occasional juice binge.

      I think Vancouverites, whether they like his city administration or not, see him as a straight arrow, at worst, a photogenic do-gooder who means well. Who could imagine him dragging Vancouver through the gutter like Ford has done to Toronto? Not Gregor. He’s more likely to convert the gutter to a bike lane.

      I personally believe Ford shouldn’t even be allowed to visit Toronto’s City Hall, let alone be the mayor. It's not just because he—the person who sets the Toronto Police Service’s budget—admittedly smoked crack, but because in the last 12 months he has repeatedly demonstrated amazingly bad judgement. I also believe the way he has dragged things out, stonewalled, and frankly, tried to cover up his bad conduct demonstrates a total contempt for the city he says he loves. I think he just loves to  be in charge.

      I read coverage of Ford’s “apology” and thought “he’s trying to get away with it.” I can only imagine what Ontario’s premier, Kathleen Wynne, thought as she watched Ford apologize on TV, but afterwards she was quoted as saying:

      “There are laws in place around when municipal officials can be—must be—removed from office. That’s why I say the police service and the judicial system have to take action.”




      Nov 6, 2013 at 2:16pm

      So let me get this straight, your homeless and you care about what Rob Ford does? Wow I would have thought that you would have bigger problems, like where to sleep. Guess all the homeless problems are solved then!

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      Nov 6, 2013 at 3:26pm


      Don't be a stuck up b***h. He has an opinion and has been given means through which he can express it.

      Go shove your negative attitude up your ass.

      What happens to Canada affects us all. As a Canadian I'd be embarassed going to a different country and being known for coming from a country where the mayor smokes crack.

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      Nov 6, 2013 at 3:28pm

      So, according to you - Kaylica, homeless people are not meant to think about the day's events, politics, or have an opinion about anything besides their own individual needs?

      I imagine it might have occurred to you that people who are homeless are people first and foremost?

      I for one am enjoying this blogger's contribution to the conversation about events in our city or in the news. Your contribution - not so much.

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      Stanley Q Woodvine

      Nov 6, 2013 at 4:20pm

      Thank you for your kind concern Kaylica. To put your mind at ease, I have a nice dry cozy parkade to sleep in, and I sleep that much better knowing Rob Ford is not the Mayor of Vancouver. I have many friends from Toronto, and last time I checked is was a big town in the centre of my country, if not exactly the centre of the universe.

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      Michael Douglas

      Nov 6, 2013 at 5:00pm

      I am from Vancouver, and I have lived in both Toronto and Vancouver (currently living in Toronto). I find it very interesting how people from Vancouver seem to have something against Toronto for absolutely no reason. Yes - mayor Ford is an absolute train wreck in the public eye, but he actually has done a great job as mayor of this city and has saved taxpayers a lot of money. What has Gregor Robertson done to save taxpayers of Vancouver money? I'm not going to turn this into a mayor against mayor battle, but I think people from Vancouver really need to get their facts straight and figure out a legit reason before the jump on the "I hate Toronto" bandwagon. It seems like most of us Vancouverites jump on this bandwagon just as fast as we jump off the Canucks bandwagon when they are losing. Let's keep it classy out west - not pretentious.

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      Alan Layton

      Nov 7, 2013 at 8:50am

      Michael Douglas - all cities in the west hate Toronto. Why? Because they get all of the money and control all of the media. Everything we see is Torontocentric. Yes I know they have the most people in the region and by far pay the most taxes in to the government coffers, so we can expect them to get more attention, but controlling what we see and read means that everything is skewed towards that area. As for hockey fans, we are sick to death of being forced to watch decades of terrible Leafs games on HNIC even when there were good games being played in the west. For the longest times, HNIC showed the Leafs first and foremost and only because the CBC HQ is in TO. I hope that answers your question.

      Ford is an oddball and I don't think he's a crack addict. I think he has a severe alcohol problem, but he's functional. I can't see him leaving on his own accord and the city laws are bad enough that he can't be forced out easily.

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      Nov 7, 2013 at 9:09am

      Hey Michael,

      You're right that there is a prejudice against Toronto. Growing up in a small town, we tended to think that the decisionmakers had little information about or interest in us, and that because the votes were in the east, decisions politically would be taken that benefit the east first - we could appreciate that, but we sure didn't have to like it.

      However as a city, I find plenty to like about Toronto myself - lots of things to do - people no less friendly than here. Perhaps a bit fatter, they know I am from Vancouver because I brought my running shoes. But pretty awesome city.

      And because it is pretty awesome, it is astounding to think that Rob Ford is at least nominally in charge. How the hell did that happen? How is it still happening?

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      What's this article about?

      Nov 7, 2013 at 9:35am

      Is this simply another putdown of poor Rob Ford, who in my book is at least colourful, which you certainly can't say of our whitebread Mayor? The author may be homeless but he lacks the political perspective I'd associate with that type of deprivation. Sorry Stanley, but Gregor is not simply a do-gooder, he serves the speculative industries of finance and real estate and they and the politicians that serve them are the reason you are homeless. Forget about porky Rob, think hard about Vancouver.

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      Nov 7, 2013 at 11:48am

      Our spokesmodel of a mayor and vision have done more harm to the poor and middle class of our city, through support of real estate speculation and the quasi-monopoly big condo developers, than that crack-smoking "train wreck" has in his own town.

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      S. Tan

      Nov 7, 2013 at 12:17pm

      Not that the bar is very high with either mayor. I am curious though, Stanley. You are getting paid for this, right?

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