Vancouver returns again to Gregor’s Vision

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo: flickr/Evan Leeson

Gregor Robertson has pulled off a civic hat trick, becoming mayor of Vancouver for the third time.

The centre-left Vision Vancouver candidate’s main opponent, academic and former Vancouver Sun journalist Kirk LaPointe of the right-wing Non-Partisan Association (NPA), conceded defeat at 10:50 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15.

Robertson led all evening after the polls closed. With all 129 polls reporting, Robertson had taken 83,529 votes to LaPointe’s 73,443 votes.

Meena Wong, the mayoral candidate for the progressive party COPE, came third with 16,791 votes.

When it looked like his win would not be a shoe-in, Robertson attempted to draw COPE votes in the days leading to the election, asking them to help him keep the NPA out of power. He had also apologized to voters for not meeting their “expectations” in the previous term.

While Robertson retook the mayor’s chair, Vision Vancouver also returned six councillors in the 10-seat council, compared with NPA’s three, losing one seat to NPA. The Green Party’s Adriane Carr also kept her council seat.

But it wasn’t a perfect night for Vision. The party lost control of the Park Board and School Board to NPA.

Robertson told supporters who gathered at the Sheraton Wall Centre that Vision Vancouver had heard voters’ wishes and promised to do better over the next four-year term.

In her concession speech, Wong said that while she had not believed in miracles, she did believe in hard work and good policies.

“We put COPE back into the political map in Vancouver,” she said.

“The results tonight are disappointing, but let’s look at the whole campaign… we succeeded in putting forward the most progressive policies… we listened to the neighbourhoods, the communities, and we actually consulted them, unlike some parties out there.”

She added that just two months ago, doubters would not have expected the result COPE got from the electorate, stating that COPE’s “platform shaped the whole discussion through the whole campaign.”

Her platform included a comprehensive housing strategy with a plan to tax vacant properties and new subsidized housing.

Voter turnout in Vancouver was larger than expected, with some polls staying open late to accommodate. Voter turnout at the last election, in 2011, was 35 per cent.

The mainstream media had toyed with the idea of a Robertson-less Vancouver. The day before the election, Maclean’s Magazine threw out an op-ed called “Could Gregor be a Goner?” complete with the speculation that the election had gone from being a “boring, done deal to one of the tightest and ugliest civic fights in years.”

Georgia Straight ripped into the Vision Vancouver campaign, too, listing 10 points on why Robertson and company invited the ire of voters. This included promiscuous political relationships, bringing both federal and B.C. liberals into the party fold, a condescending attitude towards COPE and COPE supporters, a lawsuit filed by Robertson and Vision councillor Geoff Meggs against LaPointe (leading to claims of bullying from the latter), and blundering and contrary positions on development in the city.

Cathryn Atkinson was the editor of rabble.ca from 2010 to 2012.

Photo: flickr/Evan Leeson

 

 

 

Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.