Okay, this is Friday fluff, but whatever. I feel I must contribute to the ongoing deep investigations into Mayor Gregor Robertson’s change of abode... No one seems to see Robertson’s move, from a single-family house near Emily Carr elementary in central Vancouver to a smaller place in Kits near the beach, as symbolic of the prototypical Vancouver downsizing. Instead, it seems to have turned into massive theory-building about how it has something to do with the Point Grey bike lane. Or his federal-election ambitions. Or something.
It's important to note that in that post we only mused on whether our not his worship was cashing out of our City's massive housing bubble.
So how did this morph into a political controversy?
The Mayor's office then specifically linked the new purchase to the Point Grey/Cornwall bike corridor. So serious was this tie-in that the press statement came complete with a legal opinion from the City Solicitor and an admission that this announcement had been weeks in the making.
They recently purchased a new home in Kitsilano within a block of York Street. For security reasons we don’t disclose the specific location.
It was news because the location revealed that the Bike lane controversy was even greater than originally reported. He wasn't moving "somewhere in Kits a block away from York Street." The Mayor was moving right next to the most contentious area of the Point Grey/Cornwall route - Point Grey Road - and it appears this info was known in advance of the public opeen house.
News which the Mayor's office not only created, but compounded by waiting to reveal it.
Why had they waited to acknowledge what they themselves had deemed would be a potential conflict of interest weeks earlier?
Was this news held back so it wouldn't come out during the public information open houses meetings on the Point Grey/Cornwall Bike route proposal?
Was the news only acknowledged in response to our blog post because the Mayor's office hoped they would never have to actually acknowledge the moveuntil long after the fact?
The exact location of the Mayor's new residence has been transformed into an important component of the conflict-of-interest debate specifically because the Mayor's office was not forthcoming with the news until they were forced to reveal it.
As such, the newsworthiness of the precise location of his new residence was deemed important enough by the media to outweigh any individual privacy concerns.
Thus BIV ran their story.
This seems to indicate the censorship did not occur internally at BIV, at least due to any legal concerns.
If there had been legal concerns, presumably Mackin would have been advised of them and he wouldn't have posted those details on his own blog just as his own paper was censoring them.
As we noted in our original post, the Mayor's home address is a matter of public record, available in online documents available from city hall. If there have been prior threats, why haven't we been told? There is no place in our society for threats against our elected officials. Whatever your position regarding our civic political debates, the idea that our Mayor may be at risk is totally unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. If there have been prior documented threats, was Chief of Police Chu notified? And what has he done to address them?
And why wasn't just the specific address removed? Why were all references to the general area of York/Stephens/Point Grey Road also pulled?
Various sources have suggested it might be extremely enlightening for the media to ask two specific questions:
- Why did BIV pull their story, and
- Did the Mayor's office pressure a Vancouver news outlet to censor their reporting?
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