‘People want to blame me:’ Outgoing Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson reflects on 10 years in office

After 10 years leading British Columbia’s largest city, Gregor Robertson is preparing to step away from the helm.

Whatever the outgoing mayor set out to achieve for Vancouver has largely been overshadowed by his role piloting the city through some of its greatest trials.

Sitting in the ceremonial room where he has hosted countless meetings, Robertson said he’s comfortable with any lens people choose to view his performance.

“Collectively we’ve achieved a lot of great successes. But generally in politics and particularly being the mayor, you end up being in the blame game for when things do go wrong. And when there are global challenges, like affordability, that are hitting every big city in the world and hitting us particularly hard, people want to blame me for that,” Robertson, 54, said.

“That’s OK, I can handle it.”

A decade ago, Robertson had a clear vision for achievement: Make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020, end homelessness by 2015, increase affordable housing and strengthen the economy.

VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 28, 2018 – Left to Right: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman; Mayor, City of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini and Vancouver Canucks President, Hockey Operations, Trevor Linden announce 2019 NHL Entry Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, February 28, 2018. (Arlen Redekop / PNG staff photo) (story by reporter) [PNG Merlin Archive]

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From left to right: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman; Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Vancouver Canucks’ owner Francesco Aquilini and Canucks’ president of hockey operations Trevor Linden announced in February that the 2019 NHL Entry Draft will be held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

In fact, Robertson and his council managed to achieve, or at least make dents in, many of those goals.

The unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country at 4.5 per cent. Robertson said more than half of residents use transportation other than cars, an objective that he said was reached five years ahead of schedule in 2015.

Gordon Price, who was a Vancouver councillor for six terms and is the former director for The City Program at Simon Fraser University, said when a political promise is checked off the list it doesn’t often come with gold stars from voters.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, left, and film director Lana Wachowski embrace during the Vancouver Pride Parade in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics

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