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Mayoral candidate takes Robertson to court

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

A mayoral candidate suing Gregor Robertson on the basis of an alleged conflict of interest insists the initiative stems from concern for the city — not his own political ambitions.

Glen Chernen of the Cedar Party filed the lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court Friday, alleging a deal between the city and tech company HootSuite for leased office space amounts to a conflict of interest.

The petition pointed to Robertson’s relationship with the company, including a Twitter town hall, social media coaching and the gift of a package of stickers with a coffee mug warmer.

“There is no value written here, but we see it as millions,” Chernen said. “You’ve got a guy there that is a high-rolling tech multi-millionaire with a super-successful company, why on earth would he help me or any of the opposition parties in throwing the type of functions that he’s done?”

He alleged the city also tried to hide the deal from the public and said it took months of freedom-of-information wrangling to get details on the deal.

If a judge agrees with Chernen, Robertson could ultimately be removed from office.

Robertson issued a statement over the weekend.

"It's disappointing to see these bizarre claims being made. As mayor, I'm very proud of the strong local tech companies that are investing in Vancouver, and city hall will continue to support the new jobs they are creating in our city's growing economy."




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