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Mayor's Big Apple biz trip actually cost taxpayers $10K+

Bob Mackin, QMI Agency

The price of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's trip to the Big Apple was double what Vancouver city hall disclosed to 24 hours in June.

The Vancouver branch of New York ad agency FD Element billed city taxpayers $5,250 to manage and promote Robertson's April 12-14 trip, according to documents released Monday under Freedom of Information.

Taxpayers were also charged $5,272.29 for Robertson and chief of staff Mike Magee's expenses. Magee stayed until April 17 and his expenses included $621.59 for "hosting." He refused to identify the people he hosted.

FD's "Mayor Robertson in N.Y." Project spanned 20 hours from March 31 to May 14 and included speech writing and "remark preparation," media relations and public relations support.

Robertson met with reporters from Time Magazine and Globe and Mail in New York and did a phone interview with the National Post after his trip.

24 hours' FOI request was filed June 24 and finally fulfilled Wednesday with a covering letter that said the documents were posted Monday on the city's website.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca