Profanity-laced tirade by Mayor Robertson ruffles feathers
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is in hot water after he was taped lashing out against campaigners in a profanity-laced tirade. (FILE PHOTO)
Council cameras were off but microphones remained on when Mayor Gregor Robertson lashed out against speakers concerned over the composition of the West End community planning committee.
"Who are all these f--kin' ... who are these hacks man? Are they ... they NPA (Non-Partisan Association) hacks?" Robertson said to Couns. Tim Stevenson and Heather Deal after chambers were cleared during a break between late-night sessions on Thursday.
Robertson, Stevenson and Deal went on to mock and laugh at the list of speakers who called for greater transparency in the selection of a 12-person committee that will advise council on rezoning the West End.
"God, we're just tryin' to have a little advisory committee, for f--k sakes," Robertson concluded.
As per city policy video of the meeting was posted to its website but the clip contained audio from after the session as microphones remained on when the screen went black to capture the conversation. Footage of the off-camera conversation was edited from the city's online post.
Citizens who searched for a recap of the meeting over the weekend posted an edited version of events to YouTube.
One of the "hacks" Robertson derided is card-carrying Vision Vancouver member Randy Helten, who opposes the Short Term Incentive Rental program and council's decision to hand-pick committee members.
"I was insulted, shocked and disappointed especially having been at City Hall for eight hours that day ... to try to get a very well-thought-out message to mayor and council," Helten said. "This video is one way to show the world that Vision Vancouver is like a bully misbehaving."
Robertson issued an apology via email Monday morning.
"I want to apologize for the comments I made after last Thursday's council meeting," he said. "They were inappropriate and disrespectful. I was frustrated after a long, contentious council meeting. Either way there is no excuse and I want to express my apologies to the people who came to speak at council."