Yesterday doesn't seem so far away

Gregor Robertson may no longer be a provincial New Democrat legislator. But that's hasn't stopped the Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate from asking his supporters to donate money to the New Democrats. In a thank-you letter to those supporters, Mr. Robertson writes, "A Vancouver-Fairview by-election could be called any day and I hope you will join with me to work toward victory in that race." Specifically, Mr. Robertson states, "There are several ways that you can help immediately" - including a "one-time contribution towards the by-election campaign." So here's a question for our readers: how will Mr. Robertson's federal Liberal backers - some of whom might not support the New Democrats - feel about that fundraising pitch?

We are many
When we stand together, we can win

August 7th, 2008

Dear New Democrat,

Thank you for your incredible support over the last three years.

Your active involvement means so much to me personally, as it does to every elected representative of our Party. The ideas, volunteer work and support provided by people like you, both in Vancouver-Fairview and throughout Greater Vancouver, are a real testatment to the strength of our communities.

As you know, I have been nominated as a candidate for mayor. The decision to step down as an MLA and take the flight for our issues to the local level was a difficult one.

There are obvious differences between local and provincial politics, but for me the goal is the same: to ensure that everyone - including the most vulnerable among us - has an opportunity to achieve their potential, to restore the health of our environment, and to transform our economy to respect the core principles of sustainability. We need governments at all levels that listen and treat people with respect.

A Vancouver-Fairview by-election could be called any day and I hope you will join with me to work toward victory in that race.

We need to start working now in order to be ready. We must all do our part and work together as we have done so successfully in the past. Your ideas, volunteer time and financial support - starting now - will be essential to this effort.

We live here. We work here. This is our home. We have a right to know what's going on. And we must continue to raise a progressive voice for Vancouver-Fairview after the by-election.

In our constituency, we've witnessed first-hand the struggle of Cambie Street businesses faced with bankruptcy and the erosion of affordable housing. Our community has a growing number of homeless people, many of them very young.

Our province has the highest level of child poverty in Canada. Families are waiting longer and longer for health care for their loved ones. Higher education and the opportunities it can bring have been priced out of reach for many young people.

The first priority in a healthy democracy is to look after the common good. Defending the public interest is what governments are supposed to do. It's what they're elected to do.

In this view, I introduced two private member's bills in the Legislature to lift the veil of secrecy and protect the public interest: The Right to Know Act and the Toxics Reduction Act.

Research shows that 6,000 Canadians are actively poisoned by toxic pesticides every year. Half of the victims are children under 6 years old. Pollutants also cause up to 25,000 deaths, 24,000 new cases of cancer and 2,500 low birth-weight babies in Canada every year. In addition to the personal tragedy, this adds up to $9.1 billion to health care costs.

I believe people have a right to know what's in their food. Communities have a right to know about their exposure to toxic substances and the potential harm from that exposure. Government has a responsibility to protect people from the harmful effects of poisons and toxins.

That is in the public interest. That is looking after the common good. Unfortunately there's been no movement on this and many other important issues facing us.

Again, I cannot say how much I appreciate the support you have given me and our Party. You are one of the people who helps breathe new life into our province. Your participation, tireless activism and financial contributions are helping to create a more just and equitable society for everyone in British Columbia.

We are many. When we stand together, we can win.

Thank you so much.

Warmest personal regards,

Gregor Robertson

P.S. - The by-election could be called at any time. Please take the time today to buy your ticket(s), send a donation to the by-election campaign, sign up as a volunteer, or even all three if you can. We must begin today, and the earlier we hear from you the more effective our campaign will be. Thanks again.

***

We need to elect a strong progressive voice for Vancouver-Fairview. I am confident that we will.

I ask for your moral support, and if possible, your financial contribution towards this campaign.

There are several ways that you can help immediately...

First, you can make a one-time contribution towards the by-election campaign. Any amount you can afford - whether it's $1,000, $100 or another amount - will be very helpful and gratefully received. Remember, your contributions are tax receiptable!

Second, volunteers are hard at work putting together our plans for the by-election. The next event is a reception at Figment Restaurant, at 12th and Cambie in Vancouver, on Wednesday, Aughust 20th. I hope to see you there so I will have the opportunity to thank you personally for all that you do for our movement. The tickets are $200, with proceeds to the by-election campaign. Details can be found online at www.bcndp.ca.

Third, the strength of our Party is people. I know that time is precious these days, but any time you can give to the campaign would be a tremendous boost. We have openings for people with all levels of experience. The by-election is a great opportunity to refresh skills and learn new techniques as we build toward victory in 2009.

3 Comments

"how will Mr. Robertson's federal Liberal backers - some of whom might not support the New Democrats - feel about that fundraising pitch?"

It is a provincial by election, not a federal by election that is being referred to in the fundraising pitch, so in terms of "federal liberal backers" having a problem with it, I suppose that the NDP backers within Vision, would have had the same problem with Al DeGenova doing fundraising for the Federal Liberals, had he had won the nomination race. But it seems to be somewhat of a non issue in all reality. Vision is a coalition of political ideals, predominantly from the centre and centre left.

The provincial Liberals seemed destined to be headed back to the hard right, with the departure of Taylor and other so called moderate voices.

Nice spin Mr. Kegler...actually, let me take that back...it's pretty pathetic spin..

Al D had every right to do what he did in terms of raising funds and signing members from whatever constituency he felt appropriate. He was NOT the candidate for Mayor for Vision Vancouver and simply doing whatever he could to get elected.

Gregor, on the other hand is the nominee and his note regarding the NDP was asinine and ill-advised. If he's running with only New Democrats, at the exclusion of all others, then he is in for a very rude awakening.

This is a major blunder. Taking a few days to decide when to resign as MLA was nothing...until now, when this latest partisan spit-swap with his former colleagues will inextricably link the two.

Your running for Mayor of Vancouver, not leader of the NDP, Gregor.

It is similar to Peter Ladner's endorsement of Stephen Owen in the last federal erection...although this move by Gregor is incredibly poor judgement, not just pandering for votes from a neighbouring pond, which is what Peter was doing when he endorsed Stephen.

Whoever gave him this advice obviously doesn't give a flying
f--k about whether Gregor wins the Mayor's seat.

Very dumb.

Wasn't spin there Alex... merely my opinion and viewpoint on the story put out there by Holman. In terms of the Mayor's seat, Gregor, as he did when he carried Fairview for the BCNDP, will have broad based appeal from all sides of the spectrum. I think that the BCNDP will have a hard time holding Fairview in May without Gregor.

The timing maybe bad, perhaps having the fundraiser prior to his resigning would have been better. Then again from a fundraising point of view, and needing a theme to look for the high end price they are looking for for that event, I'm not sure he could have pulled in that much $$$ per plate without some splash.

I merely used Al D as an example, and was not attacking the guy for anything he may or may not have done. Coalitions are hard at the best of times. And with Vision, you have a broad based coalition, rather than your traditional NPA (Right) vs COPE (left). Funny though when you think about it.

Its too bad that there isn't a populist alternative provincially. Because that's where the majority of people fall into.

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