Vancouver mayoral candidate says the $173 fine is too highConfession: This story was handed to me on a plate last weekend. My source asked me to run with it, either on my blog or in my weekend Province column. I gave it a lot of thought, asked advice from several of my closest friends, and decided that this was not for me. Among other concerns, I did not want to be one person responsible for killing Robertson's chance at being mayor - even though I don't support him. I am glad that the story has now surfaced and I am horrified at Robertson's ridiculous response to it.
Here are the basics of the story:
Vancouver mayoral hopeful Gregor Robertson says he has yet to pay a $173 fine for accidentally riding two SkyTrain zones on a one-zone fare because he wants to draw attention to what he calls unreasonably high fines.
This is classic 20-20 hindsight spin and none of it is true.
Here's what really happened:
Robertson says he told the officers it was "a dumb mistake" and paid an extra dollar immediately at a ticketing machine to upgrade his fare for two zones.
The other night - Wednesday - when I was moderating a debate between Robertson and Ladner, Robertson actually claimed that the best transit systems in the world don't charge for longer fare zones, that they charge one single fare no matter how far you ride.
This is completely false.
Every system that I have used anywhere in the world - Dublin, Washington, DC, London, Rome - charge by distance travelled, as they should.
He also claimed that turnstiles that don't allow you in or out until you've fully paid, don't really pay for themselves.
Now, why is he contesting this ticket?
Do you know what that contesting will cost you and me?
Several thousand dollars in court time.
Robertson has already cost the tax payers several hundred thousand dollars by leaving the Legislature to which he was elected by people who trusted him to represent them for the full term of his office to run for mayor - an act of sheer ego and utter indifference to his constituents.
Behind the winning smile is ...what?
You think Gregor Robertson will improve this city?
Gregor Robertson is armed with false reports (including his pathetic and dangerous belief in the "proven science" on safe injection sites...he threatens to open five more Insites on a street near to you soon) and false and expensive ideas.
Go ahead, elect him because he's cute and charming.
And watch the city finances collapse under the weight of inappropriate and expensive social engineering and watch him call for study upon study of policy issues because he doesn't really have a take on anything important.
He just knows that he'd like to be mayor. Sort of...