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Hidden camera captures Vancouver riot talk in mayor's office

Fire Chu, says Robertson's chief of staff

Over the Canada Day weekend, Courier operatives entered city hall and planted a hidden camera in the mayors office. The following conversation between Mayor Gregor Robertson and Mike Magee, Robertsons chief of staff, took place Monday morning, July 4.

Sitting behind a large oak desk, Robertson types on his laptop. Hes wearing a tan suit, purple tie and blue cycling helmet. Magee, bald and goateed, enters the office and slams the door.

Its brutal out there, Mr. Mayor. Its been three weeks and were still catching hell over the riot. It just wont end.

Mike, how many times do I have to tell you. Call me Gregor or G-man. So how bad is it?

Terrible. Were getting hammered in the press. Even the Globes turned on us. If it continues like this, we might have to start our own blog.

I like it. Modern thinking. Keep going, Mike.

Magee walks toward a window and stares at the Vancouver skyline.

Weve got to stop the bleeding. I know you dont like the idea, but we must consider gassing the police chief.

Now Mike, Jims a good man. So he wont return my phone calls or be my Facebook friend. Hes very busy. Hes the chief of police, for frick sake!

Listen, G-man. We dropped the ball, big time. Those live sites were a huge mistake. Who invites 100,000 people downtown with no plan? And we saw it coming. I was downtown after Game 5. I havent seen that many drunks since the last provincial NDP convention. People are pissed and we need a scapegoat.

What about the anarchists?

Nobody believes that. The anarchists dont have the brains or the ability to pull off something this big. Besides, many of them voted for you.

Hmm. Maybe we should tell the public that we are genuinely sorry for the riot and promise it will never happen again. We could hold a press conference outside The Bay. Ill wear my Luongo jersey.

Um, Im not sure...

Robertsons cellphone lights up on his desk. The ring tone: MC Hammers U Cant Touch This. Robertson picks up the cellphone.

Its Penny. Should I answer it?

Send it to voice mail.

Robertson peers into his phone, furrowing his brow as the ring tone grows louder.

Magee flops back into a bright yellow beanbag chair.

Shes part of the problem. As city manager, she should have been all over this thing. Between her and Chief Chu, were paying more than $600,000 in salary. For what? Wed be better off with Mike Gillis.

Geez Mike, settle down. Here, have a juice box.

Magee rises from the beanbag, approaches Robertsons desk.

They screwed us, G-man. But were not dead yet. The elections four months away. Chu is the key. If we can hang the riot on Chu, well get out from under. Sure, well lose a few cop votes. But weve still got Mount Pleasant, the West End, Kerrisdale.

Ah, geo-politics. I love it. In Vancouver, its all about neighbourhoods. Lets take a look at the ol electoral map.

Robertson opens his desk drawer and pulls out a small map.

So lets see. Kerrisdale, Kerrisdale...

Mr. Mayor, thats a White Spot placemat.

Hmm, youre right, Mike. Now it all makes sense.

G-man, please. You need to focus. In my opinion, you should fire Chief Chu. Or at least blame him publically. But first, we need to know how many police were deployed downtown for Game 7. You must get Chu to tell you that number. We cant wait until August when the provincial inquiry goes public. We gotta get out in front of this thing. Up until now, weve been playing catch-up. Chus making you look weak and stupid.

OK, Mike, Ill go see the chief at the police station. Maybe Ill bike down there this afternoon. Is it raining outside?

How are you going to do it? What are you going to say?

Dont worry, Mike. I can be very persuasive.

Robertson stands up and walks towards the door, revealing his neon green spandex bike shorts.

G-man, dont forget your pants.

Good thinking, Mike. Better safe than sorry.

mhasiuk@vancourier.com

Twitter: @MarkHasiuk