Twenty Questions With Mayor Gregor Robertson

January 7, 2009.

Once or twice a week, Scout poses 60 questions to a local who has made life in BC that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers (a Rorschach test, for sure).

Today, it’s the turn of Mayor Gregor Robertson


Scout Q&A

Default drink: Happy Planet juice

Book you’re reading: “Community: The Structure of Belonging” by Peter Block

Last place traveled: Mexico with my family

Worst cliché ever:
“Let the chips fall where they may”

Your ancestry: Scottish

The thing that makes you the angriest: Homelessness

Ice cream flavour: double chocolate

The trend you wish you never followed, but did: I used to have really long, shaggy hair back in the day. Not a good idea.

Sport you gave up:

Mac or PC: Mac

Favourite sports team: Canucks.

Best concert experience ever: Manu Chao at the Commodore last year

The dish you’re proud of: My homegrown salads.

Town you were born in: North Van.

Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: Star Trek. Can’t go wrong.

First memory: Dropping plastic toy soldiers with parachutes off my Dad’s apartment in the West End.

Album that first made you love music: The Beatles, Abbey Road.

The career path you considered but never followed: Doctor.

Biggest hope:
To see the end of homelessness in Vancouver.

Favourite book as a child:
Lord of the Rings.



(from A successful businessman, community activist, and politician, Gregor is bringing a new brand of leadership, action and vision to City Hall.

In 1990, two events changed the life of Gregor Robertson: his wife Amy became pregnant with their first child, and he was soaked with chemical herbicide on an industrial farm. Those two events changed the way he viewed the world and launched him on a leading path of responsibility and sustainability – first as an organic farmer and sustainable business leader, and now as the Mayor of Vancouver with a vision of change.

Later that same year, and ahead of his time, Gregor started an organic farm near Fort Langley. That venture soon led him to create Happy Planet Foods, and over the next decade, he helped grow the company into one of Canada’s leading organic food businesses, showcasing sustainability long before it was a buzzword.

His business success earned him the Vancouver Mayor’s Environmental Award for exemplary achievement in 2003 and the Ethics in Action Award in 2004. Later that same year, Gregor was named one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” by The Globe and Mail. Throughout those years, Gregor remained committed to organic quality and fair trade, proving that commercial success and sustainability can go hand in hand.

But as a successful entrepreneur committed to social responsibility, Gregor became increasingly aware of the government’s neglect of small business, the environment, and the problem of homelessness. In 2005, he made the decision to enter politics and was elected MLA for Vancouver-Fairview and served as the Opposition Critic for Small Business and Co-Chair of the Caucus Climate Change Task Force. He also led a successful campaign to protect affordable rental housing in Vancouver, helped put a copy of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth in every public high school, and has been a tireless advocate for small businesses impacted by the Canada Line construction. Gregor also introduced and championed private members’ bills mandating clear food labeling and the reduction of carcinogens, toxic substances and genetically engineered food.

He is now bringing his brand of business, environmental and responsible leadership to city hall.

Gregor lives in Vancouver with his wife Amy, and their children Terra, Satchel, Jinagh and Johanna. He is an ardent bike commuter, and in his spare moments he plays soccer and the tuba.


Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended Bond University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives by the beach in Vancouver and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s shops and streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy, and uncooperative camera.


  • barry Joneson

    Our mayor, who if I i knew would put everything down to make this city very cool and worth the effort to make the city a first and a very affordable effort of buildings with very little in the way of extra involved financial /work into making it the very first city in the world with little work.

    Our new group, “Shrinking Footprints”, will never die without a cause as the cycle of a school or any building dies when the group has fresh ideas and tenants of ” Shrinkfootprints”, the overall demise is that we can build a buzzing business with sticks and stones and to have the others who want to be in that group to pay at the Thats in a child Lakewood work

  • Thomas V

    Possibilities come first in a fleeting glimpse of business that makes contrary modes of thought that can replace/compete with the local neighbourhood in a manner which, with gain, will make those, that came before, far ahead of that which is inevitable.

    Is that what your hinting at in your post, Barry? Or have I misunderstood your point.

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