Posted by: healingtheworkplace | September 30, 2009

Susan Anton Blames City of Vancouver Workers for 60 Million Dollar Deficit

Hi, I don’t usually write posts about “current events” but after hearing Councillor Susan Anton on the radio this morning I’ve decided to make an exception.

The City of Vancouver has a 60 million dollar budget overrun and when asked how this could have happened Susan Anton’s first response was to blame the unionized workers at the City of Vancouver.

Doesn’t Ms. Anton know that she is in a leadership position? Give me a break.

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of treating employees with fairness, compassion and respect.

This morning, on the drive into work, I heard Susan Anton being interviewed on the radio. She told reporters that the reason that the City of Vancouver has a huge budget overrun is because the unionized city workers received a big pay raise in 2007.

The first thing that she came up with was blaming the workers.

Which leads me to ask the question, “Why was Susan Anton so quick to blame the front-line workers this morning?” Seems like a good way to deflect blame from Council and the organization’s upper management.

…not very helpful and in the long run…off the cuff comments like this from someone in Susan’s positon can be very harmful to the organization’s culture.

In the long run this kind of thoughtless attack on workers will end up costing the City of Vancouver even more money.

Susan…here’s some thoughts about leadership…

Transcendent Leadership  is the sum of the following:

  •  Leadership of Others
  • Leadership of the Organization
  • Leadership of Community &
  • Leadership of Self

If you plan on a career in politics, or anywhere else for that matter, you might want to focus on the latter.





  1. Nice. Really.
    But have you ever looked at budget numbers? From 2007 to 2011?
    While I doubt that Gregor Robertson is worth his salary, do city workers
    really need annual increases? Why?
    Just thought I’d ask.

    • Hi, no, I haven’t looked at the budget numbers but I do know that city workers do not receive increases every year. Also, at one time City of Vancouver workers enjoyed a 4 day work week or at least a day off every two weeks. This perc was taken away as a cost cutting measure sometime during the past decade. Things are not always what they seem. Thanks for asking the question! Cheers, Lesley

  2. Susan Anton is such a terrible mayoral candidate. I haven’t heard her say what needs to be done, only that everything that has been done is wrong and the city is terribly managed. I happen to like the way the city is going. I left for 6 years and noticed massive improvements when I came back. The promotion of community gardening and cycling are great. If I had a yard, I’d definitely get a chicken coup. and Susan Anton could suck an egg.

    • Hi, I actually don’t live in Vancouver…although I live in ‘metro vancouver’ or what used to be called the suburbs. I agree with you that Susan lacks vision and tends to be very negative…at least that’s the way she comes across on T.V. I have just returned from a 3 week trip to the UK. What I love about Britain is the sense of history. Everything is so olde! The City of London is amazing because of its culture, music, art, architecture etc. But I love Vancouver (ok, metro vancouver) because it is a young city and part of what defines Vancouver is the young people who live here. There are lots of great things on offer in London but it is not a YOUNG city. Vancouver is one of the most amazing cities in the world, partly because of its geography but also because of the way that it has been evolving. We do need to build a strong economy though but I think that we are attracting the right people to the city. Cheers, Lesley

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