Causes Gordy’s Championed
Gordy has never been shy about taking on city hall. He’s the guy who sued city hall and saved taxpayer’s $20 million.
Newcomers to the city know little of Gordy Robson.
When he founded The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News, the first story his newspaper broke ran under the headline “Police Raid City Hall” and told the story of a corrupt city employee. Decades later, he took on city hall again, using $60,000 of his own money to sue the city for failing to get taxpayer permission for borrowing on the town core project. He won the lawsuit, forcing a restructuring that saved taxpayers $20 million.
As a self-made man who built a business empire with hard work and natural talent, Gordy Robson earned a reputation for breathing life into non-performing businesses and plowing through red tape to resolve key social, environmental and business issues.
Following is a glimpse into causes he championed, ideas he brought forward and tasks he completed to contribute to the hometown he loves: Maple Ridge.
British Columbia Buildings Corporation (BCBC): Director, 1986-1991. Served five years on the board of directors of the crown corporation mandated to save tax dollars through cost-effective management of government properties province-wide.
- Edmonton Oilers: former executive vice-president.
- Vancouver 86ers Soccer Club: 1998/99 season. Part owner. Member, board of directors.
- Vancouver Whitecaps Soccer Club: Director, team won North American Soccer League.
- Past member of International Association of Political Consultants and the American Association of Political Consultants for whom he has lectured throughout North America. Sponsored & led BC delegation to Eastern Europe teaching democracy in 1990 at request of Mikhail Gorbechev, former president, Soviet Union.
- Chamber of Commerce: Past director. Recipient of the Chamber Business Person of the Year Award-1990.
- Alouette River Management Society: (Founding member) In 1970, Gordy and environmentalist Geoff Clayton began a 35- year battle with BC Hydro to restore water flow to the environmentally sensitive Alouette River. In 1993, he was one of the catalysts behind formation of the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS), supporting Geoff Clayton, Tom Cadieux and others in laying the groundwork for ARMS.
- Maple Ridge Downtown Parking Society: Founding member. Organized downtown property owners to purchase properties and convert to paid parking lots to provide parking in town core.
- Blue Mountain: Partnered with Western Wilderness Committee & other key environmental groups to spearhead a successful campaign to sideline two district proposals: to relocate Westwood Race Track adjacent to Golden Ears Provincial Park and to create a proposed landfill site slated for the Blue Mountain Green Zone. Neither went ahead.
- Pitt Polder Landfill proposal: (1984) Rallied the community to protest a proposal to use the environmentally sensitive Pitt Polder as a landfill site for Lower Mainland garbage.
- Downtown Revitalization: Driving force behind two revitalization initiatives: 1970’s: creation of 224th boulevard and ornamental lighting:(chaired committee.) 1980’s: downtown tree planting and awnings.
- Maple Ridge Planning Commission: Chaired the Maple Ridge Planning Commission that authored the city’s first community plan.
District of Maple Ridge Economic Development Office. Created, defined job description and served as the district’s first Economic Development officer.
- Friends in Need Food Bank: Former director and member since 2004.
- Maple Ridge Salvation Army, Client Advocate,volunteer.
- Driving force behind Rotary Crystal Meth Task Force. The group won the Attorney General’s Award for its work in fighting the Crystal Meth crisis. The ‘Life or Meth’ campaign became a prototype for BC communities province-wide to help break the cycle of addiction and homelessness and bridge the gaps between the justice and health care systems.
- Maple Ridge Youth Diversion: Lent expertise to the group’s start-up and mentored 25 young people.
- Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Home Show Society: Founding member, chairman 1995-1999.
- Rotary Club of Meadowridge: Charter member, established the “Sports Banquet”, annual fundraiser that’s raised over $300,000 for youth sports.
- Rotary Home Town Heroes: Catalyst behind the program that continues to celebrate the accomplishments of local heroes to act as inspiration for youth.
- Annual Rotary Duck Race: Catalyst behind the successful Rotary Duck Race which has raised several hundred thousand dollars for youth groups.
- Meadowridge Independent School: Founding member, served on board of governors during start-up; oversaw construction of school’s permanent home.
- Ridge Meadows Protective Services Society: Founding member. Initiated and chaired fundraising campaign to provide RCMP with spike belts.
- Chaired fundraising campaign to provide RCMP with computer sketch artist program.
- Maple Ridge (Volunteer) Fire Department: Eight years service as volunteer firefighter.
- Mayor: City of Maple Ridge 2005-2008.
- Councillor: City of Maple Ridge 2014-2018.