Robsons and premier go way back

Former mayor taught politics to Christy Clark

Christy Clark hugs Mary Robson.

Christy Clark hugs Mary Robson.

A former Maple Ridge mayor and his family hosted an event for B.C. Premier Christy Clark and local Liberal MLA Marc Dalton at their private golf course on Thursday.

Liberal supporters and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows constituency members gathered at Heather Hills golf course, off 256 Street, to welcome Clark. They were invited to play a round of golf for free. Food was also offered for free, and there was a petting zoo with a lama named Cooper.

The golf course is owned by former mayor Gordy Robson and his wife Mary, both Liberal supporters. Mary Robson worked on Clark’s leadership campaign.

“We wanted to do this for MLA Marc Dalton, and Premier Clark,” Gordy Robson said. “Clark and I go back a long, long way. I used to teach politics in Maple Ridge and she was one of my students in one of my courses, so I’ve known her for a very long time.”

The Robsons are known for lending their property for public and charitable functions, as a way to give back to the community.

“Our family owns and runs this golf course, but we’re open to hosting these types of events for charity or for public functions,” said Robson’s son, William, 24. “We always try to work with the organizer and give them the grounds to use and instead of having up-front costs, we just try and help bring the event to as many people as we can. We just make it work.”

Like his father, William is a Liberal supporter and has been heavily involved with Clark’s government, acting as her youth team coordinator for a couple of years.

“When she came out to Maple Ridge during her Liberal leadership campaign, I met her and asked her team how I could be a part of their government. I was really interested in someone like her becoming our premier,” William said. “After that, I signed on with her youth team and in a week was asked to co-chair the committee.”

He said the event at Heather Hills on Thursday proves that the government is changing to allow more public consultation. “I’ve always found these kinds of events can be closed off and hard to access for the public, but today’s event is much more inviting.”

Although the recent defeat of the HST is weighing down the government, he is confident Clark will be able to turn the party around.

“I think she’s handling it as best she can. It’s going to be really, really tough to turn around the public disapproval that has been thrust upon the B.C. Liberals. But I think with the way she’s communicating with the public, people are going to turn around and see another side of the B.C. Liberals very soon.”

The event attracted 275 people.

“I’m glad everyone was able to come out today. It’s great to have the premier here,” Dalton said. “I’m glad she’s coming. Not only is she coming to meet the people, meet members of the community, but she’s also here to support me. So it feels great.”