Anyone who lives in he north half (at least) of Grandview is aware of Westcoast Reduction. Their reputation in the neighbourhood stinks, literally.
From their plant at the northern foot of Commercial Drive wafts a truly awful odour of animal processing across many of our streets, ruining barbecues and other outdoor events, and distressing hundreds if not thousands of people every year. They claim to have spent millions of dollars on the problem, but still it exists. As late as last year, the nuisance by-law folks were receiving scores and scores of complaints.
This company, this bad neighbour of ours, has offered to pump $2 million into the Cultch. The money would normally be welcomed by anyone supportive of the arts, especially here in Grandview. I would be cheering it on too, except for one thing: Westcoast Reduction, the stinkers, want to have a huge permanent sign placed on the roof of the newly re-opened York Theatre calling it the Westcoast Reduction Stage.
Even Peter Wall the builder/financier of the York doesn’t have his name in lights; he is content with a modest plaque in the lobby. So should Westcoast Reductions, in my opinion.
Luckily, the proposed sign is currently illegal, and the Cultch and the Company have to go to City Council to get a by-law amendment. This is the community’s last chance to remind the City what this neighbourhood-unfriendly company has put us through, and continues to inflict on us. I am unable to go and speak, but I hope a lot of others do. I am sure there will be a bunch of arts types who think that money is their lifeblood and they need this. I say that clean air is a lot more important to a lot more people and we should say no.
I was interviewed by Margaret Gallagher of CBC Radio on Friday about this issue. I understand the story will air on the Early Edition at 7:50am tomorrow morning.