Community Stinker Looks For Pat On the Back

January 20, 2014

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.

Rally Against Rich Folks’ Road

January 20, 2014

Up out in the pre-dawn dark and mist this morning to attend the rally at the Point Grey Road closure.  There were maybe three dozen mostly local residents there, with signs complaining about the closure of what they were calling “Chip Wilson Way,” just around the corner from Mayor Robertson’s new house.

As I hope the first image below indicates, the City Engineers have built a formidable barrier right outside Jacqui Cohen’s house, privatizing a public street that used to be popular with commuters.  Riding down 4th Avenue on the way to the rally, there was little traffic east of Macdonald, but jams west of it.  Hard to suggest that the closure had nothing to do with that.

140120 Rally

Walking down Stephens on the way to the closure, we ran into a number of local residents who were bitterly upset with the process that brought about this closure.  Have we heard that before?

The rally was well attended by the NPA and the Cedar Party, as well as Adriane Carr (even though she eventually voted for it).

Red Blue Yellow

January 20, 2014

Red Blue Yellow

“Red Blue Yellow” (2009), TIFF print, 36″ x 24″