On Wednesday, Vancouver City Council approved unanimously a motion to recognize a stretch of Commercial Drive as “Little Italy”. Everyone at Council, including local businessmen and organizers of the summer’s Italian Day celebrations, were over the moon. They have been tweeting and FBing and talking to the media ever since about what a great decision this is.
Good for them; I have no objections to the naming itself.
However, on Thursday evening, those of us who are on the Grandview Community Plan mailing list got an email offering a questionnaire which, they, say gives us “an opportunity to share your opinion on the proposed designation.” The deadline for replies is 24th April.
What’s the point? Had this been sent out anytime over the last year (after the original motion was made), it would have had some value perhaps. But the decision has already been made, the media have already reported it as a done deal. Nothing at all will change if one or a hundred people write and say it is a bad idea. Nothing.
While this isn’t nearly as bad as some of the huge development deals we’ve seen, it is a perfect example of the way this Vision Council works — make the decision (publicly or otherwise) and then play a game of faux “consultation” which just wastes everyone’s time and energy.
Bravo Little Italy, but damn the process.