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Author Topic: Finally A Major Canadian Municipality Has Cajones To Kick Wal-Mart Out
leftcoastguy
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posted 28 June 2005 10:03 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tday in an historical vote the City of Vancouver in an 8-3 vote, said no to Wal-Mart locating their big-box store in Vancouver. Let's now kick this corporate scum out of Canada once and for all!

[ 29 June 2005: Message edited by: audra trower williams ]


From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 28 June 2005 10:10 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why is this in politics?
From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
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posted 28 June 2005 10:36 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is a very political issue - why would it not be in politics? One of the major issues here here is that these big-box companies destroy neighbourhoods. Canadian Tire was also told today by this same municipal council not to locate in the same general area of Vancouver, as the proposed Wal-Mart location, on Marine Drive, I believe.
From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 29 June 2005 12:01 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
pssst. It's spelled "cojones"...
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 29 June 2005 12:06 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just don't think it's the kind of thing people expect to see when they go to the politics forum. Just my opinion, though.
From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 29 June 2005 01:17 AM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
pssst. It's spelled "cojones"...
And if you've only got one, it's a "cojón".

From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
livvy
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posted 29 June 2005 03:08 AM      Profile for livvy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good for Vancouver! Wal-Mart pauperizes every area it inhabits.

Let's hope other jurisdictions follow their good example.


From: Southern Ontario | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 29 June 2005 03:33 AM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does anybody know who the three dissenting votes came from?

Nothing yet about it on the city's website.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Other Todd
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posted 29 June 2005 11:46 AM      Profile for The Other Todd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmmm. When I heard this on Newsworld this morning, I was reminded of something pretty telling: despite its exploitative nature (and the evils associated with that), capitalism puts money in people's pockets.

I'd rather the council had let them in, but with all sorts of "interesting" caveats eg mandatory unionization, women's wages put automatically at parity with men's, automatic wage increases, etc.

Maximize the demands, so Wal-Mart'd be likely to accept something biting just to get its foot in the door.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ryguy
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posted 29 June 2005 11:53 AM      Profile for Ryguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Other Todd:
Hmmm. When I heard this on Newsworld this morning, I was reminded of something pretty telling: despite its exploitative nature (and the evils associated with that), capitalism puts money in people's pockets.

I'd rather the council had let them in, but with all sorts of "interesting" caveats eg mandatory unionization, women's wages put automatically at parity with men's, automatic wage increases, etc.

Maximize the demands, so Wal-Mart'd be likely to accept something biting just to get its foot in the door.


I may be wrong, but I think imposing such restrictions/conditions on a business license would be ultra viresCity Council. Unless the Provincial Government specifically extended it's powers to regulate labour to the municipality by legislation, of course. Municipal government powers are explicitly limited to what is granted by their constating legislation.


From: Calgary (under a rock) | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
cottonwood
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posted 29 June 2005 12:30 PM      Profile for cottonwood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Anchoress:
Why is this in politics?

Think municipal politics. City council decision and all...


From: British Columbia | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 29 June 2005 03:50 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by VanLuke:
Does anybody know who the three dissenting votes came from?

Nothing yet about it on the city's website.


The two NPA councillors (Peter Ladner and Sam Sullivan) and the mayor. Interesting that on this issue, the "Friends of Larry Campbell" group on council voted with the rest of the left-wing COPE councillors, while Campbell voted along with the two representatives of the right-wing party.

I realize city councils are much more fluid than legislatures when it comes to voting along party (or political-alliance) lines, so perhaps we can't read too much into the way this vote broke down. Still, it does offer another reminder that Campbell isn't at home in the left-wing party he ran with in 2002.

[ 29 June 2005: Message edited by: obscurantist ]


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
firecaptain
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posted 29 June 2005 04:24 PM      Profile for firecaptain        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The Other Todd wrote - Hmmm. When I heard this on Newsworld this morning, I was reminded of something pretty telling: despite its exploitative nature (and the evils associated with that), capitalism puts money in people's pockets.
I'd rather the council had let them in, but with all sorts of "interesting" caveats eg mandatory unionization, women's wages put automatically at parity with men's, automatic wage increases, etc.

Maximize the demands, so Wal-Mart'd be likely to accept something biting just to get its foot in the door.



The problem with placing restrictions on them would have amounted to the same thing. They are anti-union and if they were forced to allow a union in the store, they simply would NOT build a store in that municipality. Remember what happened in Quebec?


From: southwestern Ontario | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Nam
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posted 29 June 2005 04:33 PM      Profile for Nam     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Other Todd:
Hmmm. When I heard this on Newsworld this morning, I was reminded of something pretty telling: despite its exploitative nature (and the evils associated with that), capitalism puts money in people's pockets.


The question that needs to be asked is whose pockets the money goes into. Wal-Mart puts lots of money into the corporation's pockets, but very little into local workers, exploited workers at suppliers all over the world etc. Wal-Mart drives out small, local businesses, who, while not necessarily the best employers, at least keep more money into the local community by employing more people, and pumping more profits into the local economy. Some people argue Wal-Mart employs large numbers of workers, but the loss of other, smaller businesses means the numbers of those workers exceed the number picked up by Wal-Mart


From: Calgary-Land of corporate towers | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Left Turn
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posted 30 June 2005 01:44 AM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now, if we could only get Burnaby City Council to back off their big-box retail plan along Marine Way.

[ 30 June 2005: Message edited by: Left Turn ]


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 30 June 2005 03:02 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Excuse my ignorance here, and feel free to ignore me if you don't want to indulge my naive questions, but don't you guys have a minimum wage in Canada?
And how is it that a municipal govt. can prohibit an individual company from opening up in a certain area? I mean, if they meet the planning criteria for the area, under what law can they be prevented from opening?

From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 30 June 2005 03:19 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Walker yes we do have minimum wage in Canada, although the rules and the amount varies from province to province.

And while I will check into it, off the cuff I don't know if the City could have prevented Walmart from buying or leasing existing space and converting it (although they might have been able to refuse the development permits), but Vancouver City is *very* hands-on when it comes to development. The fact that they felt it didn't fit with the neighbourhood, the Liveable Region Plan and their view of what serves Vancouver citizens was more than enough to enable them to refuse to allow Walmart to build.

Oh, I forgot. And the City might have refused them a business license, that's another avenue to block unwanted businesses.

And also, re-reading your post, I don't know if they *did* meet the planning criteria, although that may have been covered in the article and I forgot about it.

[ 30 June 2005: Message edited by: Anchoress ]


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 30 June 2005 03:25 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And 'What article?' you may ask? Sorry, it was posted in another thread.

No Wal-Mart for Vancouver


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 30 June 2005 03:46 AM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks.
From the feel of the thread, it's obvious Babblers are happy that Walmart has been kept out; but was that the explicit intent of the Municipal govt as well?

From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 30 June 2005 03:59 AM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The article lists the official reason as being the disruption to the neighbourhood; they denied a similar application from a Canadian company in the same area. But at least one Councillor said that the corporate ethics of the company were of concern. And the article ended with this quote:

quote:
And with both proposals now dead, Roberts says she now wants city staff to re-examine the zoning that allows developers to build big-box stores within city limits in the first place.

But I should add that as a Vancouverite I can't actually think of any other part of Vancouver City proper that could possibly support a development of that size. Marine Drive (a thoroughfare between the island that houses our airport and the southeastern suburbs) is already a favoured location for large light industrial and retail developments, but at nowhere near the density of other cities in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

Maybe East 12th Avenue near Price Costco is another place. But it wouldn't be as attractive to Wal-Mart, IMO.

[ 30 June 2005: Message edited by: Anchoress ]


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Other Todd
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posted 30 June 2005 12:16 PM      Profile for The Other Todd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ryguy:
I may be wrong, but I think imposing such restrictions/conditions on a business license would be ultra viresCity Council. Unless the Provincial Government specifically extended it's powers to regulate labour to the municipality by legislation, of course. Municipal government powers are explicitly limited to what is granted by their constating legislation.

I don't know the specifics of what could or couldn't be done in this sort of a situation, but it would've been better for workers to see a "leashed" Wal-Mart than none at all.

What could a municipality do legally, anyway? Is saying either "yes" or "no" the limit to their power in cases such as these?


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Other Todd
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posted 30 June 2005 12:23 PM      Profile for The Other Todd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by firecaptain:
The problem with placing restrictions on them would have amounted to the same thing. They are anti-union and if they were forced to allow a union in the store, they simply would NOT build a store in that municipality. Remember what happened in Quebec?

Oh yes, but when negotiating start with outrageous demands and grudgingly allow them to get pared back to something the other side might consider "reasonable" in the circumstances (which is what you want all along).

Besides, it'd have been great news to spread around that Wal-Mart would have been allowed in with some "minor concessions" on their part, but they rejected any way but their own. Kind of smears their image in a particular way, no? The same way the mainstream press tends to smear organized labour with the "needlessly stubborn" label.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Other Todd
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posted 30 June 2005 12:50 PM      Profile for The Other Todd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Nam:
The question that needs to be asked is whose pockets the money goes into. Wal-Mart puts lots of money into the corporation's pockets, but very little into local workers, exploited workers at suppliers all over the world etc.

Of course, but now that they're _not_ in the city, there's _no more_ money coming into workers' pockets.

This puts lefties into a bit of a squirmer (I feel the same way about it), but it's far better to have money and capitalist exploitation than no money and no (capitalist?) exploitation

quote:
Wal-Mart drives out small, local businesses, who, while not necessarily the best employers, at least keep more money into the local community

I've had problems with this aspect of the left fetish with "smallness" and "localism".

While it's beyond a doubt that Wal-Mart (or any TNC) would send money out of a given community, it'd just be going into another community somewhere. And if it's going into a _really_ poor community, like in say, China, or someplace where paternalistic agricultural norms are still in sway, wouldn't that be for the better for all workers as a class? The Right already has a monopoly on miserliness and greed; we don't need to help them.

quote:
by employing more people

Certainly in absolute terms, _any_ new employer will add more jobs to a given community, and I think it's been fairly well argued (in Jim Stanford's book "Paper Boom") that larger businesses generate more (and steadier) jobs than smaller ones.

quote:
and pumping more profits into the local economy.

I gather you're talking about supply chains? Leaving aside my critique of localism above, won't those profits, since they're generated by small businesses (which are generally profit-poor, compared to larger businesses), be pretty small as well? Having more employees to spend money rather than the same number of employers to do the same might mean more money for locals. And then there's the whole unspoken question of just how insular any given community is to begin with. Are all small businesses dealing strictly within the community? Even suppliers? If that group of owners, at least, wants to make money (and capitalists have to), sooner or later they're going to have to start going outside the community for cheaper sources of raw materials (if not a greater diversity of them).

quote:
Some people argue Wal-Mart employs large numbers of workers, but the loss of other, smaller businesses means the numbers of those workers exceed the number picked up by Wal-Mart

Maybe. I'd have to see some empirical studies about that before I'd give it more than nodding credence (both on the net creation/destruction of jobs _and_ the deleterious effects big box stores have on _all_ smaller businesses).

Chapters was supposed to spell the end of small bookstores, but there are still plenty of them around.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 30 June 2005 02:46 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My understanding is the Wal-mart store was based on rezoning application, which the council refused, and which they have a perfect right to refuse. They are also considering a rezoning application by Canadian Tire in the same area.

If they had approved the rezoning, then attached conditions to Wal-mart's business licence, they would have been up to their eyeballs in a legal battle they couldn't win, and which would probably cost millions.

First off, having once allowed the rezoning for Wal-Mart, they couldn't refuse the rezoning for Canadian Tire without incurring an expensive legal battle. Canadian Tire would have a perfect right to say their application had been discriminated against.

At the same time, if they allowed both rezoning applications, but tried to attach conditions to the Wal-Mart business without attaching the same conditions to the Canadian Tire licence, Wal-Mart would have a pretty good case that they were discriminated against.

So it was really a choice of both stores with similar conditions attached to their business licence, or refusing both rezoning applications.

They have not yet made a decision on the Canadian Tire application, but I suspect it will also be turned down.

If it is accepted, look to Wal-Mart to initiate legal proceedings.

Wal-Mart had already bought the land, so there's a reasonable chance they'll continue to pursue their application.

Gary Mason, writing in today's G&M thinks they may wait for the fall elections and hope for a different council to reverse the existing decision. That hope was struck a bit of a blow today as Larry Campbell, who voted for the application, won't be running again for mayor.

[ 30 June 2005: Message edited by: maestro ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 30 June 2005 02:58 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maestro:
First off, having once allowed the rezoning for Wal-Mart, they couldn't refuse the rezoning for Canadian Tire without incurring an expensive legal battle. Canadian Tire would have a perfect right to say their application had been discriminated against.

I don't think that's true, maestro. My understanding is that the Vancouver City grants exceptions to particular businesses and developers all the time and I don't think I've ever heard of them being sued because they didn't grant the same exceptions/concessions to others.


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 30 June 2005 08:36 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The other Todd - there are a number of studies that address all of your comments, and a few others. I will try to track some of them down when I'm not at work.
From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
island empire
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posted 05 July 2005 06:14 PM      Profile for island empire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
most of you probably know that campbell river just voted against allowing a walmart. this is brilliant.

http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=f6ceeb84-50d8-4fb1-8e94-ea9dc42eb300

my friend is trying to organize a walmart boycott in maple ridge/pitt meadows. more to come on that a bit later, but yeah, this is really starting to fell like a big issue.


From: montréal, canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 05 July 2005 06:40 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
yikes! You should take that url to http://www.tinyurl.com and make it shorter, "dazzle me"...
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
jianadaren
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posted 05 July 2005 09:54 PM      Profile for jianadaren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Campbell River just voted against allowing a Walmart! This is unbelievable considering that CR is so pro-capitalistic and development oriented. This is great!

I am originally from Courtenay and thought it was a sad day when Walmart went in. This town has continued to do nothing but support the growth of the minimum wage job sector.


From: China | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Baboon
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posted 06 July 2005 04:25 AM      Profile for The Baboon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
My understanding is the Wal-mart store was based on rezoning application, which the council refused, and which they have a perfect right to refuse. They are also considering a rezoning application by Canadian Tire in the same area.

If they had approved the rezoning, then attached conditions to Wal-mart's business licence, they would have been up to their eyeballs in a legal battle they couldn't win, and which would probably cost millions.

First off, having once allowed the rezoning for Wal-Mart, they couldn't refuse the rezoning for Canadian Tire without incurring an expensive legal battle. Canadian Tire would have a perfect right to say their application had been discriminated against.

At the same time, if they allowed both rezoning applications, but tried to attach conditions to the Wal-Mart business without attaching the same conditions to the Canadian Tire licence, Wal-Mart would have a pretty good case that they were discriminated against.

So it was really a choice of both stores with similar conditions attached to their business licence, or refusing both rezoning applications.

They have not yet made a decision on the Canadian Tire application, but I suspect it will also be turned down.

If it is accepted, look to Wal-Mart to initiate legal proceedings.


Is that a NAFTA thing? I just don't understand how anyone can think it right that a corporation can sue a democratic government for its decisions.


From: Interior British Columbia | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
bodhitrees
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posted 07 July 2005 06:57 PM      Profile for bodhitrees        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We in Victoria have two Wal marts to chose from for our shopping pleasure,and all those lowpaid jobs,the Waltons include in the top ten richest billionaires in the USA five Waltons,courtesy of their acumen in retail /politics i suggest. We have not heard the last of this ominous pressure... the Waltons being natch neo conseratives will push the powers in B.C. say very wealthy persons to persuade that the Vancouveer area needs this asset ,a Walmart, very simple : deep pockets talk , bulls..
walks.
Predictions any one?

From: canada west | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 07 July 2005 08:14 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tragically, Walmart has stated that they will keep pushing - being a corporation, it is immortal and can afford to bide its time.

The COPE Council has managed to completely squander the popular groundswell that got them elected - it is a near certainty that the NPA will take the mayorship and a majority of council seats. We can expect a renewed and approved application from Walmart almost immediately after that happens.

By next summer, Walmart will be up and running.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 15 May 2006 06:00 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Vancouver reopens big-box debate
quote:
...city planners have recommended a review of the land-use policy that allowed Wal-Mart to seek approval for construction of a big-box store on industrial land. City staff have asked council to set up a meeting to hear from the public on the issue.... ...

New commitments to public transit and a report on the shortage of industrial land in Vancouver may also have an impact on the debate. The new rapid-transit Canada Line is to have a station nearby at Cambie Street and Southwest Marine Drive. Also, public transit on nearby Main Street is being expanded with the injection of new federal funds made available last fall. ...

Community activist Deming Smith was optimistic yesterday about the outcome of the process. The new emphasis on transit will bolster support for community-oriented shopping over big-box stores, he said.

He was also pleased that city council was dealing with land-use policies. Without a decision on land-use policy, Wal-Mart could continue to reapply for city hall approval. "[City hall] should either clear the way for them or shut the door. They should give some certainty to business," he said.

City planners proposed three options -- repeal the current policy that permitted Wal-Mart to be considered; amend the policy to allow retail uses such as furniture and carpet stores, but prohibit clothing and general merchandise type retail; or retain the current policy that allows application for all big-box stores except grocery stores.



From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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