Tag Archives: Ian Pitfield

Success! Adriane Carr’s Casino Motion B4 passes unanimously!

adriane-carr

Wednesday July 23 was a great day for us at Vancouver City Council! Councillor Adriane Carr (Greens) achieved something really substantial in getting her casino motion passed. The motion is a little technical, so bear with us.

Councillor Carr’s motion, which she drafted after consultation with us, contained two parts. The first part of the motion was that since Michael Graydon, ex-CEO of BCLC crown corporation, was recently found by a BC gov’t audit report to be in serious conflict of conflict of interest when he took the position of CEO of Paragon’s Edgewater division, the City should write to the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) to demand his removal in the interests of integrity and public trust.

The second part asked that a restrictive covenant (RC) be placed on the casino site (“Site 10″) at BC Place preventing any increase beyond its current 600 slots and 75 gaming tables. While these numbers are already in the zoning by-law for that site, the RC significantly protects the commitment to no further gambling expansion on Site 10. It is also the only real protection against any change in legislation at the provincial level.

We must also thank George Affleck for agreeing to second the motion. He required that some minor amendments be made to it, but they were amendments that all parties accepted.

After the debate some further amendments were made by the mayor and Vision-dominated council but we all considered them friendly amendments. The motion passed unanimously. We would like to thank each and every councillor for their vote. Everyone did the right thing, so huge thanks to all.

Here is the motion that finally passed.

A.        THAT the City of Vancouver write to the BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch requesting that they follow the Gaming Control Act (Division 3 Sections 68 and 69) which gives authority to impose conditions on a gaming license holder if there are concerns over the integrity, lawful conduct or management of gaming.

 B.        THAT the City of Vancouver ask the Director of Planning to place the following condition on the issuance of a Development Permit for the Edgewater Casino at 39 Smithe Street, while recognizing that the bylaw previously approved by City Council prohibiting the expansion of gambling onsite is the ultimate authority:

Registration on title to the property of a restrictive covenant prohibiting any future increase in any form of gambling including the number of slot machines and gaming tables;

 C.      THAT City Council reaffirm Council’s decision on April 19, 2011 to place a moratorium on any and all applications to expand gambling or gaming facilities in the City of Vancouver.

Onward! Our next job? Stay tuned.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Vancouver Not Vegas Issues Court Challenge to PavCo & Paragon Casino Plan

Edgewater Casino Relocation Plan - What does it look like? We have no idea.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Vancouver Not Vegas Issues Court Challenge to PavCo and Paragon BC Place Casino Plan

Details of lease agreement unclear for both City and Province

May 2, 2013, Vancouver:  Vancouver Not Vegas announced today that it will proceed with the action it filed in November 2011 in the BC Supreme Court challenging City Council’s approval of relocation of the Edgewater Casino to BC Place.

The decision to proceed with the action results from PavCo’s announcement that it has signed an agreement to lease with Paragon Gaming Corporation allowing construction of a casino on the BC Place site. There has been no public disclosure or public hearing concerning the terms of the Edgewater Casino proposal contrary to the BC Gaming Control Act Regulation.

Sandy Garossino, co-founder of Vancouver Not Vegas, says “this project has all the earmarks of a financial fiasco. Incredibly, the public knows even less about the Edgewater Casino proposal today than it did in 2010. Once again PavCo has announced a done deal to the public, only this time without even the courtesy of telling us what we are committed to.”

PavCo was going to lease the land to Paragon for $6 million per year.  In September 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that PavCo expects to reduce the rent to $3 million a year.  The current proposal does not reflect the highest and best use of the site.  Nor does it provide any indication of any return to the City.

Coalition spokesman, Ian Pitfield, says “no disclosure has ever been made to the public detailing what’s proposed now, nor has any community input been sought as required by the Gaming Act and the Regulation. Nobody knows what’s planned for the site, whether the City will lose money on it, how much public money will go into building it, or whether and how much the taxpayer will subsidize leases on public land.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the action.

For background on the original petition, click here.

Media contact:
Ian Pitfield at 604-828-5494
ihp@pitfield.com

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Vancouver Not Vegas says new casino relocation plan should go to public hearing

Bulletin: vancouver not vegas says new casino plan should go to public hearing
November 28, 2011

Vancouver Not Vegas group calls on Vancouver City Council to delay approving the casino relocation bylaw pending a court ruling on the bylaw validity and full public disclosure of the relocated casino plans.

[See Council agenda for Tuesday November 29

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20111129/regu20111129ag.htm]

Sandy Garossino says “Paragon Gaming made it clear from the outset that the relocation and expansion applicationwas an all-or-nothing deal and there was no business case for a relocation alone. Under the Gaming Control Act, a relocation alone is effectively a new application which requires public consultation of the new plan”.

Lindsay Brown says “The public has been told we will have a mega-casino in the downtown residential core, but Council has effectively left the door wide open for the developer to build one by approving a relocation without requiring an amended plan to be submitted. We still have an approval in principle of 2 NFL football fields of casino floor, and tens of millions of dollars in public subsidy with no public disclosure and public hearing.”

“Council consistently treated this application as a re-zoning matter, and has not recognized the requirements of provincial legislation governing decisions around gaming licenses,” adds retired justice Ian Pitfield, a coalition supporter and retired BC Supreme Court judge. “The community was not provided with any particulars of the relocation proposal. It was only told about an expansion.”

Please see our previous press release regarding our legal petition to quash the relocation clause:

http://vancouvernotvegas.ca/2011/11/vancouver-not-vegas-petition-to-quash-casino-relocation-motion/

Media contacts:
Sandy Garossino 778-231-5230
Lindsay Brown 604-313-7744
Ian Pitfield 604-828-5494

Letter from retired judge Ian Pitfield


Retired BC judge Ian Pitfield

PavCo boss needs to get casino facts straight

Re: “More facts than fiction needed in gambling debate” – Podium op/ed from BC Pavilion Corp. CEO Warren Buckley – issue 1116; March 15-21)

Warren Buckley seems to have difficulty differentiating between fiction and fact.

He says that “at 110,000 square feet the casino is about the size of a single football field.” The city planning report calls for a casino of up to 114,000 square feet. A quick Google search of football-field dimensions yields the answer of 57,600 square feet – roughly half the size of the proposed casino. While that is the American football field, the comparable Canadian playing surface is 64,350 square feet, excluding the end zones. Whatever dimensions are used, the fact is that at 114,000 square feet, the casino would be 2.62 acres. It’s certainly not “about the size” of one football field.

One can have about as much confidence in Mr. Buckley’s calculation as one can have in his statement that the City of Vancouver will derive $23 million annually from the operation of the proposed casino-hotel complex. Approximately $6.3 million is already earned from the existing Edgewater Casino. Another $6 million will come from property taxes.

Neither PavCo nor the BC Lottery Corp. (BCLC) acknowledges that property tax will be payable, however the proposed site is developed. The real increase in revenue to the city would then be a maximum of $11 to $12 million. For many reasons that estimate is more likely fiction than fact.

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