Tag Archives: Paragon

Peter Busby, Architect, Order of Canada, and former Vancouver planner Penny Gurstein, oppose Vancouver casino

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Peter Busby and Penny Gurstein have co-signed an op ed opposing the Edgewater mega-casino development. Peter Busby, Order of Canada, is a world-renowned architect and is Founder and Chair, Canada Green Building Council. Penny Gurstein is Professor and Director of the School of Community and Regional Planning and the Centre for Human Settlements at UBC.

Below their op ed, you will also find Peter’s notes detailing some of the environmental, architectural, urban planning and economic problems with the casino plan.

Insular megacasino would add no value to Vancouver’s downtown businesses

Also printed in the Vancouver Observer.

On April 9 and 10th, 2011, Vancouver City Council is holding rare weekend public consultations on the controversial proposed megacasino project adjacent to BC Place.

Council’s ultimate decision on the project will test the fundamental values Vancouver has worked hard to achieve and will set forth a vision for the city’s future.

Vancouver has made great strides distinguishing itself from most large North American urban centres. It’s a city where urban-planning techniques and architectural styles are based on the core values of sustainable, economic, social and ecological development. Vancouverites see these values reflected in the growing collection of innovative green architecture, vibrant neighbourhoods, transit options, green space and lack of highways bisecting the city.

The proposal by Crown-owned BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) and Las-Vegas-based Paragon to build this mega-casino, boasting a gambling floor the size of two NFL football fields and 1500 slots, does not reflect a city renowned for its lifestyle, natural beauty and diverse cultural integration.

The presence of this megacasino in the downtown core threatens to undermine Vancouver’s values while running contrary to the vision of a municipality that aspires to be the greenest city in the world in less than a decade.

Continue reading

So you think the stadium lands are BC gov’t property & it can do whatever it likes with them? Not true!

Something we keep hearing in this fight against the massive expansion of the Edgewater Casino is that “it’s on BC government-owned land, so the City of Vancouver can’t stop it.”

Not true. Very much not true.

PavCo (short for BC Pavilion Corporation), the BC government’s crown corporation, is not free to do anything it likes. It is subject to Vancouver city processes and regulations like everyone else. It must go through the rezoning application process for the casino (which is currently much smaller and more hidden away) and it must go through the application process for gaming expansion in Vancouver city limits.

Please see the Memorandum of Agreement on Gaming Policy Between: The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) and The Government of British Columbia (the Province).

It’s interesting reading.

In it, the province affirms municipal jurisdiction over land use and gaming licenses, and explicitly agrees to abide by local government decisions.

This massive casino expansion smack in the middle of our downtown is not a done deal, and it must not be rubber-stamped by City Councl just because the City is being bullied by the Province. If you want to learn more about why the City of Vancouver is having trouble saying no to the province, read on or look at this excellent series of investigative articles on the Edgewater expansion by the Vancouver Observer.

Dear Vancouver, do you really want a mega-casino in your downtown core?

Buck and winnie (and chip)

The current Edgewater Casino is quietly slated for  a location move and then a massive expansion in our downtown core, right near the BC Place Stadium. This could happen within a matter of weeks. It will put the casino adjacent to all of the high-end dense living of False Creek and Yaletown, not to mention adjacent to the Downtown Eastside, already plagued by crime and addictions.

Massive casinos, which are generally not found in the downtown cores of other North American cities, other than Vegas, attract endless undesirable social problems: crime, loan sharks, addiction. They are not socially palatable. Nor will this mega-casino complex be architecturally palatable – it will be designed and built by Vegas. It’s not even going out to architectural competition – its design has already been proposed and it’s hideous. We have already had an ugly, expensive and impractical stadium roof foisted upon us by the BC Liberals government; now we will be subjected to this massive gambling expansion unless we speak up. The province has bullied Vancouver enough. City Hall, start standing up to the bullies! What cards are they holding that you fold so easily?

Write to the mayor and city council! Tell them how you feel about this scheme which is very quickly and very quietly being pushed through City Hall by the BC provincial government.

Also note: gambling expansion has been pushed throughout BC with the excuse that it pays for our crucial non-profit and charity sectors. Despite laws legislating this, it has never been done. Money from the casinos is being used to fill in the gap left by the government’s own economic policies.

Please be heard!

Don’t let them gamble Vancouver’s liveability away.

Thank you.

What’s the Real Story Behind Edgewater?

If you scratch the surface of the Edgewater mega-casino development, you’ll hit social housing in about 10 seconds.

Vision Vancouver is expected to deliver on new social housing units for Vancouver, and tick tick tick goes the clock on their mandate. To fulfill their promise on social housing, the city needs the province to step up with the money it committed last May: $225M IN HOUSING INVESTMENTS TO CREATE 1,006 NEW HOMES

But something seems to be happening with that money. Or rather, nothing seems to be happening.

Rumours are that the province’s social housing money is taking the slow boat across Georgia Strait from Victoria, and suddenly everything’s gone quiet.

Too quiet.

At the same time, PavCo (aka the BC Liberal government) is applying to City Council to re-zone BC Place Stadium to accommodate construction of the massive Las Vegas-run mega-casino.

Coincidence?

Vancouverites should be asking–what’s the real relationship between the province’s commitment of money for social housing and the expansion of gambling in Vancouver?

Is alcohol withdrawal
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Vancouver City Council expected to approve a huge Las Vegas-style mega-casino for downtown if it wants to get those social housing units built for Vancouver’s homeless?