Tuesday, 31 January 2012

PavCo admits to not owning BC Place giant screen! – points to Telus as culprit

In response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by citizen’s group ‘Take the Giant Screen Down Now’, BC PavCo has reluctantly but officially admitted that the giant video screen at Terry Fox Plaza does not belong to PavCo at all, but rather to a third party.

In a letter sent January 24, 2012 by PavCo administrator Alexandra Wagner, the PavCo CEO’s assistant confirms that “With respect to <revenues earned from advertising on all three giant outdoor screens> there are no records in reference to your request”, which confirms what has been suspected for months now: that a third party is collecting those advertising revenues instead.

Effectively narrowing down the screen owner’s identity to either PavCo or Telus Corporation, Wagner writes in her follow-up letter sent January 30, 2012 that “Ownership of the Screen at Terry Fox Plaza is part of the ongoing negotiations between PavCo and its preferred Telecommunications partner”, suggesting that the future ownership share of the screen between these two parties is currently under deliberation. Wagner does go on to admit however that “at present PavCo has no records related to the <screen ownership> portion of your request”, which finally confirms conclusively that PavCo is not the current owner of the screen, suggesting de facto that Telus must be. 

This admission further bolsters widespread beliefs that Telus Corporation is in fact the owner of all three giant outdoor screens at BC Place Stadium, a development first announced by MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert after being told so by PavCo Deputy Minister Dana Hayden in December of 2011.

As noted in previous blogs, non-Crown-agency third-party ownership and operation of the giant outdoor video screens at BC Place is illegal under a 2000-2003 BC Court of Appeals judgement concerning the BC Interpretation Act. It now remains to be seen how swiftly Vancouver’s City Council and Legal Department will use the courts to force Telus and PavCo to comply with the City’s Sign By-laws and ultimately whip PavCo’s leadership into behaving as they should have in the first place.

(Please scroll through the following document to view the full FOI correspondence with BC PavCo)

BC PavCo FOI correspondence