Chosen as a 'Top letter' from amongst hundreds of complaint letters and emails received about the giant digital billboards at BC Place Stadium:
Subject: 'The Giant Screen is an Outrage'
Dear Minister Pat Bell,
I write to express to you my outrage over the giant screen that has been erected by Pavco outside of BC Place at Terry Fox Plaza. As a season ticket holder for the Vancouver Whitecaps, I am a patron of the new stadium and hope to continue to be so in the future. At Whitecaps games in the fall I enjoyed the large screens that are inside the stadium, a perfectly acceptable location for a screen of that size and one to which frequenters of BC Place subject themselves voluntarily. I am dumbfounded however that an entity controlled by the public would also erect a screen with the square footage of a downtown luxury condo and blast advertising into the living rooms of hundreds of residents unfortunate enough to be facing the new stadium. I have watched video in which you deflect questions as to whether the screen should be taken down, and I find it exceedingly shameful that the current provincial government would resort to breaking local bylaws in order to cover the gigantic public debt it has incurred in order to renovate the stadium. Not only are these residents on the hook for this bill, but they must now suffer the insult of having their apartments turned into the inside of a tanning booth as you make a quick buck from advertisers.
I could not support local residents more strongly as they fight the monstrosity you have allowed to invade their living spaces with advertising. I will be circulating their story at Simon Fraser University and encouraging as many people as I can to look into this matter. You recently suggested in the BC Legislative Provincial Assembly that this issue had somehow reached a "successful conclusion." I would reply to you that this issue will only have reached such a state when the screen is taken down and the provincial government gets out of the business of peddling products to condo residents in downtown Vancouver.
School of Communication,
Simon Fraser University