Chosen as a 'Top letter' from amongst hundreds of complaint letters and emails received about the giant digital billboards at BC Place Stadium:
Subject: 'Minister Bell, your response unacceptable'
Dear Minister Bell,
Thank you for responding. That said, I (and so many others who have received your email) find your response completely unacceptable for the following reasons:
The BC Place management team has not been listening at all to Vancouver residents, but has instead been defensively protecting the installation of the screens from the beginning.
If the Ministry is receiving less complaints at this time, it's because people are tired of being ignored and have now taken their continued complaints to other agencies, departments and offices at the Province and at the City.
By fiddling with brightness and operating hours, PavCo and the Ministry are clearly demonstrating that they are not at all listening to city residents. -> It is the application of due process, City and community consultation as well as the application of urban planning best practices that this community is demanding, nothing less.
The video screens are not at all an integral part of the BC Place experience. They detract significantly from the remarkable work done at BC Place stadium.
Defraying stadium costs by tormenting people within their glass homes is pure absurdity -> This would have been made clear at the start had PavCo consulted with the City before erecting the screens.
The plaza is dedicated to Budweiser, Telus and Pepsi, and is not at all dedicated to our hero Terry Fox, who PavCo has chosen to dishonour.
Economic activity for the City is not at all diminished by the adherence to general principles of lawfulness and respect for Civic authority -> Everyone knows that revenues gained by any other means are simply called rackets and illegitimate enterprises.
City Bylaws which govern other so-called 'entertainment districts' have been very successful at achieving the proper balance concerning appropriate signage. The Vancouver City Sign Bylaw No. 6510 and the Zoning and Development Bylaw No. 3575 were carefully crafted to address precisely this type of situation. Deviating from the standard civic process and from local bylaws is very irresponsible and will not be tolerated by the public.
If PavCo had intended to be the best neighbour possible, they would have consulted the City, consulted the community, and performed an impact assessment before erecting the screens.
PavCo's literature states that complying with City Bylaws is part of PavCo's policy -> Therefore PavCo must turn off the screens and immediately submit themselves to the standard City evaluation process.
PavCo also specifically said they would comply with City Bylaws when entering into agreements with the City in the period leading up to the stadium renovations -> Therefore PavCo must turn off the screens and immediately submit themselves to the standard City evaluation process.
The Vancouver City Mayor himself has asked that Minister Pat Bell instruct PavCo to comply with City Bylaws -> Therefore PavCo must turn off the screens and immediately submit themselves to the standard City evaluation process.
A unanimous motion was passed by all ten City Councillors as well as the City Mayor on January 17th, 2012 to seek PavCo's compliance with City processes and Bylaws regarding outdoor signage at BC Place Stadium -> Therefore PavCo must turn off the screens and immediately submit themselves to the standard City evaluation process.
All Crown agencies, as a matter of standard practice and respect for civic authority, always consult with they City over urban infrastructure and planning issues such as this. The Federal government which is a level of government far more powerful than PavCo, in 2008 submitted a standard sign permit application under the City's regular application process for a screen they wished to erect at CBC Studios on 700 Hamilton Street. The ambushing of City Hall concerning the erection of the BC Place screens is highly irregular to say the least.
Anyone who considers the giant screens at BC Place Stadium 'world class' frankly needs to travel more.
It would be appropriate for the Minister to reconsider his position on this quickly escalating issue.