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 Screen Must Be Removed Immediately'
Dear Minister Bell,
I thank you for your reply dated January 19th, 2012. My original letter to you was sent in October of 2011 so I find your response very late and entirely inadequate. Saying that PavCo is working to respond to the concerns of its neighbors is laughable. What PavCo is doing is defending the huge advertising dollars that are being generated by this enormous advertising screen.
Reducing the hours of operation from 12 hours a day to 8 hours a day is not fixing the problem. Nor is reducing the brightness of the screen. The problem is that we now have a giant advertising screen in our living room and bedroom windows! City bylaws are in place to protect citizens from just this kind of intrusion into our homes. When I bought my condo I never dreamed that there would be a 2000 square foot advertising screen outside my window.
In your letter you say that BC Place is in "the city's entertainment district." While this may be true, I live in a neighborhood. Your sign in your entertainment district is affecting local residents in a residential area. Why should the local residents have to be bombarded by advertising to pay for the BC Place renovations? As for the screens being an integral part of the BC Place experience, I have seen nothing but advertising on the screen. When I look out my window all I see are ads for Telus, Budweiser and Pepsi I cannot comprehend how this is an "integral part of the BC Place Experience."
The fact that Pavco did not consult with the city or with the community indicates that Pavco has no real interest in being "the best neighbor possible" as you state in your letter. If Pavco wants to be "the best neighbor possible" then the giant screen needs to be turned off immediately. It is my understanding that a motion was passed unanimously by all of the City Councillors as well as by the Mayor of Vancouver stating that PavCo needs to submit to the standard City evaluation process and comply with City Bylaws. Pavco must turn off this screen as it is the only way to be "the best neighbor possible." Sneaking up a a giant advertising screen indicates a total disrespect for the city and the local residents.
Minister Bell, I hope that you will truly listen to what the local residents are saying. We will not be satisfied with reduced hours or brightness. We do not want to be bombarded by advertising. We want the screen removed immediately!