Mayor Gregor Robertson issues statement on B.C. Place casino decision


Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson issued the following statement on Monday evening (December 16):

I have been very clear that I am opposed to any expansion of gambling in the City of Vancouver. Today's decision by the Development Permit Board ensures that the proponent will have to align operations with the concerns raised in the recent Provincial Health Officer’s Report on Gambling.

Before a new casino can begin construction, the proponents have to come back with a plan that addresses the health concerns raised by Dr. Perry Kendall. If they don’t, it cannot proceed.

I'm pleased to see the DP Board direction to the applicant to develop a management plan that will address Dr. Kendall’s recommendations, including issues such as access to alcohol, the availability and number of ATMs at the casino, and the need for a public health strategy to minimize risk and harm.

These steps go far beyond anything previously mandated by the city when it comes to gaming and public health.

Even with these conditions to the development permit, I've heard clear concerns from the community about the potential for future councils to expand gambling.

Given these public concerns, many of which were raised at today's Development Permit Board meeting, I will ask City staff to identify further measures to prevent any expansion of gambling in the future on this site, including  amendments to by-laws or the Northeast False Creek Official Development Plan that will restrict the allowable casino floor space to the existing proposal.

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"that will restrict the allowable casino floor space to the existing proposal"

Note the wording folks - it doesn't say the number of slots or tables will be restricted, just the allowable floorspace, which is twice the current amount of floorspace.

So in other words, the casino gets to move to a facility twice the size, and the city will restrict them from growing any larger. But in the meantime there's nothing to prevent the casino from doubling the number of slots - which was their goal from the beginning!
Rating: 0
Just more evidence of Vision's commitment to their donors. Developers know that the key to getting favourable decisions from the city is making donations to the correct organizations and charities. If you do that they you can guarantee yourself favourable zoning changes and rubber stamping of all changes. If Vision retain control of the council and parks board next year developers will gain access to green space in close proximity to the Canada Line to build more towers. Langara Golf Course is going to be closed and half the land sold to developers, officially to "avoid raising taxes."

Unfortunately the public and politicians have fallen for the red herring of the bike lanes. The handful of people who have noticed where Vision is taking the city are mostly members of COPE or neighbourhood activists. Vision has a grand design to force density throughout the city, along every arterial street and around local shopping areas. Therein is the real reason for the closure of Point Grey Road to non-residents: the Mayor, David Suzuki and Lulu Chip would have had to accept density just like the rest of us. If you live within 500 metres of a local shopping area or 400 metres of a designated arterial Vision's plan calls for buildings of 4-6 floors in those areas.

Vision have delayed forcing through their neighbourhood plans and the sell off of Langara Golf Course until after the next civic election and with good reason: their blatant kowtowing to developers will alienate a significant portion of the electorate. The Mayor and his cronies are set for life if they win the next election: the beneficiaries of their largesse will make sure they are well rewarded. Vision is even supporting an anti-bike lane "party" making sure that that distraction keeps getting press.

Sadly there are few alternatives to Vision at this point: capitalists who like bike lanes but oppose current development policies have nowhere to go. COPE offer some good people up but can't be trusted with a majority on council, hopefully Tim Louis makes a council run. The NPA were done a huge favour when Suzanne Anton won a Provincial seat but the party has fallen into the bike lane trap and can't argue against the pro-developer policies they would continue. Vision continue to run a slick propaganda machine even as they give away more to their donors right under our noses.
Rating: +2
way to stick to your principles, jerk
Rating: 0
Cause we all know the mayor wouldn't lie now would he??? Hell, he's probably already held public hearings, you just weren't invited.
Rating: -3
The Mayor and City of Vancouver Development Board are worried about the number of ATM's at the new Casino?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

What - there won't be enough ATM's and the lineups at the ATM's will to long 30 - 45 seconds - and this will take Losers away from table for to long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do know for a fact that The City of Vancouver Development Board in close and confidential consultation with the Casino Owners (don't ask me how I know this )
will insist that the new User Friendly ATM's, at the new Casino be able to process a Second Mortgage for you in 55 seconds - will allow you to collapse your pension and your wife's RRSP in 1.2 minutes and indenture your kids for 20 years (Kids must be at least 12 Years old) in 2.5 minutes.

Progress folks cannot be stopped !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rating: +3
G, you wrote a good post with some very valid points. However I get the impression you are opposed to densifying along arterial streets and near major transit hubs or shopping centres, and I'm wondering about that. It's inevitable that the city is going to grow, so densification will have to occur somewhere. Doesn't it make sense to do so in the areas with close access to public transit and other amenities?
Rating: +4
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