Liberal MP Hedy Fry condemns Conservative government secrecy over future of Granville Island
The Liberal MP for Vancouver Centre says her party will raise a ruckus if the Conservative government tinkers with Granville Island's success.
Hedy Fry told the Straight by phone that tenants on the island have told her they can't persuade the landlord, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, to make necessary repairs.
"So I guess this is because this government has made a decision a long time ago that they're moving CMHC out," Fry said. "But I and my party are going to kick up a stink if they try to change the way Granville Island's vision is going to unfold."
CMHC is a Crown corporation that provides mortgage insurance, conducts housing research, and oversees federal housing policies and programs.
Media reports have suggested that the Conservatives are prepared to transfer control over Granville Island from CMHC to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (also known as Port Metro Vancouver).
Fry wouldn't comment on the prospects of the port authority becoming the new landlord.
But she claimed that the Conservative government is "changing the mandate of CMHC" into a profit-making organization.
Fry pointed out that Granville Island is the most successful venture of its kind in Canada, attracting more than 10 million visitors per year.
"We will absolutely oppose any attempt...to privatize it or make it a commercial entity that is like any other commercial entity," Fry said. "We are waiting to see what happens."
She added that as the MP whose riding includes Granville Island, she has not been contacted by the government about what might happen.
"The thing about this government that annoys all of is is they won't tell you what they're doing," Fry charged. "They do it in secrecy. They do it in the dark."
Granville Island was once a site for heavy-industry. In the 1970s, the federal Liberal government redeveloped the area into a centre for arts, culture, food, and artisans.
"It's a Canadian gem," Fry said.