Strike shuts down meeting

A July 30 development-permit board meeting was cancelled due to picketing and will be rescheduled after the civic workers' strike.

This despite assurances to the Straight from city spokesperson Jerry Dobrovolny on July 24 that "We don't expect the strike to affect the development-permit board meetings." The meeting was moved from City Hall to the Plaza 500 Hotel, where the board was to vote on a three-storey commercial building at 2750 East Hastings Street that would provide retail space and some social services.

Members of a community group called Advocates for Hastings Sunrise had signed up to speak in opposition. Proponent and Vancouver-Hastings NDP MLA Shane Simpson also showed up.

On July 31, Lorna Howes, a Vancouver Coastal Health spokesperson, sent out an e-mail. "As participants arrived at the meeting, CUPE [Local 15] staff organized a picket line outside the Plaza 500 Hotel as job action against the City of Vancouver," Howes wrote. "To ensure every member of the public had full access to the meeting and open and fair public process was followed, the Development Permit Board decided not to proceed with the meeting."

By deadline, Dobrovolny had not responded to Straight messages.