NPA politicians wager Vancouver council will reject B.C. Place casino

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      The betting is that Vancouver city council will reject the proposal to put up Western Canada’s biggest casino next to B.C. Place Stadium.

      “They’re going to turn it down,” former Non-Partisan Association councillor Peter Ladner told the Straight by phone when asked how he expects council to vote on the controversial project.

      The same prediction was made by Bill McCreery, an NPA council candidate.

      Council will deliberate on the proposal on April 19.

      “When they first started looking at it, when the staff looked it, they were looking at it from a very one-sided point of view, and now a lot of other voices have been brought into the discussion and I think they changed,” Ladner said. “The impact is much clearer, and it’s far less positive than it started out to be.”

      The venture involves the transfer of Edgewater Casino from its current Plaza of Nations site to an envisioned 680,000-square-foot development that would include two hotels, restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues.

      Edgewater’s operation is proposed to expand to 1,500 slot machines and 150 gambling tables.

      However, on April 10, the last day of council’s public hearings, David Podmore, chair of the B.C. Pavilion Corporation, which is the project applicant, declared that the provincial Crown corporation is willing to reduce the expansion to 1,200 machines.

      But Ladner argued that this last-minute change isn’t allowed by the relevant legislation. That means that if there is a different proposal, it should undergo a different hearing.

      McCreery has previously said that council has the option to defer action on the casino proposal, and even call a referendum.

      In a recent phone interview, McCreery noted that based on what he has seen and heard during the public hearings, he’s now inclined to believe that council will vote against the proposal.

      “Just the various comments from the various Vision councillors, the kinds of questions they’re asking, and the tone of the questions, the way they’re phrasing them,” McCreery told the Straight.



      Michael Geller

      Apr 16, 2011 at 8:56am

      I too now expect Vision to turn down the proposal. But I was impressed by the suggestion by some pundits that perhaps Vision would 'engineer' its vote so that Suzanne Anton could cast the deciding vote!

      Sean Bickerton

      Apr 16, 2011 at 11:00am

      I've heard the same thing, Michael. But no matter how they try and spin this decision, this council and Mayor will own it.


      Apr 16, 2011 at 1:40pm

      Typical, the socialists will stand in the way of economic development. What society fails to understand is that those who want to gamble or suffer from an addiction (which is unfortunate, I am sympathetic) will find a way to gamble. It's a shame that job creation is not apart of the socialist agenda. Those oppose to progress fail to understand that in order to have social programs (low income housing, health, education, etc.) society needs a way to generate revenue in these tough times. Raising taxes is not the answer. It's unfortunate but pure economic theory promotes taxing on a spending level, not a savings level.

      Bill McCreery1

      Apr 16, 2011 at 5:28pm

      Allan, there is no subsidy or increased taxes if the casino is not built. If offices, retail and other job uses are built there instead the can be 4000 jobs, as many as the casino/hotels. Any use pays taxes by the square foot.

      I made a proposal to Council last week which would move the existing sized Edgewater across the street, increase the proportion of VIP slots and tables to public, create a destination boutique casino hotel, partner with Rocky Mountaineer, heli-skiing, heli-tours, pocket up coast cruises, Whistler, fishing lodges, etc. to give the visiting customers a real BC experience, and keep the profits in BC. This concept can also team with the **** in Burnaby and River Rock to get a better critical mass to make Vancouver a more desirable destination. That's thinking smart, not thinking big.

      Most of the people I know would be unhappy with you referring to them as socialists.


      Apr 16, 2011 at 9:58pm

      Bill, are you telling me that the majority of the Vancouver city council are not socialists? If memory serves our fellow mayor was a member of the provincial NDP. I'm all for developing the site, regardless if it's a casino, but council will sit idle and stymie economic progress. A group of "let's not do anything." Our mayor seems to like the bicycle cause so he should build a velodrome and call it a day.


      Apr 17, 2011 at 8:24am

      Being a socialist is a good thing. Stop listening to American politicians.


      Apr 17, 2011 at 1:29pm

      No single word - be it socialist, libertarian, conservative or anything - can define a modern political ethos.