Brian Buchanan's reaction to Charlie Smith's "Many Players in RAV Follies" is in itself ludicrous if not ignorant [Letters, December 9-16]. Smith was correct in omitting the Cambie Boulevard Heritage Society from his list of RAV "accomplices". A cursory reading of the society's constitution should convince even Buchanan that the society's mandate is to protect the Heritage Boulevard from damage or destruction and not to fight against the RAV Project as such.
Buchanan alleges that the Cambie Boulevard Heritage Society "fought RAV for more than a dozen years". This is not correct. As far back as the 1980s, concerned citizens with an interest in the Boulevard formed the Citizens for the Preservation of Cambie Boulevard. In March 1993, Vancouver city council under Mayor Gordon Campbell designated the boulevard as a "Heritage Boulevard". At that time over 8,000 individuals expressed concern that the legacy of the Cambie Heritage Boulevard should live on. This, then, is the mandate for preservation of the Boulevard and not a "fight against RAV".
Buchanan further alleges that the Re-Think RAV group represented a "tiny ineffectual splinter" from the Cambie society. As in many community groups throughout the Lower Mainland there may well be an overlap of concerned citizens. So it was a few years ago that several members of the Cambie society were instrumental in initiating the concept of the Re-Think RAV Coalition. The efforts of the Re-Think RAV coalition along with many other groups have gone a long way in demonstrating the lack of fiscal responsibility of those politicians who have pushed the RAV Project through.
Since Charlie Smith has had extensive contact with both the Cambie Boulevard Heritage Society and Re-Think RAV, it is clear that he was without doubt correct when he stated in his article that a great deal of hard and effective work concerning RAV was done by the Re-Think groups.
Gordon Jones, cochair
Re-Think RAV Coalition
The RAV line is not about the 2010 Olympics. Can you imagine that athletes and the rich spectators (those able to afford pricey Olympic tickets) will hop on rapid transit downtown when they fly into town? Of course not. They aren't transit types.
The RAV line is not about transportation of travellers to and from the airport anyway. Most have luggage. Have you ever tried to lug bags on a subway? They'll continue to take cars, taxis, and the airport bus.
The RAV line is not about new transit from Richmond into Vancouver. We already have that, and it works well--the Fast Buses.
So what is RAV about? It's being built to move low-wage workers to the airport. The Vancouver Airport Authority wants to put so much industry on Sea Island that it'll be in danger of sinking.
What's happening is a super subsidy for the out-of-control Airport Authority and Richmond developers. That's what RAV's for--a project that'll suck up so much money that the cause of public transportation in Greater Vancouver will be set back years, if not decades.