Port Metro Vancouver confirms “exploratory discussions” on Granville Island takeover

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      The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has confirmed it is in talks with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to take control of Granville Island.

      Robin Silvester, president and CEO of the port authority—which brands itself Port Metro Vancouver—issued a statement today (July 4) saying that the CMHC initiated "exploratory discussions" on the "possibility of transferring the administration and management" of Granville Island.

      "It is too soon to speculate on the outcome of these discussions. The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of Granville Island to the community as a cultural and economic jewel and is committed to maintaining its social, communal and commercial fabric," Silvester said.

      "In 1973, the federal government transferred the administration, management and control of Granville Island from the port to CMHC. Port Metro Vancouver owns and operates Canada Place which recently hosted the nation’s second-largest Canada Day celebration for about 300,000 people. Canada Place is also home to major Christmas celebrations and other events, as well as a cruise terminal that welcomes about 800,000 visitors a year."

      On Thursday (July 3), Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson responded to media reports by saying that the city is against the potential takeover.

      "The City of Vancouver is strongly opposed to Granville Island being controlled by Port Metro Vancouver, and we made our position clear to the Port and the Government of Canada in discussions and correspondence over many months," Robertson said in a statement. "As Mayor, I have worked to support a transfer or lease to the City, or the creation of an independent local authority with a mandate that is specific to Granville Island’s unique character."

      In 2008, the port authority was created by the amalgamation of the Vancouver Port Authority, the Fraser River Port Authority, and the North Fraser Port Authority. Plans to increase coal and oil exports through the port have sparked controversy in recent years.

      According to a federal government website, the port authority's mandate is to "facilitate and expand the movement of cargo and passengers through the Port of Vancouver; administer the north and middle arms, and lower portion of the main arm of the Fraser River; provide facilities, services and technologies that are competitive, safe, commercially viable, dependable, environmentally responsible and customer oriented and to operate with broad public support in the best interests of Canadians".


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      Regular Foreign Visitor

      Jul 4, 2014 at 3:56pm

      As a regular visitor to BC, Vancouver and Granville Island - please don't let your provincial government stuff the place up with needless adherence to modern conservative doctrine. Granville Island is a wonderful spot - try to stay there when ever I am in Vancouver ('cept when I stay with friends). If it aint broke, don't fix it.

      Your country and mine both seem to be suffering an outbreak of this neo-con garbage.

      Rick in Richmond

      Jul 4, 2014 at 4:34pm

      CMHC runs Granville Island today because Ron Basford wanted it forty years ago.

      At the time, Basford was an MP for Vancouver, and Prime Minister Trudeau's Minister of Urban Affairs responsible for CMHC. He led the federal charge to make Granville Island the extraordinary urban asset it is today. Basford persuaded Trudeau of its merits, and Trudeau put Basford in charge of the enterprise. CHMC was a convenient hook.

      Had Mr Basford been Minister of Agriculture, we can be sure that a tractor or two would have been found. CMHC was just a convenience. Nothing sacred about it.

      Mr Robertson may have the best idea: its present conversion to a Granville Island Trust, representing the City, the tenants, and the general public. It should be remembered that the Port Authority opposed its transfer decades ago. They didn't get the idea then, and they don't get it now.


      Jul 5, 2014 at 8:28am

      I live in South Delta and believe me you do not want the Port anywhere near Granville island.

      Many in this community have been fighting the Port expansion for years now and have found the Port to be arrogant and only giving lip service to any kind of community involvement.
      They just do what they want.
      Giving the Port Granville Island responsibility adds to it's empire building rogue culture.

      A Granville Island Visitor.

      Jul 5, 2014 at 3:10pm

      Why Can't You Leave Granville Island Alone. It Is A Nice Place To Visit, As It Is. You And I Both Know That If Granville Island Is Sold A Lot Of Shops Will Not Be Able To Stay If They Raise Rents,Like Every Landlord Does When They Acquire New Properties.

      I Personally Like Granville Island As It Is.


      Jul 5, 2014 at 3:11pm

      No surprise if Granville Island, as we know it, is gone a decade from now...to be replaced by ventures that pockets big money to the already ultra wealthy. They say you get the government you deserve...not sure if First Nations or Supreme Court can bail the community out of this one.

      Knowing Port Metro Vancouver....

      Jul 5, 2014 at 6:37pm

      they'll convert Granville Island into a mall with fast food restaurants and the same multinational slave-made garment shops you see on Robson Street. Anything for a quick compromised buck. Trust Steve to hand over a major federal asset (bringing in money) to a port authority.