Cambie Street merchants should hang on, says minister
Last Updated: Monday, June 18, 2007 | 8:36 AM PT
“I’m not saying that there’s no impact on these folks — there clearly is. But I guess our message would be … recognize that when this thing is done along the corridor in six months — I believe six months is what Canada Line and TransLink are talking about — that there will be some significant benefits.”
That is Kevin Falcon speaking.
Falcon, who is responsible for the Canada Line, also said it is not up to the province to help businesses in the area that are suffering due to the construction.
He added that if there were compensation, it should be from the City of Vancouver.
It wasn’t the City of Vancouver that promised a problem free construction zone because it was going to be in bored tube. It wasn’t the City of Vancouver that decided that it would ignore that undertaking in order to go for the low bid on the construction/operation P3 bid, which put cut and cover through north Cambie, but kept bored tube for downtown. It wasn’t the City of Vancouver that forced the Translink Board to change its mind over opposition to the Canada Line (which is not in the regional plan and has drained funds much needed for better bus service in the rest of the region and has held back the higher priority Evergreen Line) – and then decided that even though they (reluctantly) complied they would have to be “reorganized” into ineffectiveness.
And the truly appalling thing is that Kevin will almost certainly get away with this, and small business owners will continue to vote for parties on the right wing – like the “BC Liberals” (who aren’t). Kevin just looks at the lead they have in the polls and thinks he is fireproof.
Kevin clearly has no understanding of what it is like running a small business, when the cash flow has been reduced to an inadequate trickle for months on end already. The people who run business like “Tomato” are not foolish or improvident. They simply cannot survive that long without a positive cash flow. Tomato managed to get out and relocate. Many who hung on so far could not survive that long and have already gone. Dismissing their concerns in this fashion shows that Kevin knows where his support is coming from and thinks that he doesn’t need votes from these small business owners. Let alone recognise either moral or legal responsibility.
The decision to go for cut and cover construction was forced by the province against what had been agreed to after consultation. The province therefore bears responsibility for the current mess. Cambie will eventually recover. The nature of the street however, will have changed by then. The small businesses and the unique character of the neighborhood will have been lost. And there will be bland corporate nowhere. No Tomato, no Don Don noodles. But lots of Starbucks and Wendy’s no doubt. Kevin does not need small business support because he has big business support.