I am a professional musician who, despite having a healthy and diverse freelancing career, struggles to make ends meet in Vancouver. I’m disappointed in many of my creative colleagues, who failed to make the link between development-friendly government and our poverty level existence. While smothering the Vancouver music and arts community with red tape, clandestine bylaws and eviction notices, Vision has benefited from the hard, unpaid work of many of these same artists, who donated their time and art to “creative” campaign fund raising initiatives.
Vision doesn’t need the help of the arts community. They have the backing of powerful developers who are running rampant across our city, expediting gentrification and making Vancouver unaffordable for the arts community that Vision claims to care so much about. Condo kings like Bob Rennie are cashing in on Vision’s shameful catering to the development industry. Council denies that construction projects like the Rize development on the corner of Kingsway and Broadway, or the upcoming condo tower across the street from the Biltmore result in the fracturing of neighborhoods and the forcing out of music venues and low income individuals. Council recently approved rezoning in Chinatown for numerous high rise market condo developments, previously restricted by height limits. Expect independent spaces like China Cloud and Blim to face eviction in the years to come as a result of Vision bending over backward to appease developers.
Gregor’s stance on these and other issues, quoted from a 30 minute conversation I had with him this summer: “It’s unfortunate, but capitalism controls everything.” Not surprising words coming from the mouth of a wealthy business man. If Vision needs folks to work on their campaign, let them hire some of the painfully underemployed citizens of Vancouver, and let their wages come from the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Bob Rennie and the other developers donate to their campaign.
I do not back the Juice Man.
— Kevin Romain