Opinion Column

Signs of the time open to debate 0

Daniel Fontaine

By Daniel Fontaine, Dialogue with a Difference

Daniel Fontaine gives a thumbs-up to Coun. Adriane Carr of the Green Party for attempting to bring forward a motion requesting the Vancouver Park Board properly consult before it makes big changes to the way community centres are run. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

Daniel Fontaine gives a thumbs-up to Coun. Adriane Carr of the Green Party for attempting to bring forward a motion requesting the Vancouver Park Board properly consult before it makes big changes to the way community centres are run. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)

Regardless of where you live in Metro Vancouver, there are a number of thorny issues generating buzz out there. Here is my take on a few that caught my eye during the past week.

Signs to nowhere

A thumbs-up to Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart for raising the issue of poor signage on Highway 1 near the new Port Mann Bridge.

If you have driven anywhere near there lately, you may have noticed how utterly confusing the signage is since the new bridge opened.

Instead of eastbound drivers being directed to the Mary Hill Bypass, they are told to take ‘Highway 7B.’ Furthermore, there is no signage directing you to Coquitlam City Centre.

Stewart is calling upon the provincial Ministry of Transportation to take a second look and see if there is some way they can make driving around this part of town just a tad easier.

Sign of power

Thumbs-up to Coun. Adriane Carr of the Green Party for attempting to bring forward a motion requesting the Vancouver Park Board properly consult before it makes big changes to the way community centres are run.

Another thumbs-up to volunteer community associations for publicly voicing their concerns regarding this blatant cash grab. However, if they continue to direct their advertising campaign at two bureaucrats, instead of their Vision Vancouver political masters, they will come up empty-handed.

I also give two thumbs-down to Vancouver City Manager Penny Ballem for calling Carr at home and advising her she was going to block her community centre motion. Carr claims she has received a legal opinion saying the city’s top public servant didn’t have the right to do this. The debate rages on.

Signs of Desperation

A thumbs-down to New Westminster council for their short-sighted decision to install a massive new digital billboard on McBride Boulevard at the north end of the Pattullo Bridge. The ugly sign will not only serve as a visual distraction for northbound drivers, it replaces a classy new sign city taxpayers paid to have installed not long ago.

City officials claim the digital billboards being erected around the Royal City will generate up to $2 million annually in desperately needed cash. Their supporters claim this money will be used to limit future tax increases. We’ll have to wait until the 2014 budget to see if they are right.

Daniel Fontaine is local political commentator. Follow him on Twitter @Fontaine_D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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