Statement of Vancouver Not Vegas! Coalition (on Edgewater Casino expansion, hearing, 7:30 pm Mon., March 7)

[Good article in Vancouver Sun March 9, 2011: We were not consulted about mega- casino, residents say.]

Position Statement of the Vancouver Not Vegas! Coalition
(Note that this issue is before Vancouver Council at 7:30 pm on Monday, March 7, 2011. Agenda is here. )

Vancouver Not Vegas opposes the proposed expansion of Edgewater Casino and calls for a moratorium on all expansion of gambling in Vancouver.

Vancouver Not Vegas! Coalition is a non-partisan group of individuals and members from the following groups:

  • False Creek Residents’ Association
  • Strathcona Residents’ Association
  • Grandview-Woodlands Area Council
  • BC Association of Charitable Gaming
  • Alliance for Arts & Culture
  • Arts Advocacy BC

…as well as thousands of Vancouver citizens who don’t believe a mega-casino is consistent with their vision of our city.

What you can do

Help us urge City Council to vote “No” on the massive gaming expansion proposed for a residential neighbourhood next to our family-oriented sports stadium in downtown Vancouver, the world’s most livable city!

Please:

* Write to Vancouver Mayor and Council at mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca and let them know your opinion. Every letter will be counted and tallied prior to council’s vote.
* Sign up to speak to City Council at the Public Hearing scheduled to begin Monday March 7, 7:30 at City Hall. Even just a few sentences to Council is enough. Dial 311 or 604-873-7191 to sign up.
* Rally with us on the steps of City Hall at 6:45 pm on Monday, March 7.
* Sit with us in the Council Chamber on the evening of Monday March 7, 7:30 pm to demonstrate your support.
* Sign the online petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/NoCasino/petition.html
* Go to www.vancouvernotvegas.ca

Why no casino?

We oppose the mega-casino for many reasons, including:

This massive casino will be located directly adjacent to BC Place Stadium, and countless Vancouverites, especially children and youth, will pass by its doors as they come to and from the stadium. This will normalize and legitimize the idea of gambling;

The proximity of more than 1000 slot machines just walking distance from the residential city centre and the Downtown Eastside is a massive and convenient temptation to Vancouverites, and addiction rates will rise;

Casinos are parasitic businesses, draining money from other businesses both in the immediate vicinity and beyond, and they prey unequally upon the elderly and low-income citizens. This is known as the collection of a “regressive tax”;

The inevitable increase in crime, violence, poverty and all the assembled social ills that invariably attend the gambling industry, the influx of questionable social elements

All  the associated traffic that will constantly flow in and out of the mega-casino complex – 300 cars per hour, and a significant portion of it related to organized crime;

The cost of policing the casino and its outspill, a cost that will fall to the City and not to the Province of BC that owns the property – this will therefore be a cost shouldered by the citizens of Vancouver;

The inevitable architectural poverty and negative aesthetic impact of a structure of that size, a major problem considering the site’s size and central location in our city. Casinos, especially casinos of this size, are fortresses not conducive to neighbourhood vitality;

Please help us communicate to Vancouver’s Mayor and City Council your opposition to this massive development.

Thank you.

ADDITIONAL MESSAGE FROM THE COALITION FOLLOWS:

From: Vancouver Not Vegas [mailto:vancouvernotvegas@gmail.com]
Sent: March 2, 2011 1:54 PM
To: Vancouver Not Vegas
Subject: RALLY FOR VANCOUVER! Please join us at 6:45 pm precisely at City Hall, Monday March 7

We need all of you at a RALLY FOR VANCOUVER!

PLEASE join us at 6:45 on Monday evening, just before the 7:30 public hearing at City Hall. We really need your numbers out for the cameras! Bring everyone you can – friends, neighbours, your parents and/or children, everyone.

PLEASE bring some form of light with you – a lantern/ LED candle/candle/flashlight etc. (You can make a lantern from a flashlight by taping a cone or cylinder of paper around it.)

Let’s illuminate a more beautiful vision for our city’s future, and defend it from a mega-casino we don’t want or need.

After the rally, please join us inside Council Chambers for the public hearing. We have scores of people signed up to speak. If you would like to be heard, call the city at 311 to sign up!

Thank you! See you at 6:45!

If you are able to volunteer, please email us back. We could use help with recruitment for the event, planning, setup on Monday night, sign-making, etc.

Vancouver Not Vegas! Coalition

Twitter http://twitter.com/vancityvegas – hashtag #VNV or #VancouverNotVegas

Facebook Event for Monday night is here:

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