Preamble: Westbank Projects Corp (CEO Ian Gillespie, selected by Vancouver Magazine as the most powerful person in Vancouver in 2015). The Council majority at Vancouver City Hall has approved a large number of enormous development projects in Vancouver for this privately-held firm over the past ten years, many of which were opposed by local communities and slammed for flawed consultation processes. The City has sold public land to this firm at discounted prices, granted generous incentives and zoning relaxations, and is currently strongly supporting Gillespie’s efforts to get a lucrative monopoly on the district heating system in the downtown core. All the while, City inspectors appear to look the other way when bylaw violations occur. The following report is reblogged with kind permission from Eye on Norquay.
Downstream Costs – Will the City of Vancouver Charge Westbank?
On 8 November 2015 Eye on Norquay took a series of photographs documenting Westbank’s direct dumping of construction site wastewater into the storm sewer system at the corner of Kingsway and Gladstone Street. The fact of unpermitted bypass was later confirmed in conversation with City of Vancouver officials.
Five weeks later, on 13 December 2015, Kingsway is flooding because of a blocked storm sewer:
At the same time, a single green drain hose leads from the wastewater processing equipment into a nearby sewer opening:
These two photographs show what the 2220 Kingsway site excavation looks like on the same day:
One Week Ago
At some point during the past week, Westbank’s contractors eliminated at least the overt evidence of ongoing double bypass. These three hoses were photographed entering the sewer on 5 December 2012.
The two red hoses appeared to run straight back into the excavation —
— and the green hose back to the wastewater processing equipment. At a rough calculation, only one-third of the wastewater was being processed.
Here are two questions that a Freedom of Information request well might stonewall as “too private” for a municipal taxpayer ever to know anything about:
How often does Westbank fail to comply with City of Vancouver standards and requirements?
Does the City of Vancouver ever hold Westbank financially responsible for the negative impacts of their activities on public infrastructure?