Why won’t Mayor Robertson enforce laws for peaceful protest?

Protesters targeting young children with unpleasant imagesOn Davie St. downtown every week for the past year, a group of protesters violates Federal criminal, Provincial,  and City bylaws. Police officers regularly observe the violations and take no action.

The police confirm that laws are being broken. They embarrassedly admit that are under strict orders not to take any action against the protesters unless things “get out of hand.” Top police officials say that they’ve been instructed by our Vision-led City government not to enforce the laws.

Protest sign with offensive languageNew Yaletown residents, businesses and visitors are increasingly frustrated by this untenable situation. Every week for a year we have been subjected to disturbances of the peace, unpleasantly loud screaming and shouting, and verbal abuse and hostile threats by the protesters, and we have had our children forcefully exposed to disturbing images and offensive language as we simply pass by on the sidewalk.

Speak quietly to a protester and you’ll likely get screamed at and perhaps threatened. The protesters’ noise travels for blocks, interfering with peaceful conversation even within our own homes.

Numerous calls and emails to police and city officials have resulted in no action against the protesters.

Possible criminal and by-law violations by the protesters include:

Federal Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

BC Provincial Laws

 City of Vancouver By-laws

The Davie Street location of the protest is classified by the City Noise Control Bylaw as a residential neighbourhood. The law gives us the right to quiet enjoyment of our homes.

Numerous calls to police and emails to city officials have resulted in no action.

The Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY) has been asked by its members to take action.

CANY firmly believes in the right to protest peacefully. Regardless of the issue being protested, the right to free speech can not be trampled. The right to protest is not at issue.

CANY also firmly believes that laws are created for a purpose. When laws are not enforced, as in the case of the Stanley Cup Riots, civil disorder ensues and confidence in our elected officials drops.

These protesters have gone far beyond peaceful protest. They appear to be violating numerous civil and criminal laws and are creating a hostile, noisy, unpleasant environment in our residential neighbourhood. We have had enough of the continued inaction by our Vision-led government.

So we are asking everyone to demand that Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision-led Council enforce the law.

Take Action Now

  • Call, Email, and Share every time the protesters disturb the peace.


Vancouver Police: 604-717-3321
Noise Complaints Hotline: 604-873-7000


City Council: mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca
Mayor Gregor Robertson: gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca
Police: vpd@vpd.ca


Add any of the following to your tweet:
#Vanpoli #Vancouver @MayorGregor @CityofVancouver @VanMayorsOffice @VancouverPD @VisionVancouver @iyaletown @yaletown

Sign the petition

Add your name to the hundreds of people who want the City to enforce the laws to keep protests peaceful.

2020-04-23T17:24:29-07:00October 3, 2014|

Social housing rent: How high is too high?

Construction is progressing rapidly at 1099 Richards, a development the City described at a public hearing as “100% social housing” and therefore worthy of additional density in excess of local zoning bylaws.

In addition to the 87 units that will simply replace the 87 units currently at Jubilee House, this building will also contain 75 “low end of market” units. These units are tiny: 34 studio apartments are 320 sq. ft.. The 41, 1-Bedroom units are 350 sq. ft., for an average size of 336.4 sq ft.

Average rent is $1142 / month for these “low end of market” “social housing” apartments. Not a tiny amount.

How costly is this on a per-square-foot basis? $3.39/sq. ft. monthly, or 40.74/sq. ft. annually.

Let’s compare this rent to other apartments in the area on a per-square-foot basis.

Furnished New Yaletown ApartmentWe checked Craigslist, which on Aug 24, 2014, listed an 883 sq. ft. apartment directly across the street from 1099 Richards. This fully furnished Yaletown apartment rents for $2350/mo. That’s $2.66/sq. ft. monthly, or 31.94/sq. ft. annually.

On a price per square foot basis, the 1099 Richards “low end of market” City-defined “social housing” is 27% more expensive than a fully furnished New Yaletown apartment across the street!

Luxury Apartment 1400 sq ft water viewsTo see if this is just an anomaly, we checked out another listing for another data point. This 1400 sq. ft. luxury apartment with water views rents downtown for $3950/mo. That’s $2.82/sq. ft. monthly, or 33.86/sq. ft. annually.

On a price per square foot basis, the 1099 Richards “low end of market” City-defined “social housing” is 20% more expensive than a downtown luxury apartment with water views!

Which apartment is the better deal? You decide:

Apartment Size
$ per Sq.Ft.
1099 Richards “Social Housing” at “Low end of market” 336.4 $1142 $3.39
Fully Furnished Yaletown Apartment 883 $2350 $2.66
Luxury Apartment with Water Views 1400 $3950 $2.82

apartment rent comparison

Is the City playing fast and loose with the terms “social housing” and “low end of market?”

Or being lured into giving density bonuses to a developer who is charging luxury rents for “social housing”?

Should the developer Brenhill be earning luxury-rate profits from so-called social housing?

Share your thoughts on Twitter, and with the Mayor and Council.

2020-04-23T17:24:29-07:00August 24, 2014|

Park Board Commissioner Confirms Plans for Full-Block Park

The City-owned land under the Jubilee House and Brookland Court social housing buildings at the north end of Emery Barnes Park had been planned and budgeted to be added to the park. Plans for a full-block Emery Barnes Park are documented in City and Park Board budgets, as reported earlier on this site.

In correspondence with a CANY member about the planned tower at 508 Helmcken, Park Board Commissioner Trevor Loke confirmed these original plans for Emery Barnes Park to occupy the entire city block.

Commissioner Loke further noted that the Park Board was not consulted or even informed that Jubilee House was to be replaced with a for-profit building. Commissioner Loke writes:

You are correct to state that it did not come before the board in either a briefing or a staff report. I understand that in 1998
the site was planned to be part of a future expansion of Emery Barnes Park

Current plans call for a private school to occupy the ground floor of the new tower at 508 Helmcken at the corner of Emery Barnes Park. When the school is in session, the school will use Emery Barnes Park as their private playground, without requesting permits or paying the daily usage fees required for legal private use of a public park.

It is disappointing to witness City staff secretly signing deals with a developer, overriding 90% public opposition to this project, and not even informing or consulting the Park Board, which has jurisdiction over the use of the park. If the building at 508 Helmcken is built, it will forever prevent the realization of the planned full-block park.

CANY is calling on the public to help fight illegal back-room deals with developers and save the original plans for a full-block Emery Barnes Park. Please sign our petition!

2020-04-23T17:24:29-07:00July 8, 2014|

Constance Barnes Campaign Launch for Vancouver Centre

Constance Barnes was at Emery Barnes Park today launching her campaign to become the next Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre. Members of CANY were also on site to raise awareness to the public and Constance about what is going on at the park and in the neighbourhood. Constance is advocating for affordable housing and daycare. The 508 Helmcken project is 100% for profit and will host a private daycare on city-owned land. Please sign the petition and donate to our cause.


2014-07-06T14:30:52-07:00July 6, 2014|

Happy Canada Day!

“I am a Canadian citizen and have no regrets. Over the years I have come to realize that prejudice is not limited to the USA. There are different kinds of people in all societies. None is perfect. I am less quick to condemn anyone and have probably mellowed a bit. With age and experience I have come to believe that we are the architects of our own destiny. I am more interested in the evolution of society and of my situation as an individual than in blaming any group or any society for all the evils on earth.” [1987 Interview with Barnes]

We are the architects of our own destiny. Let’s build a better and livable Vancouver. Happy Canada Day!

2014-07-01T10:30:26-07:00July 1, 2014|