Mel Lehan with the Point Grey Foreshore Society gathered a marine biologist, a botanist and a historian to lead a walk between Kits and Jericho beaches on Saturday, to highlight what would happen to the ecosystem should a seawall be erected.
"We've commissioned a lot of studies and we found that there's more birds, there's more plants, there's lots of marine life and it's because it's a complete ecosystem that hasn't been impacted by a seawall," he explains.
I would have to agree with this. Why does Vancouver need to have a homogeneous bricked shoreline? To go with our homogeneous, glass-tower skyline?
The park board in 1994 voted to abandon plans to extend the seawall and preserve the shoreline as much as possible.
Yes, there are a lot of retaining walls built, but there are still sections that are perfectly preserved (or as close to perfect as possible in a developed city) that would be eliminated by any form of seawall expansion.
We also need to do due diligence and and not just accept money to build something. We need look no further than Victoria to see what happens when we build infrastructure at the behest of a private individual and just to get hands on handouts.
Len Barrie, the guy who got started down the road to riches by being an asshat and cutting down trees on a golf course that didn't belong to him, talked Langford into building an interchange to his subdivision. He offered to pay for part but decided not to live up to the agreement. Now the bridge sits over the highway, unused, with taxpayers on the hook to finish it.
Also, an anonymous $10 million donation for a public project is highly suspect and shouldn't be allowed. It's a total conflict of interest. Anyone who thinks that if the city accepted $10 million from someone and doesn't return the favor is incredibly naive. Don't tell me that Jimmy Pattison's contributions (as nice as they are) haven't helped cement his company in BC and helped with decisions made by governments (be it licenses, contracts, zoning, or keeping competition out of Vancouver *coughWalmartcough*).
By being anonymous, how can we know that this isn't buying influence? For all we know, this could be from Li Ka-shing and in exchange for being made to look like public recreation heroes, Vision will fast track viaduct demolition and transfer a chunk of land over to Concord Pacific. That's just an example of corruption, not what I actually thinking is going on. But am I really that far of from reality? Li Ka-shing did offer to buy Fantasy Garden from Vander Zalm at the time he was bidding on the Expo Lands, Vander Zalm turned him down only because he the Zalm was already helping his friend Peter Toigo to get his hands on the Expo lands. And Fantasy gardens did eventually lead to Vander Zalm's ultimate downfall when he sold it to Tan Yu (who wanted to do business in BC) for $16 million when it "luckily" came out of the ALR.
But even if we knew the identity of the donor, there is no way to know if it will influence current or future councils to vote a certain way in future dealings with the person. Corruption is a slippery slope, so it is best to avoid it.