The appended transcript deserves careful examination. It records in writing what Vancouver Police Department representative Brian Montague said about PiDGiN protest at a press conference on the 17th of April, 2013.

The video stream currently available on the Vancouver Police Department web site only permits a straight play-through that lasts approximately twenty minutes. There is no slider button to permit backtracking and instant replay. Few watchers of the video are likely to have the patience or concentration to wait for a full circular twenty minutes to get one more listen to exactly what was said. This transcript seeks to avoid editorial smoothing, and attempts to capture verbal nuances of hesitation, uncertainty, and groping.

Persons unwilling to plow through the entire transcript may have interest in skipping to the appendix to view highlighted themes extracted from the VPD discourse, accompanied by questions that these themes raise. For a condensed version of the VPD’s unconstitutional decision to arrest the picketers, readers can also see a previous article here, written April 18th.

Notes on the text | All text is Constable Brian Montague speaking, unless marked as “Media.” The appendix contains commentary by Joe Jones. The source of audio and video stream can be found under “Latest Press Conference” at http://vancouver.ca/police

Anyone who witnessed on 19 April 2011 the seven hours — all morning and all evening — that Vancouver City Council spent cobbling together last-minute amendments to Vancouver’s Street and Traffic By-law (reference Agenda Item 1) should have an excellent idea of how bureaucracy cannot cope with freedom.

More than two weeks earlier on April 7, the issue of “Structures on Streets for Political Expression” had already eaten up an entire afternoon. By one well-placed account, the contentious report first appeared online and available to the public at 1:30 pm on Tuesday April 5. Report presenter Peter Judd made several apologies for the lateness of a document that the City had had more than five months to prepare. The public had only 48 hours of lead time. The five speakers heard on that first afternoon included Clive Ansley, legal representative for Falun Gong, and Micheal Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

Despite the generality of the bylaw amendments proposed, the report to council (amended version) made clear a desire “to align with direction provided by the B.C. Court of Appeal in the matter of the Falun Gong.” The elephant in this bylaw closet was the ongoing protest outside the Chinese consulate on Granville Street. The bylaw amendment itself adopted a cumbersome and much vaguer designation to generalize its effect and coverage.

Graphic Is Building Massing Drawing for STIR Project Now Under Construction at 3522 Porter Street, 1896-1898 Victoria Diversion, 3615 Victoria Drive (DE413947) ]

Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing (STIR) has been around for two years now. The city web site still claims that STIR is “a time limited (2.5 year) program” that has fastened onto

an opportunity to increase rental housing supply during the current economic downturn, while supporting the development industry to maintain jobs and invest in the City’s economy.

The “short term” is now promising to become indefinite long term. The recent Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2012-2021 (July 2011) says:

Enhance on-going rental incentive program building on lessons from STIR. Continue to achieve secure purpose built rental housing. Focus on assisting smaller projects. (Appendix B, page 4 of 11)

“Assisting” indeed. This rich and supposedly temporary package of giveaways to Vancouver’s development industry appears to have become highly addictive.

All that Vancouver residents get back from providing heavy subsidies to developers is a vaguely specified requirement for production of market rental housing.

In other words, the developer rakes in a package of fee waivers, favorable property tax assessments, parking reductions, priority permit processing — and at the same time achieves steroidal density and obtains latitude to build even smaller boxes than usual.


Vancouver’s in-control municipal party, Vision Vancouver, votes as a bloc. You’re surprised? Parties exist to march in step. They call it discipline.

The just updated Vancouver Council Votes web site covers 39 of the most contentious issues to come before City Council 2009-2011.

Most of the contention surrounds “planning” — aka spewing out turgid bureaucratic justifications for handing over as much as possible as fast as possible to the local real estate speculation industry. What else is a poor city to do when so much of its economic base has slunk off to elsewhere?

On four separate occasions, four different Vision councillors have strayed. First, a roll call of the rigid toers of the line: Heather Deal, Kerry Jang, Gregor Robertson, Tim Stevenson. Now to inspect the anomalies.

George Chow on 24 September 2009 opposed the form of development slated for 1450 McRae Avenue. No coincidence — Chow has strong connections to Shaughnessy. (When the earlier main vote took place on 1 April 2008, Chow with Deal joined NPA’s Capri in opposing the sizeable McRae development at the edge of that special region.) Four sessions of previous public hearing saw 53 persons speak in opposition and 7 in support. On the correspondence side, 4 letters supported and 427 opposed. Amusing side note: one of the speakers in opposition back then, Tony Tang, is now the 2011 Vision replacement for George Chow.

Andrea Reimer on 18 May 2010 opposed the rezoning of 2250 Commercial Drive (Van East Cinema). Reimer lives to the south of that location. The developer proposal involved outrageous fudging, perhaps too much for Reimer to stomach. Chase the details on that 2250 Commercial rezoning if you need a purgative.