Squamish Nation to construct digital billboards near Burrard Bridge

Post by Mike Klassen in


Opponents of digital billboards say they distract drivers, use up too much electricity and are a blight on the urban landscape

It's being reported this morning by CKNW news that Vancouver is about to get a few more digital billboards just in time for the Olympic Games. Last night, the Squamish First Nation approved the immediate construction of six massive digital billboards to be placed at the foot of the Burrard, Lion's Gate and Second Narrows bridges. There is no word yet whether the Squamish First Nation are planning to cut a deal with the likes of Pepsi, Mastercard or other non-Olympic sponsors to advertise during the Games.

If the plan to construct the billboards by December are for real, it will generate a significant amount of controversy in places like Vancouver. If you recall, it was COPE Councillor David Cadman who moved a series of motions over the last number of years to remove billboards throughout the Vancouver.

It will be interesting to see how Mayor Robertson and his Vision caucus balance the complaints from Vancouver residents against the autonomy and financial needs of the Squamish First Nation. As it currently stands, Council has no say over First Nations land in Vancouver.

In a recent post, we noted some concern expressed by SFU Prof. Doug McArthur whereby he lectured Vision Vancouver regarding their relationship with the Aboriginal community:

We can't become a political party that fights Aboriginal people on their lawful rights.

Based on McArthur's comments, it would appear Vision won't have much to say when it comes to the construction of a bunch of digital billboards at the foot of Burrard Street Bridge. This debate is only going to heat up in the coming weeks.

Check out our new online poll on this subject and have your say.


Just boycott every company/product that advertises on those billboards.

Send emails to each and every company.

Obviously the C of V (or the Provincial Ministry of Highways as the case may be) have no right to object over Natives erecting billboards on their land.

That said, there is nothing to stop the City from erecting their own 'billboard shield' along the south end of the Burrard bridge.

Sure, it might be ugly or detract from the aesthetics of the Burrard Bridge - but at least drivers won't be subjected to the distraction and blight on the landscape ... and with any luck, advertisers will quickly lose interest in billboards that nobody can see.

I'm quite sure that - deprived of the means to generate revenue with them the Squamish Band will be less than keen to upkeep these eyesores, and we can remove the billboard shields..

It might sound crazy - but I'd note that in Japan - they line the highways with several meter high 'screens' to baffle traffic sound from neighbourhoods..


Don't expect this Vision council to do anything. I just heard Councillor Raymond Louie on CKNW radio saying this is out of his jurisdiction (funny, that never stopped him or his colleagues before??).

He went on to assure Vancouverites that he was working with the First Nations band to ensure the billboards would be "gracefully" installed.

The billboards are a hidious and distasteful idea. I'm so disappointed with their method of making money..how low can you go!

How much revenue will the Band earn? I'm curious about the business case.

If someone knows, please email me: bmasseycwk@gmail.com



The objections are hypocritical. I fully agree with the articel in The Vancover Sun:



I think it is very hypocritical of the squamish nation for putting the hideous eye sore up- are they not about nature? are they not receiving money from the government because we took their land years ago? For a group that is so concerned for the land this seems to go against everything they "use" to stand for.

Check out BCWineLover.com!

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