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.
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