Vision Vancouver caves, block parties remain free for now

Post by Mike Klassen in


Communities can celebrate as Vision Vancouver back down on the block party tax

Communities around Vancouver are heaving a sign of relief with the news that Vision Vancouver caved in on the city manager's recommendation to charge $50 to stage block parties. According to a staff report the city would recover an estimated $5500 in costs for staff time by charging the fee. Vision Vancouver are a political party who continually demonstrate that they are allergic to controversy, so it was no surprise to us when news reports came out this morning on the topic that they would collapse like a house of cards.

Vision Vancouver are not a political group with much intestinal fortitude when it comes to committing to tough decisions, and this week has seen an amazing number of policy retreats:

  1. Allen "The Beekeeper" Garr's appointment as Vancouver's Chief Apiarist was rescinded when someone realized that it's a little hard to be a City Hall commentator and a political operative at the same time. The city is on the hunt for a new beekeeper as a result.
  2. Rooftop bees were the subject du jour apparently when City Hall quickly retreated on rules that prevented bee hobbyists from starting their own hives in Vancouver.
  3. And finally, the retreat on the block party tax.

We must give credit to other media for picking up our story from yesterday afternoon, which had otherwise been unreported until wrote about this morning's City Services and Budgets meeting and the staff recommendation to slap the fee on community fun. Kudos also to Coun. Suzanne Anton, who looked like the real leader of the opposition that she must be in a council chamber that doesn't welcome her viewpoints.

Coming in late this afternoon, were told by city staff that Penny Ballem is furious at being "hung out to dry" on the block party flip-flop. We understand that Ballem is angry in particular with Mayor Robertson, who had already been briefed on the matter and was in support of the decision to tax block parties.

Thanks, readers, for your many comments and alerting your communities about this stupid decision. It's another victory for the little people!


It's amazing that you make every story, even positive ones look negative.

The government proposed something, citizens voiced their opposition to it, then government listened and changed their mind. Tell me where the negative part is again?

KT, I appreciate that not everyone sees the politics on issues as we do here. Regardless of your partisanship, what happened here is the stuff that really embarrasses sitting governments. They do not like to retreat on policy. What makes it doubly embarrassing for a government is when a blogger is the cause of that flip-flop.

You see, the city government did not "listen" as you say. They got scared. They "listened" to staff and their own political viewpoints, and decided that 1) Block parties should be taxed, 2) Beehives should be restricted from rooftops and 3) it would be fine to have a political commentator work on a political initiative.

So, yes, it's great that we're not paying a block party tax. But don't thank the politicians for the decision, as they didn't make it willingly.

Vision is spineless. They stand for nothing. They do nothing. Except for tax us to death! And help their social wingnuts. This proves it.

I was a huge supporter of Vision in the election when they essentially wiped out the NPA. Even I was cringing yesterday when I read the report that was linked to Mike's blog post, and despite the retreat on this block party tax, I think the real test of leadership for this summer is what they will do about the Celebration of Light.

The benefits to the downtown core in terms of businesses, community spirit, etc. are almost Olympic-like on those four nights. Yet the event was noted as NOT being on the list of events to be approved in the report. If this event gets cancelled, we're going to be sliding right back down the slippery slope back into NoFunCity-land. Has anyone heard any updates on this perchance?

Mike, Daniel & City Caucus staff,
Guys, good for you! Continue to report and keep these City Hall tourists, honest.
They are suddenly in a “love is all around” mood. Nothing to do with being caught lying for the past month, though! In the past week alone, they almost started an apiary on the roof, they counted the homeless, and they opened up the petty cash accounts for all of us to see. Wow!

Let’s be clear on one point here, Vision and company care about homeless people, as much as a dog licking his balls in public cares about you looking at him.

I know some people will read about their adventurous week and they’ll say” See, how much they care?”
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people like this out there.

P.T. Barnum allegedly described them perfectly when he said “There’s a sucker born every second!”

Some people would call that... The Vision!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Thurday's Sun has an extensive article on the Subject. While I appreciate your dilligence in these matters, I find it a little annoying that you have positioned yourself as the only ones that are watching or listening. You don't always have to be first to be good.

I read story you refer to, Julia. Not only did it run a day after our post, the article focused on film industry fees, and the single sentence on the block parties was in the 2nd to last paragraph.

Coun. Anton did a great job on this story, too, sending out a release on it and doing a bunch of media to get them to back off. Anton tells us she did it after reading our post.

Check out!

Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement