Picture the following. You've just been in a very sensitive negotiation with stakeholders. You've asked them to make a sacrifice for the greater good, and promised them that you'll be sensitive to their concerns. Nerves are already raw because the affected parties don't think you've been actually listening to them.
You spend hours in discussions, and a decision is made that has left several people on the opposite side of the table dissatisfied.
- Keep your head down. Remain humble and work to mitigate the concerns of the affected parties? Or...
- Pop champagne corks and proceed to laugh at the people who you've just inconvenienced?
Many downtown Vancouver businesses and residents might be wondering if Vision Vancouver opted for #2 upon learning that they're selling t-shirts that mock their predicament. Vision Vancouver are selling the t-shirts off the party's website (presumably at a small profit), and they plan to hand them out at an upcoming social event. According to Vision Vancouver's website the shirts were created "in the spirit of supporting the latest decision to create a separated bike route in Vancouver’s downtown core".
Or, as some might describe it, "IN YOUR FACE, CHUMP!"
The shirts say on the front "Bike Lanes Make Me Hornby" and have an illustration of a bicycle, with a Vision Vancouver logo on the sleeve. Party supporters can proudly wear these tees right through the profit-making Christmas shopping season, which will most likely bypass Hornby Street merchants this fall.
Vision Vancouver already have a well-earned image for being arrogant and dismissive of opposing viewpoints, but it does seem odd that they would have created an article of clothing to express it. Vision's Executive Director Ian Baillie told The Province newspaper that the shirts are "fun" and a way to "energize" party members.
CityCaucus.com contacted Charles Gauthier from the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association to get his reaction. He told us:
Typically I don’t comment on what political parties do, but I am disappointed in the T-shirt for the very same reasons that others are pointing out. It is supposed to be a trial and there is supposed to be some sensitivity. I don’t think this will sit well with a number of our members on Hornby Street. I’ve said very clearly that we support cycling as a mode of transportation into the downtown, but we have difficulty supporting this separated bike lane.
We also spoke with Laura Jones of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Here is what Laura has to say about the t-shirt:
This is the same attitude we saw from Vancouver City Council and it’s disrespectful to the businesses on the street who are very worried about sales losses. The businesses I’ve dealt with have been very respectful and supportive of bike lanes—just not this specific proposal. They don’t deserve to be laughed at. The Mayor should show some leadership and put a stop to this.
Perhaps not widely known were the t-shirt phrases the party threw out before arriving at the suggestive Hornby line.
The t-shirts that Vision did not make stated:
"What, me listen?"
"I've got 3.2 million rea$on$ to laugh now"
"Right turns off Dunsmuir? Whatever."
If you want to discuss with Vision Vancouver your thoughts about their t-shirt, contact party staffer Tim Chipperfield directly at email@example.com.
We still think the NPA f***ing Hacks t-shirts were a whole lot more funny. They will make great Christmas presents for the City Hall watcher in your life! You can custom order your NPA %@#*&! Hack? t-shirt here.
- post by Mike