Jump to content

Vancouver Seeks To Tighten Bylaws For Olympics


mr.x
 Share

Recommended Posts

Civil rights to sell and speak emerge as issues for Vancouver during Olympics

1 hour ago

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Vancouver city officials are moving to curb civil rights at a moment's notice in order to keep the city looking uncluttered of street vendors, signage and graffiti during the 2010 Olympics, says a civil liberties advocate.

David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said the city runs the risk of restraining rights at the same time as it's trying to advance them.

City council is scheduled to receive a report Tuesday recommending legal changes that would allow for stronger bylaws around various issues during the Olympics.

At the same meeting, council will be presented with a motion chastising the city's organizing committee for not following through on a promise on civil rights.

The bylaw changes would include giving the city power to remove illegal signs from private property without notice and raise the fine for repeat offenders from $50 a day to $10,000.

Eby said the potential of such a high fine would certainly curb protests.

"If you want to talk about a chilling effect on legitimate protest for example, one of those provisions in there deals with handing out flyers or carrying or installing a sign in a city park or on your own property," Eby said.

"The chilling effect is significant if you feel you're going to be subject to a $10,000 fine."

That's not the intent of the proposed changes, said Paul Henderson, director of Olympic and Paralympic operations for the city.

Henderson said there are no changes planned to what constitutes illegal signs, just how the city can respond to them.

For example, under current bylaws, someone who puts up an illegal sign is sent a notice and has 21 days to remove it if the sign is offensive.

"At Games time, that wouldn't provide any sort of deterrent to putting up an illegal sign," Henderson said.

"We're looking for increased ability to effectively, if someone puts up an illegal sign, to be able to remove it almost immediately."

Tuesday's meeting will also include a motion calling on Games organizers to fulfil a promise to communicate with inner-city residents over the security plan for the Games.

The promise is in the Inner City Inclusivity Statement, a social contract the bid committee for the Games, as well as community organizations and government agencies, signed in the process of bidding for the Olympics.

One of its promises is that the parties "commit to a timely public consultation that is accessible to inner-city neighbourhoods, before any security legislation or regulations are finalized, subject to lawful and legitimate confidentiality requirements."

That consultation has not materialized.

Geoff Meggs is the city councillor who is bringing forward the motion.

"It's important to show voters and residents that we're going to live up to commitments that were made to take their concerns and interests into account when we're planning the Games," he said.

Eby said he welcomes the city taking a proactive stand on the agreement but that he hopes it isn't just another empty promise to consult residents about Games planning.

Neither the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Olympics nor the RCMP, the lead agency for security at the Games, wanted to comment in depth on the motion until it's debated before city council.

While it will be brought forward at Tuesday's meeting, the motion may not be debated until later in the week.

The bylaw changes will require the province to amend the city's charter, the same way it just did to allow Vancouver to borrow money to cover the cost of building the athletes village.

An update for those plans is also being presented Tuesday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The president always uses the secret service, so of course Vancouver won’t pay for all his and some of the other heads of states‘ security. But I don't think Obama will go anyway.

Maybe Michelle Obama and their two girls will. Or the Bidens.

…Or you know what, maybe he will go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

......and why would our President leave any aspect of his security finances to ........of all places.....canada?

I'm just saying, having Obama in town would be awesome....but it would cost a lot, coming right from the Canadian taxpayer. I guess it wouldn't be too bad if the secret service trails him around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea, and I would actually be surprised if Obama didn't come to the Opening Ceremonies.

I would assume that the heads of state/government of Britain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany, Netherlands (I would assume Queen Beatrix herself would be in attendance), Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Korea, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand would all be in attendance. Oh and Mexico.

There will be 20 to 30 world leaders.

By protocol, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Canada would be asked to open the Games as our head of state but she will pass it along to Michelle Jean though will call on Brown and one of her offspring to go in attendance in her place.

The Dutch will of course grace Canada with the highest levels of their state, any less would not be in line with the relations we have had since 1944.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea, and I would actually be surprised if Obama didn't come to the Opening Ceremonies.

I would assume that the heads of state/government of Britain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany, Netherlands (I would assume Queen Beatrix herself would be in attendance), Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Korea, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand would all be in attendance. Oh and Mexico.

There will be 20 to 30 world leaders.

Highly unlikely for winter Games.

Expect the usual King and Queen of Sweden, the Prince of Orange, maybe Putin for the closing because of Sochi, some British royals but I think if you have 10 "world leaders" it will be a max.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...