NPA Vancouver’s Affleck calls for review of Granville Entertainment District policies

Motion follows the recent murder of Kalwinder Thind


George Affleck
Photo: Twitter

NPA Vancouver City Councillor George Affleck is calling for a review of the City’s policies relating to the Granville Entertainment District.

At this week’s City Council meeting, Affleck said he will introduce a motion asking for staff to assess the effectiveness of the City’s existing policies in reducing street disorder, reducing gender-based violence, and improving business in the Granville Entertainment District.

Affleck’s motion echoes a previous motion he brought forward four and a half years ago in July 2013 entitled “Review and Enhancement of Granville Entertainment District” and it follows the recent death of Kalwinder Thind who was fatally stabbed outside a downtown nightclub at the end of January.

“Four and half years ago I brought forward a motion calling for consultation with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, and other stakeholders, and an update on the Granville Entertainment District. My intent was to have Council address the issues we continue to see in this area of the downtown,” said Affleck. “The Vision majority on Council sidelined my Granville Entertainment District motion in 2013, and now, four and a half years later, we’re no further ahead than we were back then. It’s very discouraging and unacceptable that nothing has changed.”

The minutes of the July 9, 2013, Council meeting indicate that Affleck’s 2013 motion was referred to staff with direction to prepare a memorandum for Council reviewing the process by which a design team was selected to create the “$21-million, national award-winning Granville Entertainment District.” The referral motion also specified that the memorandum should include information relating to the cost of construction and any feedback received from stakeholders regarding the redesigned street.

The referral of Affleck’s motion in 2013 was moved by Vision Councillor Heather Deal and seconded by Vision Councillor Raymond Louie.

NPA Vancouver Councillors George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball, and Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr, all voted against Deal’s referral motion.

In addition to calling for a review of current City policies relating to the Granville Entertainment District, including recommendations relating to the parking and transit situation on the street, and options for enhancing the dining and live music experience on the street, Affleck’s new motion calls for Council:

  • to direct staff to work with the Vancouver Police Department, Bar Watch, and other relevant stakeholders to determine the viability, budget, and timeframe for reactivation of the Street Surveillance Camera Network
  • to call on the Provincial Government to join the City of Vancouver, relevant stakeholders, and the transportation industry (i.e., taxi, limousine, transit) to develop a targeted strategy to provide better transportation services unique to the Granville Entertainment District – a high need area of the city
  • to direct staff to review the possibility of allowing later hours for the Granville Entertainment District to smooth out closing times of various establishments rather than requiring entertainment district businesses to adhere to policies which unnecessarily, and adversely, affect these businesses and in turn unnecessarily, and adversely, affect Vancouver’s reputation as a robust tourism and hospitality destination
  • to direct staff to consult with the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame (which has invested over $300,000 for bronze plaques up and down Granville Street), Entertainment Producers, Vancouver Civic Theatres (such as the Orpheum which fronts onto Granville Street), and the City Archives regarding the issues evident in the Granville Entertainment District and to include these stakeholders in all future matters and consultations pertaining to the Granville Entertainment District.

Members of the public who wish to speak to Affleck’s motion can register online at the following link: by 9:30 a.m. on the day of the meeting. Affleck’s motion is “Motion B7 – Upgrading, Reviewing and Revising the Granville Entertainment District.” Each speaker has five minutes to address Council, and presentation materials can be emailed to one day before the meeting.

The City of Vancouver’s stated strategy for the city’s downtown is “to shape and deliver vibrant public spaces.” The City’s website further states that Vancouver’s public spaces – our plazas, squares, streets, laneways, pathways, and waterfront – are where people connect with the city, and with each other; where public life happens and community is created.

The NPA is firmly committed to bringing forward, and supporting, policies and strategies that shape and deliver vibrant public spaces in the downtown and in every neighbourhood across the city, said Affleck.