Vancouver city council has rejected Wal-Mart's bid to build its first store in the city, a big-box outlet on Southeast Marine Drive
The vote was 8-3, with all eight COPE councillors against the project.
Only the two NPA councillors – Sam Sullivan and Peter Ladner – along with Mayor Larry Campbell, supported the project.
The vote followed a debate among councillors, with those opposed saying their decision was based on land use and the potential impact on the community.
"Big-box stores create traffic congestion, cause air pollution and harm small businesses," said councillor Anne Roberts, who led the battle against Wal-Mart.
That comment sent the debate about traffic and land use into more political territory. "The largest contributor to the Bush regime in his re-election campaign was Wal-Mart," said councillor Tim Louis.
After the vote, Anne Roberts said what she wouldn't say in council. "I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart, and I've always been concerned about their labour practices, about getting goods from sweatshops."
Wal-Mart's proposed store
Just before dealing with the Wal-Mart application, council also rejected a big-box Canadian Tire store in the same area of Southeast Marine Drive.
And with both proposals now dead, Roberts says she now wants city staff to re-examine the zoning that allows developers to build big-box stores within city limits in the first place.