Casino opponents call for referendum
The anti-casino coalition Vancouver Not Vegas says Vancouver doesn’t need the Edgewater Casino to triple in size.
The expansion is part of a plan that would see the casino move from its present location at the Plaza of Nations to a proposed hotel-entertainment complex next to BC Place.
The coalition said the issue should be put to a referendum in the civic election in November.
On Wednesday night, more than 100 local residents, arts groups and churches participated in a forum at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver to kick off a campaign to block Edgewater’s plans.
Coalition leader Sandy Garossino said Vancouver City Council and the province have failed to consult residents about the casino expansion.
"I am not very happy about Vancouver's urban planning being done in Victoria," she said.
Garossino urged opponents to vocalize their concerns about Edgewater’s plans.
"You tell Vancouver Council this is not how we do deals. We have something to say about this and we are going to be heard," Garossino said.
Renowned Vancouver architect Bing Thom said he’s worried about Vancouver’s direction when it comes to development.
"There really hasn’t been enough discussion about what we want our city to be," Thom said. "We had a great party with the Olympics, but maybe we are getting the hangover."
A public meeting on the proposal will be held at Vancouver City Hall on Feb. 17.
On Tuesday night, 200 people - mostly casino employees - packed a public forum in support of the proposed casino.
The $450-million hotel-entertainment complex proposal would include two luxury hotels and six restaurants. Edgewater said the new casino would be less than 14 per cent of the whole operation and create more than 1,000 jobs.