Sunday, December 13, 2009

Eyesore, Plain and Simple

One cannot argue with the self-evident and urgent need for aboriginal people to get a leg up wherever reasonable and possible.

And it is particularly encouraging to see native groups creating economic opportunities that are based on sound business models.

But, please.

The new electric billboard built by the Squamish Nation at the south foot of the Burrard Bridge is a bad idea badly executed.

It is big and flashy.

And it is flat ugly.

All over town local governments have actively discouraged bill boarding.

Our late good friend Larry Zelmer fought for years to maintain the billboard high atop the Lee Building at Main and Broadway.

He lost.

That sign was barely visible except to anyone but the cormorants compared to the garish glare of this new distraction amidst the trees and mountain and water views off the Burrard Bridge.

This is reverse discrimination of the most offensive kind.

Why this group and no others?

No doubt there are many great ways for the Squamish Nation to develop business opportunities that will serve everyone well.

This is not one of them.


Laurie said...

This move by the Squamish Nation goes against the general message of the First Nations - to work and care for the land and treat it with respect. These billboards are replacing that message with a knee-jerk solution to make money, but they will pay a deeper price for this gesture. These billboards diminish the credibility of their voice as they demand our attention. They are placed at a very hazardous position on the bridge,dangerously distracting our attention at the point where we should be focused on entering and exiting the bridge. This will be particularly hazardous for visitors. When I think of the millions of dollars the gov't has invested to incorporate the first nations work + voice in the Olympics campaign and the revenue they will receive from this exposure worldwide - tells me that adding billboards on their lands is shortsighted + will diminish the credibility + respect they have worked hard to build.

Anonymous said...

the real eyesore are those slabs of concrete separating the lanes. I did'nt even notice the billboard.

Anonymous said...

David, these bill boards are the first nations way of telling us to go f--k ourselves. Only the most brain dead, idiotic, ignorant, moron would erect a structure that is sure to arouse such negative response . So much for the thought that we have ruined the natural beauty of the land. No more tears rolling down the cheek of a sad indian beside a polluted lake. Take a drive to North Van and look at the Squamish Nation at its finest.

I hope that the first advertiser to rent space on one of these obsenities finds itself the target of boycots and protests.

We have allowed political correctness to run amok.
Reverse discrimination is rampant.

It would not surprise me to see these eyesores targeted by people that would have never been considered activists until now.

Anonymous said...

My concern is that it is a dangerous distraction. The bridge area is so incredibly congested, with all kinds of necessary lane merging and changing, and when people stare at the billboard, they will run into the car in front of them if it stops, which happens all the time in rush hour. Is this the real reason why a bicycle lane was created? Because the powers that be knew that a billboard would distract drivers even more? Hmmm.

Dave C. said...


Maybe we should offer a modern-day trade? Remove one electronic sign for 10 Jimmy Pattison billboards?
Seriously, if the advertising doesn't increase sales will the signs remain up? Boycott the products.


Anonymous said...

In lieu of good-paying jobs, salmon or property rights, the Squamish Nation has been given access to one of the great growing industries in BC - advertising!

Jim Pattison probably doesn't like it, either.

BTW - Ugly is a very subjective thing.
Money is at least tangible.

Anonymous said...

The electronic sign and the concrete barriers, on what is one of Vancouver's nicest bridges, are the yard equivalent of garden gnomes and pink flamingos in front of an otherwise lovely house. What a dog's breakfast government is making of the Burrard Street Bridge by catering to special interest groups and by endorsing such a blatant double standard.

And if you're still keeping count, we drove the bridge today, and there was nary a cyclist.


Anonymous said...

Very good comparison with the LEE building billboard. The revenue generated from this was critical for the tennants in the building to offset their expenses.
Why demand that it be removed, and then slap us all in the face with this detestable flashing eyesore?

Ooops. I forgot about the deals with the host first nations for revenue.

Jeff Taylor said...

David, to be honest, I don't really think these signs are that much of an eye sore. If they were to put up more of them, then I'd have a problem with the whole thing. I also think that in time they will put some useful messages on them such as Amber Alerts, traffic reports, weather, etc. I guess if anything, you could argue that they might be a distraction for drivers and cyclists. As with many things, time will tell the story that's to come.

Anonymous said...

First person who crashes their vehicle in the vicinity of the billboard should sue the Squamish Nation. You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

A slightly different perspective would be to look for an ulterior motive such as; (1)Are the citizens of Vancouver at least aware of the Squamish Nation or; (2)Who`s land is it? The billboard answers both questions.

Anonymous said...

Get over it. If heading southbound on the bridge we have had to look at Molsons flashing billboard for years. Just look up but watch the car in front of ya.

Anonymous said...

To all of the lets get over it crowd. The branch of the federal gov. that deals with your first nation friends is exempt from the auditor general. Do you wonder why? Do you suppose its because the amount of money flushed down that government toilet would make a Saudi prince blush with embarrassment.

As for the Molson sign, underneath the sign is a brewery that employs people at decent wages.