I'm a journalist who has worked throughout B.C., north to south. Filling in for a maternity leave as editor of Indulge magazine / Peace Arch News advertorial. For more: ca.linkedin.com/in/garstinmichaela · issuu.com/indulge/docs
Four days after two pressure cooker bombs sent Boston into chaos, MP John Weston stood up in the House of Commons to demand MPs have the right to speak on any topic important to their constituents.
“There was a direct attack on freedom,” said Weston, who is MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, referring to the Boston Marathon bombing that had recently killed three people and injured hundreds more.
“Here we were standing in our parliament and I felt I had to weigh-in on the importance of freedom for our constituents and for our members who represent them, not just now but in the future.”
Following demands made by Weston and nine other MPs, Members of Parliament are no longer constrained by prepared caucus lists, which name who will speak in the chamber. The decision means MPs can speak on any topic, regardless of the Whip’s or Party’s stance.
West Vancouver is one of Canada’s wealthiest communities but boarded-up stores and empty lots have the mayor and others calling a certain section of the Ambleside-area a “shantytown.”
While this characterization is a stretch, the point they’re trying to make is that Ambleside desperately needs improvement.
And the nicknames don’t stop there.
“Our real estate agents refer to the 1300-block… as the Gaza Strip. A great comment on Canada’s most desirable residential community,” Mayor Michael Smith noted during a March council meeting. “It’s a disgrace. We’ve sat here as citizens and allowed it to go on.”
In the heart of Ambleside on the 1300-block, a building with boarded-up doors that has sat vacant since a fire in October is an example of how these unflattering nicknames began. Beside it an empty lot is fenced off until a gas station moves in.
A restaurant on Ambleside’s waterfront is a bad idea, according to many people who spoke up at a public hearing Monday evening.Along with food carts, sidewalk dining and festivals, it’s a possibility being considered for Ambleside revitalization.
A house currently sits at the prospective seaside lot on the 1400-block of Argyle Avenue, which the district now owns, but would be torn down if the restaurant is a go. The property would remain in the municipality’s possession while the full-service restaurant is run by a private owner.
But this restaurant shouldn’t be built, said some West Van residents at the public hearing.
“Why do we need the restaurant on the waterfront? We don’t,” said Ambleside resident Paul Hundal. “There’s no reason why people can’t walk across the street to Bellevue (Avenue).”