Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Vancouver's NIMBYs In Play

This morning on CKNW's Bill Good show I heard Vancouver Park Board Commissioner, Marty Zlotnick, exemplify a typical elitist Vancouver NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitude. The subject at hand was the possible transference of the UBC Golf Club to the Musqueum Native Band.

He was totally against it, of course. And his overarching reason why? Because he & his friends like to go out there and play golf on a regular basis. Isn't that nice. Zlotnick admitted that as a golf course, the land is only worth $11 Million. But if developed into housing, it would be worth $600 Million.

At $40 - $70 per round of golf, only a small percentage of the population can afford to play there on a regular basis. So this valuable land is, in practice, only available to the precious elite like Zlotnick to use. He was very quick to assert that instead of turning over the golf course to the natives, instead the government should just pay them $600 Million outright. In other words, he was very willing to have your tax money and mine be used but we better not dare touch his personal playground.

This whole issue is indicative of the widespread hypocrisy amongst so many Vancouverites. They're perfectly okay with the government giving away endless amounts of land "out there" but when it comes to Native land claims in their neighbourhood then hands off. One day I do wonder if they'll realize how truly pathetic they are.

P.S. Such hypocrisy isn't limited to my city or even my country. Case in point is Robert Kennedy Jr. et al in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Mr. Kennedy is a staunch environmental activist. Until, it seems, someone wanted to activate some green energy windmills in his playground. Then all of a sudden it was a no go. You can read about it here.


Walter Schultz said...

Zlotnick should know better. The Musquem were offered cash and they didn't want it, they want their land back.

In a negotiation it takes two parties to negotiate. It's not much of a negotiation if the Nimbys have a plan on what should and shouldn't be part of the negotiations. If the Nimbys were in charge it wouldn't actually be a negotiation since they have already decided what's fair and what's appropriate.

PelaLusa said...


Being the avid golfer that you are, I wasn't sure how you would feel about my posting.

My feelings toward Native issues have changed a little over the years. But they can be summed up in two ways:

1. The Native land issues MUST be settled - negotiated & settled - not in 10 years but in the next few.

2. The Native people must start taking responsibility for themselves instead of crying victim at every juncture.

Note: #2 does not preclude #1.

I do think there is rampant corruption at the senior levels of Native leadership but how that gets resolved I do not know.

Finally, nothing bugs me more than NIMBYs ... and a great percentage of them seem to walk the same streets as me!