How cool would it be to have one of those brand spanking new lawn signs on your front lawn just in time for the good weather!
It can be yours for a mere $6.30.
The good guys ( the would be the Notranslinktax guys) don’t have the resources that the yes folks do.
You can help.
As I said above “each lawn sign costs about $6.30 when the cost of the plastic, the wire frame and the taxes are included. And we need lots of them – can you help us buy a few lawn signs? Just click here to buy lawns signs using our secure online form.
Only $63.00 will buy us 10 signs – think of the impact that ten signs will make in your neighborhood or along your commute home. Help us buy 10 .”
As if we need another reason to Vote NO in the upcoming transit referendum, rumors are filtering down that if people vote NO in the upcoming referendum the government will step away and do nothing about the transit problem affecting the Lower mainland.
Nothing could be further than the truth unless you think the BC Liberal government is prepared to walk away from a number of seats they hold in the area.
A NO vote will force the government to act before the 2017 election and perhaps rewrite legislation so that they can reorganize the Translink board and get this whole thing done right.
A NO vote will wrap the whole issue like an Albatross around the governments neck and force them to act.
Don’t let the Yes side convince you other wise.
Any organization that tosses their so called top guy aside and keeps him around at a salary of $35,000 per month needs reorganizing. If you weren’t convinced of that before that happened it’s a no brainer now.
So Vote NO and tell your government to get the job done right!
Today we have an excellent piece written by special guest blogger,Martin Rooney,detailing the economic impact of not flying the Pride Flag in Surrey.
So we have had the conversation about the social impact of raising and flying the Pride Flag at Surrey City Hall; (the statement that Surrey is open to the GLBT business community, that Surrey is embracing of the GLBT community by offering space that might facilitate an ever-growing youth population that is intolerant of labels and so on..) that has apparently fallen on deaf ears.
So now let us take a look at the potential economic positives of embracing flying the Pride Flag and fully embracing the Pride Festival and see if this was to be weekend of events how it could potentially have a positive impact on the city, its businesses and taxpayers…….
New West raised and flew the Pride Flag during the Olympic and Paralympic games on a city flag pole in unison with the National outpouring of support for the GLBT Athletes in Sochi .New Westminster has a fourth flag pole referred to as a friendship pole which is located just east of City Hall in Friendship Park. The City Council has totally embraced NW Pride, closed off Columbia Street for the Festival Day and many local businesses are sponsors/partners of this years Festival. Anticipated economic impact to New West is expected to be north of $500k according the President of Royal City Pride.
Prince George Annual Gay Pride Celebrations across North America are used as major tools to generate economic activity while promoting a right culture and a safe and inclusive community for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirited, Queer and Questioning citizens. While in major city centres like Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto etc. are much more likely to see more tourism and local economic activities based on size and location, places like Prince George are in a uniquely different situation and often have to work smarter to create more activity. The Prince George Pride Society has worked very hard to bridge the gap between local businesses and local government as a means to move forward plans to use the Gay Pride Celebrations to generate more economic activity. The positive relationships that have been formed with local business such as Topaz Bead Gallery, SHAGG Romance Enhancement Centres, the Ramada Hotel, etc. have all benefited directly from the ongoing support of our Mayor and Council. ” Due to the nature of our local economic industry drivers and the diversity that exists within a smaller centre like Prince George we recognize that the economic and social success aspects of the Gay Pride Celebration are not mutually exclusive to one relationship or another. In fact it is only from the successful and positive relationships between local government, businesses, labour unions, and other service agencies that the Pride Celebrations in Prince George has survived and flourished over the last 18 years. While the actual economic impact has not been analyzed at this point, we know that these relationships would not have been continued if the economic relationship was not successful”. (Valentine Crawford – PG Pride)
Victoria and other cities hosting Pride have not surveyed the record of economic impact known at time of writing; there was no need to, it is however apparent that positive economic impact occurred as these cities continue to host Pride events. Trina Mousseau (Tourism Victoria) reports that there is a huge positive economic impact to embracing Pride in Victoria. People frequent local bars, stores and spend money, as they are having fun. The Legislature flies the Pride Flag as does the city and down by the inner harbour. Quote “The Pride Parade has significant economic impact to Victoria. It is a day where thousands of people fill our streets, restaurants and shops, spending money while showing their support for our vibrant LGBTQ community.”
Vancouver flew the Pride Flag in support of the Sochi Athletes and flies the Pride Flag at City Hall, has banners throughout the west end, has side walks painted in the rainbow colours, and this year on the “flag island” at the foot of Davie and Denman, is flying 6 trans pride flags and 6 rainbow pride flags. This is the first year that Vancouver Pride Parade has become an official civic event and the estimated economic impact to the Vancouver economy is $30 M according to the VPS General Manager Ray Lam – yes MILLION generated over week-long celebrations. Attendance at the Parade in 2013 was some 500,000 people line the route.(source Global TV). Vancouver is also advertised worldwide as a tourist destination for GLBT Travel.
A historic first for North America with Toronto having just hosted the first ever World Pride in North America. Despite the lack of support both visible and apparent from Mayor Rob Ford. the scenes of Canada’s largest city embracing millions or people from across the Globe proud of who they are, was amazing. There was also a human rights conference attached to the World Pride events,
The economic impact of the willingness to fly the Pride flag on municipal flag poles and embrace Pride Parades and/or festivals has served many Canadian cities well. Imagine the potential economic impact of Surrey Pride if the city was to embrace the Flag and look at placing the festival to “open” Fusion Festival week. Holland Park would be full two weekends in a row, and the economic impact could be astounding to the local businesses.
So what is the city of Surrey doing to embrace a potentially large positive economic impact of Pride to its residents?
Refusing to fly the Pride Flag and “sponsoring” the Pride Festival to the tune of $1,000! yes $1,000 does not send a positive message to the Pride and business communities in Surrey or around the world for that matter.
Whether it be a 4th flag pole or amend the recent flag Protocol it might be advisable to take a proactive approach and live the motto – “The Future Lives Here”.
In the last week or so much kerfuffle has arisen form the controversial decision by Surrey Cit Council ( Read Surrey First and their wanna be Mayor Linda Hepner) to refuse to fly the Pride flag on a pole outside Surrey City hall.
Instead in what they think is a movement of political correctness they allowed the Pride folks to set up an exhibit inside the new City hall in the back of the foyer away from the elevators here it would be hard to see.
In case you have never been to New Surrey City hall it is an expensive white elephant everybody has been talking about lately with respect to the huge waste of money that could have been better spent elsewhere.
How hard would it have been to take the flag and fly it on the flag pole underneath the Surrey City flag.
For those folks in the Pride group which is comprised of people that are Gay,Lesbian,Bi-sexual and Transgender ( GLBT) this must seem like a step back.
After all it has taken them quite awhile to get out of the closet without being persecuted so to speak and now be asked to step back in . ( metaphorically speaking the new city hall represents in a way an expensive closet).
A little planning and foresight at the beginning would have allowed for a forth flag pole so that all community activities could have been represented out in front of the city hall.
That for me would be inclusion and a way to connect with the people.
What a wasted opportunity!
Which now brings us to Ferris wheels and back to wanna be Mayor Hepner.
About the same time this was going on she announced her intention to run for Mayor.
This on the heels of the Surrey First/Hepner argument that a fourth flag pole would have been too expensive. ( Full disclaimer here folks : I haven’t shopped for either but I would bet the farm and the farmer that a Ferris wheel costs a tad more than a flag pole!)
Part of her reasoning would be that it would get children a fair like experience in an area known as Bridgeview.
News flash for Linda and her crew ; There are a large number of those same children in the lower mainland, part of which is Surrey that includes kids in The GLBT group who would have been served exponentially had a Pride flag been flown out in full view where they could have seen it.
Sure a Ferris wheel would give a kid a bit of instant gratification but a flag flown shows a victory earned and a colossal sign of strength.
Just ask any Vimy Ridge veteran.
It would have made these kids feel an important part of the community.
It would have said to them, you matter.
To me they do and that is why the flag flies on my blog.
As I sit at meetings or walk and talk with people the discussion always seems to be the same.
It revolves around the theme of lack of involvement by either voters, younger people or volunteers.
I have friends in all walks of politics and this is a problem that is common to everybody.
Why don’t people vote they ask? Why aren’t young people getting involved?
I think people are involved, just differently than vote counters are accustomed to.
People are crying our for fiscally,socially and morally responsible politicians.
They want to know that their vote matters,that the people they elect will vote how their constituents feel. ( Not the party or the slate way)
They need to know that when politicians campaign on openness and accountability that they mean what they say.
They want to be consulted before major decisions are made. ( As do some politicians too!)
Right now that doesn’t happen.
Need an example? Time and time again all politicians refuse to show their expense receipts.
How big a deal would that really be?
They don’t want politicians to take advantage of the rules even though there are loopholes that make it okay. ( See any number of articles that reference taking a spouse on a taxpayer-funded trip).
So maybe just maybe those missing people are voting, just in a way the world is not accustomed.
Maybe (people) are voting with their feet and maybe voter turnout should be counted differently.
As in voter turnout was 100% but only 35% bothered to use a pencil.
Over the next couple of years we face elections in this country that range from municipal, provincial to federal.
We need to evaluate our choices more than ever.
We need honest, moral people willing to play leading roles in their community.
Leading roles that not only encourage young people to volunteer and vote but also to grow up and be the kind of politician we all want and need.
We also need to encourage those folks who vote with their feet rather than the traditional way in the booth.
I’ll do my part to help.
I’ll use this space to help evaluate both the good and the bad leading up to those elections no matter what the political stripe.
It’s why I’ll stand on my soap box , megaphone in hand being a shameless self promoter of those folks that represent the best interest of the voting public. ( My megaphone is very social and it can be heard on Facebook and Twitter)
If ever there was an example of why it’s time for a change in Surrey, todays’ quick thinking action by Councilor Barinder Rasode is an example of why we need somebody like her in the Mayor’s chair.
Rsaode, who was already making plans to add lighting to the recreation centers in Surrey, is on top of the problem and has been since the unfortunate death of hockey mom Julie Paskall and responded in kind when reporter Janet Brown witnessed a drug deal outside a Surrey recreation center.
Watts on the other hand has been missing in action on the file while she has been off arguing about the transit referendum question with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Note to Watts: If you are not sure what the provincial objective is going into the referendum why not lean across the council table and ask Marvin Hunt ? He is both a councilor and a provincial MLA. You would think he could clue you in there wouldn’t you?
Barinder Rasode has her priorities right! While transit is important, it is even more vital that the good citizens of Surrey ( those visiting as well) stay alive long enough to actually board a bus or get in the car. She knows that Surrey needs to be safe.
It’s why more and more people are saying it’s time for a change, it’s time for Rasode.