VANCOUVER(NEWS1130) – Vancouver’s mayor says he is strongly opposed to Granville Island being controlled by Port Metro Vancouver.
Word leaked out on Wednesday that Ottawa will hand control of the popular spot over from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to the port.
In a statement, Gregor Robertson says his stand against the transfer has been clearly spelled out to the federal government.
“I have worked to support a transfer or lease to the City, or the creation of an independent local authority with a mandate that is specific to Granville Island’s unique character. Port Metro Vancouver will always be an important part of our region’s trade economy, but Granville Island’s success is as a cherished centre for local food, the creative sector, and tourism that highlights the best Vancouver has to offer. The future of Granville Island should be built on that foundation,” he says.
Robertson maintains “local decision-making and operations are crucial to Granville Island’s revitalization and continued success.”
Liberal MP Hedy Fry agrees with the mayor, saying she’ll oppose what she calls blatant major commercialization and privatization of the management of Granville Island.
“While it would be inappropriate to comment on rumours surrounding transfer of responsibility of Granville Island from CMHC, it is important to note that the government’s vision for CMHC’s mandate has strayed from the original concept of that Crown Corporation, which was to spur middle-income housing developments, co-operatives and affordable mortgages. It seems they are determined to make it a major profit-making enterprise.”
Fry adds Granville Island was redeveloped in 1970 under former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Minister for CMHC the Hon. Ron Basford.
She plans on meeting with business owners and community leaders to hear from them directly about their concerns.
One long time tenant tells News1130 she hadn’t even heard about the possible transfer of management.