30 October 2015

Vancouver Approves Brewery Across from Family Centre

One of the Community Centre Associations I am Commissioner Liaison to is RayCam. This issue has been very important to the community. I am sharing this press release from Guy Wakeman and Judy McGuire for information purposes.

For Immediate Release: October 30, 2015

In what can only be described as a nasty trick to play on Downtown Eastside children and families, the City of Vancouver has just given approval for a brewery and tasting room to open across the street from the Ray-Cam Community Centre.
Ray-Cam is a well-known and respected centre which offers numerous programs for local families and seniors, daily childcare and after-school programs for over 100 children, sports activities for young people, and evening programs for local teens. Located adjacent to the Stamps Place Housing Complex and the Strathcona neighbourhood, it is widely regarded as the community living room by families with few other resources
Raising children in the Downtown Eastside is a daunting challenge. Parents, already stressed by trying to provide for their families, also face trying to protect their children from witnessing the activities of local drug dealers and sex trade workers, to say nothing of having to constantly guard against them finding discarded needles and condoms. 

Local families were relieved when City Council implemented restrictions on marijuana shops which will prevent them from operating within 300 metres of schools and community centres. The two located half a block from Ray-Cam and Stamps Place will now have to move. This decision fits well with the City’s Health City Strategy which, among other goals, aims to ensure that Vancouver’s children have the best chance of enjoying a healthy childhood. 

The City’s seeming care for the well-being of children is now being questioned by local families facing the prospect of having a brewery serving alcohol on-site located right across from the community centre they considered a refuge for their young
On hearing of the decision, Guy Wakeman, president of the Stamps Place Tenants Council, was extremely upset. “I do not understand why the City would agree to a brewery opening here. I have two young children who will now be exposed to the open promotion and consumption of alcohol every single day. It’s right beside our bus stop. They will not be able to avoid it. I’m very upset and worried about how this will affect my children and my neighbours.”

The City has acted responsibly in restricting the location of marijuana shops. Residents are hoping they will quickly take similar steps to protect children from the promotion and open consumption of alcohol, and direct this proposed brewery to move to a more suitable location. 

For further information, contact:
Guy Wakeman, President, Stamps Place Tenants Council
Judy McGuire, Coordinator, Inner City Safety Society
judemcguire@telus.net, 604-889-8430

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