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2000-11-13
West Vancouver, BC. Canadians Fight Home Depot

Just as a reminder that companies like Home Depot encounter opposition everywhere they go -- including outside of the U.S., here's a message I received from sprawl-busters in British Columbia: "In early 1997, the Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver announced an expansion plan that included three big box stores: Home Depot, ToyRUs, and PetSmart. The centre, with 2 anchor department stores, has over 100 small shops. Park Royal's announcement prompted a groundswell of public activity, inlcuding statements of concern and opposition by the city councillors, and a petition drive that garnered over 15,000 signatures. A core group of activists organized the Coalition for a Healthy Community Society (CHC) to lead the continuing fight against the big box plan and to give support to a city council that was inclined to also oppose the plan. City Council, for example, denied its approval for a new intersection on Marine Drive that was considered crucial to the success of the expansion plan. CHC activities included writing letters to the managements of the companies in question, letting them know directly of the community opposition, marching with placards around the shopping centre, and meeting with the centre's management. In the fall of 1998, Park Royal management announced that it was scrapping the original plan. Management said that when the time was right they would introduce a new plan, but would seek community input beforehand to avoid the kind of opposition that developed to the first expansion plan. They have not ruled out efforts to attract other big box stores, however, so that the watchword is vigilance. In the meantime, Home Depot, for one, has negotiated for a suitable site to build in neighboring North Vancouer. So far, Home Depot's efforts there have also been thwarted by concerted action on the part of North Vancouver public officials."

What you can do: Our sources also say that people on Vancouver Island, at Qualicum Beach, are fighting off Home Depot as well, so several battles against Home Depot are ensuing in British Columbia. For more details on these fights, email: fredlee@paltech.bc.ca.










 
 
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