Port Moody Councillors display Disdain and Disinterest

It was disappointing not to say depressing to listen to Port Moody Council last Thursday.  Not realizing perhaps that John Peller, a member of one of the City’s most historic families was in the room, a majority of Councillors repeatedly suggested that the genuine interest for an Evergreen station in West Port Moody was a self-serving project of his Andres winery business.

In the process, those same councillors told local citizens from all walks of life and with no connection whatsoever with Andres Wines that West Port Moody is more or less fine as it is, a run down backwater of dormant, dangerous or dilapidated industrial sites, plus a village of struggling shopkeepers.

For most of these people and for all of those who spoke at the Council meeting, an Evergreen Line station in West Port Moody means much more than anything to do with Andres Wines. It means not only a fair allocation of transit benefits to western residents, it represents the best chance for revitalizing Moody Centre that the City has seen for years.

The fact that the old Andres Wines site is one of the larger properties at the heart of this opportunity is incidental to most of these concerned citizens who wanted something different for this part of town, something that might spur the much talked about economic development. But it brings home the irony of the Council’s decision to support a transit station at the West Coast Express rather than close to the Barnet Highway where it makes so much more sense and would do far more good.

The irony is that Andres Wines did so much good for so long in this community, from payrolls to taxes, to donations and sponsorships. I’ve only lived in the Tri-Cities since 1989, but in 1991-3 while I was President of the Arts Council we always knew who we could count on for supporting Port Moody Arts.

Now, when its property could trigger a new and needed evolution for this community, the opportunity for progress is viewed by most councillors as overambitious and unwelcome.

Where is the vision of John Peller’s grandfather who founded Andres Wines in Port Moody more than 50 years ago?  Don’t bother to look for it at City Hall.

5 thoughts on “Port Moody Councillors display Disdain and Disinterest”

  1. This meeting was the worst display of small town politics I have ever seen. It is hard for me to shrug this off and say that Port Moody will get what it deserves but at this point all I can say to people is that they ought to watch the meeting when it is aired on TV or read the transcript and decide for themselves if this behavior is what they expected when they cast their vote on election day.

  2. It just makes me want to cry. I can not believe the city councillors will not support the location of a skytrain station in the west end of Port Moody.

    It’s absoulutely ludicrous that they chose West Coast Station, because it has a 300 car parking lot?

    Our historic “Old Town” neighbourhood is the heart and soul of Port Moody and is long overdue for revitalization.

    The land is there to create a community with amenities for us all to enjoy.

    For those of us that live in the west end of Port Moody it looks like we got the short end of the stick once again.

  3. I cannot believe it either Joye.

    Apparently the EGL predicts up to 1,800 people per day will be using the West Coast Express (WCE) site on opening day.

    If you’ve ever had reason to go to the WCE site during the day between commute times you will see vacated cars and empty buses drive through.

    Dave Duncan himself has acknowledged to us that ridership for the WCE will be reduced by the Evergreen Line, and with many WCE riders transferring to Skytrain in Coquitlam.

    It’s already happening with more people from Port Moody going against the flow and congestion and using the Coquitlam WCE; we’ve been told, “it’s quicker!”

    I feel for you and all of the other merchants who have invested in our community, many of them long gone now.

  4. Pingback: Peter M
  5. I’m with you John. I totally agree with all the points you make and am depressed like Joye that the City is missing the boat.
    I like Peter’s point that the city must pay attention to people of vision. Staying the same is not an option.
    So sorry I couldn’t join you on Thursday but I have been anxiously reading the Sun and local papers for news on the subject. I used skytrain today to deliver pots to the airport and to apply for a new passport at Sinclair Centre, downtown. Oh to have the system convenient for here. But as you say, more important is the possibility of major improvement to this sad area of our town.
    Please don’t give up. The Western Station Committee is a force that can still bring about a decision to include a station at our end of PM.


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