Response from MEC

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hi G,

Sorry to hear you’ve decided to withdrawal your membership based on MEC’s
new billboard advertising in North Vancouver.

I’ve attached a membership withdrawal form, which you can complete and
return at your convenience.  Once the withdrawal has been processed you will
receive a cheque for the balance of your membership (please be advised that
the receipt of your cheque may take upwards of a few months as cheques are
only printed a few times a year).

For what it’s worth, this decision was not made lightly and due diligence
was done in advance with respect to the concerns you highlighted.  As a
result, MEC believes that this is a good way to raise the awareness of our
stores while minimizing the impact attached to outdoor media, particularly
as we’ve evolved away from what was our traditional marketing strategy, the
printed catalogue.

Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions or concerns
regarding the withdrawal process, or otherwise.

Kind Regards,

MEC Service Centre

Mountain Equipment Co-op
130 W. Broadway
Vancouver BC V5Y 1P3


MEC: Stop Supporting Offensive Billboards

July 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

I would like to revoke my membership in Mountain Equipment Co-op.  I have noticed that you have put advertisements on the full colour, illuminated billboards situated near the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge in North Vancouver.  These billboards were put there by Astral Media with the permission of the Squamish Nation, however the majority of North Vancouver residents oppose these ugly, distracting and dangerous advertisements.

These billboards uglify our beautiful city and make an already dangerous stretch of highway even more dangerous.  The District of North Vancouver Council has put pressure on the Squamish Nation to take them down but they have not.  Have you noticed that your advertisements are interspersed with ads for General Electric – one of the most nefarious organizations in history?

Would you say that MEC members are the types of people who appreciate nature?  I’d say so.  Do you think your members are in favour of tarnishing our environment with ugly advertisements?  Those billboards are an insult to the people of North Vancouver, and you are supporting it.  In addition, you are contributing to the needless bombardment of commercial messages that happens every day in this and other cities due to the prevalence of outdoor advertising.

Shame on you MEC, and please tell me how to get my shares back, as I will never be shopping at your stores as long as your ads are on those awful billboards.

Reply from Councillor Andrea Reimer

March 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Interesting proposal. Outside of Cuba, and even then they are increasingly allowing business to put signs on their premises, I haven’t heard of any jurisdiction on earth that disallows signage.

There is a great book on the issue of the affect of advertising on children’s cognitive development called Born to Buy by Juliet Schor. Highly recommended and although I was already predisposed to fight corporate intrusions into public space, it provides a great deal of data to back up that advocacy.

Councillor Andrea Reimer
Chair – Planning, Transportation and Environment

Open Letter: Let’s make Vancouver the Most Beautiful City on Earth

March 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dear Vancouver City Councillors,
Every day when I leave my home I am bombarded with advertisements. I believe that people should only be subject to advertising in a medium that they choose to consume. For example, if I buy a magazine I am choosing to consume that media and therefore I consent to being advertised to.  When I leave the house to ride my bike, walk or drive in our great city I don’t consent to being advertised to.  When people choose to consume cable TV they consent to being advertised to.

Here in BC we are often told that this is the greatest place on earth–Beautiful BC, but how can this be beautiful BC if there are outdoor advertisements constantly distracting people and sullying our landscapes?  How are we, the people of BC, supposed to feel grounded when we’re constantly attacked by consumer messages?  How are we supposed to educate our children about healthy eating habits when they are drenched in advertising for McDonalds and aspartame soda?  How are we supposed to encourage people to live an environmentally sound existence when they are constantly encouraged to over consume?

Please, I ask you to do something novel and amazing: ban outdoor advertising in Vancouver.  Let’s make Vancouver the most beautiful city on earth.




[sent by mass email]

Squamish Nation: Take Down the Billboards

March 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

I have been informed by North Vancouver District Council that the offensive billboards near the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge belong to the Squamish Nation.  Each and every time I drive my those horribly ugly, lit-up monstrosities I get filled with anger and annoyance and I try to direct my eyes elsewhere.  This is obviously not a great place to become distracted, since the highway bends right there and there are several on and off ramps in a row.  If you combine all these factors with the fact that people are going at highway speed, I believe it is guaranteed that the billboards will be responsible for fatal crashes.

As a matter of fact, one of my old friends was nearly killed right there before there were billboards.  He got on the highway on his motorcycle, hit some gravel, flew off his bike and was run over at full speed by a van.  It just goes to show that this is a dangerous stretch of highway, even without distracting billboards.

Please tell me how much the Squamish Nation receives per year for the billboards.  Secondly, I’d like you to tell me how much money the Squamish Nation believes a human life is worth.  Is $10 000 per year enough to risk peoples’ lives?  You must have come to some conclusion about this when you were debating whether to profiteer of uglifying our city.

I find it quite odd for me to be writing this letter to a First Nation, since my political stance and spiritual beliefs are more in line with Indigenous people than any other group.  I must admit I was very, very surprised to find out that the billboards are on Squamish Nation land and that district council wants them removed.  Have you taken a look at what corporations the billboards advertise for?  One of them is General Electric, and it shows a jet engine.  Did you know that General Electric is one of the biggest weapons contractors on earth?  General Electric manufactures nuclear weapons.  Not only does General Electric create weapons that fuel war all over the earth, they own half of NBC, a company that creates the news that creates the justification for war.  General Electric earns huge profits, spent 84 million dollars on lobbying in 2011 but pays no tax.  This is the corporation being advertised on Squamish Nation land, in full illuminated colour, a corporation that creates war with deception, the 4th worst polluter in the USA and tax evader.  And if you think GE gives a damn about your interests as a First Nation you are dead wrong.

We’ve got to stop polluting our public spaces with commercial messages.  I urge you, Squamish Nation, to look in your hearts and decide what you really support.  Take down the billboards.


Reply to Fred Fox: Protect Your Brother’s Legacy

March 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dear Fred Fox,
Apparently you didn’t read my previous letter very carefully.  Don’t you think I’ve already contacted PAVCO about these horrific billboards at Terry Fox Plaza?  Do you really think forwarding them my message is going to make any difference?  I was asking you to take responsibility for your brother’s legacy by getting these billboards removed.  Please, get on the phone with PAVCO, get on the phone with Premier Christy Clark, call the media and go down to Terry Fox Plaza to show the people of BC what an outrage it is to have freestanding, illuminated billboards advertising products that cause cancer overshadowing the grounds of a plaza dedicated to the memory of Canada’s greatest crusader against cancer.
Your brother’s legacy is on the line.  Please take some real action to remedy this situation.
Thank you for your time,

Reply from Fred Fox on the ads at Terry Fox Plaza

March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hi G,

Thank you for making contact with The Terry Fox Foundation regarding your concerns surrounding TF Plaza.

We have forwarded the contents of your email to the folks at BC Place stadium.

All the best,

Fred Fox

Manager of Supporter Relations

The Terry Fox Foundation


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