To the editor:
Re: "Missing connections," Sept. 14.
I have been reading with interest the numerous publications regarding the isolated, anti-social mood of Vancouver. Interestingly, I meet a lot of singles, and couples, who bring this subject up regularly. It is quite apparent.
Many who I have shared with have realized how prevalent this mood is particularly after returning to Vancouver from a short or long trip elsewhere in the world. Guess why? The countries and cities they visit or live in have allowed them to choose their fun.
I know of a few who have now arranged to move away from Vancouver as this important social quality-of-life element is amiss. I've lived here all my life and am certain the situation has been perpetuated by the local and provincial government. The feds certainly aren't helping either.
Bit by bit, the once flourishing array of nightlife choices, where people get to cut loose, have a good time, and mingle in positive, free environments has eroded. The powers that be have been chipping away at reducing your right to freedom and fun by implementing ridiculous control and hardship on any kind of non-conforming event or establishment.
Our event and licensing laws are ridiculous and oppressive. Yet the City throws a poorly thought out Canucks playoff party and that's alright. And everyone gets to pay for that whether we like it or not. Big crowd public events do not equal success. They are often mentally stressful. The city has also bombarded neighborhoods with a wealth of dull, tragic street/neighbourhood events in their illusions that they will make Vancouver 'fun'.
Two decades ago I embraced all these events, volunteered at many and supported them, amongst my many efforts to indulge in what Vancouver had to offer. Now I'm so sick of them. These events are also costly to operate, disrupt traffic and peace in neighborhoods, and in the end it's just another dull, annoying, lame event in Vancouver.
Our right to a variety of things to do day and (especially) at night is crucial to creating a funloving, friendly, robust, social environment.
If other cities can embrace a full array of social variety and freedom, without the governments' fear that people might just have a good time, then we should have that freedom as well.
Paul Richards, Vancouver