Pubdate: Tue, 07 Mar 2017
Source: Metro (Vancouver, CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Metro Canada
Author: Wanyee Li
Page: 3


Organizers say the rally will go ahead anyway

Vancouver's Park Board has rejected an application for a special event
permit for this year's 4/20 rally at Sunset Beach.

Last year's unlicensed rally, which attracted at least 25,000 people
to Vancouver's waterfront, was unlicensed and drew criticism from the
park board chair who said the event was "unwanted and would not be
welcomed back in 2017."

The park board's 4-3 vote Monday night against the motion to provide a
permit to event organizers reflected that sentiment, said chair
Michael Wiebe. "The will of the board is we don't want it to happen in
our parks. It is not okay for us to relax the bylaw for this protest
group," said Wiebe. He says he is working with event organizers and
the city to find a new location, not in a city park, for 4/20.

"Moving forward, I am working hard to find a new location that will
not contradict our smoking bylaw and will allow the park board to make
sure we keep our beaches clean and open to the public."

One 4/20 organizer says the park board's decision doesn't change how
he will run the show. "It actually changes absolutely nothing for us
on the ground in terms of how we put on the event. How we work with
the park rangers, police, sanitation," said Dana Larsen, with the 420
Vancouver Event Society.

"All it does is create hostility and makes it hard for them to bill
us, for costs, it makes it hard for us to get insurance."

Larsen says the society is still willing to cover most of the event
costs and plans to work with city authorities to do so. He also called
last year's garbage fiasco, where park board staff spent the morning
of April 21st picking up trash that was strewn all over the beach, an

"That will never happen again," said Larsen. The park board paid
$30,000 out of pocket for extra costs associated with last year's
rally, said Wiebe.

Wiebe, who voted in favour of giving a permit to 4/20 organizers,
acknowledged it will now be more difficult to coordinate with event
organizers and recuperate costs associated with the event.

"It's tough because we won't be permitting. But I think we can work
with the organizers to ensure we make this as safe as possible for the
residents of Vancouver."

4/20 is an annual marijuana-themed gathering that was held at the
Vancouver Art Gallery for several years until organizers moved it to
Sunset Beach for the first time in 2016.
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