VANCOUVER, BC - The Green Party of Vancouver has issued the following statement regarding the dismissal of the B.C. Supreme Court application on the matter of Councillor Michael Wiebe’s vote last year in favour of a motion to temporarily waive all permit and application fees associated with the temporary expansion of patio spaces.
“We are pleased that Councillor Wiebe can return to focusing on his important work at city hall,” says Nick Poppell, chairperson of the Green Party board. “We appreciate the time and diligence of the courts on this matter.”
On May 27th, 2020 Councillor Wiebe seconded and voted in favour of a motion by Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung calling on council to allow any business to comply with Provincial Health Orders with the temporary expansion of patio spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. These temporary permits allow business owners to use on-street parking space or sidewalks in front or beside their establishments. The motion passed unanimously.
As part of this program two restaurants Councillor Wiebe has a minor interest in, Eight ½ Restaurant and Lounge and the Portside Pub, applied for and received temporary patio licenses. In response 15 complainants applied to the B.C. Supreme Court to have Councillor Wiebe removed from office. The judge ruled that Councillor Wiebe had an interest in common with other members of the group of restaurant and bar owners. The ruling states there is no evidence he asserted an interest that is personal to him in the sense of being distinct from other owners of restaurants and bars.
“This has been a humbling experience, and I am thankful to my colleagues and close friends for supporting me during this time,” says Councillor Wiebe. “I was doing exactly what I ran on — standing up for small business and helping Vancouver businesses survive COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.”
“One of the main reasons I ran for office was to transition the city from being merely a gatekeeper to one that takes a more active role in supporting our vital small businesses. But I also ran to improve green infrastructure, rewild Vancouver, decolonize our city, move towards a circular economy, and build complete, sustainable communities. I have accomplished a lot in my first two years on City Council but I have so much unfinished work that I want to complete.”