TELL THE SCHOOL BOARD : NO SUBSTATIONS UNDER VANCOUVER SCHOOLS OR PARKS!
In April 2018, BC Hydro re-announced their plan to install a substation beneath Nelson Park and the Lord Roberts School Annex at 1150 Nelson Street in Vancouver’s West End.
The Vancouver Parks Board and Vancouver School Boards are being asked to grant approval.
This was proposed last year but dropped after a failed public consultation and push-back from the City of Vancouver. But there are differences between the 2017 proposal and this year’s plan.
BC Hydro do not propose to build two schools. There is no guarantee that the cash would be spent in the West End. They seek to lease the space from the School Board, who will decide how to spend the proceeds.
BC Hydro have reported the following environmental impacts to the Parks and School Board:
- The five-year construction period uses jackhammers, excavators and possibly explosives. Noise levels during construction will reach 110dBA, far exceeding the current daytime limit of 55dBA. After construction, noise levels at the exhaust openings will be 78dBA. Noise effects will be noticeable for indoor occupants in the area.
- The project removes more than 40 trees and other vegetation, destroying habitats for dozens of species.
- Vibration and noise levels above 70dBA cause birds and animals to avoid the area.The excavation may interfere with the hydrology of the park, adversely affecting vegetation outside the main excavation area.
- Air contaminants will increase during the five-year construction period.
- The construction carries risks of electrical hazards, spills, explosions and fires. The completed design restricts fire & rescue crews during emergencies.
- Property values will likely be impacted by construction noise and health-related concerns associated with electromagnetic fields.
- Losing large trees and the appearance of ventilations shafts will change the experience of the park and permanently impact the quality of the park.
- Exposure to electric and magnetic fields is thought to be carcinogenic. BC Hydro reported to the VSB and VPB that there are gaps in knowledge and more studies are needed.
Nelson Park, site of future substation?
The Vancouver School Board is mandated to provide a safe environment for learning. The Parks Board is committed to preserve and advocate for green space.
Nowhere in the world has a substation been installed under a school or public green space. There is no applicable research or health studies for a project like this.
No reasonable alternatives have been proposed.
The Ministry of Education is pushing hard for the School Board to accept this proposal and on April 9th withdrew funding for a desperately-needed school in Coal Harbour. BC Hydro’s proposal has effectively stalled the construction of a new school for downtown! This is a precedent-setting moment whereby the provincial government favours trading public assets to corporations rather than funding schools themselves.
VSB has not commissioned any independent safety studies or scheduled community consultations – only for parents at the school. The VSB answers to ALL taxpayers in Vancouver, not just the parents of one school.
If you oppose this project please write to the Vancouver School Board Trustees and tell them to reject the proposal. They are voting in June.
The VSB NEEDS TO HEAR YOUR OPINION! If the community’s voice is not heard this project will go ahead.
Send emails to tell them to keep our schools safe, our neighbourhoods healthy and our parks green!
VANCOUVER SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEES
Premier John Horgan,
Rob Fleming MLA, Minister of Education
Spencer Chandra Herbert MLA
VANCOUVER PARKS BOARD COMMISSIONERS
VANCOUVER CITY COUNCIL
Gregor Robertson, Mayor, Phone: 604-873-7621
Councillor Elizabeth Ball, Phone: 604-873-7240
Councillor Adriane Carr, Phone: 604-873-7245
Cllr Melissa De Genova, Phone: 604-873-7244
Councillor Heather Deal, Phone: 604-873-7242
Councillor Kerry Jang, Phone: 604-873-7246
Councillor Raymond Louie, Phone: 604-873-7243
Councillor Andrea Reimer, Phone: 604-873-7241
Councillor Tim Stevenson, Phone: 604-873-7247
Councillor George Affleck, Phone: 604-873-7248