Squamish Nation billboards to bypass city bylaws
Billboards are banned in Vancouver -- but they will be lighting up several bridges and highways just in time for the Olympics.
The Squamish First Nation has approved a proposal to install digital billboards on its lands, which are exempt from city advertising restrictions, in Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver District and Squamish.
North Vancouver District Mayor Richard Walton, who has been a vocal opponent of the billboard plan, told ctvbc.ca he was disappointed in the decision.
"We find this very frustrating," Walton said. "We have strong concerns, not only about the aesthetic but certainly about safety as well."
Walton says that the brightness of the electronic signs will distract drivers near a busy highway merge north of the Second Narrows Bridge.
"The intent of these things is to draw people's attention away from the road, and we just think this is an inappropriate place to put it."
The three-metre high by nine-metre wide billboards, one situated on the route between Vancouver and Whistler, feature LED lighting and will display six static ads per minute, changing every 10 seconds.
The federal government approved the plans in September.
Astral Media Outdoor will build and operate the digital boards for the First Nation and promises its technology allows instant updating of the signs to provide emergency traffic information or Amber Alerts.
The billboards are slated for several First Nations properties, including land near the Burrard, Lions Gate and Ironworkers Memorial bridges in Vancouver.
It's expected the billboards will pump millions of dollars into Squamish Nation coffers.
The signs could be installed by Christmas.
With files from The Canadian Press