Councillor dumps on Vancouver City Hall promotion prizes

City hall fails to support locally owned businesses again: Affleck

The Leaky Toilet Test | Image: City of Vancouver

NPA Coun. George Affleck calls the ill-conceived sourcing of prizes for a Vancouver City Hall contest yet another reason why the majority party should be flushed from office.

“Has Vision Vancouver jumped the shark here on ideas for the Greenest City Action Plan?” said Affleck about the Leaky Toilet Test.

City hall is encouraging Vancouverites to drop food colouring or a test strip in their toilet tanks. If, after 15 minutes, the bowl becomes coloured, then the toilet is leaking and the flappers need replacing. Residents who send photos of their toilet bowls or tanks to city hall by December 9 will be entered in a contest for a year’s supply of toilet paper or reading material. The city claims that toilets can leak up to 135 litres per day and it wants to reduce per capita water use 33% from 2007 levels by 2020.

City hall spokesman Tobin Postma told BIV that prize number one is actually a $450 Home Depot gift card and there are two number two prizes of $30 Chapters gift cards. Winners will be chosen by random draw.

The promotion, however, coincides with the November 28-to-December 4 B.C. Buy Local Week. Affleck said gift card values are a drop in the bucket compared with the city’s overall budget, but the sources are symbols that those in power have reached the end of the roll.

“Those are two non-Vancouver, non-B.C. based companies,” Affleck said. “It’s not a lot of money but, hey, every penny counts in the world of business. Smaller businesses would’ve loved to have been a part of this and provided the benefit of having your toilet not leak.”

Two of Atlanta-headquartered Home Depot’s (NYSE:HD) 2,276 stores are in Vancouver. The company reported $88.5 billion sales and $7 billion profits in 2015. Chapters is a division of Toronto-based Indigo Books and Music Inc. (TSX:IDG), which operates stores under six brands. Three of its 213 stores are in Vancouver. The company reported $994 million revenue last year and net earnings of $28.6 million.

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