“Coffin hotel”

The April 1 Richmond News devoted the front page to an “affordable housing” article, “Coffin hotel to be built on Garden City lands.” The content about bodies was dicey, but the story was clever, funny, and appropriate for the occasion, April Fools’ Day.

Judging from outraged reactions that reached me, many citizens took the article seriously, though, and it’s no wonder they did. After all, much of what Canada Lands Company tried to do with the Garden City Lands was like a macabre April Fool’s joke that dragged on for years and may not be over. Fittingly, the 2005 basic agreement was signed just before April Fool’s Day.

One factor that made the coffin hotel plan seem less believable was Richmond council’s shift in late 2008 toward a majority with backbone on the Garden City Lands issue. Still, two or three council members would vote for almost anything if Canada Lands Company told them they had to, and that’s no joke.


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