Metro shoots down paintball idea for regional parks

Business proposal for fake gun battles goes down with a splat

  • Jun. 6, 2012 8:00 p.m.



A proposal to let gun-toting camouflaged paintball players run amok in regional parks has been shot down by Metro Vancouver as too warlike and an inappropriate use of public land.

Most members of Metro’s environment and parks committee said they couldn’t support the request from an unnamed company, even though it would have brought in some rental income.

“You’re trying to shoot somebody in the chest or in the head,” Burnaby Coun. Sav Dhaliwal said of the extreme sport where players dressed as soldiers fire guns loaded with paint pellets.

“It’s absolutely not the kind of value we should be promoting.”

Vancouver Coun. Heather Deal, the committee’s chair, said she loves paintball but said a large section of a regional park would have to be fenced and screened from other users, effectively making it off-limits to them.

“What it’s actually doing is simulating going out and killing someone,” said Port Coquitlam Coun. Darrell Penner. “To me, it’s not appropriate for a public park.”

But Richmond Coun. Harold Steves and Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin voted against the motion rejecting the concept, saying they wanted staff to at least consider what areas might be appropriate and test how much revenue might come in.

Steves likened paintball to the wholesome capture-the-flag game played outdoors at camps in his childhood.

“The whole idea that this is wrong is just a perception about people with weapons,” he said..

“I’m not saying paintball is the right fit for our parks,” Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin said. “I don’t know. We haven’t seen the proposal.”

She dismissed concerns that paintball players leaving a park with unspent ammunition might go on to vandalize the surrounding neighbourhood.

Metro staff did not say what park or parks had been suggested for the activity.

A staff report warned it might generate conflict with other nature-loving park visitors over the use of mock weapons, vegetation might be trampled and paint splatters or spent pellets might deface trees and the landscape.

Visitors or neighbours might even mistake the pretend soldiers and their guns for the real thing, it said.

The report concluded the disadvantages outweighed the benefits of increased park visits, promoting more active recreation and “modest” rent fees that would be charged to operators.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service, will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

Person found dead after apartment fire in White Rock

Crews called to Foster Street complex at 7:30 a.m. Monday

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

Most Read