Confusion erupts as young woman moves without writing ‘Why I’m leaving Vancouver’ open letter

Photo by Analyn Cuarto

Photo by Analyn Cuarto

City bylaw requires everyone leaving to publish article explaining why

By Jacey Gibb, Distribution Manager


Citizens of Metro Vancouver are still reeling after hearing the news that Chantelle Miller moved to Calgary, yet failed to write and publish an open letter detailing the reasons why.

“I’m honestly speechless,” said Denise Burke, Miller’s neighbour and best friend since kindergarten. “I didn’t even know she had moved until I saw a Facebook status about her having a new Calgary phone number. I mean, Chantelle had told me she was moving, but I never saw her share an article about why she was moving, so I assumed it hadn’t happened yet.”

Miller, a 31-year-old graphic designer, moved to Vancouver in 2009, when the housing market was only just becoming the absolute clusterfuck it is today. Since then, she’s been reno-victed five times, shared a house with 11 roommates, and even tried living in her car for a month—all details that she definitely should’ve included in, at the very least, a Medium post, or something.

“I’m not surprised that she finally moved,” says Miller’s former boss, Andrew Schmidt. “It’s just, I’m shocked that she’d leave without even saying goodbye… In an open letter addressed directly to the city.”

Vancouver City Bylaw 7089 states that “Any citizen relocating outside of the Lower Mainland must pen a-personal-yet-relatable thought piece on why he or she is leaving, and drag it out for at least 1,000 words.”

The bylaw also specifies that all personal essays on leaving Vancouver are required to “begin with a fond memory of living in the city, and end on a regretful note of the writer not wanting to leave, but having no choice—even though they clearly do.”

“The incident has been reported to us, and we’re taking this very seriously,” Kevin Sloanes, bylaw officer, said in a statement earlier this week. “People need to understand that these laws apply to everyone, including young professionals, who feel like this city owes them a ticket to easy living.”

Introduced in response to the rising cost of housing, the bylaw also states that the open letter must be published either in a print publication like the Georgia Straight, or an online platform such as Slate or the Tyee. Lengthy Facebook statuses are not included under the bylaw, as not enough people will be able to see your clichéd argument for why no one could ever possibly live in this beautiful city.

Vancouver bylaw officers are currently looking into the situation, and say that Miller may be required to write a posthumous blog post on “Why I left Vancouver,” or, at the very least, submit a letter to the editor to a Lower Mainland newspaper.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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