Letters to the Editor

Langley Mall busker ban shows lack of vision

Bruce Leitch says merchants are being short sighted in not allowing busking at Langley Mall. - Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times
Bruce Leitch says merchants are being short sighted in not allowing busking at Langley Mall.
— image credit: Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times

Editor: Buskers cause harm to no one. Buskers don’t ask anyone for anything, because it would be insulting to their ability to perform.

Buskers earn what they deserve based on their ability, appearance and positive attitude.

When individuals take issue with busking, it is usually because they lack understanding and tend to live life inside the box.

Buskers live outside the box which makes it extremely difficult to communicate with these individuals because of the walls that form the box. The walls are a major barrier to clear communication.  It is unfortunate that some people are unable to see the world from any other perspective than their own.

The vast majority of citizens understand and appreciate buskers.

They admire the courage of those unique characters who passionately follow their hearts, standing bare before the world while believing in themselves and their craft.  They love to see the jugglers, the magicians, the musicians.

These performers brighten up the day by delivering colour, vibrancy and atmosphere to an otherwise drab cityscape.

Why would any person wish to put a stop to such honourable pursuits?  Clearly any person seeking to tear down, or negatively impact, efforts to add value to the Langley City experience is lacking in their own lives.

Why is there is no longer busking at Langley Mall?

Curiosity urged me to ask some of the merchants at the Langley Mall this very question, and this was their response.

“We no longer allow busking at Langley Mall because we believe that if buskers are allowed to perform here; they will bring with them drug dealers, panhandlers and thieves.”

Essentially, they are suggesting that buskers are a “gateway drug” that will lead to the downfall of civilization as we know it; a scourge on society. They should be ostracized for their counterproductive efforts to lift the spirit of the community.

It should be made clear that this is a “mall policy” lobbied for by a very small minority of merchants doing business in the mall. I believe it was one merchant, but I’m not sure of that.

One would think, in a democratic society, majority would rule, but not in Langley City. I would absolutely love to stand before a judge with the lobbyist to debate the logic of this “policy.” In my mind, it is tantamount to discrimination and at the very least slander.

I am relatively certain there is no municipality that hands out permits for panhandling, drug dealing or thievery.

There are, however, multitudes of municipalities that provide permits for busking.

Cities from Vancouver to Halifax run busking programs. For that matter, they are run everywhere on the planet.

Incidentally, I have auditioned for and received a busking pass for the City of White Rock. How is it that our city is denied live entertainment based on the word of individuals who are blind to reality and lack vision?

Why is it that this city remains stagnant and uninvolved in this regard?

Bruce Leitch,


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