Letter to the Editor of Vancouver Courier, in response to article re: PNE losing charitable status

Today we learned from the Vancouver Courier that “PNE loses charity status, faces 6-figure tax bill

Our own Gale Tyler has sent this response to the Editor of the Vancouver Courier:

Dear Editor,

Bob Makin reveals in his article, that the federal tax department revoked the PNE’s charitable status more than a year ago for failure to file.

During an all candidate’s meeting last November leading up the Municipal Election, Raymond Louie was asked publicly, “Why has the PNE not filed for Charitable Tax Status required to maintain non profit status?” Councillor Louie responded that it was simply that the the financial report was delayed and would be ready very soon and submitted to Canada Revenue.

Why has this financial report not been filed? What has caused this delay? Are the finances of the PNE not in order or not up to CRA scrutiny? How is it that all the same charitable activities at the PNE are continuing without non profit status?

The PNE Board, chaired by Raymond Louie, must reveal the PNE books to the public for scrutiny. Perhaps a forensic audit is in order.

And, the buck stops with Vancouver City Council that put Hastings Park and the PNE under the governance of the appointed and closed PNE Board instead of the Vancouver Park Board, a publicly elected Board. And, the City Council appoints the PNE Board and its Chairperson.

That a sitting City Councillor, Raymond Louie, is the chair of the PNE Board, looks like a conflict of interest to many people.
Citizens deserve to know just what is going on at Hastings Park. It is, after all, a public park and it should be governed publicly with the full knowledge of taxpayers.

Gale Tyler
Vancouver

Posted in News, Press

Public Consultation Invitation: New Brighton Park Shoreline Habitat Restoration Project

Port Metro Vancouver and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation have released this invitation for Vancouver residents to participate in a public consultation process, between August 26-September 9, in regard to restoration of a salt marsh along the shoreline at New Brighton Park:

See the Invitation here:
New Brighton Park Shoreline Habitat Restoration Project: Invitation to Participate in Public Consultation

Follow the project updates here:
City of Vancouver website: New Brighton Park Shoreline Habitat Restoration Project

Posted in Events, News

Council has voted: Park Board officially removed from PNE Board and Hastings Park oversight

On Wednesday, June 10th, the City’s Standing Committee on Finance and Services discussed the topic of Hastings Park/PNE Governance Review and Bylaw Update, and the proposal to remove Park Board representation from the PNE Board who oversees the operation of the entire Hastings Park site (excepting Empire Field at the east end of the Park).

A video clip of that portion of the meeting can be viewed here:
http://civic.neulion.com/cityofvancouver/index.php?clipid=3494209,006
And recent press links on this issue have been updated on our site here:
Press Archives

Despite unanimous opposition from elected Park Board Commissioners themselves, and a close vote among Councillors (5 to 4), the decision has now formally been made to restructure the PNE Board so as to remove the Park Board seat, and reduce the size of Board overall.

As several speakers pointed out in last night’s discussion, transparency around the running of Hastings Park will most certainly decrease as a side effect of this change–rather than increase, as had been promised in earlier adoption of the Hastings Park Master Plan in 2010.

Certainly a very disappointing outcome for the Hastings-Sunrise community.

Posted in News, Press

Act Now! Register to speak June 10th at City Council about changes to Hastings Park governance

A recent press release indicates that Park Board representation and oversight over Hastings Park may be eliminated. This loss will mean that Hastings Park is left in the hands of the PNE Board, a closed secret board, that works on behalf of business, not community interests. Citizens will have NO ability to learn about or have a say in anything that happens with this public land. http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20150610/cfsc20150610ag.htm

The issue is on the agenda at the next City Finance meeting on Wednesday, June 10th.

– If you would like to speak at this meeting, please call Bonnie Kennett, Meeting Coordinator, at 604.873.7269 or e-mail speaker.request@vancouver.ca
– You can communicate your comments to City Council by emailing mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca
– Visit http://vancouver.ca/speaker-wait-times or follow @VanCityClerk on Twitter for real-time information on the progress of City Council meetings.
– A live video stream of the meeting will be available at http://civic.neulion.com/cityofvancouver/. An archive of the video stream will be available the day following the meeting.

Posted in Action Plan, News

New PNE governance model could eliminate Park Board oversight of Hastings Park

Park Board Chair John Coupar released a statement today regarding his “deep concerns about the future of Hastings Park under the new PNE governance model” which would remove Park Board representation and oversight over Hastings Park. Community input even further reduced! Read more here:

http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/1359587/2df93df7da/ARCHIVE

Posted in News

Park Board to Vote Monday, May 25th on $450K Public Art Installation in Empire Field

REGISTER TO SPEAK BEFORE NOON ON MONDAY, MAY 25th!

EAST VANCOUVER”S EMPIRE FIELDS “$450,000.00 PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION” GOES TO VOTE at THE PARK BOARD MONDAY MAY 25TH.

Proposed-HomeAndAway-sculpture_EmpireField2015

The city of Vancouver is proposing a $450,000 art installation on the Northwest corner of Empire Fields.

Park Board Commissioners will be voting yes or no on Monday, May 25th at 7pm. You may register to speak at this meeting before noon on Monday or just send an e-mail to the Park Board Commissioners. (a few of their e-mails listed below)

We feel this sculpture could be a safety issue as well as a poor representation for an East Vancouver Park Space. There has been no community or public input and this will be our only chance to voice an opinion. Hastings Park, Empire Fields, and the surrounding community deserves something better.

http://vancouver.ca/your-government/park-board-commissioners.aspx

pbcomment@vancouver.ca
stuart.mackinnon@vancouver.ca
catherine.evans@vancouver.ca
john.coupar@vancouver.ca

http://former.vancouver.ca/parks/board/2015/20150525/REPORT_Home-and-Away_Public-Art-EmpireFields_2015-05-25.pdf

“East Vancouver’s Empire Fields could get new public art installation

Staff are recommending approval of the $450,000 installation, entitled Home and Away, designed by Lead Pencil Studio. Artists drew inspiration for the sculpture from three historic structures Hastings Park is known for: the old bleachers and scoreboards at Empire Stadium, a constructed ski run built there in the 1950s and Playland’s signature wooden roller coaster. The bleachers, with the “home” side in blue and the “away” side in yellow, will be about 15 metres high, 30 metres long and hold a maximum of 150 people, according to a park board staff report. It will be located at the northwest corner of Empire Fields and visible from Hastings Street”

Posted in Action Plan, News

April 15th at 7pm: AGM of Hastings Community Association

Hastings Community Association AGM
Wednesday, April 15th at 7:00 PM

at Hastings Community Centre Auditorium

Click the image below to see full details, or visit their Facebook Page:

hca_agm_2015apr15

Posted in Events