Parks Board Platforms from COPE, Green, NPA, NSV, and Vision

Following are each of the Vancouver municipal parties’ platforms on Parks Board, for the upcoming municipal election this Saturday, November 19th.

COPE’s Platform on Hastings Park (Press Release)

For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Unlike most Vancouver green space, Hastings Park is not governed by the Park Board. COPE Park Board Candidates Donalda-Greenwell Baker and Brent Granby want to see this changed, and called today for the governance of Hastings Park to be moved under Park Board jurisdiction.

As it stands, Hasting Park is governed by the PNE board, a private, closed, corporate board responsible to the PNE Corporation and not to the public.

“Right now, the PNE board is both the landlord and the tenant of the park. This model excludes public accountability and does not take into account community input,” said Greenwell-Baker. “The governance of Hastings Park needs to be open and transparent to the public, and right now that’s just not happening.”

“With the proposed development and expansion of the park that is planned for the next 20 years, having a publicly accountable governance strategy is more important than ever,” added Greenwell-Baker. “We need to include the community in any decisions regarding its development.”

COPE emphasized however that, although they would like to see the governance of the park be transferred to the Park Board, they do not want to see any jobs be lost in the process.

“The PNE and Hastings Racecourse employ hundreds of men and women. You can count on COPE to ensure that these hard working individuals do not loose their jobs through this transfer,” said Granby. “COPE is committed to working with the different parties involved to make certain the economic benefits of the park are maintained. COPE would make sure PNE management and the Park Board management would be streamlined to improve efficiency and ensure jobs and services are protected.”
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Green Party Park Board Platform

(See for more details)

To Create Better Parks and Recreation, Stuart Mackinnon will continue to champion:

  1. Parks as Parks
    End commercialization of public spaces. Preserve the unique natures of Stanley, Queen Elizabeth and Hastings Parks.
  2. Sharing Spaces
    • Athletics and general users must share space.
    • Dog owners and others must be respectful of the rules.
    • School Board and Park Board must work together to enhance public spaces and access
  3. Accountability
    Public input is important and decisions of the PB must be transparent
    Re-investment. Infrastructure must be renewed on an on going basis. Money must be put aside each budget for renewal
  4. Access
    Public facilities must be accessible to all, regardless of income, mobility, or age. Stuart will continue to:

    • Work with all elected officials to move green initiatives forward
    • Work with City Council to increase access and funding for public spaces
    • Work with other levels of civic and regional governments to ensure best value for tax payers
    • Work with community groups to ensure public input is maximized
    • Work for stable long term funding for parks maintenance

    People and Nature in balance — a vision for all.
    INFRASTRUCTURE: renewing the past to secure our future

    • Invest in neighbourhood facilities; accelerate the replacement of aging community centres
    • Renew Kerrisdale Arena and pool; re-build an outdoor pool in Mt. Pleasant
    • Continue to work with other levels of government on a seniors centre in the southeast sector
    • Careful management and overseeing of new facilities to ensure that they are built to last
    • Strengthening local decision making and management of facilities and parks to build strong neighbourhoods
    • Expand the network of safe, clean, public washrooms throughout the city

    PUBLIC SPACES: where our communities meet to play and relax

    • All facilities, whether indoor or outdoor, must be accessible to all Vancouverites. Investing now means savings later
    • Hastings Park as a park. Increase greens space through out the area
    • Continue the development of a ‘master plan’ for John Hendry/Trout Lake park
    • Encourage more Arts and Cultural events in our public spaces, especially in local neighbourhood facilities, to foster community spirit

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NPA Park Board Platform

The NPA Park Board platform is focused on improving deliverable services to Vancouverites and highlighting parks and recreation as a critical element to promoting Vancouver as a healthy city. Specific measures focus on:

  • protecting the independence of the Park Board
  • restoring funding to community centres exploring creative funding solutions and resources to:
    • increase revenue generation
    • improving facilities on False Creek and at Jericho to make Vancouver a better destination for water recreation
    • supporting the full size Creekside Park at Northeast False Creek
    • developing an educational working farm to promote food sustainability
    • wrapping park board vehicles with visuals of park attractions
    • greater inclusion and accessibility of arts and cultural activities
    • reviewing decision to close Mount Pleasant Pool
    • encouraging improved dog park culture through consultation, education and enforcement
    • re-opening Hastings Park governance and master plan
    • enhancing traditional role of horticulture in Vancouver parks and public spaces
    • establishing bike rental services at some Vancouver parks
    • supporting construction of a new Centre for Seniors in South Vancouver

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Vision Vancouver Park Board platform

Over the next three years, the Vision Vancouver Park Board will:

  • Focus on making programs affordable for everyone by introducing a pilot program of specific free-of-charge “family days” at recreation facilities and ensuring that the universal “Flexipass” and “Leisure Access Cards” are honoured at all Park Board facilities.
  • Protect and enhance Vancouver’s green spaces by working with neighbourhoods to identify and develop new “pocket parks,” improving off-leash dog policies, strengthening relationships with local field sports associations, and establishing new permanent fixtures in parks such as chess boards, mah jong tables, croquet sets, and outdoor exercise equipment.
  • Make arts and culture central to community centre programming with expansions to the “Artists in Communities” and Street Entertainment programs, new artists’ access to unused Park Board venues, and partnerships with local galleries for rotating art displays in our community centres and parks.
  • Follow through on the Greenest City Action Planby introducing a green purchasing policy, implementing a city-wide zero waste program for all recreation facilities, integrating the recommendations of the Vancouver Food Policy Council into all aspects of park and facility operations, and promoting partnerships that support education on sustainable living and practices.
  • Focus on front-line services and fiscal responsibility by streamlining Park Board management, establishing a Park Board Charitable Foundation, and merging certain services such as sanitation in with city departments to save hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
  • Support youth development in our communities by enhancing youth programs at community centres, introducing more youth-themed parks (including skateboarding, BMX biking, climbing walls, and murals), and working to increase the number of available and affordable Vancouver child-care spots.
  • Enhance citizen participation in our Parks system by improving the process for public consultation with regards to all aspect of the Park Board mandate and operations, and improving the use of new media and technology in public consultation processes.

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Neighbourhoods For A Sustainable Vancouver (NSV) position

Neighbourhoods for A Sustainable Vancouver sent FOHP their position on the Governance of Hastings Park. NSV believes that, “The Governance of Hastings Park should be through our elected Parks Board which possesses the necessary mandate and expertise to govern this Park.”
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