Governance Review begins without Friends of Hastings Park

If you are on our mailing list, you may already be aware that The City has struck a Stakeholders Advisory Committee to initiate the Governance Review of Hastings Park. However, despite our work over the past two years, the Friends of Hastings Park have not been invited to participate in this group.

Several other groups have been invited to send a representative, but it appears that “community” does not fit the criteria of “areas of interest” that the city wants on this advisory body. Rather, the following areas are the focus for input:

  • Business and economic development
  • Sport and recreation
  • Cycling and walking
  • Culture, events and festivals
  • Park stewardship, sustainability and environmental education
  • On-site organizations
  • Educational institutions

We believe the local community is an important group to be represented and we sent the following letter to the City expressing our concerns (below).

We have already received some of your letters supporting our concerns, including this supportive letter to the City, from Shane Simpson, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings.

If you agree with these concerns, please send your comments or letters directly to dave.hutch@vancouver.ca with a copy to mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca

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Letter from Friends of Hastings Park
Sent to Mayor and Council October 25, 2012

(no reply has been received)

The Friends of Hastings Park are stunned to hear that individuals and groups in our neighbourhood have been invited to participate as stakeholders in the Governance Review to begin in November, 2012, while there has been no information on the City website and we have received no information of this new process. It would seem that the process is closed, only some groups are invited and the Friends of Hastings Park are specifically not welcome.

As recently as July 16, 2012, we urged the Mayor and City council to proceed with an open governance review process and resubmitted our ideas–no information was sent to us.

In September, 2011 we urged City Council to begin the process and make it open. A motion to this effect was passed by Council, but the review did not proceed.

In July, 2011, we met with individual Councillors to propose an open process, made suggestions and offered our help to publicize the review to the local community.

Over the last two years we have held public meetings in the community and worked to ensure the public is aware of the upcoming governance review and the future of the park.

The local community around Hasting Park has worked for decades with city councils, city planning staff and the general public to develop a park that meets the needs of all citizens.

Our community group continues to demonstrate significant concerns, make positive suggestions and offer our help in making this an open, respectful public process. We think we deserved the courtesy of receiving full information about the onset of the process and the opportunity to be involved in the review. If this has been an oversight, please send us an invitation and we will appoint a representative from Friends of Hastings Park to serve on this advisory committee.

We note that the letter inviting groups to name a representative does not include the local community as an “area” of representation on the advisory committee. The point has been well made.

Linda Shuto
Friends of Hastings Park

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