Community groups and residents of east Vancouver will hold their own public consultation meeting on Monday, April 15, 2013 to discuss what governing body should take control of the Cityʼs second largest park, and the only Vancouver Park not controlled by the Parks Board. The Master Plan for Hastings Park was approved by Vancouver City Council in December of 2010, but Council will decide on the body that will govern land use of the park in June of 2013.
City staff and KPMG consultants developed and presented three governance options at a city sponsored meeting on March 11, 2013 . None of the options met with community approval. Instead, every speaker at the well attended meeting expressed anger about the process and the proposals.
“Clearly, the City wants the status quo, which will leave the PNE Board in control. The information presented was biased in favour of this option. They suggested that any other option would jeopardize the charitable status of the PNE and bring disruptions for current employees. None of these assumptions were substantiated,” said Gale Tyler of the Friends of Hastings Park.
The PNE Board has had interim control of Hastings Park for nine years. The City of Vancouver promised a full governance review in December of 2010. After a delay of more than two years, a stakeholderʼs advisory group had one meeting in February before the City revealed three options in March of 2013.
“The PNE is a legitimate tenant of the park but should not be in charge of this publicly owned land. The PNE has a corporate board that meets in private and is only concerned with the success of the PNE, not the promotion and accessibility of public parkland. No amount of tinkering with that pro-business model will bring about a governing body that serves the public interest,” said Tyler.
The Friends of Hastings Park, Hastings Community Association, Hastings Park Conservancy and the West Coast Christian School will host the community meeting April 15, 2013 to identify a governance model that promotes public accessibility, transparency and accountability for decisions made about the land use of Hastings Park.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Hastings Community Centre, (Corner of Hastings and Lillooet)
Media Contact: Linda Shuto H: 604-255-1085 C: 604-842-5323
*Volunteers distributed 4000 leaflets to community residents to advertise this meeting