12 June 2019

Park Board approves strategy for improved non-motorized watercraft opportunities

June 11 2019

On Water Strategy

Our waterfront is a treasured asset and a key part of our identity – from the seawall to our beautiful beaches. The On Water Strategy, I hope, will encourage more people to explore non-motorized water sports & increase access to the water from the shore. Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon

The Vancouver Park Board has approved the On Water Strategy (15 MB), a document that will guide the planning and design of facilities and programs serving canoers, kayakers paddleboarders, and many other water recreation enthusiasts in Vancouver over the next 10 years.

The On Water, Vancouver’s Non-motorized Watercraft Recreation Strategy was approved by the Board at a meeting last night. Non-motorized water sport activities include canoeing, kite surfing, rowing, dragon boating, outrigging, windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and small craft sailing.

The strategy includes quick start projects, including a user map that illustrates potential locations for different activities and abilities, as well as information about safety, facilities, and amenity locations.

Waterfront is treasured asset

The guide will be distributed online and at community centres and be updated every two years.

“Our waterfront is a treasured asset and a key part of our identity – from the seawall to our beautiful beaches. The On Water Strategy, I hope, will encourage more people to explore non-motorized water sports and increase access to the water from the shoreline,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

The strategy examines the waterway areas of False Creek, Spanish Banks, English Bay, and Burrard Inlet near Coal Harbour. The Fraser River was not included due to its heavy industrial use, strong currents, and the lack of facilities. Future updates to the strategy should consider expanding the scope to align with increased recreational activity expected along the Fraser River.

Comprehensive public engagement

The strategy was developed and supported through a comprehensive public engagement process, which began in summer 2017 and ran until early this year.

It describes the current state of non-motorized watercraft facilities and activities, and proposes strategies to deliver on five key directions (expand opportunities and participation, increase access to water, improve safety and access to information, protect the environment, and foster opportunities to build community) over the next decade to help bring Vancouver closer to a vision for high-quality, accessible non-motorized watercraft recreation.

Other quick start projects include identifying and providing watercraft launch areas at beaches and parks, delivering more learn-to-paddle programs, and replacing the Alder Bay Dock next to the False Creek Community Centre with a dock that is universally accessible. A concept plan was developed through a series of engagement events with the False Creek Community Association and CMHC Granville Island, user groups, and the public.

Next steps include hiring a structural marine engineer to produce detailed design drawings and specifications.

11 June 2019

Canada Bans Keeping Whales And Dolphins In Captivity

By Amy Held | NPR
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

 An orca surfaces near Vancouver Island, Canada. The country's Parliament has passed legislation banning the practice of breeding and holding dolphins, whales and porpoises in captivity.

VW Pics / Universal Images Group via Getty

Canada's Parliament has passed legislation banning whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or held in captivity, a move that was hailed by animal rights activists.Violations are punishable by fines of up to $200,000 (about $150,000 USD).

The bill contains some exceptions: Marine mammals already held will be allowed to remain in captivity. And the animals can be kept during rehabilitation from injury or for the purposes of licensed scientific research.

Animal rights activists, who have long argued that containing marine mammals and training them to entertain amounts to cruelty, celebrated the news, tweeting under the hashtags #EmptyTheTanks and #FreeWilly.

Former Sen. Wilfred Moore of Nova Scotia introduced the measure, known as the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, in 2015, said in a statement from Humane Society International/Canada that phasing out the animals' captivity was a "moral obligation."

Canada's Senate's passed the measure last year, and the House of Commons voted to approve it on Monday. The legislation now goes through a process known as royal assent before it can become law.

The CBC reports that the measure "notably impacts Marineland, the Niagara Falls [Ontario] amusement park and zoo that is considered the last Canadian park committed to keeping cetaceans in captivity."

Marineland has some 61 cetaceans: "55 beluga whales, five bottlenose dolphins and one orca, according to the CBC, citing data from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The park had initially opposed the ban, saying it would hurt attendance as well as conservation efforts. But in a statement Monday, Marineland said its operations have been evolving since its founding in the 1960s and that it would comply with the legislation.

The Vancouver Aquarium bowed to public opposition last year and said it would no longer keep dolphins and whales for display. At the time, it had one dolphin in captivity.

"The public told us they believed the continuing importation and display of these intelligent and sociable mammals was unethical and incompatible with evolving public opinion and we amended our bylaws accordingly," park board Chair Stuart Mackinnon said in a statement.

In the U.S., SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which has SeaWorld parks in California, Florida and Texas, announced in 2016 that it would stop breeding captive killer whales and shift its focus to marine mammal rescue operations.

Three years earlier, the documentary Blackfish sparked a public outcry over the treatment of captive orcas. The film documented the killing of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by an orca named Tilikum in 2010.

Nearly 60 orcas are in captivity at parks and aquariums worldwide. "A third of the world's captive orcas are in the United States, and all but one of those live at SeaWorld's three parks in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio," National Geographic reports.

And while SeaWorld has shifted attention to other attractions, it has continued to put on dolphin shows, to the chagrin of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime critic. The animal rights group maintains that such displays can harm the animals.

SeaWorld's vice president of animal health and welfare, Hendrik Nollens, recently defended the practice, saying the dolphins "are faster than us, they are stronger than us."

"They are in charge. They choose," Nollens said. "They decide whether to do the interaction or not."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit npr.org. Original article here.

20 May 2019

Vancouver Aquarium parent body sues City of Vancouver and park board, alleging millions in lost revenue

by Charlie Smith on May 18th, 2019

 The Ocean Wise Conservation Association has filed another legal action against two local governing bodies.

The parent organization of the Vancouver Aquarium has alleged breach of contract in a lawsuit naming the City of Vancouver and Vancouver park board as defendants.

Ocean Wise alleges that it has lost $4 million in annual revenues in each of the past two years as a result of the previous park board's 6-1 vote in 2017 to ban the display of cetaceans in captivity.

In its 2017 filings with Canada Revenue Agency, Ocean Wise reported $46,017,194 in revenues.

In its 2016 filings with Canada Revenue Agency, total revenues were slightly higher: $46,512,527. Ocean Wise's filings for the 2018 calendar year have not yet been posted on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

The revenue numbers from 2016 and 2017 include everything from gifts to government grants to amounts received from other charities.

It remains to be seen if the lawsuit could open the door for the city or park board to obtain information about any subsidiary companies that might be fully or partially owned by Ocean Wise.

It will be intriguing to see if lawyers for the city and park board try to determine whether current and former executives of the Vancouver Aquarium may have received compensation from those subsidiaries in addition to what they receive from the Vancouver aquarium.

Two of the commissioners who voted for the ban—Stuart Mackinnon and John Coupar—were reelected in 2018. A third, Casey Crawford, was defeated.

Two others, Michael Wiebe and Sarah Kirby-Yung, were elected to Vancouver city council in 2018. A sixth, Catherine Evans, lost her bid to be elected to city council.

The only commissioner to vote against the majority was Erin Shum, who was defeated in 2018 as an independent candidate for Vancouver city council.

The board passed this measure while the Vancouver Aquarium was in the midst of a $100-million expansion to its footprint in Stanley Park.

In its lawsuit, Ocean Wise has alleged that this has led to a 13 percent decline in attendance in each of the last two years.

None of the plaintiff's allegations have been proven in court. The city and the park board have not yet filed statements of defence.

Previous ruling upheld city and park board appeal

Earlier this year, a three-judge panel on the B.C. Court of Appeal unanimously ruled in favour of the City of Vancouver and Vancouver park board in another action filed by Ocean Wise.

In that case, the court upheld the park board's authority to regulate the display of cetaceans in Stanley Park, which overruled an earlier decision in B.C. Supreme Court.

Cetaceans include whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Ocean Wise had argued that its licensing agreement with the park board precluded commissioners from imposing their will in this area.

In the new lawsuit, Ocean Wise alleges that its agreement with the park board allows for the display of cetaceans.

The B.C. Court of Appeal remitted the case back to B.C. Supreme Court to issue a ruling on three other grounds brought forward by the aquarium:
* the bylaw amendment "offended procedural fairness";
* the bylaw amendment should be voided for "vagueness";
* and that the bylaw amendment infringed on the aquarium's right to freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

After the B.C. Court of Appeal issued its ruling, Vancouver park board chair Stuart Mackinnon said in a media release that the amendment was "thoughtful and reflective of public opinion".

The aquarium's recently retired CEO, John Nightingale, announced in 2018 that the organization planned to phase out the display of whales and dolphins.

"The ongoing discussions about whales and dolphins in our care have been a distraction from real threats to the ocean and have sidelined the critical work we lead," he wrote on the organization’s website. "We aim to inspire people in every corner of the planet to participate in creating healthy oceans, and it’s time to get on with it."

That statement came after the deaths of several marine mammals at the aquarium over a three-year period.

The fatalities included a harbour porpoise named Jack, a dolphin named Hana following bowl surgery, a false killer whale named Chester, and beluga whales named Aurora and Qila.

(2019) The Georgia Straight

18 May 2019

Vancouver Park Board puts moratorium on hosting new commercial events

/ Vancouver Courier
May 16, 2019 

It will likely be a few years before Vancouver could see any new large-scale events coming to one of the city’s parks.

Vancouver Park Board this week voted to put a moratorium on introducing any new commercial initiatives until after the board has updated, and approved, its special events guidelines. Any existing events, and new events that are considered charitable or non-profit, will be allowed to continue. However, the park board will not consider any applications for new commercial events until after the guidelines, which were last updated and approved in 2003, are revamped.

That means that if events such as last year’s Skookum music festival and the Vancouver Mural Fest concert in Jonathan Rogers Park, Diner en Blanc and the annual Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon were proposed this year, the board would not entertain the application until after the guidelines are updated.

Octavio Silva, manager of business development, estimated updating the guidelines will take about 12 to 15 months to complete.

Paul Runnals, an owner of BrandLive, the event production company behind last year’s Skookum Festival in Stanley Park, among other events, spoke at Monday’s meeting and urged commissioners to continue to allow new commercial events while updating the guidelines.

“We support the need for an updated and balanced strategy towards the hosting of public and private events, which is respectful of the rich and historical importance of certain sites to the local First Nations, while still making space available for free and community events,” he said. “However, this strategy must also facilitate private events that support the meeting and convention sector, as well as commercial events that bring in significant cultural, economic, tourism and employment benefits to the city, to local businesses and to local residents.”

The park board issues approximately 1,300 event permits a year. Most of them, roughly 94 per cent, are recurring events that happen on an annual basis. The remaining six per cent are new initiatives and of those, 12 per cent were new commercial events last year — Skookum, the mural fest concert and Bacio Rosso Gourmet Cabaret Cirque in Queen Elizabeth Park.

Commercial events, with 15 taking place in parks in 2018, make up about one per cent of the total number of events that take place in parks annually. However, that one per cent brings in 44 per cent of the park board’s revenue generated from hosting events — $238,500 last year.

Without parks as possible venue options, many events would struggle to find a home in the city.
“One of the biggest challenges our industry faces is a lack of suitable venues to host events in and around the downtown peninsula,” Runnals said. “With the pace of development that has been ongoing through the Lower Mainland, a number of important event sites have been lost including… the Concord lands in northeast False Creek, while others have significant physical or other restrictions that limit their viability such as the north plaza of the art gallery and Jack Poole Plaza down at the convention centre.”

The motion passed in a 5-2 vote with NPA commissioners John Coupar and Tricia Barker in opposition. “We sometimes talk about corporate events as if they’re some sort of evil thing,” Coupar said, adding that many popular attractions in the city, such as Bloedel Conservatory, VanDusen Botanical Garden and the H.R. MacMillan planetarium, are the result of corporate philanthropy.

Barker said while she supports the idea of updating the guidelines, “I also don’t think that they are so broken that we can’t let another event come in… I think we are reasonable people and we can look at those events and make really good decisions on whether they’re appropriate in our parks or not.”

Green commissioner Camil Dumont voiced concern over the effect that events can have on parks.
“There are parks in our system that are really stressed in regard to how much event activity takes place in them,” he said. “I think particularly of VanDusen garden and, I think, the botanical and horticultural priorities of that space are compromised, in my view, by the amount of events there.”

Board chair Stuart Mackinnon supported the motion, saying it allows the park board to maintain any current events.

“None of those will go away. It simply says that we’re going to hit the pause button, which I think is a really good idea…” he said. “This is my third term on the park board and, as a group, we rarely say no to corporate events and I want to make sure that we know why we’re making those decisions, what the ramifications are going to be in the future and that we have the public behind us when we make those decisions.”

Coupar said he is concerned a 12 to 15month pause could take longer than anticipated.
“Things always take longer than we expect at the park board,” he said. “That’s a given. It’s not because our staff aren’t working hard, it’s because they have a lot of things to deal with, so 18 months can become two years, two years can become two and a half years.”


15 May 2019

Otter's long departure means koi can return to Vancouver Chinese garden

The Canadian Press
May 9, 2019 

VANCOUVER — Koi are safe to swim again in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver that was once a hunting ground for an elusive otter.

Three adults and 344 juvenile ornamental koi were removed from the pond and kept at the Vancouver Aquarium last November after the otter began feasting on the expensive koi.

It even killed a 50-year-old fish named Madonna, before it disappeared again, despite numerous attempts by staff to trap the animal.

The koi that were removed were returned to the pond on Thursday, along with two other adults that had been donated.

Vancouver Park Board chairman Stuart Mackinnon says the fate of the koi generated concern locally and internationally and he's pleased to see the fish back in their home.

Mackinnon says the garden staff have added steel plates to the park gates, deterring any other otters from getting inside.

The garden closed for a week during the height of the otter's destruction and the saga set off a storm on social media among those rooting for and against the otter.

Koi embody positive connotations for many Asian cultures, from good luck to abundance and perseverance, and a statement from the garden says the fish are often an important and symbolic part of classical Chinese gardens.

 © 2019 Vancouver Courier

26 April 2019

Watch great blue herons defend nests from eagle attacks with Vancouver park board's Heron Cam

by Martin Dunphy on April 25th, 2019 The Georgia Straight

For the fifth year, the Vancouver park board has made a high-definition camera feed available to the public to peek into the nests of one of North America's largest urban great blue heron colonies.

The great blue heron is our continent's largest (up to more than one metre tall) wading bird, and our local subspecies, the Pacific great blue heron, has been returning to the large breeding colony behind the park board offices in Stanley Park (2099 Beach Avenue) for 19 years.

The local variant has been deemed a species at risk in Canada.

Records show that the herons have been nesting in the park for about a century, at least since the early 1920s, and an earlier colony's large twig-and-branch nests, now abandoned, once occupied trees near the Vancouver Aquarium and the former park zoo. Theories for abandonment range from construction noise to bald-eagle predation of eggs and chicks.

The herons also constructed nests near Brockton Point and Beaver Lake, according to a City of Vancouver online history of the park colony.

In its 2018 Stanley Park Heronry Report, the Stanley Park Ecology Society reported that volunteers counted 104 tree nests in the colony area (which stretches from behind the park-board headqurters to the tennis-courts surroundings), with 85 of those nests deemed active. (Go here to download a PDF of the report at the bottom of the page, as well as to access instructions on how to manipulate the Heron Cam remotely.)

Society observers reported "daily eagle attacks" early in the 2018 nesting season, which starts at about the middle of March. The raids stopped after about a month, only to resume when the chicks had hatched. Only two active eagle nests were observed in the park last year.
A March 20 park-board release noted that more than 180,000 people have used the Heron Cam since its launch in 2015. "It’s amazing to be able to get a birds eye view of  the nesting, courtship, mating, nest-building, and egg-laying of these magnificent birds,” Stuart Mackinnon, park-board chair, said in the release. “Heron Cam supports engagement by residents with nature in the city as part of our Biodiversity Strategy and Vancouver Bird Strategy and enables our partner the Stanley Park Ecology Society to better monitor and protect the health of the colony.”

This year, according to the release, herons returned to the nesting area on March 11. As well, it notes: "One-third of Great Blue Herons worldwide live around the Salish Sea and the Stanley Park colony is a vital part of the [B.C.] south coast heron population."

Stanley Park Ecology Society representatives will answer questions during a live Facebook Q&A hosted by the board (date to come), and society volunteers will host on-the-ground weekly interpretive sessions in the park for visitors. The society also conducts an "adopt a nest" fundraiser to support its work with the herons.

The annual nesting season ends in August, when most chicks will have left the nests. About 100 fledglings were counted in 2018, which was an increase in numbers from the previous year.
You can view a detailed society timeline of the herons' arrival, breeding, and nesting here.

(c) 2019 Straight.com

16 April 2019

City Council and Park Board meetings to be streamed via a new platform

April 12 2019 – 
 From April 15 onwards, City Council and Park Board meetings will be broadcast using a new live video streaming system.

Earlier this month, we were notified that NeuLion, the previous video streaming provider, would be withdrawing their provision of the Civic NeuLion platform that we use for Council and Park Board meetings.

We have implemented an interim solution to ensure you can still watch meetings online:

Finding past meetings

All videos of the current Council and Park Board meetings (since November 5, 2018) will be made available on the City's YouTube account .

The full archive of historical meetings will not be available immediately but we will be migrating archived footage to the new streaming service as soon as possible.

View meeting progress on Twitter

 As well as watching the live stream of online, residents can also follow the progress of meetings by following the Twitter accounts:

Cannabis in Vancouver parks

I am asked frequently why the Park Board doesn't just issue the 420 organizers a permit. Printed below is the Province of British Columbia's regulation controls on cannabis. As you can see provincial regulations do not allow cannabis to be smoked in parks. This along with the Park Bylaw prohibiting smoking prevents the Park Board from issuing a permit.

 From the Province of British Columbia's Public Safety website:

The federal government legalized non-medical cannabis on October 17, 2018.
With public health and safety top of mind, the Province passed legislation to provide for legal, controlled access to non-medical cannabis in British Columbia. The following regulatory decisions are included in the legislation and amendments:

Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA)

The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act is guided by the Province’s priorities of protecting children and youth, promoting health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis, keeping B.C. roads safe, and supporting economic development.

The Act:
  • Sets 19 as the provincial minimum age to purchase sell or consume cannabis;
  • Allows adults to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place;
  • Prohibits cannabis smoking and vaping everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, and other places where children commonly gather;
  • Prohibits the use of cannabis on school properties and in vehicles;
  • Authorizes adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property, and home cultivation will be banned in homes used as day-cares;
  • Establishes a cannabis retail licensing regime similar to the current licensing regime for liquor;
  • Provides enforcement authority to deal with illegal sales;
  • Creates a number of provincial cannabis offences which may result in a fine ranging from $2,000 to $100,000, imprisonment of three to 12 months, or both; and
  • Where necessary, to comply with Charter Rights and human rights law, exemptions will provide to individuals who are federally authorized to purchase, possess and consume medical cannabis.

The CCLA also includes consequential amendments to various statutes, including:
  • Liquor Control and Licensing Act to ensure administrative consistency between that Act and the CCLA;
  • Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act to prohibit cannabis smoking under existing leases that prohibit smoking tobacco and to prohibit the personal cultivation of cannabis under existing leases, except for federally authorized medical cannabis. For new leases, the existing provisions of each Act that allow landlords and tenants to negotiate the terms of leases will apply;
  • Police Act to set provincial priorities for policing and require municipal police boards to take provincial priorities and the priorities of the municipal council into account as they develop their own priorities;
  • Community Safety Act to reflect that with legalization cannabis will no longer be a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act;
  • Provincial Sales Tax Act to add a reference to cannabis in the definition of “small seller” consistent with liquor; and
  • Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act to recognize that the CCLA is a complete licensing scheme.


Cannabis Distribution Act (CDA)

As previously announced, the Province has decided that the Liquor Distribution Branch will be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in B.C. and will run provincial cannabis retail stores.
The Cannabis Distribution Act establishes:
  • A public wholesale distribution monopoly; and
  • Public (government-run) retail sales, both in stores and online.

Motor Vehicle Act amendments

B.C. has increased training for law enforcement and has toughened provincial regulations by amending the Motor Vehicle Act to give police more tools to remove drug-impaired drivers from the road and deter drug-affected driving, including:
  • A new 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP) for any driver whom police reasonably believe operated a motor vehicle while affected by a drug or by a combination of a drug and alcohol, based on analysis of a bodily substance or an evaluation by a specially trained police drug recognition expert (DRE); and,
  • New drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) will be subject to a zero-tolerance restriction for the presence of THC (the psycho active ingredient in cannabis).

Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch

  • The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) will be responsible for licensing non-medical cannabis private stores and monitoring the non-medical cannabis retail sector. Visit LCRB’s non-medical cannabis retail licence page for information about becoming a non-medical cannabis retailer in B.C., as well as information updates.

Liquor Distribution Branch Updates

The Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be B.C.’s wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis.  Visit LDB's cannabis updates page for further information.

12 April 2019

Vancouver park commissioner Dave Demers wants staff to examine optimal uses of land now set aside for golf courses

by Charlie Smith on April 9th, 2019 Straight.com

Some folks are incredibly passionate about using a golf club to whack a small ball around huge swaths of publicly owned land in Vancouver.

These recreational golfers enjoy the camaraderie, competition, and peace of mind that come from this activity.

But is this the optimal use of 15 percent of municipally controlled park land in the city?

Especially when the number of golfers using Langara, Fraserview, and McCleery golf courses has declined by nearly a third since the late 1990s, even as the city's population has risen by 20 percent?
Green commissioner Dave Demers hopes park board staff can address these questions in what he calls a "deep dive analysis".

Demers has prepared a motion for the Monday (April 15) meeting seeking commissioners' support to direct staff to evaluate "the full spectrum of realized and unrealized benefits of Park Board land currently used for golf".

The park board has 187 hectares of land set aside for this sport.

Green commissioner Dave Demers hopes other park board members support his call for a
Green commissioner Dave Demers hopes other park board members support his call for a "deep dive" into the pros and cons of allocating 15 percent of park land for golf.
The park board operates the three aforementioned 18-hole golf courses, as well as pitch and putt facilities at Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Rupert Park.

Demers's motion seeks commissioners' endorsement for staff to compare past, current, and expected demands for golf—and the requirements to provide this—with the rest of the board's recreational system.

Demers also wants staff to look at ways of aligning managerial, financial, and planning of golf in conjunction with the rest of the park and recreational system.
And he hopes that all of this can be occur before the board launches any master-planning process on golf courses.

If a majority of commissioners support the motion, staff will return to the board with a report to building on recommendations in the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, Biodiversity Strategy, and Urban Forest Strategy.

The motion calls on the report to also be mindful of Vancouver's Playbook, which is a process that's expected to guide recreational planning over 25 years.

According to Demers's motion, it costs adults $59 to $67 to play 18 holes during the peak season. In the off-season, adult rates range from $28.25 to $36.50.

Golf is profitable for the park board, with $9.9 million in revenue forecast this year.  Park board staff have pegged this year's expenditures for golf at $6.6 million.

Demers's motion acknowledges that $300,000 per year flows into a golf reserve fund, which had $516,000 in unallocated expenditures in March.

The park board's annual operating expenditures this year are forecast to be $66.5 million.

Fungicides are only applied to the greens at Langara (above), Fraserview, and McCleery golf courses.  
Fungicides are only applied to the greens at Langara (above), Fraserview, and McCleery golf courses. 
City of Vancouver
The board's budget does not include an evaluation of the opportunity cost of allocating a significant amount of its land to one recreational activity.

"Golf courses require regular grooming (currently by gas-powered machinery), irrigation, and maintenance to provide healthy & resilient playing surfaces (as with all sport playing fields)," the motion states, "and best practices are employed: irrigation water is provided primarily via aquifer or storm water, and fungicides are only applied to golf greens (about 1.5% of the area."

(c) 2019 Straight.com

08 April 2019

Statement on the completion of the False Creek Flats Panel process

April 6 2019 

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate members of the False Creek Flats Panel on arriving at a recommended option for an arterial route.

Late on Saturday afternoon, after eight days of meetings and deliberations, this committed group residents and business owners completed a process of voting on and ranking among nine possible routes.

This decision was grounded in a unique process of learning and dialogue. The top ranked option was National – Charles. Visit the False Creek Flats Community Panel website for a detailed synopsis of the process, led by the Jefferson Center at: fcfcommunitypanel.com .

This best in class democratic process was a first for the City of Vancouver and Park Board, and we would like to thank the participants for their commitment to their community and city through a significant contribution of time and effort on this challenging technical and, at times, emotional question.

We look forward to hosting the community panel at Vancouver City Council on April 24 and at Park Board on April 30 to present their findings.

City staff will then take the significant public input provided by the report and undertake further technical and feasibility analysis. They will come back in fall 2019 with a full recommendation for consideration by Council.

Again, we thank the participants and the convenors, Jefferson Center, for their efforts in leading and completing this important process.