15 December 2009

A brief reprieve for the Bloedel Conservatory

At last night's Park Board meeting the Bloedel Conservatory was given until the 30th of April. In the meantime someone--entrepreneurs? volunteers? benefactors?--are supposed to "submit written business cases/concept plans and other relevant information for the use (in a similar or new capacity) of the Bloedel Conservatory facility in Queen Elizabeth Park". I opposed the motion as I don't support the idea of the Bloedel in a 'new capacity', believing that it was given to the people of Vancouver as a public conservatory and should stay as such. I also don't think an extra 60 days is sufficient for community groups to come together and submit a plan for keeping it public. Once again the vote was 4-3. What was surprising was the continuation of personal attacks. It seems those who want rid of the Conservatory can only argue in a negative manner.

A large contingent from the community came out to plead for the conservatory. One of the highlights was a presentation from the lawyer who wrote the original deed of gift for the Bloedel Foundation. Regardless of any motions passed by this Board, this story is far from over and we should all be hearing a lot more about the Bloedel Conservatory in the weeks and months ahead.

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