07 May 2010

When the press get it wrong

There is an article in today's Courier which says I voted at the last Park Board meeting against a motion to save Beaver Lake in Stanley Park. In fact there was no motion. Commissioner Woodcock attempted to add an amendment to the motion to accept the Stanley Park Ecology Society's state of the park report--and that amendment was ruled out of order. I did vote in favour of accepting the report. The Courier article also says that what I voted against was a plan to save the lake that had been agreed to at an earlier Planning and Environment committee meeting--in fact no plan was presented as the committee meeting wasn't held until two days later.

At the Planning and Environment committee meeting staff brought forward a recommendation to look at all aspects of the report and bring a 'menu of items' to the Board in the autumn and then after careful consideration we would choose which ones to act upon. Beaver Lake will be a priority on that list, but it will not be the only item. Indeed Beaver Lake is not the only area of the park that is in need of remediation, and we must choose which areas and which course of action very carefully. NPA Commissioner Ian Robertson understood this while my COPE and Vision colleagues seemed strangely unaware or unwilling to understand that Beaver Lake is not the only area of the park in need of attention. In the end we agreed with staff, and that a priority would be put on Beaver lake.

One good thing that came out of all this is that staff will also look at the cost of an over all Stewardship plan for the park. I have been asking for this for years--and it was part of my campaign. I am grateful to COPE Commissioner Woodcock for speaking in favour of staff reporting back on this.

It really is time that we stopped looking at Stanley Park as a collection of areas and started looking it at it as a complex, diverse, and interconnected region. We must understand that what we do to one part of the park affects all parts. A stewardship plan will help with future planning as it will look at the park as a whole. After all the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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