07 December 2010

Washroom closures? Probably not, but what about the rest?

As you know by now, the Park Board budget reductions include the closure of many park washrooms. This seems to have resonated in both the media and the public mind. I doubt very much City Council will allow for this. After all this is an election year and nobody wants to go into a campaign being the Grinch who stole the potties! So I imagine City Council will miraculously find $300K to keep the bathrooms open. And then there will be a claim of a great victory for public process.

But what about the other cuts to this and previous year's budgets? And what about the fee hikes? Will those get the same benefit? I doubt it very much. There have been more than $4 million in cuts over the past couple of years. There are fewer programmers in our Community Centres, fewer summer programs for our kids, fewer flowers in our gardens and longer grass in our fields and on our pathways. There are higher fees for our pools and rinks, and now toddlers pay too. Is Vancouver a better place for these reductions? I don't think so.

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