25 July 2012

One Misstep After Another: Where is Vision taking the Park Board?

First it was housing on the Langara golf course, now paving the last natural foreshore on English Bay. Where are the Vision Vancouver park commissioners going? Do they even know?

If you look at the their 'policy' statements from the past two elections you would see that they really stand for nothing and have no real ideas. Follow lock-step to where ever their City Council colleagues lead them. Cuts to park maintenance, cuts to community centre maintenance, cuts to renewing the aging infrastructure. Gauge public opinion and then jump on the band-wagon. They have closed programs and raised fees for children. In their first term they tried to undo decisions made by previous Boards while postponing making real decisions in the present. This is hardly leadership.

Vancouver deserves better than this.

The recent debacle of the Seawall extension from Kits to Jericho is a good case in point. A poorly worded motion that was based on an amorphous and mysterious 'anonymous' donation of a reported $10 million dollars. Good public policy is not made on ephemeral promises. Good public policy engages the public and understands the economic, environmental, and social costs of all decisions. This hare·brained scheme missed the mark on all three of these benchmarks. And once again, the decision was not made but deferred.

But this is not surprising; as the election campaigned showed, the only desire of the Vision team was to be re-elected. And re-elected they were. We have another two and half years of missteps and political theatre. Pontificating and grandstanding. Perhaps their plan is to abolish the elected Park Board as an anachronism. If this is the case they are certainly making their point.

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