20 June 2014

Will the Seniors Centre be the loser with all the political bickering?

Last night the Southeast Vancouver Seniors Arts and Cultural Society held its AGM at Killarney Community Centre. The SVSACS is the community organization pressing for a Seniors Centre attached to the Killarney Community Centre. With contributions from all 3 levels of government totalling close to 10 million dollars, the centre should be well on its way to being built.

What should have been a time of celebration turned into a political spat between different levels of government and a he said/she said squabble that simply alienated most members of the association in attendance. Conservative MP Wai Young, BC Liberal MLA Susan Anton and Vision Vancouver Counsellor Raymond Louie seemed more interested in scoring petty political points off of each other than answering the real questions of the seniors. Questions like why hasn’t there been real consultation with the community and the stakeholders? When will the shovels be in the ground? And when will the doors finally open?

In a truly bizarre exchange with Keith Jacobs, former President of the Killarney Community Centre Association, who asked for real consultation with the stakeholders, Cllr Louie replied that consultation would take more time, but if the community wanted to wait while they were consulted then that could be done.

This kind of passive/aggressive answer has no place in the discussion of this important amenity in the Southeast sector of the city. Of course there should be consultation. There should have been consultation all along. But for Cllr Louie to threaten a slowdown because the community wants input is a shameful abuse of his authority.

The Conservative MP and BC Liberal MLA were no better with their finger pointing and holier-than-thou attitudes towards the City. Surely all levels of government can put away their partisan politics to do some good for our seniors. Surely for the sake of our elders we can work together and can all come out as winners.

It’s time to put politics aside and work for the common good.

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