25 July 2016

Commissioner wants Park Board voice heard on moorage-free zone

21 Jul 2016, 24 Hours Vancouver, by MICHAEL MUI, @MUI24HOURS

A Vancouver Park Board commissioner is hoping the city’s parks department will get a say in whether dragon boat racers in the False Creek will get right-of-way when heads butt between racers and moored motorized boats. 

The issue surfaced after a large race was interrupted last month when a motorized vessel veered into the path of racers. 

Vancouver City Hall has already filed a similar motion to discuss with the federal government to consider a moorage free zone in False Creek, with the mayor calling such a move “long overdue.” 

Park Board commissioner Stuart Mackinnon, a dragon boater himself, said the city’s parks division has invested in the docks dragon boaters use, and should get a seat at the table when discussing changes. 

Ultimately, jurisdiction of the waterway rests with the federal government. 

“It’s what, 30 years we’ve been doing dragon boat racing down there, since Expo 86 — it’s amazing that there’s still some people that don’t get it,” Mackinnon said. 

He said that, ideally, during dragon boat racing season, moorages east of Cambie Bridge should be cleared. 

“It’s quite dangerous. The boats swing as the tide turns because of the wind. If they’re in a race course that can be very dangerous to the boats,” Mackinnon said. 

The Park Board motion will be heard on July 25. 

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