08 October 2011

A City for Everyone

I recently received a letter asking me to donate money to Vision Vancouver. In it the writer says “I don’t want to live in a city that puts ice skating ahead of the working poor". This made me so angry. This from a party that spent ¾ of million dollars on renovations to the mayor’s office, and then voted to charge fees for the first time to toddlers for recreation. Do they think the working poor don’t use or deserve to use recreational facilities? It is the working poor who need our public community centres, pools, and ice rinks most of all. In times of economic uncertainty we all need our public amenities more than ever.

We need a change of attitude in our civic governance. We need to elect Councillors and Commissioners who are in touch with what Vancouverites want—and that is a clean, beautiful, affordable, and safe city. A city that has amenities for everyone. A city that has recreational facilities available to all. A city where public spaces are for the public, not private interests. We need public washrooms that are open year round. We need affordable recreation in buildings that are safe and secure. We need green spaces that not only are great to play in but also are great just to be in.

This is why I am running for re-election to the Park Board; why my friend and running-mate Adriane Carr is running for Council; why my colleague Louise Boutin is running for School Board. This November 19 make your vote count. Vote for the city you want. Vote for a better Vancouver. Vote Green for Council, Schools, and Parks.


  1. i hope you oppose the use of automobiles in parks
    they can park somewhere, pay for the parking and walk in or hop a bus like the rest of us.
    I go to a park to get away from the ubiquitous automobile, the NOISE, Stink and stress from them.
    PEACE IN OUR PARKS, please!!!

  2. Someone from Vision wrote THAT?!?!

    I haven't received that particular fundraising letter, so I don't know the context, but it makes no sense to me whatsover. The only ice rinks built in Vancouver in recent memory were the ones used in the Olympics (Killarney, Trout Lake, Hillcrest), which Vision supported. Vision also liked the idea of a ice skating at Robson Square because it's "fun", but that is not under their control. The only major rec facility in the 2012-14 Capital Plan has no rink (Marpole), but neither do most of the projects that didn't make the cut (Dunbar, Hastings, West Pt Grey, Kerrisdale, Mt Pleasant outdoor pool, indoor tennis facility), only Brittania in the longer term, and possibly Kerrisdale in the longer term if a new replacement complex for the whole shabang that includes the arena is put into play. Where is this "ice skating" that the Vision author thinks is taking resources away from the working poor? Does. Not. Make. Sense.

    I agree with you, Stuart, that the working poor (or non-working poor, for that matter) are the ones most in need of affordable public rec facilities. Higher income people can afford to go to privately run fitness centres and raquet clubs and the like. Statistically, lower income people are the MOST likely to have health problems and shorter life spans, so access to healthy activities can help alleviate that. Recognition that people need to recreate goes a long way back. Feudal villages in Europe often had a Commons area where people could play games or dance. When I visited a small village in the Amazon in Brazil in 1991, it had 3 public spaces: a school, a church, and a playing field.

    Whoever wrote that blurb for Vision needs to give their head a shake.