22 December 2015

A Year in Review at the Vancouver Park Board

The Green Party of Vancouver values our network of community centres as the real centre of the community.  In an increasingly densified city, our parks and our waterways are everyone’s backyard and should be maintained and enhanced with sustainability and accessibility top of mind. Green Commissioners Michael Wiebe and Stuart Mackinnon have been hard at work protecting your values. Here are some of our highlights:

 Connecting With Community
    Our motion to permit public input and comment on all Commissioners’ motions was defeated, with the NPA opposed to the idea.  Current practices limit public speaking at Park Board meetings.  This is just not good enough to ensure real community engagement.

  At the Chinese New Year parade

    A motion by Stuart reminded the Park Board of past practices that involved the community in naming our parks and his colleagues now agree.  Under the previous Vision-led administration, the Park Naming Committee never met, but now, a Committee is being struck to name two parks.

    Stuart spoke out against the proposed recreational fee increases.  In particular, he continued to oppose the application of fees to children who are under 5 years of age.  This is a significant barrier to participation at a time when we should be encouraging active participation, establishing a lifelong commitment to active living. 

      Green Commissioners

Promoting Sustainability
    There was unanimous support for our initiative to increase water fountains and water filling stations at Park Board facilities and parks.  

    There was unanimous support for Michael’s initiative to improve water quality and achieve zero beach and recreational water closures in our City’s waters.
Speaking out about the English Bay oil spill

    We were proud to support our colleague’s suggestion for a campaign to reduce improper discharge of waste in local marinas and anchorages.

    Michael gained support from commissioners for the Park Board to propose strategies that will reduce the negative impacts of future drought and water restrictions.  Options include reducing water consumption, reusing and/or recycling grey water.

Inclusive and Respectful Relationships
    Michael and Stuart participated in the first ever “Trans Gender Open Swim” at the Templeton Pool.
 A first for Vancouver at Templeton Pool
Thornton Park is home to the monument to the women murdered at Montreal’s l’école Polytechnic. Stuart has been vigilant in ensuring this monument is maintained in good condition, reflecting his commitment to honouring those who have been victims of violence and abuse.  Stuart is committed to ensuring a permanent solution to the maintenance problems plaguing this important monument.

Committed to a permanent solution
Parks and Community Centres for All
  Michael’s motion for a collaborative initiative to improve access to all parks and facilities for Persons with Disabilities, the LGBTQ communities, and Seniors passed unanimously.

  Stuart’s motion at the final meeting of the year asking the Park Board to develop a comprehensive program of supports for refugees, recognizing Vancouver’s commitment to welcoming people in their time of need, was praised by all Commissioners and passed without dissent. 

This is just a snapshot of some of the issues Michael and I dealt with this past year. You can read about others throughout this blog. I will endeavour to keep you informed throughout the remainder of this term through BetterParks for Vancouver. I hope you will come back often. Michael and I thank you for your on-going support. Without you, we couldn't do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment