29 December 2015

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

2015 saw some significant changes at the Park Board table. The atmosphere of hostility and showmanship decreased appreciably. However, with the NPA majority on the Board, some things have reverted to old ways of thinking. The focus on commerce and commercialization of our public spaces has taken a great leap forward. I have always believed that commercialization of public spaces is generally wrong. Alcohol fueled parties should have no place in public spaces, except in extraordinary circumstances. While I have approved some of these this year, the number of permits coming to the Board has been an ever increasing concern of mine.

This Board made a commitment to negotiate a new Joint Operating Agreement with the Community Centre Associations (CCAs). One year later and we still have not been successful. It will take some determination and compromise on both sides to achieve this.

Being in a minority in a highly partisan system means that not all of the issues I think are important will be achievable, but I will continue to work for what I believe is both in the public interest and, quite frankly, the right thing to do. These include a public discussion on cetaceans in captivity, and a shift away from destination facilities and back to a neighbourhood focus.

So here are ten resolutions, or wishes, for the New Year:

 1. A new Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between the Park Board and the Community Centre Associations that is fair, effective, and sustainable. One that recognizes the uniqueness of our CCAs as well as equity of access and core programming within the system. 

 2.  More scheduled meetings with community groups to build trust and genuine dialogue.

 3. Better partnering with sports and community organizations to prioritize field maintenance. 

 4. Introduce more local food products into our parks facilities.

 5. Introduce an animal-waste composting program for our local dog parks.

 6. Work on stream day-lighting and seek salmon-safe certification for all parks.

 7. Make a commitment to build at least one neighbourhood outdoor pool in this term.

 8. Create a long-term budget and financing plan for continued facility maintenance.

 9. Create policies to end the continuing erosion of parks by commercial enterprise.

 10. Put in motion a city-wide plebiscite on keeping cetaceans in captivity in our parks for the 2018 civic ballot.

For 2016, making neighbourhoods the priority, by giving them the tools to make planning decisions that reflect community needs and values, is my goal.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year.


  1. All really great initiatives Stuart!

  2. Great stuff Stuart ! I do Like all the salmon opportunities in Parks Ideas , with the greatest opportunity being the announcement of a new major park and riverfront walkway on the Fraser River at the south foot of Heather Street in Vancouver,s Marpole ! Yes it ca be done by March 2016 ! All the best in 2016
    Terry Slack

  3. We have been advocating for a new ten acre plus park for four and a half years, on the Fraser Riverfront with an entrance at Heather Street. There are two streams that could be daylighted. It would be great to hear you speak out more publicly on this whole issue.

    Thanks for posting this on your list
    Don Larson and Elliott McLaughlin

  4. Re Resolution #7:
    A replacement for Mount Pleasant Outdoor Swimming Pool with allocated space was approved in 2010, following many years of public consultation. Let's build it in 2016. There is no time like now to start replacing Vancouver's four closed outdoor swimming pools.

  5. Thanks Stuart and I have faith in the new Parks Board. We have been waiting for replacement of the Mount Pleasant Outdoor Swimming Pool since 2009. I hope we see our new pool this year.


    RAMP Director