Save Our  Vancouver
Park Board

KEEP IN PLACE THE DEMOCRATICALLY- ELECTED VANCOUVER PARK BOARD

Mayor Sim’s announcement  to eliminate the elected Park Board has been made without any foundation or due process.

What is the fate of the Vancouver Park Board?

We are a group of 30 former Park Board Commisioners from across the political spectrum united in opposing the unilateral abolition of the democratically elected Vancouver Park Board.

We express our deep disappointment that on December 13th, Mayor Ken Sim and his majority on Vancouver City Council ignored the pleas of Vancouverites, and rammed through their plan to eliminate the democratically elected Park Board.

Good leadership is about listening to people and building consensus. But Ken Sim demonstrated he has no respect for the people of Vancouver, nor democratic process. He ignored the countless examples of why an elected Park Board matters and how it has been a model for grass roots democracy, accountable to the community, for over 130 years. He ignored repeated examples that the on going funding and infrastructure crisis at the Park Board is of the cities own making.

It is deeply concerning that the Mayor refused numerous attempts at the city council meeting December 13, to provide for proper public consultation. It is a sad day for democracy in our city.

The Mayors request to amend the Vancouver Charter to abolish the Park Board will now pass to the Provincial government.

The motion passed by City Council does not constitute any mandate to abolish the Park Board.

The future of the Park Board cannot be decided by one level of government to another, no matter how attractive or convenient it may be. The future of the Park Board can only be mandated by legitimate input and the will of the people of Vancouver.

We call on the Province of BC to carefully consider its response, respecting and upholding democratic practise and democratic institutions. There is no urgency to act upon Mayor Sims demand to eliminate the Park Board. We urge the Province of BC to genuinely engage with key stakeholders, including First Nations as required by UNDRIP, Community Centre Associations, sports and user groups, and the public, to consider how it will proceed to process the request from the Mayor.

Coalition of Former Park Board Commissioners

Malcolm Ashford
Tricia Barker
Constance Barnes
Sarah Blyth
Roslyn Cassels
John Coupar
Casey Crawford
Libby Davies
Allan De Genova
Melissa De Genova

Camil Dumont
Alan Fetherstonhaugh
Dermot Foley
Gwen Giesbrecht
Raj Hundal
John Irwin
Aaron Jasper
Tim Louis
Stuart MacKinnon
Bill McCreery

Laura McDiarmid
Donna Morgan
Lyndsay Poaps
Christopher Richardson
Ian Robertson
Anita Romaniuk
Erin Shum
Michael Wiebe
Pat Wilson
Loretta Woodcock 

 

As a former Park Board Commissioner, I am deeply concerned about the motion to change the Vancouver Charter and remove the Park Board as an elected body and stewards of our beloved Stanley Park and the entire parks and recreation system. There was a reason the PB was created 133 years ago through an act of the Vancouver Charter. “It has seven elected commissioners who are charged by the Vancouver Charter with determining the policy direction of the Park Board.[2] The board has a mandate to “provide, preserve and advocate… to benefit people, communities, and the environment.” This is their role as elected by the citizens. Once this autonomy is taken away, there is no responsibility and everything is fair game for developers. This has been my fear for awhile now and it appears as if the writing is on the wall.

Laura McDiarmid

SIGN THE PETITION

Sign the Petition

Click here to Preserve the Vancouver Park Board and Protect Our Public Spaces

The Vancouver Park Board, an institution that has been safeguarding our parks for over a century. The Park Board Commissioners have always prioritized protection, conservation, and creating parks accessible to all. However, we now face a threat that could dismantle this vital institution and jeopardize our public spaces.

The risk is real – losing our public spaces to development and private interest. We stand on the precipice of losing not only our cherished parks but also community consultation which has always been instrumental in bringing forward innovative ideas that make our parks world-class.

Vancouver’s green spaces are more than just places; they are integral parts of our community fabric – places where memories are created, where nature thrives amidst urban sprawl. They represent a commitment made over 100 years ago to protect these areas for everyone’s enjoyment.

It is crucial that we act now to preserve the Vancouver Park Board. This petition seeks your support in ensuring its survival so it can continue its mission of protecting and enhancing Vancouver’s public spaces for generations to come.

Please sign this petition today – let us stand together in defense of the Vancouver Park Board and ensure that it continues its important work preserving our city’s beautiful parks.

parks managed that make up 11% of Vancouver's land mass

COMMUNITY CENTRE ASSOCIATIONS REPRESENTED BY VPB

“I can tell you there’s been many battles at the Park Board where the public showed up in force and said ‘don’t you dare do this’ or ‘we want that’, and there was accountability. To undo that 130 years of democratic institution is really quite outrageous and shocking.”

- Libby Davies

We acknowledge that we are on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

FOLLOW THE CAMPAIGN ON FACEBOOK