HASTINGS
COMMUNITY
CENTRE

Save Our Park Board

About HCC

Dear Hastings Patrons:

You may be aware that, on December 13, Vancouver City Council passed a resolution by a vote of 8-3 to eliminate the 7 elected Vancouver Park Board Commissioners, and to ask the provincial government to pass legislation to transfer the Park Board responsibilities to a City department under the direct control of City Council.

The elected Park Board has existed for more than 130 years. The Commissioners are elected by the citizens of Vancouver every four years during the municipal elections (last held in October 2022). Because they are elected, they are responsible to, and accountable to the citizens of Vancouver, not the Mayor and 10 City Councillors.

The sole mandate of the Commissioners is the preservation, protection and development of parks and recreation programs and facilities in our City. They prioritize this important work because they are elected to do so. City Councillors, on the other hand, are elected with a much broader mandate, to deal with all the issues around city infrastructure; sewer, water and garbage services; police and fire departments; housing and development issues; the drug crisis, homelessness, etc. Parks and recreation are not their first priority.

The Hastings Community Association works with the Park Board staff and Commissioners to develop and run community-based programming. Issues and needs arise where we work with the elected Commissioners who have the decision-making authority to deal with our concerns. We have, over the years, developed a working relationship with the Commissioners. We don’t want that to change.

The Association Presidents Group (APG), representing 17 Community Centre Associations like Hastings across the City of Vancouver, is requesting your support in rejecting Mayor Ken Sim’s attempt to abolish the democratically elected Vancouver Park Board. We do not believe it is democratic for 8 people on City Council to eliminate the 7 Commissioners elected by the thousands of voters in Vancouver. Mayor Sim did not ask the voters in October 2022 for a mandate to do so: in fact, he said he would retain the elected Park Board.

The APG has taken a strong stand against the Mayor’s decision. We have written to the Mayor and Councillors expressing our opposition. We have also written to the Provincial MLAs representing Vancouver asking them to oppose this change. We need their support because the provincial legislation governing the City of Vancouver (called the Vancouver Charter) must be amended to make such a change possible.

We are asking for your support in making your opposition known to Premier David Eby. You can sign the petition and send a message directly to the Premier at this link: https://saveourparkboard.ca/action/.

Additionally, use this easy tool to email Premier David Eby, Municipal Affairs Minister, Anne Kang and your MLA all at once.

We hope we can count on your support to retain our elected Park Board.

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