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Help Save the Vancouver Park Board

Dear Community Centre Patrons:

You may be aware that Vancouver City Council, by a vote of 8-3 on December 13, 2023, passed a resolution to eliminate the seven 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.

Your Community Centre 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 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 eight people on City Council to eliminate the seven 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 send a message directly to the premier via https://saveourparkboard.ca/action/. And you can use the links below to write to all Vancouver MLAs and the Minister of Municipal Affairs, who is responsible for making changes to the Vancouver Charter.

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


Vancouver Fairview

Hon. George Heyman (NDP)

george.heyman.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver False Creek

Hon. Brenda Bailey (NDP)

brenda.bailey.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver Fraserview

George Chow (NDP)

george.chow.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver-Hastings

Hon. Niki Sharma, K.C. (NDP)

niki.sharma.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver- Kensington

Mable Elmore (NDP)

mable.elmore.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver-Kingsway

Hon. Adrian Dix (NDP)

adrian.dix.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver-Langara

Michael Lee (BC United)

michael.lee.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

Joan Phillip (NDP)

Joan.Phillip.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver-Point Grey

Hon. David Eby, K.C. (NDP)

david.eby.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver-Quilchena

Kevin Falcon (BC United)

kevin.falcon.mla@leg.bc.ca

Vancouver-West End

Spencer Chandra Herbert (NDP)
s.chandraherbert.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Minister of Municipal Affairs

Anne Kang

anne.kang.MLA@leg.bc.ca
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2 Replies to “Help Save the Vancouver Park Board”

  1. As a former elected Park Commissioner, I Thank you for your support of our elected Park Board. Over the past 135 years it has created one of the best parks and recreation systems in the World. Mayor Sim made a knee jerk decision to change what he ran on in the 2022 election. Why? Because his own ABC Party’s Commissioners voted to not allow Langara Golf Course to BE sold off to developers for housing.

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