VANCOUVER, Dec. 6, 2023 -- ABC Mayor Ken Sim’s plan to abolish the Vancouver Park Board is an undemocratic power grab that reverses his election promise and opens the way for his developer-influenced council to begin eating into public green spaces, says TEAM for a Livable Vancouver.
“An elected park board is crucial to ensuring that Vancouver keeps and expands the green spaces and recreational facilities necessary for our ever-growing population,” said Cleta Brown, President of TEAM. “They are in jeopardy if they fall into the hands of a council that has shown over and over again that it will grant any and all requests made by the development industry.”
For more than a century the elected Park Board has fought bitter battles with City Hall to obtain land for the parks Vancouverites now take for granted. In 2022, the elected Park Board's opposition to the Broadway Plan - because of its absence of planning for parks - is an example of the advocacy Vancouver needs.
The advocacy residents want and that they voted for in 2022. More Vancouverites voted for the top-ranked Park Board commissioner than for 9 of 10 city councillors, and that ABC commissioner was ousted from caucus today.
TEAM believes that Vancouverites value an elected Park Board, even if the mayor does not.
Any decision about the future existence of the Park Board should be made by citizens at a referendum during the next civic election.
TEAM acknowledges that the Park Board’s once-stellar reputation has been damaged by previous councils’ chronic underfunding, interference and questionable decision-making.
TEAM’s solution, laid out in its detailed policy positions in the 2022 election, is to support an elected Park Board by ensuring it has the structure and funding it needs to effectively carry out its mandate.