ParkBoard meets with community centre associations and Vancouverites

The Vancouver Park Board is meeting with the community centre associations and Vancouverites at a public meeting in the Westend Community Centre tonight.

On the agenda: the Park Board’s new proposal from Feb. 4, 2013.

Kerridale Community Centre

Kerrisdale Community Centre

The 30-page presentation states that 27 per cent of Vancouver’s population falls below the Low Income Cut‐Off (LICO).

High-income communities such as Dunbar still have an 18 per cent of its population below the LICO. Kerrisdale is named as a middle-income community with 22 18 per cent of its population below the LICO. According to the proposal, Marpole serves a low income community with 40 per cent of its population below the LICO.

These Park Board recommondations will be discussed tonight:

1. That the Park Board endorse in principle the key elements for the proposed
framework for a new partnership agreement as described on page 20 of this
2. That staff be directed to continue the process and complete the negotiations
with all the community centres interested in moving to a new Partnership
Agreement based on (1.), and take any steps necessary to prepare for its
implementation, effective July 1 2013.
3. That staff initiate a consultation across the city, working with the Community
Centre Associations, to share with residents the framework and receive input
• Priorities for moving ahead toward a more accessible and equitable network of
community centres
• Opportunities for the allocation of the new $1,000,000 annual fund made available to
the Park Board by the City commencing in the 2013 budget.

Dunbar Community Centre

Dunbar Community Centre

Before the meeting even started, the Community Centre Associations have responded negatively to Park Board’s new proposed partnership agreement.

“It’s clear that the Park Board’s desired objectives of pooling locally generated revenues and centralizing all decision making at City Hall have not changed,” said Ainslie Kwan, spokeswoman for ‘My Vancouver Community Centres’, and President of  the Killarney Community Centre Association in a press release. “This is extremely disappointing particularly in light of the strong public opposition we’ve witnessed since beginning our public awareness campaign.”

“We are heartened to see that there appears to be more consideration for true negotiations,” said Eric Harms, President of the Hastings Community Association. “We have always welcomed being a part of amicable negotiations to achieve a more accessible and equitable network.”

Mr. Harms said that the CCAs main concern continues to be maintaining community control in decision making and delivering high quality local programming at affordable prices.

“Even with this latest proposal, the Park Board provides no satisfactory explanation of how it plans to maintain the same level of programs and services without cuts or fee increases if funds are redistributed,” said Mr. Harms.

“It is still our opinion that child care services and programs for low income and ‘at risk’ individuals will be put in jeopardy without the leadership of the local volunteer associations.”

Children attend an affordable dance class in Dunbar community Centre

Children attend an affordable dance class in Dunbar Community Centre

The CCAs said that if the Park Board takes revenues and program delivery away from them, their ability to secure future revenue-matching grants from foundations and benevolent organizations, as well as the provincial and federal governments will be severely limited or removed altogether. This will eliminate millions of dollars from the system each year that simply cannot be replaced without reducing service or raising fees.

With files from the Vancouver Park Board and the Community Centre Association.

2 thoughts on “ParkBoard meets with community centre associations and Vancouverites

    • Thanks Riva – sorry, this blog post is quite old now and I have meanwhile focused more on the entertainment industry and lost track of the Park Board vs. Community Centre issue. In any event, with the upcoming changes to the Park Board as of next January (NPA majority), who knows what will happen.

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