June 11, 2021

The Park Board—praise it, change it, or trash it?

Viewpoint Vancouver presents the first installment of CHATBOX, on Patreon.

CHATBOX is where Gordon Price and Sandy James Planner joust over our region’s features and foibles. You are welcome to add your comments to the debate. Future CHATBOX segments will be available exclusively to VWPT Vancouver Patrons, at all support tiers. 

In this week’s CHATBOX, Gord and Sandy duke it out over whether the Park Board is the steward of our green cathedrals, or a crumbling temple of anachronism.

SANDY: Gordon, why does Vancouver have an elected Park Board? It’s a colonial vestige of the past. What do they really do, anyway?

GORDON: They save Council from having to deal with dog issues!

SANDY: Well, it is a training ground for Councillors, so there is that. But seriously, every other city in Canada has dissolved this and has consolidated all those operations within the city. There is a complete duplication of services. We have an elected board with staff like planners, landscape architects and maintenance workers that do ONLY parks. Meanwhile the City of Vancouver manages everything that is not parks. And that’s why we can’t get simple things like a safe bicycle lane through a park, because you know, its not under city jurisdiction, it is under the antiquated separate park system. Tell me how that is a modern approach in the 21st Century.

GORDON: Actually it’s just the reverse—about as colonial as you can get, an affirmation of Vancouver as a Garden City in the tradition of British town planning from the 19th century. Look what the Brits did as they settled in cities from Cape Town to Sydney to Victoria—parks in every neighbourhood, tree-lined streets, extravagant gardens, playing fields and cricket pitches. And in Vancouver, all in stunning contrast with Nature’s wilderness.  The Park Board is a continuing statement that we think this is all very special and worthy of additional political accountability …

… the Park Board debate continues… Click here to join the conversation.

ALSO, TAKE NOTE! WIN A FULL BICYCLE TUNEUP courtesy of Reckless Bikes Vancouver. Everyone who joins VWPT on Patreon before July 5 will be entered in a draw to win.

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