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What is happening with the new NPA park board?

Q. Dear Swami:  If (apparently) long term memory serves me well, NPA and Greens swept the Vancouver Parks Board with a commitment to restore some sense of civility in working with community centre societies.   In brief, tossing out the Vision/Ballem approach of my way or the highway.  What’s with the return to the shooting gallery in the Vancouver Courier?  Have the Greens and NPA fled before the wrath of the City Manager?

A. I have no idea what this question means, to tell you the truth. I’m posting it because it’s worded in an entertaining way, but I find myself incapable of providing an answer.

Clearly something is going on. Someone was expecting the new NPA-controlled park board to do something or other, but not clear what. Do any of you get this? Or have any answers?

  • peakie

    Would this be the irritant cause?

    Rebel citizen associations pull Vancouver park board back into court

    by Carlito Pablo on July 22nd, 2015 at 12:01 PM

    Citizen associations fighting the Vancouver park board over control of community centres are back in court.

    Last year, organizations in Hastings, Kensington, Kerrisdale, Killarney, Riley Park Hillcrest, and Sunset won an injunction preventing the city from kicking them out of their facilities.

    This time, with the exception of Riley Park Hillcrest, five of those associations are asking the B.C. Supreme Court to stop the installation of a new online registration system called ActiveNet.

    According to the lawyer for the associations, Dean Davison, this system—planned to start on Tuesday (July 28)—will centralize community-centre revenues with the park board.

    Davison explained that the move contravenes the joint operating agreements between the associations and park board, which provide that membership fees and other income derived from the use of the facilities shall be received by the associations.

    “The big key is that rather than most of the money going directly to the associations, it’s now going directly to the parks board,” Davison told the Straight in a phone interview.

    In their application before the court, the associations said the rollout of ActiveNet is in contempt of an injunction order issued in 2014 by Justice Gregory Bowden that directed the parties to maintain the status quo. A court has yet to try a civil case filed in 2013 by the six associations that claims the park board intends to centralize revenues and programming in violation of their joint operating agreements.

    According to Davison, the park board is seeking to achieve with ActiveNet what it previously failed to do: “The joint operating agreement says that the associations should get the money from all programs and memberships, and the parks board says, ‘Well, look, we’re going to take it first and then we’ll give it to you.’”

    Davison said his clients’ application to halt the installation of the new registration system will be heard in court Thursday (July 23).

    The city didn’t make a spokesperson available for comment.

  • Eric Harms

    Let me see if I can shed a little light on this without
    A) prejudicing the legal action(s), or
    B) burning our bridges with the sitting Board – after all, what is (from our perspective) fervently desired is a way to get past this blockage, and for the Associations and the Park Board to return to a collegial, and cooperative way of providing the very best for all of Vancouver’s citizens.

    So, I won’t comment on the story above, nor on the ongoing legal battle regarding our rights in the centres, and how we will allocate our resources in order to best serve the needs of our neighbourhoods.

    What I can say is that the contempt application – as per above – that was slated for today, was carried over until September 23 and 24. The main question will be heard much further in the future.

    There are no Rebels. For the record, only twenty of the 28 centres shown on the City’s website are governed by the old Joint Operating Agreement and, in each of those, the Association has been in negotiation with Park Board. First, twelve of the most compliant tried to hammer out a contract, without success, after 22 months of bargaining.

    The ‘Rebel’ six were asked to enter (as were all others) into a process in January of 2013 that limited the topics covered – significantly, the most intractable ones, such as HR and revenue allotment/flow – to less than a month to conclude.

    Our association felt that limiting the scope of the agreement, and limiting the time that it could be negotiated in, would prove to be unproductive. We were joined in our opposition by other Associations, who agreed that we needed to negotiate a new agreement. And we called – at every turn – for a return to a ‘restrictions-free’ table at which to bargain, which were ignored. So, we didn’t (at that time) enter into negotiations/

    In the end, some twelve Associations began negotiations with Park Board. Two left the proceedings (for whatever reasons), which leaves, say, ten.

    After twenty-two months, even the most-eager of them were unable to finalize an agreement.

    As to the other questions raised (and, in no particular order), not at all sure what the questioner means by the shooting gallery in the Courier – which is damnably hard to acquire west of Burrard (downtown).

    Just sayin’ – our associations have recently spent a small fortune on Vince Ready, trying to work beyond the current impasse –

  • peakie

    And worse, not delivered at all other than the previously flyer-thick Wednesday edition.
    As of this week, the Vancouver Courier is going once a week with fewer reporters, fewer and shorter stories, and lots of dumb real estate adverts for a Thursday edition only.
    They used to have a box at Georgia and Hornby.
    They moved their offices from Granville to 303 West 5th Avenue and have a box with only the West Side edition there outside.
    There is a dreadfully arranged “Digital Edition” that is hard to read and navigate at
    And you can get most stories from
    Sometimes you can follow (as a short blog of twitter posts, all public) for their city hall columnists. Who does Parks now, we don’t know.

  • Bill_McCreery

    I’ve been wondering why the new Park Board isn’t acting on their election promises. In fact they’re dragging their feet at best on the Community Centres. They’re also letting the City tweet and promote Park Board and Community Centre activities without even a whimper.

    Part of it may be that John Coupar seems to want to work with staff. Well and good, but staff need to be lead. Staff will not initiate a great deal on their own. In fact, with the Community Centres staff in the 70’s wanted to control them, and they still do. Letting/expecting staff to resolve the Community Centre matter is unrealistic.

    But that doesn’t explain the silence of the Greens on Park board, or for that matter on Council.


    owao!!!! how is it possible??


    hoooot news,,,,,,,,,,,,