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Killarney CCA president: Additional info on many points, and “we are hoping the park board will enter into genuine, transparent negotiations”

February 9th, 2013 · 14 Comments

Ainslie Kwan, president of the Killarney CCA, sent me this letter to help clarify some points I had raised in an earlier post. Thought it would be helpful for everyone to see this, as it does provide helpful new information.

Hi Frances,

Thanks for continuing to cover the story about community centre associations. I appreciate this is a complicated story without much clarity on several important items. I’m also finding it complicated to respond since the slide deck we see from Park Board changes on almost a daily basis.

I was reading your blog post and thought it would be helpful to try and offer some additional information on a couple of points you raised.

Killarney was one of the community centres who signed on to present a counter proposal and negotiate. We have always been open to being part of a transparent and amicable negotiation process. Even with recent developments, we are still fully supportive of proper negotiations. We removed ourselves when Mr. Bromley announced on Jan.28th that he was willing to negotiate for up to three weeks. From our point of view, this only further reinforced Mr. Bromley’s previously documented stance that that the plan was not negotiable. Despite his revised presentation on Monday evening, we continue to feel that timeline isn’t reasonable based on the magnitude of the negotiations that need to take place.

My thoughts on a couple of your points:

Point 2 Grants – Our treasurer contacted the Ursula Cowland – Executive Director – Licensing and Grants Division for the BC Government via email to confirm that CCAs would no longer be eligible for grants if the PB operated the programs (including designing the programs, negotiating wages of instructors, setting the fees for public to use the program and receiving the revenue from the program).

Her response was:

“What you have said is true – if the community centre association is not in control of the program operations – we cannot fund them for that program.  HOWEVER:  I have also been in contact with the Parks and Recreation folks and we will be working together to solve any issues:

– The General Manager has committed to work with each Community Centre to ensure that they can continue to provide those programs funded by gaming grants.

From our side:

– We are honouring all of the applications received from community centre associations prior to November 30, 2012 and will be providing appropriate grants

– Then, over the summer, we will be working with the Parks and Recreation staff to determine how the new arrangement will roll out – so that we can provide you with good information for the 2013 applications.

I am not sure who from the Parks Board is working on this but I stand by the statements I made about the grants not being available based on the information that was available at the time.

My evaluation is that Park Board has finally realized that it can’t afford to lose $3 million dollars a year in grants so they have now moved away from their original position of “all programming will be done by the Park Board”. I feel they will now look as ways allow the associations to run the programs that would be grant eligible.


Point 3 – Budgeting

Most associations including Killarney have indicated that we are willing to look at a collaborative model for revenue sharing like perhaps “cost sharing”. We believe that this will help community centres who do not have a lot of programming space like bigger centres. What we do not agree with is pooling them together and having the PB distribute the funds as they see fit. There is no specific guarantee that all of the pooled money will stay within community centres and could be used for other city initiatives.

I agree with the comments that you made in point 5. I believe all associations are on board with sharing costs or a model like you are suggesting. Now what remains to be seen is if the PB will give up on the “Non Negotiable “plan to take all of the $$. Mr.Bromley did say Monday night he believes his plan is the” best one”. When Commissioner Jasper spoke in favor of the motion he said it was because city staff says it is the best plan. This could perhaps lead the public to believe some have already made up their minds before the negotiations even start.


I am not sure how the impression was given that collecting revenues from programs and room rentals etc. is fundraising.  This is certainly not the case. A fact presented at Monday’s meeting is that the total cost to run all community centres is approximately $36 million per year. Associations pay 55% of these costs from revenues generated. In some cases, such as Kerrisdale, the CCA pays significantly more of the operating costs, which is supposed to free up the Park Board to better assist other centres with public money.

As I sat at Monday’s meeting until 3:30am I was struck by the fact that I believe more than ever the group of 6 community centres were right to bring this matter to the public’s attention. It’s my firm opinion that Mr. Bromley has now moved from “Non Negotiable” and “take it or leave it”, from “willing to negotiate for three weeks” to a five month facilitated negotiation because of public pressure.

Thank you for continuing to tell all sides of this very complex story. I really appreciate you trying to fully educate yourself. We are all hoping that the Park Board will now enter into genuine, transparent negations so we can all get back to what we do best… Volunteering in our communities.

Many thanks,

Ainslie Kwan

President – Killarney Community Centre Society




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