Advocacy, education and outreach in support of Vancouver's public spaces

Top 3 priorities (City of Vancouver Candidate Form)

  1. Park safety & cleanliness
  2. More outdoor pools
  3. More turf fields

Platform (City of Vancouver Candidate Form)

“Parks play an important role in the development and growth of families and children. My priorities as a Park Board Commissioner will be to improve park safety and cleanliness, advocate for more outdoor swimming pools, and more turf fields.”

1. What is your favourite park or park board facility in Vancouver, and why?

Sunset Community Centre. I went to pre-school at the old sunset CC and my kids now go to pre-school in the new Sunset CC. Life has come full circle for me :)

2. We’ll be sharing the top three priorities that you provided the City of Vancouver, but we want to know: which one of your three priorities are you most passionate about, and why?

Swimming Pools. I feel swimming pools promote healthy exercise and and more importantly create an outlet for children and youth so as to stay active in sporting activities, as opposed to video games and other distractions.

3. Vancouver is a growing city! What are your ideas for ensuring that the city’s parks and recreation facilities can respond to the needs of an increasing and diversifying population?

We need to ensure we are investing in community based needs. For example, if a swimming pool is lacking in one area, then an investment should be made in that facility so as to cater to the residents and also to alleviate congestion in other centers that have those capabilities already.

4. Given the high cost of land in the city, what suggestions do you have for how the Park Board should approach the creation of new park spaces?

City council needs to be supportive of procuring future lands. The current council administration has cut funding towards land procurement by more than half from 42% to 16%. We need the support of council to invest in future parks.

5. What, if any, role do you see the Park Board playing in responding to critical social issues such as homelessness, the opioid epidemic, and social isolation?

Park Rangers, supported by the Park Board and VPD, can be the facilitators of change in helping collect data to better understand how we can assist in these matters. An extended Park Ranger program, in which Rangers are provided adequate training, can help facilitate in these critical areas.

6. In the past few years, the Park Board has taken steps to acknowledge First Nations cultures and the impacts of colonization on local Indigenous communities. Would you continue this work? If yes, how?

Yes, I would use examples from other communities, including my own South Asian community, to better understand how historical wrongs have been reconciled. We would need to ensure that we listen to First Nations communities to better understand what they want to see in the Reconciliation process.

7. How can Vancouver’s parks and recreation facilities best respond to the challenges posed by climate change?

We need to ensure that we use different sources for watering our plants, so as not to run into drinking water shortages. We should also invest in plants that do not require as much watering. Outdoor swimming pools and water spray parks would also be a great investment for youth and families to enjoy in hotter weather. .

8. What, if any, role do you think privately owned companies should play in the management, operation, or naming/branding of Park board facilities?

I feel that anyone should be allowed to contribute to a legacy or sponsorship fund for different items needed in our parks (ie benches). In order to ensure that we maintain a sense of community in public spaces, we need to find a balanced way to acknowledge the contributions of anyone that sponsors a project. My recommendation would be to acknowledge using a sort of wall or website away from a sponsored project so as not to commercialize public spaces..

9. What, if any, role do you feel that neighbourhoods or community groups should play in the stewardship of park spaces and facilities?

Community Associations are essential for Community centres in order to tailor programs for the neighbourhood. Community Centre associations best understand the demographic that they serve because they typically live in the immediate community.

10. Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your platform?

I am a father of two young children and our family uses a variety of the services our Parks have to offer (Vandusen & Science World summer programs, Vancouver Aquarium, soccer through Kensington, Preschool at Sunset). I want to ensure future generations have the same opportunities and experiences that both of my children have had and the experiences that I was able to have growing up in Vancouver. Thank you and I hope I can count on your support :)

More information:

City of Vancouver Park Board Candidates webpage