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

Top 3 priorities (City of Vancouver Candidate Form)

  1. Lower facility fees
  2. Upgrade Public Facilities
  3. Giving Community a Voice

Platform (City of Vancouver Candidate Form)

“Ray and his Coalition Vancouver team will save our community centres by preserving and strengthening our community’s involvement. He will renovate and upgrade aging facilities to that of modern sustainable standards.
Ray will also reduce the current costly fees to our city facilities and programs to allow for greater accessibility for everyone. Ray will implement a Clean Parks Plan which will double cleaning crews to address the needles and garbage at our beautiful parks.”

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

I frequent many parks and park facilities with my families it’s hard to choose a favourite. During the summer, I often take long walks at QE Park with my grandparents and frequent most of the beaches with my family. During the winter, I go ice skating once a week at Hillcrest Centre with my sisters. As the Vice-President at Hillcrest Community Centre, I guess I am slightly biased when I pick Hillcrest as one of my top places.

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?

1) Cleans Parks Plan
–> For too long, our parks were riddled with garbage and needles. My grandparents used to love taking walks at the Downtown parks. But after learning how easy it is to get transmissible disease such as HIV/AIDS just from pricking yourself with a contaminated needle, they no longer do that. My team and I will double the cleaning crews to clean up the garbage and safely dispose of the needles to make our parks into something Vancouverites can be proud about.

2) Keeping Community Centres from the community, for the community
–> There is a huge threat that is passing under the radar. The current Parks Board have tried and failed in court to remove all associations and centralize all community centres. Now they are trying to make community centres sign a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) containing a “sunset clause” that legal kicks out community elected associations from community centres after a certain number of years. My team and I find this unacceptable. There should never be an expiration date on volunteers. Once elected, we will remove the sunset clause and renegotiate the JOA to make it more community friendly and less “money-grabbing” because community centres should never be a business.

3) Reducing costs/cooperation with others to increase accessibility
–> Fees for facilities are becoming too expensive. We are sometimes even more expensive than private for-profit fitness centres/pools. We will reduce costs. Additionally, we will work with schools and other facilities to open up gyms and fields for community sports teams. For example, if an elementary school gym is not being used after 4pm. We will open them for little leagues and other sports teams in the community to use..

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 will not sell a single piece of city land like the previous city hall. We will upgrade and renovate existing facilities and parks to that of sustainable and safe standards for the growing Vancouver population. Accessibility is key, our policies will increase accessibility as mentioned above so that everyone can afford to lead a healthy lifestyle and get involved with their local community. Keeping a strong community elected association at our community centre is key. It offers a diverse group of people that fully represent the community and cater to the community’s needs.

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?

*Great question. Parks are important for both physical and mental health and as such should be planned into communities as they are developed and grow.

Careful study and understanding should go into developing acceptable ratios of human density and park space to ensure that everyone has reasonable access to park space. The land itself can be acquired through development costs.

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?

*We believe in strong community centres which are important community hubs that encourage activity, interaction and mental health. This can go a long way to addressing these issues.

We will additionally be increasing the sanitation departments of the Parks Board as we seek to make our parks cleaner and safer for everyone.

This increased activity will increase the likelihood anyone using our parks for purposes outside their intended purpose are in contact with authorities – and can then get the help they need.

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?

Parks are for everyone’s use and our goal is to decrease barriers and increase access to our parks for the general public. This is why we are aiming to eliminate paid parking and to lower facility fees.

Parks and Community Centres are not to be politicized or used to favour one group in society over another.

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

This will be largely determined by how things change over time.

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

Very little to none. Parks are not a place for commercial activity.

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

A large role. What better group of people to address the needs of the community than the community itself? We will preserve the association at community centres and hold community committees for all our large planning and renovations. A prime example of failure to consult the community is Hillcrest Centre construction. No offices for association members. No seniors area. uncomfortable chairs for patrons. Many of these would’ve been addressed if the community was involved in the planning.

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

Take a look at: https://coalitionvancouver.ca/ray-chang/
For a biography and our platforms. We are 100% for the people..

 

More information:

City of Vancouver Park Board Candidates webpage