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

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

Cliff Relph (Independent): “I grew up on a farm, so I may have a different outlook than a lot of people. But, if you ever want to go for a walk and pick up some garbage with me, it might make for a fun hour for us.”

Gwen Giesbrecht (COPE): “Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the survey.”

Rick Hurlbut (Pro Vancouver): “Just to give some background on myself: I hold a BA in Recreation Administration from the University of Alberta. My career, unexpectedly, diverted into travel and tourism. I’ve become increasingly concerned about ‘overtourism’ whereby places are being loved to death, and that tourists are impacting cities to the point of being unlivable. In addition to a host of business and volunteer board experiences, I’ve spent most of the past two years sitting in on Park Board meetings and community engagement open houses to learn what’s happening in the city. I don’t want to go into this job cold, and I owe it to the electorate to be ready to get to work on day one.”

Dave Demers (Green Party): “Thank you for your interest!.”

Stuart Mackinnon (Green Party): “As a Green, I believe in a collaborative approach to problem solving. Guided by this principle the park board has made great strides in the past 4 years, but there is so much more to do. I’m running for re-election with the Vancouver Green Party because we know that working together works best for everyone.”

Mathew Kagis (Work Less Party): “I’m an activist, environmentalist, highly trained medic & if you hadn’t already guessed an avid & passionate gardener. I have two guiding principles when it comes to Park Board governance: The first comes from the guiding principle behind Triage: To do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The second is about local consultation: Nothing about us without us.”

John Coupar (NPA): “I have great pride in the work of the Park Board and feel that over its long history its advocacy and development of Parks, Recreation and Public amenities has had a huge impact on the development of a positive active lifestyle in Vancouver as well as unparalleled access to nature. As a two term Commissioner I feel my knowledge, experience and my record of working hard for residents and visitors to deliver great Park and Recreation experiences will hopefully give me the opportunity to serve a third term.”

Ann-Marie Copping (NPA): “My sustainability leadership, as the former Ocean Wise Seafood Manager, and collaborative style of finding win-win solutions in all of my business negotiations will allow me to bring an experienced, positive, balanced approach to Park Board work. I will be honoured to serve Vancouver and make sure we have absolutely awesome parks, beaches and community centres for future generations.”

Casey Crawford (NPA): “I hope to continue my work as an advocate for youth sport facilities in the city in discussions around the Board table, particularly during budget planning. Progress can move slow in government and there are many exciting opportunities where I hope to work with local neighbourhoods to help bring to completion. With such a large ballot this year, thank you for taking the time to learn more about the candidates.”

Leo Heba (YES Vancouver): “Something I haven’t talked about much was my interest and passion for athletics. I’ve been a coach for 7 years, and always see the positive benefits that sports have on kids. I really want to work with CCAs, city council and other partners to bring in more sports and athletics (recreational and competitive) programs to our city. I truly believe that with partnerships and innovative approaches we can bring in more programs and athletics for all ages and abilities of people.”

Chris Fuoco (Vancouver First): “We are in this to Win, to make thing change so citizens will have an active voice. We are not politicians but believe thast we can help put the city back into a direction that will make public spaces through Parks and Recreation the World Class City it Is.”

Tricia Barker (NPA): “Our local parks have brought me an incredible amount of joy over the years. From being a young child and amazed at the low tide at Spanish Banks, to walking through the gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park with my Dad, to leading running/walking groups throughout our trails, to my hours of photography as an adult. I cannot imagine Vancouver without thinking about our incredible and diverse parks. I hope to take the next step and serve on the Park Board. Thanks for this questionnaire and the opportunity to share some thoughts.”

Gregory Edgelow (Pro Vancouver): “Greg Edgelow’s Top 23 Talking Points & Key Messages for Parks Commissioner:

  1. Employ strategies to ensure parks, gardens, beaches & recreation facilities are safe, clean, accessible, affordable and welcoming that includes more park rangers, more garbage cans & cleaning staff
  2. Explore new and novel revenue streams to augment operational costs to reduce barriers inhibiting participation of children and seniors in recreation facilities by exploring more fee-free programs and services
  3. Support community recreation association autonomy in managing their community facilities and developing programs that support community needs into perpetuity
  4. Develop a long-term strategy to increase environmental footprint by developing more green space and convert to multi-functional park space
  5. Parks Commissioners to commit to monthly community engagement activities with meaningful public consultation to help make more informed decisions on what matters to the community
  6. Parks Board Commissioners challenged to commit to visiting every community center per annum to be more learned on broader issues in the recreation centre portfolio & not just liaise with a few centres
  7. Commission a review of the maintenance strategy in parks & recreation facilities & where unsubstantiated disparity occurs, advocate equitable investment where fiscal deficiencies have been identified
  8. Advocate increased capital investment to seismically retrofit & renovate dilapidated facilities
  9. Commitment to ensure long-term, sustained investment strategy in VanDusen Botanical Gardens & Bloedel Conservatory and revisit new opportunities to manage maintenance costs of vehicles for mobility challenged visitors
  10. Increase total footprint of dog parks in park portfolio & create more environmentally relevant off-leash dog compounds to enhance canine experience and reduce pack roaming activity
  11. Review VanSplash & ensure strategies in place to upgrade aging pools including Templeton and New Brighton, respecting uniqueness of local cultures and traditions and commit to building 1 new outdoor pool in next 5 years with consideration of Mount Pleasant without eliminating pools
  12. Develop a strategy to promote the features, benefits & value of parks, gardens, beaches & recreation facilities to the public so they become champions of Parks & Recreation
  13. Stop encroachment of new pay parking in parks and around recreation facilities & propose a new license plate recognition strategy that provides complimentary parking for Vancouver residents
  14. Advocate a strategic approach to immediately reinvest the profit from concessions into better upkeep of concessions, washrooms and changerooms
  15. Ensure good stewardship of healthy choices by ensuring locally provided, affordable, healthy and diverse selections of food are available at all concessions
  16. Review options to create new skateboarding parks in creative and unique locations across the city
  17. Develop a long-term strategy that increases community utilization of Vancouver golf parks while supporting the existing course length, but also maximizes creative utilization of the entire park footprint for green, non-golf initiatives
  18. Initiate review of Park Board investment in Burrard Civic Marina to determine disparity between marina fees and budgeted operational & maintenance costs & initiate a new marina capital & maintenance plan
  19. Initiate process to review, recommend and develop new and novel public & private partnerships that drive new investment funding into Parks & Recreation portfolio to reduce increased user costs
  20. Support a new community driven initiative to reclaim Vancouver’s park spaces from illegal sales activities, squatters and ensure the safety of citizens & their pets from needles and biohazards
  21. Champion the consideration of a new branding of the Parks Board to “Parks, Arts & Recreation”
  22. Commission a comprehensive review of the existing parkland and facilities square footage and subsequent changes over the past 35 years as it relates to the increased densification and population growth of Vancouver. Identify correlations and propose recommendations accordingly
  23. Initiate discussions to create new and novel partnerships to utilize or share resources, fill gaps and collaboratively cooperate together between Parks Board, Community Centre Associations, Neighborhood Houses, School Board & other relevant organizations.

For more information please contact: Greg Edgelow: greg@gregedgelow.com or greg@provancouver.com.”

[Note: Edgelow’s response included a wikipedia entry for Greg Edgelow, which is not included here].

Pall Beelsa (NPA): “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 :)”

Camil Dumont (Green Party): “I am a life-long Vancouverite and I grew up on the ball diamonds and in the ice rinks around town. As a younger man I was a Parks worker for over a decade, in the gardens mostly. I now have a graduate degree from UBC, work that focused on sustainable systems, grounded here in Vancouver. I am the Head Farmer and Executive Director of Inner City Farms Society, a non-profit urban farm that grows (non-certfied) organic food here in our community. I run an urban farming internship and teach young people to get involved and get their hands dirty (in the context of sustainable agriculture and food systems.) I am dedicated to the betterment of our community & I am particularly supportive of collaborative management and teamwork.”

Ray En-Jui Chang (Coalition Vancouver): “Take a look at: https://coalitionvancouver.ca/ray-chang/
For a biography and our platforms. We are 100% for the people.”

Winnie Siu (Coalition Vancouver): “Our Platform:

1) Clean Parks Plan

  • We will be doubling cleaning crews in our parks to ensure that they are free of needles, overflowing garbage cans and graffiti. We will restore our parks.
  • We want to restore the pride in our City Parks again. We have over 350 Parks and we want residents to be proud of each of them. They are for the taxpayers who pay for them
  • Make parks safer for children, families and individuals

2) Increase Accessibility by Decreasing Prices. Restore Free Parking in Vancouver Parks again and Lower Facility Fees

  • Restore universal free parking in all Vancouver Parks – Including Stanley Park, Jericho and Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Immediate 30% cut in entrance prices to all Vancouver Parks Board facilities This includes access to the Gym, Swimming, Skating, Golf Courses, VanDusen, the Stanley Park Train etc

3) Strengthen Community Involvement in Community Centres

  • We will repeal the Sunset Clause in regard to the JOA
  • Volunteerism should have no end
  • We believe in the uniqueness of each of our community centers. Each should reflect the communities they serve
  • Create closer relationships with local schools to increase facility use.

4) Restore Financial Accountability and Transparency to the Parks Board

  • There has not been an annual review of the budget in years. We will mandate an annual budget be prepared and released to the public. The public have a right to see where their tax dollars go.
  • We need a review of salaries and job descriptions.

5) Improve Our Parks

  • We will study select locations, consult with local communities with a goal to offer beer and wine gardens in controlled areas near concessions
  • We will inventory park facilities by region, looking at the number of dog friendly areas and tennis courts, skate board terrain features etc
  • We will then look to ensure each region has an adequate number of each based upon population

Also as a dog parent, I would like to increase the number of dog friendly parks (either fenced or non fenced) in areas where dog parks are lacking.”

 

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