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

Candidate Profile – KUMI KIMURA – #221- (TEAM)

Top 3 priorities (from City of Vancouver Election webpage)

  1. Clean safe parks for all
  2. Expand park amenities
  3. Save Langara Golf Course

Platform (from City of Vancouver Election webpage)

Residents need a common sense Park Board that supports, protects and improves existing parks and recreation facilities while expanding for growth, especially in amenity-deficient areas.

TEAM would ensure all parks and recreational facilities (including Stanley Park) are easily accessible safe and well maintained for all.

We would emphasize building new and/or restoring our aging recreational facilities as well as continuing the expansion of washrooms facilities.

Finally to keep and maintain all our municipal golf courses.

2022 Park Board Candidate Questions

1. You’re speaking to a friend from out of town, and they ask for a quick overview of “where things are at” with Vancouver’s parks and recreation facilities. What do you say?

I would let them know that we have the best parks and facilities but are a bit dated and not properly maintained…however should we get a new elected Park Board we would go back to core values and bring everything up to par and bring back what has made Vancouver so special.

2. The topic of equity features heavily in both VanPlay (the Parks Board Masterplan) and the recently approved Vancouver Plan. What’s your take? Does Vancouver’s park system need to be more equitable and accessible? If yes, what changes would you propose and/or prioritize to make this happen?

I am strong on equitable/equality and would bring in an Disabilities advocate that will hold us accountable to have our parks, facilities being accessible and equitable…currently there are places where persons with disabilities cannot access, namely Stanley Park and need to look at the access though the lens of someone who is disabled.

3. As a general principle, should parks aim to accommodate cycling paths within their boundaries? What are your thoughts on bikes and bike lanes in parks? (Please note: this is not specifically a question about Stanley Park).

Yes of course bikes do play a major role in how we commute, however to specifically say we would put in cycling paths with in park boundaries, a blanket statement is just not realistic…there are parks that it would not make sense to put in bike path as the terrain is not flat, there are too many obstacles with in the park…so every situation is unique and need to be looked at stand alone and voted for bike paths if it makes sense and of course need to poll the community, with proper input, as there might be parks where even bikers would not want to bike. Each has to be dealt with on its own.

4. What role, if any, do you see the Park Board playing in responding to the needs of people experiencing homelessness/houselessness and encampments?

Homelessness is a major issue and every form of government s concern, there are specific rules of law that everyone needs to adhere too, but I feel as a PB commissioner, we would hire more park ranges and give them access to ticket people who do not use the park with in the guidelines and law, this would be a start and keep working with homeless advocate for direction and dialogue to help ease the burden.

5. Should Vancouver’s parks and recreation facilities play a part in supporting climate resilience or ecosystem restoration? If yes, how? 

Yes climate resilience and ecosystems go hand in hand with PB and making sure we are working with the scientist to help where ever we can and take the lead from them, I do not know all the science behind what is needed but will always hear from the expertise and have them direct us.

6. Is having a Board of Parks and Recreation the best way to govern and manage Vancouver’s park system? If yes, why? If not, what would you propose in its place?

Yes we are still very unique in having a PB, this is very much needed so it is not influenced by other political issues that can tie up the Mayor and Councillors and the commissioners should come from a what is best for the community in regards to the parks…

7. What, if anything, do you think the Park Board should do to support/facilitate community activation/events and stewardship of park spaces and facilities?

So long as the event in the park is appropriate, we should allow for events and yes help with the stewardship of the park spaces/facilities.

8. In the past few years, the Park Board has taken steps towards reconciliation, decolonization, and co-management with MST First Nations. Would you continue this work? If yes, how?

Yes of course, I am full support TRC as I work at Musqueam Golf course and will always take the lead from our Chief & Council and since I have a direct line I always leave these to our First Nations Leaders, it is not up to us to dictate the process, we learn from them and in the 15+ years I have worked with Musqueam, I also have met so many other Chiefs and continue to champion First Nations rights.

9. If you could make changes to one park in the city – which park is it, and what would you do?

I would put a playground at Musqueam Park.

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

Sports & Recreation is all I do, I work in golf, I play soccer, hockey, softball and love to run along the beaches, so not only would I work in sport but I also use the facilities so experience on both sides of the coin.

Biography and Contact

Biography (City of Vancouver Election Webpage)

Kumi is the Senior manager of Musqueam Golf Course, she will use the same proven exceptional leadership qualities to restore, maintain city parks, recreation facilities and golf courses.

Her deep understanding of the complexities of the important reconciliation work involved in running a public sports facility would be a great asset to the Vancouver Park Board.