Time for a rational debate about taxes.

The time to be concerned about the Park Board not having enough money to cut the grass is when the budget goes to Council. Where was NPA Park Board commissioner Ian Robertson when on December 2, 2010, Vancouver City Council held a special meeting on the budget? Not at City Hall.

What Vancouver needs is a responsible public discussion about a rational tax policy based on evidence and not on emotional rhetoric.

In a report from KPMG that evaluated 41 global cities stated that Vancouver has the lowest business tax rate of the cities studied. KPMG report Continue reading Time for a rational debate about taxes. →

Time to say goodbye to Jericho Wharf

At tomorrow’s , July 11th, 2011, Park Board meeting the contract to demolished the Jericho Wharf is on the agenda for the Board’s consideration.

The decision by the Vancouver Park Board on November 4, 2010 to remove the Jericho Marginal Wharf is a good example of evidenced based decision making.

After consultation and debate going back to 2008, involving two different Park Boards with different party majorities, no community or stakeholder consensus could be reached around the wharf. It was clear, however, that to restore the structurally unsafe wharf would cost almost one million dollars more to dismantle it. Continue reading Time to say goodbye to Jericho Wharf →

Draft Capital Plan at VPB at the Monday July 4 special meeting

Board of Parks and Recreation
Special Board Meeting
Monday, July 04, 2011 at 7:00 pm

A recording of the Agenda is available at 604-257-8507.

The presentation of the Draft Capital Plan at the Park Board HQ at this Monday July 4 meeting is an opportunity for Vancouver residents to have a preview of what capital projects they will be voting on in next November referendum. As a requirement of the Vancouver Charter the City of Vancouver is not permitted to borrow funds without direct consent through a referendum. Large capital projects like community centres, sewers, and housing need to be funded over a number of years and require the city to raise capital funds.

At Monday’s meeting VPB staff will present the capital projects that been selected for inclusion in Capital Plan referendum. Of coarse resident can sign up to speak to let the Commission and staff know what capital projects that they feel have merit. Continue reading Draft Capital Plan at VPB at the Monday July 4 special meeting →

Commissioner Blyth’s motion to develop more art in Vancouver

At tonight’s Park Board meeting the follow motion will be put forward by Commissioner Blyth:

Whereas many field houses and other space in Vancouver’s city parks that have remained unused for several years

Whereas the Vancouver PB must be prudent with its resources, and thus be as creative as possible in fostering widespread usage of Park board facilities;

Whereas there are several worthwhile arts, athletic, community and youth organization across the city that would greatly benefit from access to these vacant properties:

Whereas the Vancouver Park Board’s mandate identifies advocacy for the use of the city’s parks and associated facilities as a core principle in order to “benefit people” and “communities”:

Whereas these venues have so much potential to enhance our city for the benefit of all; Continue reading Commissioner Blyth’s motion to develop more art in Vancouver →

COPE membership ratify tactic of electoral agreement between Vision and the Greens


Meeting update Sunday June 26, 2011 at 5:45:

After a lengthy meeting of the COPE membership with resolutions from the floor and many questions of clarification the tactic to enter into an electoral cooperation agreement with Vision and the Greens was adopted by the cope membership.

The room of of around of 300 people demonstrated that COPE members love a good debate and love to participate in the democratic process. Coalition politics may not always be pretty, but meetings like today’s is what makes progressive politics stronger.

Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in the process. Continue reading COPE membership ratify tactic of electoral agreement between Vision and the Greens →

COPE open table tennis tournament at Car Free Day Main Street

Car Free Day this Sunday June 19 on Main St. between 12th Ave. and 29th Ave.
Time: 12pm to 8pm (streets closed from 10am to 10pm). For more info on Car Free Day in Vancouver on Commercial Dr., West End and Kitsilano:Car Free Day

Come join me and the COPE Ping Pong team in an open tournament of Table Tennis. Come talk with COPE about using public space to create health, happiness, FUN and intercultural understanding and get beat by the COPE Ping Pong team (only amateur players welcome, no profession please this is just for fun and please not betting)

Monday June 20 update: COPE’s table tennis open tournament was a great success and lots of fun. Thanks to everyone who came and played a little table tennis. Thanks to all the volunteers and organizers of Main Street Car Free Day the event was very well attend and a great success.

Here are some photos that I capture from the day:Car Free Day Main Street

Walk in the old Growth and restoration forest zones of Stanley Park

Stanley Park Ecology Society presents a Father’s Day walk

Stanley Park’s forests are a quilt of first, second, and more recent growth trees. Within this 2-hour show-and-tell walk, City Arborist Bill Stephen will share strategies of management in regions of old growth, past plantations, and restoration zones of the 2006 hurricane force winds. He will include prescriptions for current thinning of select mid-age trees.

Special Meeting Location: Parking lot by the Hollow Tree.
Sunday, June 19, 2011 1:30pm-3:30pm
Participation: $10 ($5 for seniors, children, and SPES members)

For more information, contact
Public Programs
phone: (604) 718–6522 (weekdays)
(604) 257-8544 (weekends)

Also please visit us at:SPES

Park Board is starting its new 5 year strategic planning process

On Monday June 13 the Vancouver Park Board launched the public consultation process for its new 5-year strategic plan.

A strategic planning process is an important exercise for organizations to undertake in order to develop a general consensus on a plan as well as to develop tools to measure the objectives and goals that are set in the planning process. It also allows the Commissioners, staff and residents to share their goals and aspirations and hopefully they will coalesce and be part of a common mission.

As part of the public consultation process four town hall meetings will be held to provide Vancouver residents an opportunity to share their ideas about the future direction of parks, facilities and recreational services.

The four town hall meetings are in the following locations, dates and times:

Wednesday June 22, 2011
Hillcrest Centre
4575 Clancy Loranger Way
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, June 23, 2011
Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre
990 west 59th ave
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Creekside Community Recreation Centre
1 Athletes Way
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Strathcona Community Centre
601 Keefer St
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The online component of the public consultation process:strategic planning online survey

For more info on Vancouver Park Board new 5 year strategic planning process email:

Philippine Independence celebration at Solcan Park Saturday June 11

Congratulate to Filipino Canadians in Vancouver on the 113th Anniversary of the National Declaration of Philippine Independence celebrated on June 11, 2011. There will be a local celebration at the Pista Ng Bayan Barbecue at Slocan Park (next to 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station) beginning at 10:00 am. I am going to head our there and check out the celebration and I am going to bring my camera and will post photos later today of the celebration.

Photo up Date Sunday June 12, 2011: photos from Slocan Park

Last day to fill out survey for West End priorities

Complete the survey here: Vancouver.ca/westend

The West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee (WEMAC) announced today that it is launching its community consultation process, to create an updated list of priorities identified by the community for the West End.

“The West End is a fantastic neighbourhood, and there is no shortage of opinions about how we can make it better,” said Michelle Fortin, spokesperson for WEMAC. “We’re very excited to launch our consultation program and give residents and business owners a chance to have their say about what the West End’s community priorities should be.”

An online survey is available at Vancouver.ca/westend for West End residents to provide their feedback on what their top priorities are for their neighbourhood. WEMAC has spent the last several months crafting the survey, based on input from pre-existing surveys compiled by the City of Vancouver, the West End Residents Association, and the West End Neighbours, among others.

In addition to the online survey, WEMAC members will be meeting with different community groups over the next several weeks, as well as visiting public gathering places for people to drop in and provide feedback.

The results from the consultation will shape a report from WEMAC to Mayor Gregor Robertson, outlining the community’s top priorities, which will help inform future development and planning decisions in the West End.

“The West End is one of the most active and engaged neighbourhoods in Vancouver, and we’re really looking forward to getting direct, prioritized feedback on what people want to see in their neighbourhood,” added Fortin. “We urge everyone who lives or owns a business in the West End to take part and tell us what their priorities are.”

WEMAC was formed in the fall of 2010 to create an updated list of community priorities for the West End. It is comprised of a diverse group of West End residents. The survey is available at www.vancouver.ca/westend, and will be open until Friday, June 10, 2011.