BATTLE of HASTINGS PARK HEATING UP
BATTLE of HASTINGS PARK HEATING UP
I received the post below from my friends who are fighting to retain Hastings Park as a neighborhood park. Their court battle to keep this East End jewel in the community's hands continues. Please consider helping them if you can--Jamie Lee.
Pastor David Bornman is the contact.
Hi all, I hope you had some vacation time and are full of energy again. We had a nice time with family and several ski days on Grouse and now my brain has kicked into working mode again.
My Church calendar is swamped for January & February. I'll do what I can but I want to put it out to a group of us and hopefully others can pull some strings as well.
Can you help stir up some media and/or council/ PB attention? we only have 4 weeks until the court case is heard
Things we can do:
Request to for help from other park/bird/environment organizations: can they write to
Request HPC members to: write to council and PB, give a $ donation to the legal fund, attend the court case (and look attentive when our lawyer speaks J)
letters to council & PB
Highlight the problems with PNE governance of the park
i. Maintenance of park budget has been reduced for 2008
ii. Trees landscaped in new empire bowl have been cut down for billboards slated for removal several years ago
iii. Fair plans to build a Band Shell in the Bird Sanctuary in 2008
iv. Fair plan to expand 2008 summer fair exhibits into Bird sanctuary
Demand that current visioning build on the 97 plan
We and our lawyer feels that stirring up some Media attention before the court case could be helpful. We also feel that some financial contributions to the lawyer would be beneficial to assure him that he's not in this alone but that the community still cares about this case.
Media attention won't sway justice but it may make the panel of judges interested in wading through the technical details of our case.
Council and PB attention wont change the case but we want them to fix the Hastings Park Governance issue whether we win or loose. Either way the case is an opportunity to get them thinking about issues that have caused us to take this to court. The issues and their potential political points are the same.
Marc, Fiona and I met with a friend of Fiona's (Jean) two weeks ago for some Media advice.
Here are points that we felt were helpful to think about:
We need people from other parts of the city to voice our message – contact other bird/ park organizations/natural history society of BC – give them a heads up re: the court case
Need clear succinct story line for message to counsellors/other parks organizations
Read previous Media Coverage from first round of court and from that pull out the lines and messages to feed in again
Send a simple FYI to council & commissioners in January reminding them that our important case is moving forward and has ramifications for our community and the whole city . "we look forward to continued discussions with you"
Frances / Mike Howell, Steven Quinn are all helpful media people
Here are the "messages" that seemed to stick.
1) Hastings Park is the only park not governed by parks board
2) Maintenance funds have been severely cut back
3) Trees planted in first phase of restoration were recently chopped down
4) Are we selling out our Parks to private corporations?
Prepare points for a court win –
Pg 82-83 of operating agreement- know confidently what the ramifications are – check with Derek
According to the November 2007 lease slots must be shut down now, the COV has no liability
This success came about because a small group of citizens tirelessly did the work that was otherwise swept under the rug
Prepare points to emphasise if we lose the case
We are still at the table for current park planning but it is unfortunate that
The Casino has already begun directing traffic to enter through the neighbourhood in violation of their lease- contrary to the agreement using the Renfrew Street entrance
Hastings Park is the only park not governed by our parks board resulting in
i. Funding for maintenance of restored portions has been cut back
ii. The Fair is planning a permanent band shell and expansion of Fair into the Bird sanctuary
It is unfortunate that Vision Van pushed slots in and NPA condoned it and both parties have now been given major funding from Great Canadian Casino
It is unfortunate that the potential for meaningful Olympic legacy money has been replaced by VANOC sharing the costs of electrical upgrades needed for the casino's slot machines
Please do what you can and email each other so we know what has been done.
Have a great day!
President of Hastings Park Conservancy
3096 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V5K 2A3
www.hastingspark.ca Cell: 604-318-0969e-mail: David.Bornman@wccf.bc.ca