Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


At a meeting last night (Jan 26) in follow-up to our delegation at last week's Park Board meeting, we discussed the problems with this Park Board Charter Amendment. In our opinion Council overstepped its jurisdiction by imposing on Park Board their own Amendment on Jan 22, 2009 which forces Park Board to comply.

At last week's Monday meeting of Park Board, our delegations were successful in asking Park Board for a deferral on the proposed Charter Amendments. Staff came up with a new report which appeared to appease certain Commissioners. It's also interesting to note that Council had on it's Tuesday agenda (day after Park Board), Charter Amendments which if passed would have the effect of forcing Park Board to comply.

At the Tuesday meeting of Council, they held this matter over to Thursday in order to hear from delegations who are concerned over the Amendments infringing on freedom of expression and speech Rights.

At the Jan 22 meeting of Council, they passed a motion authorizing relaxations by the Park Board similar to the relaxations Council may authorize ( forcing Park Board to comply since the Charter requires this).

Council went even further which seems to STRIP authority from Park Board by passing Charter Amendment 13 which GIVES COUNCIL the ability to Authorize the General Manager of Park Board to make such relaxations.

Our meeting of last night held that the move by Council was wrong since Park Board hasn't yet passed any motion authorizing Park Board Charter Amendments.

We feel that this move by Council is akin to usurping Park Board Authority which is supposed to be autonomous of Council and the Vancouver Charter in fact, we believes guarantees this.

But now we have this serious concern that Council can authorize the General Manager of Park Board which relegates the Park Board to a subservient role to Council.

It is interesting that two Council members are former Park Commissioners and neither of them said anything regarding this change at the Jan 22 meeting.

On Monday, Feb 2 at Park Board offices, our elected Park Board will again have this Charter Amendment matter before them. Sadly Council's action forces Park Board to comply.

Come out and have your voice heard.

Jamie Lee Hamilton