Thursday, June 10, 2010


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


My god our Vancouver Park Board has become the talk of the town and sadly its for their inability to do the job that they were elected to do. Yes most of them elected were inexperienced but at the mid term point of their mandate, they are exhibiting the same inexperience and this is concerning for Vancouver citizens.

Here are a number of examples.

Green Commissioner Stuart MacKinnon in voting to disallow anti Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) canvassers on park board and community centres properties cries out that it is too risky because the canvassers (public volunteers) might engage the citizens down the road in recalling a number of our politicians. Mr MacKinnon then offers us a real doozy by saying this is partisan politics. It appears Mr MacKinnon doesn't understand that politics is by nature partisan and to have a politician mouth these words is a tragedy.

Commissioner Sarah Bythe the Vice Chair of the Board with the Vision Party still appears out of her depth. She never speaks up at Park Board on issues except to inform us how she will be voting. The public is getting very weary of someone elected who can't find her voice. Is this the type of person we want setting policies for us?

Aaron Jasper who is Chair of the Board, the other night, kicked out of the meeting a participant because the individual was heckling too much. Mr Jasper said there is no place in a meeting for this type of disrespect. However, as we all know he has no problem sitting beside one of his colleague who got smashing drunk on a public beach and who then slammed into a house when she passed out cold at the wheel of her car. It seems strange that Mr Jasper can't tolerate a heckler or someone heckling (which isn't against the law but is happy to sit alongside someone convicted of breaking the law). Talk about a double standard.

Sorry Commissioner Loretta Woodcock of COPE you are not off the hook here either. You are the most experienced of the the Park Commissioners and you dropped the ball on one of your election promises which was not to allow privatization of our public concessions. So tell us why did you support the privatization of the English Bay Concession? Yes I understand you are juggling many things and as one media has observed you often appear bored and not on top of your game. May I suggest you go back to being blond as this may perk you up a bit! The public though thanks you for putting forward a last minute amendment to the HST initiative which confirms free speech in our community centres but are we not already guaranteed this by our Charter?

Commissioner Raj Hundal of Vision I can't say too much about you other than why did you vote for Sarah Blyth to become Vice-Chair and allow Aaron Jasper to steal the Chair position away from you? Didn't you know that Mr Jasper is prone to about turns? Remember as a West Ender he lobbied heavily against the English Bay Bistro but once on Park Board a short time later voted in favour of it.

Commissioner Ian Robertson
of the NPA. I don't get it. You said you voted against the HST yet voted to ban anti HST canvassers from participating and engaging the public on public property. So what gives here? What was your reason for voting against it? Was it because it would hurt vulnerable and low-income people who use our Parks and Community Centres? If this is the case it makes no sense whatsoever for voting to ban people from the parks and centres who are trying to extend a helping hand to those people who will be most hurt by the HST.

Vision Commissioner Constance Barnes, your Father was revered in our City and Province. He was a principled man and he never kissed anyone's behind. He even stood up to those in his own Party. You need to find that same strength because as you know this game can be ugly and it will eat away at you especially if you don't find that fighting spirit and Independent streak that your Papa was famous for.

Jamie Lee Hamilton