Splashing in the fountain atop Queen E Park might be all kids have this summer
In what appears to be an awakening political feistiness, lone NPA park commissioner Ian Robertson wants everyone to know that Vision’s political priorities for parks run against the best interests of the wider city. Citing cuts to children’s summer programs made by the Park Board when millions are redirected at Vision’s bike routes initiatives, Comm. Robertson urges us to sit up and take notice.
"Hundreds of families" are being affected by the loss of popular summer programs, while $25 million has been set aside for a few more kilometres of bike lane improvements, says Robertson. "Full-time summer programs at parks such as Burrardview Park are being cut which means popular children’s and youth programs along with the wading pool are eliminated for the summer," he adds.
As one Burrardview family wrote to the Park Board, “I urge you to advocate for our east Vancouver neighbourhood and reinstate the park program which brings our community together and benefits our most important people of all: our children”.
The Vision Vancouver dominated Park board presided over the largest budget cuts ever without questioning their colleagues on City Council. Now, with the effects of the cuts being felt city-wide, Robertson says Vision Vancouver has their priorities wrong.
“This is going to be a very quiet and troubling summer for many families with young children in Vancouver,” says Robertson. “Vision Vancouver has slashed budgets for valuable summer programs that those families depend on while approving $20,000 plus staff time to ensure homeless chickens are cared for. What kind of vision is that?”
Late last year the Vision Vancouver Park Board caucus voted unanimously to cut $1.9 million from the Park Board budget. $1.3 million of the reduction meant that valuable summer recreation programs that provide activities for children and youth were cut.
“Vision Vancouver has allocated $25 million to bike lanes that less than 4% of the population will use but they cannot find money for summer programs for Vancouver’s kids,” adds Commissioner Robertson. “The funds allocated for homeless chickens would have funded two and a half summer recreation leaders for the summer”.