For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
Unlike most Vancouver green space, Hastings Park is not governed by the Park Board. COPE Park Board Candidates Donalda-Greenwell Baker and Brent Granby want to see this changed, and called today for the governance of Hastings Park to be moved under Park Board jurisdiction.
As it stands, Hasting Park is governed by the PNE board, a private, closed, corporate board responsible to the PNE Corporation and not to the public.
“Right now, the PNE board is both the landlord and the tenant of the park. This model excludes public accountability and does not take into account community input,” said Greenwell-Baker. “The governance of Hastings Park needs to be open and transparent to the public, and right now that’s just not happening.”
“With the proposed development and expansion of the park that is planned for the next 20 years, having a publicly accountable governance strategy is more important than ever,” added Greenwell-Baker. “We need to include the community in any decisions regarding its development.”
COPE emphasized however, that although they would like to see the governance of the park be transferred to the Park Board, they do not want to see any jobs be lost in the process.
“The PNE and Hastings Racecourse employ hundreds of men and women. You can count on COPE to ensure that these hard working individuals do not loose their jobs through this transfer,” said Granby. “COPE is committed to working with the different parties involved to make certain the economic benefits of the park are maintained. COPE would make sure PNE management and the Park Board management would be streamlined to improve efficiency and ensure jobs and services are protected. ”