COPE Park Board Commissioners Spencer Herbert and Loretta Woodcock want the Vancouver Park Board to hold a meeting to deal with the civic strike and disruption of park and recreation services.
“Vancouver has been without its public swimming pools, community centres, garbage pick up and libraries,” said Herbert. “The Mayor has said this strike is not his first priority. But as elected officials, bringing back public services should be our number one concern.”
“That is why as Park Commissioners we are asking Park Board Chair Ian Robertson to convene a meeting of the Board to assess the human and economic impact of the disruption of park services and advise Mayor Sullivan and City Council of our concerns.”
The Park Board is not scheduled to meet until September 17. Meanwhile, children and families are unable to access community centre programs. Restaurants in parks and other tourist oriented businesses are suffering. The Park Board is also losing peak summer revenue from public golf courses and pools. This could affect next year’s budget.
Woodcock notes that while all other Metro Vancouver municipalities have managed to reach agreements with their civic workers through direct negotiations, Vancouver’s negotiators insist on staying with the discredited GVRD Labour Relations Bureau process that many say is what led to the current impasse.
“Other municipalities in Metro have talked directly with their workers,” said Woodcock. “And most have not had service cuts. I see no reason why we in Vancouver can’t reach a similar agreement with our workers.”
“So far Mayor Sullivan and NPA councillors have failed to show any leadership or direction,” Woodcock added. “We are now asking Park Board Chair Robertson to call a meeting and demonstrate the kind of leadership Vancouverites expect and deserve.”