1. Centralized control of revenues relegates Community Associations to an advisory role on financing services and discourages volunteers, risking the CCA’s ability to organize and fund community-specific programming.
2. CCA’s would not qualify for grants which are currently awarded on the basis that they are community organizations, whereas the Park Board as a government would not be eligible.
3. Many CCA’s further subsidize programs from their own retained earnings and grants. The City will have to replace loss of revenues by either increasing fees or cutting programs.
4. Centralized control of funding is not necessary to achieve universal access. Many CCA’s already accept Leisure Access Cards (LAC). The CCA’s are willing to negotiate more extensive acceptance of LAC and flexipasses at CCA-operated fitness centres.
5. The proposed centralized service model is not necessary to achieve a Living Wage for CCA employees and the extension of union membership to CCA program staff where appropriate and desirable. The main concern of CCA’s would be financing any program cost increases, subject to negotiations between the CCA’s and the Park Board.
Our elected Park Board is unique in Canada and is regarded widely as a model of community-based democracy. The Vision Park Board Commissioners have kept to the background while the City Manager and her subsidiary the Park Board Manager have directed the push to centralize and remove the authority from Community Centre Associations. Is our elected Park Board destined to suffer the same fate and be reduced to a politically-appointed advisory committee?