I was thrilled to learn today that my cousin’s daughter and her husband celebrated the birth of their first child, Autumn Leigh. My cousin’s family lives on Vancouver Island, but if Autumn Leigh had been born today in Vancouver, what could she and her family expect from the Parks and Recreation system?
If her parents wanted to enroll her in Pre-School at age 3, or Out-of-School Care once she reaches school age, they might find a waiting list because there is a shortage of affordable child care in Vancouver.
If Autumn wanted to play soccer in a few years, she might find that her team has to travel to a field that is not in her neighbourhood to practice because there is such a high demand for playing fields.
If Autumn and her friends wanted to go swimming in the summer, they might find that they either have to travel to Second Beach or New Brighton (or Maple Grove if they were younger) because so many of our neighbourhood outdoor pools have been closed – or else they would have to go inside to swim on a sunny summer day.
If Autumn wanted to enroll in a drama course at her local community centre, she might find that their space for costumes and sets is cramped and they have to compete to use the auditorium with many other groups because her community centre has not been expanded or renovated in a long time.
If Autumn and her friends went to play in their favourite park one day, they might find that the grove of trees that they pretended was an enchanted forest has been cut down so the customers of a touring company or restaurant have a better view.
We need to elect a progressive Park Board in Vancouver so we can have parks and recreation facilities for everyone!