Today I voted at the advanced poll for the federal election (regular voting day is October 14, so you didn’t miss it!). Federal government policies affect the operation of the Park Board in Vancouver. For example:
1. Our community centres, rinks, and pools are aging and inadequate for our growing city, and many need seismic upgrading. It is taking a long time to address this problem, and infrastructure grants from the senior governments can help–federal and provincial grants helped build the new Sunset Community Centre and the Millenium Gymnastic and Lawn Bowling facility at Hillside. Ask your federal candidate if they support infrastructure grants to upgrade and expand our recreation facilities.
2. Housing and Homelessness: It is shameful that in a rich country like Canada, homeless people end up sleeping on park benches or sheltering in the doorways and stairwells of community centres overnight because they have nowhere else to go. Ask your federal candidate if they support measures to house the homeless and those in danger of homelessness – measures such as fixing up and reopening vacated buildings in Vancouver, building more subsidized housing for those who live in poverty, and restoring the federal co-op program that was abandoned by the federal Conservatives and Liberals back in the early 1990’s.
3. Child Care – The Park Board and its Community Association partners have child care programs in many of our community centres, and some non-profit child care facilities are located on park land. Many families today are having trouble finding quality child care spaces, and many find that for-profit child care prices are unaffordable. Ask your federal candidate if they are in favour of a National Child Care program so all Canadian families have access to quality child care.