At the Mon, Sept 11 meeting of the Park Board, Park Board Commissioners will be asked to approve an inadequate public consultation process that allows a 50 per cent increase in the Vancouver Aquarium footprint in Stanley Park. This is a total of 1.5 acres of public park space.
 
“So what does 1.5 acres of free park land look like?” asked COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock. "Imagine taking a public park this size and giving it away for free."
 
COPE Commissioners Woodcock and Spencer Herbert have marked off 1.5 acres of park space at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park to show just how much public space would be at stake.  
 
The Aquarium expansion includes larger pools for dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions and otters, two new galleries, meeting rooms, a larger gift shop and a restaurant.
 
The Park Board referred the report to the September meeting after COPE Commissioners Woodcock and Herbert cited weaknesses in the public consultation plan.  Meanwhile NPA Park Commissioners have made no major improvements to the public consultation plan.
 
"This is an insult to the residents of Vancouver" said  Woodcock. "In 1995 the Park Board passed a motion that any future expansions by the Aquarium in Stanley Park need to be approved by public referenda. This was overturned by the NPA Park Board in 2006. The public need to have a say on whether or not they want to give 1.5 acres of free park land to expand the Aquarium. Referenda is the best way to ask the public for their opinion, not through a public consultation process paid for by the Aquarium".
 

No Referendum means NPA Park Board could give 1.5 acres of Stanley Park away for free.

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