Close to 300 people packed Kitsilano’s St James Hall on October 18, to give a resounding “No” to a proposal by Vancouver NPA Park Commissioner Marty Zlotnik that would have traded part of Pacific Spirit Park for the privately-operated University Golf Course.
“It is important that the Provincial Government hear the voices of the residents of Vancouver who have now stated their unequivocal support to protect their cherished Pacific Spirit Park,” said COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock. “This meeting sends the message that Zlotnik’s park for golf course trade is not on.”
“I would now ask Commissioner Zlotnik to withdraw his proposal and cease his campaign to swap parkland for the golf course. They have no public support. By pitting neighbour against neighbour they have divided the community, tarnished the reputation of the UBC Golf Course and have been the catalyst for the public uniting to protect Pacific Spirit.”
At the St James meeting, a panel including Woodcock, Metro Vancouver Electoral Area A (UEL) Director Gary Gibson, and representatives of the Pacific Spirit Park Society, Friends of Pacific Spirit Park, and the University Endowment Lands Community Advisory Council said they support keeping Pacific Spirit Park intact.
Zlotnik and representatives of Save the Course declined an invitation to attend.
The meeting erupted in applause when NDP environment critic MLA Shane Simpson, arrived at the meeting from Victoria and announced he had just obtained assurance from BC Minister of Aboriginal Relations Mike de Jong that "the notion that we would replace the golf course with vast tracts of parkland just isn’t on for the government."
The meeting then unanimously passed a motion that: “The parties gathered here wish to make it very clear to the Provincial Government that Pacific Spirit Regional Park must be protected in it’s entirety in perpetuity for the use and enjoyment of all British Columbian now and for generations to come.”