Defer fee hikes for seniors and toddlers, says COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock

COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock is demanding that the Park Board put off voting on a staff proposal that would  cut senior’s discounts, and charge pre-schoolers for swimming, skating and other park programs.  Woodcock says it is up to the newly elected Board after November 15 to make this decision.

If the current Park Board approves the staff recommendations, toddlers will have to pay for park programs as the “pre-school definition (would) change from 5 years and under, to 2 years and under. ” Another recommendation would lower the definition of “child”  from the current “6 to 12 years inclusive, to 3 to 12 years inclusive,” thus hiking fees for pre-schoolers. The report also recommends cutting the seniors discount from  30% to 25%.

“On November 15 the people of Vancouver will elect a new park board,” said Woodcock. “So it is completely unacceptable for the old board to be making as fundamental a decision as cutting discounts and charging toddlers. And how can we expect the public to comment on this in the middle of an election, with no advertising or notice, and with only 10-days notice. ”

Staff  want  the proposed 2009 fees and charges to be approved by the Board at its November 24 meeting so that changes can be implemented for 2009. The public have until November 07 to comment on the proposed fee changes in an online survey on the Park Board website.

Rather than raise fees, COPE park board candidate Anita Romaniuk wants to maintain the current seniors discounts. She also wants to raise the youth discount by five percent. Providing youth with a further discount would cost the Park Board less than $12,000,  within a $90 million budget.

To see the proposed fee changes and fill out the public survey go to:

Parks for Everyone: COPE releases 2008 parks platform

Freezing fees for youth and seniors, and increasing childcare and pre-school park programs are among the highlights of COPE’s 2008 parks platform that was released today by incumbent park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock and park board candidate, and former park board chairperson, Anita Romaniuk.

"With Vancouver becoming more densely populated, we will work to have green space for all people in order to enjoy: recreation, community gardens, and urban wildlife," said Woodcock. "This approach notes the importance of green space for cleansing the air we breathe, and cleaning the water that percolates into the inlet and creeks and rivers."

On the long-standing issue of Hastings Park, Romaniuk says "COPE supports the continued greening of Hastings Park, while retaining the cultural heritage of the site, and linking Hastings Park to New Brighton Park."

Other highlights of COPE’s park policy include:

–  Letting the community decide what amenities go into their community centres
– Rebuilding inadequate community centres, rinks, pools and other recreation centres
–  Keeping existing concession stands and encouraging more sustainable and healthy food     choice
–  Increasing arts, culture, concerts, and access to wireless internet in community centres and parks.

For full details on COPE’s park policy go to:

Bruce- The Musical

Bruce – The Musical is an original two-act musical drama about the life of the late legendary Vancouver Downtown Eastside activist Bruce Eriksen – who transformed the neighbourhood’s image from Skid Road to residential community. It’s a tale of triumph and tragedy, full of human drama, action, humour and song. Written by past Sun Newspaper Reporter Bob Sarti, lyrics by Sarti and music by Bill Sample (recipient of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame… and Earle Peach, directed by Jay Hamburger of Theatre In the Raw

Show times run from Wednesday, Nov 5 to Sunday, Nov 16  starting from 7:30PM.

Call the Box Office at 604-708-5448

Fundraiser for Ellen Woodsworth

Come listen to some great music, talk civic politics and support Ellen Woodsworth for City Council!

Sunday, November 9 from 3PM to 7PM at the Railway Club

Featuring: Dalannah Giles Bowen
Lola and Randy Bluegrass Boys
Wendy Soloway and Ruben Tillman
Margo Dunn ad Queen Elizabeth
…and more!

$20 gets you in with a beer.

COPE Radio is on the air!

The COPE election campaign now has it own radio station. Broadcasting on 88.5 FM, COPE Radio can be heard from Commercial Drive to City Hall (depending on weather).

The 2 Watt radio transmitter is home made and takes advantage of a handy loophole in CRTC regulations which allows for low-power radio broadcasts of 28 days or fewer. The transmitter is very portable and will be broadcasting from upcoming COPE events- stay tuned!

2008 Voter Information

Please vote early at advance polls so you can help out your COPE candidates on November 15. Advance polls are scheduled for November 5, 8, 10 and 12, from 8 am to 8 pm at City Hall, Dunbar, the West End, Trout Lake and Sunset.

You are allowed to vote in a Vancouver civic election if you are

* a resident elector (ie. you live in Vancouver)
* OR
* a non-resident property elector (ie. you live elsewhere in B.C. but you own property in Vancouver)

You must meet ALL of the following requirements to vote:  

1. You must be 18 years of age or older on general voting day (November 15, 2008).
2. You must be a Canadian citizen.
3. You must have been a resident of B.C. for at least six months immediately before you register to vote.
4. You must have
* been a resident of Vancouver for at least 30 days immediately before you register to vote (for resident electors)
* OR
* owned a property in Vancouver for at least 30 days immediately before you register to vote (for non-resident property electors).
5. You must not have been disqualified by law from voting.

For more information, go to the City of Vancouver website:

Woodcock: Defer Fee Hikes; Parks Board Policy Release; Bruce- The Musical; Fundraiser for Ellen; COPE Radio; Voter Info

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