Aaron Jasper faces censure vote at Vancouver park board

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At the tail end of a fractious March 26 park board meeting lasting almost four hours, Non-Partisan Association commissioner John Coupar rose from his chair.

Holding in his hand a withering 600-word motion to be debated next time out, the first-term commissioner read vice-chair Aaron Jasper the equivalent of the Riot Act.

“Whereas Commissioner Jasper has recently made comments regarding the naming of parks and was quoted in the Georgia Straight as follows,” Coupar began. He then cited Jasper’s comments last week on proposed changes to the city’s park-naming policy: “We don’t want to return to the days where park commissioners are naming parks after themselves, which is really what we saw with George Wainborn Park and Andy Livingstone [Park]—a bunch of commissioners sitting around deciding which park they were going to name after themselves.”

An ashen-faced Jasper looked on as Coupar listed in full the achievements of the two former park commissioners whom the Vision Vancouver politician purportedly insulted and demeaned. Backed by former NPA commissioners Nancy Chiavario and Christopher Richardson, Coupar claimed he’d checked past minutes of the board to confirm the late commissioners did not engage in self-promotion.

“George Wainborn was the longest-serving park commissioner, with 33 years,” Chiavario told commissioners earlier during the meeting. “In his own words, he did it ‘for the children’.”

At the end of his motion on notice, which will be placed on the April 16 meeting agenda for the park board, Coupar says Jasper should be censured and asked to apologize to both families involved as well as to park commissioners and staff.

“Failing that, this board hereby asks Comm. Jasper to tender his resignation to the chair,” Coupar’s motion states.

“No comment,” Jasper told the Straight after the meeting.

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City observer

Mar 29, 2012 at 9:00am

John Courper should resign for putting forward such a silly motion. Censoring someone for making a comment that you don't agree with ??? Too funny.

1 2 Rating: -1

You're kidding, right

Mar 29, 2012 at 9:55am

Jasper is an ass. Never missing an opportunity to toady to council, this smug twit really should be censured for his ill-advised remarks.

Crapping on dead men, who did more this town than most since, and certainly far more than Jasper's weak-kneed group. Shame!

5 1 Rating: +4

Wankoover

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:29am

"City observer" should observe a dictionary.
It's "censure" not "censor", and yes he should be censured, Jasper IS an ass.

4 5 Rating: -1

City Observer

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:42am

Tch, tch. Someone has assumed my nom-de-plume, City Observer, and takes a position exactly opposite to mine.

Wasn't going to comment, but now?

As it happens, I attended Monday night's Park Board meeting. It is far from funny when the otherwise estimable Park Board Commissioner Jasper attacks a former Park Board Commissioner who PB Commissioner Trevor Loke had asked to speak in favour of Mr. Jasper's motion to rename Discovery Park as Art Phillips Park. When the speaker refused to confirm a phantom conversation Mr. Jasper alleges he had with the speaker about the corrupt politics of the NPA, Mr. Jasper then set about to call the speaker a liar, before Chairperson Sarah Blyth reined him in.

John Coupar's censure motion expresses a thoughtful and well-reasoned concern respecting Mr. Jasper's often bully-boy approach to politics that, as Matt Burrows states in the story above, insults and demeans the memory, and the accomplishments, of a former Park Board Commissioner, who over 33 years contributed much to the livability of our City.

Mr. Jasper: apologize. You made a mistake; own up to it. Taking responsibility for your untoward conduct will serve the public interest, lessening the coarseness in the political discourse that has become Vision Vancouver's defining approach to governance.

1 4 Rating: -3

DJ Lam

Mar 29, 2012 at 11:49am

Censure motions carry little weight when politicians (even municipal) have community cache in any case. One can even be found in contempt of an institution such as Parliament and find a soft landing. It's to get media attention. It doesn't matter what 'side' politicians and others are on with any given issue and, specifically, derivative comments. If public comment is made with regard to others, without privilege, there may be legal recourse.

0 1 Rating: -1

Martin Dunphy

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:14pm

City Observer:

Matthew Burrows did not state in the story above, as you allege, that Comm. Aaron Jasper insulted and demeaned the memory of a former park board commissioner.
If true, that would be an entirely subjective account of the proceedings that took place at the park board meeting in question, and would seem to lend weight to your rather opinionated take on the matter.
In fact, Burrows <em>reported</em> that Jasper "purportedly" did so, and that this was an allegation made by political rival Comm. John Coupar.
A somewhat important distinction, to be sure.

5 1 Rating: +4

Wankoover

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:31pm

Martin Dunphy,

The Straight has kindly provided a link to Jasper's comments in the above article. There's nothing "purported" about it. Aarogant Jasper actually did insult and demean the memory of a former (long-serving) Commissioner.

1 5 Rating: -4

City Observer

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:34pm

Should have included word "purportedly". My bad. At any rate, Martin, I wasn't saying that Matt Burrows subjectively opined insulting and demeaning conduct by Mr. Jasper, just that such commentary was reported in the story.

Didn't mean to appear to impugn Mr. Burrows', or The Straight's, journalistic integrity.

Otherwise, my commentary stands.

4 4 Rating: 0

Martin Dunphy

Mar 29, 2012 at 12:40pm

Wankoover:

You have misread, or misinterpreted, both the original comment and the intent of my reply.

!. The word "purportedly" <em>was</em> used in the story.

2. The story in question is, as the poster wrote, "the story above", not an earlier story, link kindly provided by us or not.

3. Whether or not Mr. Jasper insulted anyone is a matter of opinion, not of record, and you are certainly entitled to yours.

(City Observer: offence neither inferred nor taken. Thanks for the clarification.)

2 2 Rating: 0

JamieLee

Mar 29, 2012 at 1:52pm

Park Board has sunk to a new low. It is unbecoming of a Park Commissioner to attack two dead men both former Park Commissioners who had an impressive 53 years of service between them but to also attack a member of the public appearing at Park board, namely Christopher Richardson who is Chairperson of the Mt Pleasant Community Centre is just way over the top. Is it any wonder that members of the public are gun shy about appearing before elected officials if this is how we are going to be treated..

2 2 Rating: 0
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