Vancouver park board refutes statements from community centre associations
The Vancouver park board will “vigorously" defend itself against a lawsuit filed by six community centre associations this week, according to a statement issued Thursday evening (August 22).
“On August 20, 2013, the six non- ratifying CCAs (Killarney, Kensington, Kerrisdale, Hastings, Sunset and Hillcrest) served notice to the City of Vancouver of a legal action to prevent the implementation of the OneCard along with other serious allegations and claims for damages in the millions of dollars,” Vancouver park board chair Sarah Blyth said in the statement.
“Their claim is a challenge to the right of the elected Park Board to set a public policy agenda on behalf of citizens.”
Blyth also refuted some of the statements made by the six associations. She said the park board is not centralizing revenue, but that over $19 million in annual revenue generated through community centre programs will continue to go to the associations.
She also indicated that implementation of the OneCard will not result in the cancellation of any programs, and that the interim agreement supported by 16 community centres to implement the access pass won’t stop associations from signing up members. Under the agreement, memberships are no longer a requirement for registration in community centre programs.
Negotiations on a new joint operating agreement between the park board and community associations are set to continue, with a target of December 31, 2013 set for the new agreement, according to the park board.
The six associations behind the legal action have not been part of the facilitated negotiations.