Vancouver park board moves to end agreement with six community centre associations
The Vancouver park board plans to “cease doing business” with six community centre associations that launched a legal action against the board last week.
In a statement released Thursday (August 29), park board chair Sarah Blyth said staff have been directed to serve notice to the six associations that their joint operating agreement will be ending on December 31.
“By commencing this claim the Plaintiff associations have shown that, in contrast to the other 16 CCAs in the Park Board community centre network, they are not prepared to work with the Park Board to bring the relationship into alignment with the Board's public policy goals,” the statement from Blyth reads.
According to the park board, programming at the centres will continue to operate as normal until the end of the year. A “transition plan” will be put in place for next year, and the board wants to see a new arrangement in place by the fall of 2014.
Non-Partisan Association park board commissioner Melissa De Genova said she's "very disappointed that it's come to this".
"I think that had things been handled differently, we wouldn’t be in this situation right now," she said in a phone interview. "And we have to remember that...we had a very good relationships for over 40 years with our associations. And it’s only been under Vision Vancouver that it’s come to this."
Negotiations with 16 community centre associations are set to continue this fall, and the park board expects to reach a new joint operating agreement with the centres by the end of December.
Under an interim agreement ratified by 16 community associations in June, a OneCard access pass was implemented for park board facilities.
The OneCard will not be accepted at the six centres behind the legal action–Killarney, Kensington, Kerrisdale, Hastings, Sunset and Hillcrest–throughout the fall.