Kitsilano resident Katherine Day told the Georgia Straight that the park board “encompasses all parks in the city of Vancouver”.
“If it’s a park within the city of Vancouver, I think it should be governed by park board,” Day said by phone from her Gastown office. “I mean, park board takes care of maintenance of trees, planting of trees. Hastings Park has trees. If money is being put toward that park, I think it should be governed by park board.”
In May 2013, park commissioners from Vision and the Non-Partisan Association unanimously called on city council to delegate authority over Hastings Park and the Pacific National Exhibition to the park board. This governance model is supported by Friends of Hastings Park, a coalition of park users.
However, in August 2013, the Vision-dominated council voted to form a new PNE board, appointed by council, which continues to govern Hastings Park on behalf of the city. The park board manages Empire Fields, which occupies the southeast corner of the park.
Nomination candidate Brent Granby, who supported park board governance of Hastings Park as a Coalition of Progressive Electors candidate in 2011, told the Straight that the long-standing issue is “already over”.
“It’s been decided by the city, and the practical reality is the park board is under the governance of the city and they’ve made a decision on which way they want to go with that,” Granby said by phone from his home in the West End.
In separate phone interviews, the other nomination candidates—Graham Anderson, Catherine Evans, Naveen Girn, Trish Kelly, Mark Mitchell, Sammie Jo Rumbaua, and Coree Tull—told the Straight that they either weren’t taking a position or didn’t want to comment.
Girn called the governance of Hastings Park a “difficult issue”. Rumbaua said more consultation is needed to make “residents and neighbours happy”.
The B.C. government granted Hastings Park to the city in 1889. In 2010, council approved a master plan for the park, which covers 62 hectares.