Stuart Mackinnon: Parks and recreation must be open to all in Vancouver

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      Vancouver’s natural beauty is worth protecting. Our children not only need places to play, but also places to enjoy and explore nature. We all need places of tranquil refuge from our busy lives. People and nature in balance is my vision for Vancouver’s parks.

      Parks should be available for all to enjoy and should not be exclusive to any one group. Parks and community centres are the life-blood of any city. They are where we meet to play, to learn, and to socialize. We must continually re-examine recreation policies to ensure fairness and equal access. We must ensure facilities are available in every neighbourhood.

      We are so blessed to live in the natural splendour of Vancouver. However, with recent budgetary constraints our parks have been under threat from neglect due to the lack of proper funding. In 2008 I was honoured to be elected as a park board commissioner and since then have worked to be your voice for parks and recreation in Vancouver. During my term, I have advocated for a management plan for Stanley Park and the return of Hastings Park to the community. I have worked to keep neighbourhood services open, to save the Bloedel Conservatory, and to keep recreational fees reasonable and fair.

      I would like the opportunity to continue advocating for parks and services that are important to you and your family. If re-elected, I intend to continuing working towards:

      Improving parks and recreation accessibility

      Recreational facilities must be open to all. We must re-examine the recreational fees charged to ensure fairness and equal access. Our parks are the refuges of the city for people and wildlife. Our parks are not only places of recreation but also of meditation, and where children can learn about their natural environment. We must preserve and promote them as green spaces.

      Ensuring maintenance and safety of our facilities

      Our aging infrastructure is quickly deteriorating. Community centre renewal for the Hastings, West Point Grey, and Kerrisdale neighbourhoods is long overdue, yet there is no money in the capital plan to address these needs. Kerrisdale pool and arena are near breaking point and must be either replaced or closed soon. Marpole, which is on the capital plan, has only half the funding necessary, meaning that it will not be replaced during the next term.

      Strengthening communication and relationship between park board and unionized staff

      Our unionized workers in the parks system have a vested interest in promoting and preserving the parks of our city and should play an active role in their management. This next term will see the renegotiation of a collective agreement, which must be done in a fair and respectful manner.

      On November 19, I hope you will vote for natural spaces, renewed facilities, and a parks and recreation system for everyone. People and nature in balance is the Green Party of Vancouver’s vision for our parks and recreation system. I hope it is yours as well. On November 19 please vote to re-elect Stuart Mackinnon.

      Stuart Mackinnon is seeking re-election as a Green commissioner on the Vancouver park board.




      Sep 30, 2011 at 4:14pm

      I will be voting for anyone that does not want to put bike lanes in the park, charge bikers access fees to enter the park and another access fee for the sea wall, now that is my type of parks board commissioner! Who is that person, I will vote for them, if not I bypass this section on ballet


      Sep 30, 2011 at 4:28pm

      That's some serious hate for bicycles? You want foot traffic only or just cars?

      Rebecca Beaton

      Sep 30, 2011 at 11:38pm

      "People and nature in balance is my vision for Vancouver’s parks." got my vote!

      What's the deal?

      Oct 1, 2011 at 2:48am

      Cycling is the third most popular activity in Vancouver parks, after walking and jogging. The seawall path brings in much tourist $$$ in the summer to our businesses. Cycling is healthy and enjoyed by old and young alike.

      Why are you targeting those who ride bicycles?


      Oct 1, 2011 at 7:52am

      re "what's the deal"

      Sorry, quick correction; this is Vancouver, the first most popular activity in our parks is smoking weed, followed by walking miniature rat dogs and reading books about communism.

      Also, I think it's pretty obvious that Lawson feels targeted by the cycling obsessed Vision regime, which is why he has an over the top vendetta against bikers. Vision created an "us versus them" mentality around transportation. Combined with the ongoing critical mass shenanigans, it created an inevitable backlash from drivers.

      Here's my question. If Vision loves bikes so much, why are they stealing them? If you lock your bike to a street sign or stop sign (which is common due to the lack of bike racks, I'm assuming because the city blew all the cash on those solar-powered garbage cans on Cambie) the city will cut the lock, take your bike, and not leave any kind of notice. Then they hold your bike for 30 days, at which point they donate it to charity.


      Oct 1, 2011 at 7:50pm

      So who is not presently allowed in the parks? Oh, sorry. This is just a public relations piece by someone trying to be elected. The title is very misleading. He'll make a good politician.

      d s

      Oct 3, 2011 at 8:28am

      How about a commitment to children? Vancouver playgrounds are a disgrace.

      Annelise Sorg

      Nov 8, 2011 at 5:23pm

      Stuart, in regards to the issue of whales in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium... you know that if the Aquarium builds more whale pools, the Aquarium will bring more whales. So is it true that you and Loretta Woodcock voted in favour of the aquarium building more whale pools in Stanley Park?