Vancouver Greens promise more public washrooms for "all ages, genders, abilities, and backgrounds"

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      Toilets are one of those things you that most people seldom think about until they need one. Ahead of this October's civic election, Vancouver's Green party has said it wants to make sure that when you do need a toilet, you can find one.

      "The Green Party of Vancouver has announced a commitment to public washroom access across the city," reads a September 26 media release. "Public washrooms support public health. Green Party park board commissioners will make clean, accessible facilities a priority.

      "In particular, Greens will work in close collaboration with municipal partners and staff to provide a welcoming and inclusive standard at every park board facility, for all ages, genders, abilities, and backgrounds."

      Michael Wiebe, a Green party parks commissioner who's running for city council, is quoted in the release describing public washrooms as an "essential part of liveability".

      "I intend to advocate new developments include publicly accessible washrooms outside the building when they’re located adjacent to parks," he says. "I look forward to working collaboratively with park board to ensure public washrooms are clean, safe and accessible for when people need them.”

      Park board chair Stuart Mackinnon, who is up for re-election, is quoted in the same release acknowledging that some progress on this issue has been made in recent years. But he adds that more work can be done.

      “I am pleased to see that Vancouver’s 2019-2022 capital plan includes $12.3 million to maintain and renovate publicly accessible washrooms, which includes washrooms in field houses and concession stands," Mackinnon says. "Park board needs to work with city council on building even more public washrooms, and ensuring that all new civic infrastructure includes accessible washrooms for all.”

      A 2017 map of toilets in downtown Vancouver created by the area's business improvement association shows there are several toilet dead zones in the city, where one would have to walk several blocks or more before they can access a public washroom.

      Vancouver's election for mayor, city councillors, parks commissioners, and school board trustees, is scheduled for October 20, 2018.