Stuart Mackinnon: For a brighter future, vote for better parks—vote Green

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      The need—and the desire—for more public spaces will continue to increase as Vancouver densifies. To ensure a healthy city, our citizens need vibrant public spaces. I’m running for reelection with the Green Party because I want to keep Vancouver’s parks green, clean, and welcoming.

      The park board is almost as old as Vancouver itself, but we can’t keep looking backwards and wish for a city that no longer exists. We must move to planning for a future that includes parks for all.

      I have been at the forefront of prioritizing infrastructure renewal because over the years our recreational facilities have been neglected: neighbourhood outdoor pools have been closed; community centres have deteriorated; and too little money has been reinvested. The next capital plan is set to renew our infrastructure and build for the future. The next term will determine where these priorities will be set. I want to be there to advocate for you.

      Residents know what they want from their parks and recreation facilities. Community-centre associations know best what their members want in programming. That's why for the past four years I’ve been working on a stronger partnership between the park board and community organizations reflecting these values. And that’s why for nearly 20 years I have been promoting neighbourhood services to enhance local communities.

      Parks and recreation must be for everyone. That’s why I’ve been working toward accessible spaces for everyone, regardless of age, income, gender, or ability. That’s why I’ve been at the forefront of Reconciliation, ensuring that respect and truth-telling are a part of every decision we make. That’s why clean, accessible washrooms have been my priority. That’s why I’ve been challenging the continued commercialization of our parks.

      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. We need parks that reflect these values. We need to daylight our hidden streams and ensure they are salmon-safe. We need to protect our tree canopy and add to it. We need beautiful parks, vibrant gardens, and calming passive spaces.

      Vancouver loves to play. Our sports fields need to be ready for both competitive teams and recreational pick-up games. Working with our park partners, we need to improve the quality of our fields and sports courts and invest in new surfaces like indoor tennis, field hockey, lacrosse, and roller derby, for the growing population of athletes and players. We also must ensure the fields and spaces we have meet national and international standards.

      Vancouver is a growing and dynamic city. We can’t rely on outdated concepts of design and programming. We need to develop new, innovative ideas to enhance our urban experience: new ways of making parks; new ways of developing public spaces; new ways of offering programming to reflect our new and growing population.

      Best practice must be met with innovation. Sustainability must be matched by biodiversity. Serving our youth, seniors, families, and all the diverse communities that make Vancouver the amazing city it is must be at the forefront of everything we do in parks and recreation. Better parks are not only possible but necessary to keep Vancouver on the leading edge of a brighter, healthier, and more active city.

      I want to continue to serve the people of Vancouver. The Green park board team is dynamic, knowledgeable, and compassionate. We have the knowledge, experience, and passion to make our parks and recreation the best it can be. I want to work with Dave Demers and Camil Dumont on making better parks for Vancouver. I want a brighter future.

      Please vote for the entire Green team at parks. On October 20, vote for Dave Demers, Camil Dumont, and Stuart Mackinnon. Vote Green.

      Stuart Mackinnon is the current chair of the park board and is running for reelection with the Green Party of Vancouver.
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