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Is the Vancouver Park Board this year’s Newsmaker?

The Vancouver Park Board is a key contender for the Courier ’s 2013 Newsmaker of the Year .
Vancouver Park Board
A nine-hour meeting at the West End Community Centre set the tone for a year of heated debate over Vancouver Park Board decisions.

The Vancouver Park Board is a key contender for the Courier’s 2013 Newsmaker of the Year.

In an unprecedented move, Hastings, Riley Park-Hillcrest, Killarney, Kensington, Kerrisdale and Sunset community centre associations filed three separate complaints against the park board in B.C. Supreme Court, two of which are still to be heard.

The associations were not alone in taking the park board to court in 2013. Faster than you can say, “You’ve been served,” the B.C. Supreme Court recently halted construction of a 12-foot wide, paved bike path through Hadden Beach Park, approved by the park board Oct. 7.

On Nov. 4, resident Megan Carvell Davis filed a case against both the city and park board arguing the bike violates the conditions under which the land was donated 85 years ago by land speculator Harvey Hadden.

The following is a brief timeline of some of the most newsworthy moves by the board in 2013.

  • Feb. 4: A nine-hour meeting at the West End Community Centre regarding the proposed operating agreement between the park board and the city’s community centre associations continued until 3:30 a.m., despite numerous calls for it to be adjourned. After the park board approved the new agreement, police were called because the remaining members of the initially large crowd demanded the resignation of the Vision Vancouver commissioners.
  • June 14: Killarney Community Centre Association president Ainslie Kwan complained the universal OneCard was announced to the press before it was approved by the associations.
  • July 10: A negotiator hired to help the associations with the proposed agreement was let go by the park board.
  • Aug. 20: The six associations launched their first lawsuit accusing the park board of breaching numerous sections of the current joint operating agreement.
  • Aug. 29: The park board announced it will take control of the six community centres and issued them eviction notices.
  • Oct. 7: Vision park board commissioners approved a 12-foot wide bike path through Kits and Hadden Beach parks.
  • Oct. 20: Residents and park users held a rally to protest the bike path.
  • Oct. 22: The six community centres successfully requested an injunction against the park board to stop the termination of their joint-operating agreements until their lawsuit is fully heard.
  • Nov. 8: The Supreme Court of B.C. halts construction of the bike path until a hearing can be held to determine its legality.

To participate in our Newsmaker of the Year Reader’s Choice, go to the web poll at vancourier.com, email us your vote at letters@vancourier.com or drop a letter to 1574 West Sixth Ave., Vancouver, V6J 1R2.

sthomas@vancourier.com
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