For immediate release
November 5th, 2014: The relationship between the Vision-majority Park Board and Community Centre Associations has reached a crisis point. Although six Community Centre Associations reached out to mediator Vince Ready to get involved in the the Joint Operating Agreement negotiations, the Vision Park Board has demonstrated it is not interested in finding a resolution outside of court to disputes ongoing since 2012.
Indicative of the lack of progress and the community’s disappointment with the current Park Board, Renfrew Park Community Association recently left the process after 21 months and over 50 meetings of negotiations.
“That Vision Vancouver has let the relationship between the Park Board and the community deteriorate to such an extent is shocking,” said former Park Board Commissioner and current Park Board candidate Anita Romaniuk.
“The relationship is so broken that only Vince Ready, who recently negotiated an end to such long standing and complicated disputes like the Ikea lockout and the teacher’s strike, can fix it. What does that say about the Park Board under Vision? Their relationship with the community has deteriorated so much that Canada’s top mediator will have to step in to fix the situation,” said Romaniuk.
COPE Park Board candidates call for respecting Community Centre Associations as full partners and involving grassroots participation in neighbourhood decision-making.
“We have to get back to a culture of respect and equality in the ownership and operations of Vancouver’s treasured Community Centres,” said Romaniuk.