Commissioner seeks lawful assistance over go to abolish board

Green Party’s Tom Digby: “We are regrettably pressured into a scenario not of our earning.”

Environmentally friendly Bash park commissioner Tom Digby programs to introduce a movement at the Feb. 5 park board conference to request up to $20,000 be invested on attorneys to request legal suggestions on “the merits and chance of success” of quashing Mayor Ken Sim’s move to abolish the elected board.

The request is in reaction to Sim’s announcement in December and later on movement permitted by his ABC vast majority of councillors to abolish the board and carry parks and recreation beneath control of city council.

“We are sadly forced into a situation not of our building,” Digby stated. “And we come to feel there is a solid foundation to force again against the mayor on lawful grounds, as nicely as political grounds. But we need to have at the very least these two prongs of the strategy doing work in tandem.”

Digby’s motion exclusively requests impartial counsel. He defined that in-dwelling legal professionals doing the job for the City of Vancouver can’t be tasked with mediating an situation concerning the town and the park board.

Tied to Digby’s ask for is a further motion that he and the 3 previous ABC commissioners handed in December 2023 to direct park board staff members not to participate in any changeover plans that would lead to abolition of the board.

Digby claimed he believes his ask for to find legal tips will go, noting he has the help of former ABC commissioners Laura Christensen, Scott Jensen and Brennan Bastyovanszky. Bastyovanszky outlined his support in a information release from the Greens.

“This situation was not on the mayor’s election platform, and council has no democratic mandate to abolish another elected entire body,” he mentioned in the release.

Sim’s move to scrap the board needs an amendment improve to the Vancouver Charter, which has to be permitted by the provincial governing administration. Leading David Eby has not pushed back towards the request, but has stated it’s not his government’s best precedence.

“Local democracy is hardly ever a done deal,” mentioned Digby in reaction to Eby not balking at Sim’s ask for.

“Local democracy matters to all of us, and we have crafted this park procedure with community enter for 135 many years. People today are declaring it truly is a finished deal, but there is no basis for that. It could just be an undone offer.”

At a news meeting very last 7 days, Sim and city manager Paul Mochrie explained that consultation continues with First Nations, unions and other folks who could or would be impacted by the abolition of the elected board.

Glacier Media questioned Sim at the news meeting whether or not abolition was authorized.

He initial responded by stating that he and his social gathering ended up “very clear” in advance of the October 2022 election that his team of candidates was going to try to “fix the composition of the elected park board and if it didn’t do the job, we would go to the province to make adjustments.”

Then he stated: “It’s incredibly very clear that all we need to do is make a Charter transform in the Vancouver Constitution. And that’s the system. It truly is really spelled out there.”

In April 2021, right before Sim secured ABC Vancouver’s mayoral nomination, he issued a push release with the subject line, “abolish the park board.”

In August 2022, Glacier Media questioned Sim about irrespective of whether he was going to make very good on his assure to scrap the board. He didn’t deliver a sure or no reply.

“We are not able to wait around two to 3 many years for legislative changes to the Vancouver Charter [to cede jurisdiction to city hall],” he reported at the time.

“We imagine the provincial govt is likely to be preoccupied [with the NDP leadership race], so it won’t get the full awareness that we require from them. Our infrastructure is crumbling, and we have to soar in now. So we pivoted. We are running a bunch of very proficient candidates with various lived experiences that are going to aid us reshape our parks.”

Meanwhile, Digby’s colleagues on council — Pete Fry and Adriane Carr — will host a town hall meeting Feb. 1 at metropolis corridor with OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle regarding the mayor’s system to scrap the board.

The assembly runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Feb. 5 park board conference, exactly where Digby will introduce his motion, begins at 6:30 p.m. at the board’s business in Stanley Park.

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