NPA Park Commissioner Ian Robertson says critical summer programs for children are being cut while homeless chickens are looked after

Vancouver, BC – Park Commissioner Ian Robertson is questioning Vision Vancouver’s priorities as summer programs affecting hundreds of families across the city are cut.

Full-time summer programs at parks such as Burrardview Park are being cut which means popular children’s and youth programs along with the wading pool are eliminated for the summer.  As one Burrardview family wrote, “I urge you to advocate for our east Vancouver neighbourhood and reinstate the park program which brings our community together and benefits our most important people of all: our children”.

The Vision Vancouver dominated Park board presided over the largest budget cuts ever without questioning their colleagues on City Council. Now, with the effects of the cuts being felt city-wide, Robertson says Vision Vancouver has their priorities wrong.

“This is going to be a very quiet and troubling summer for many families with young children in Vancouver,” says Robertson.  “Vision Vancouver has slashed budgets for valuable summer programs that those families depend on while approving $20,000 plus staff time to ensure homeless chickens are cared for. What kind of vision is that?”

Late last year the Vision Vancouver Park Board caucus voted unanimously to cut $1.9 million from the Park Board budget.  $1.3 million of the reduction meant that valuable summer recreation programs that provide activities for children and youth were cut.

“Vision Vancouver has allocated $25 million to bike lanes that less than 4% of the population will use but they cannot find money for summer programs for Vancouver’s kids,” adds Commissioner Robertson.  “The funds allocated for homeless chickens would have funded two and a half summer recreation leaders for the summer”.

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