Commissioner seeks authorized assistance above shift to abolish board

Eco-friendly Party’s Tom Digby: “We are sad to say compelled into a condition not of our earning.”

Environmentally friendly Bash park commissioner Tom Digby options to introduce a motion at the Feb. 5 park board meeting to request up to $20,000 be spent on legal professionals to seek legal guidance on “the merits and chance of success” of quashing Mayor Ken Sim’s shift to abolish the elected board.

The ask for is in response to Sim’s announcement in December and later on motion accredited by his ABC bulk of councillors to abolish the board and convey parks and recreation beneath manage of metropolis council.

“We are regretably compelled into a predicament not of our generating,” Digby claimed. “And we truly feel there is a sturdy basis to thrust back again against the mayor on authorized grounds, as properly as political grounds. But we need at minimum these two prongs of the approach operating in tandem.”

Digby’s motion exclusively requests unbiased counsel. He described that in-residence lawyers operating for the Metropolis of Vancouver cannot be tasked with mediating an challenge among the metropolis and the park board.

Tied to Digby’s ask for is one more motion that he and the a few former ABC commissioners handed in December 2023 to direct park board personnel not to take part in any changeover options that would guide to abolition of the board.

Digby said he thinks his request to find legal suggestions will pass, noting he has the assist of previous ABC commissioners Laura Christensen, Scott Jensen and Brennan Bastyovanszky. Bastyovanszky outlined his guidance in a news release from the Greens.

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

Sim’s transfer to scrap the board requires an amendment alter to the Vancouver Charter, which has to be permitted by the provincial govt. Premier David Eby has not pushed back again against the request, but has claimed it is not his government’s prime priority.

“Local democracy is never a completed offer,” stated Digby in response to Eby not balking at Sim’s request.

“Local democracy issues to all of us, and we’ve built this park system with public enter for 135 yrs. Men and women are stating it is really a finished deal, but there is no foundation for that. It could just be an undone offer.”

At a news convention last 7 days, Sim and town manager Paul Mochrie explained that session proceeds with Very first Nations, unions and many others who could or would be influenced by the abolition of the elected board.

Glacier Media questioned Sim at the information conference regardless of whether abolition was authorized.

He initial responded by saying that he and his celebration had been “very clear” right before the Oct 2022 election that his team of candidates was going to consider to “fix the composition of the elected park board and if it didn’t function, we would go to the province to make adjustments.”

Then he stated: “It’s pretty very clear that all we need to do is make a Constitution modify in the Vancouver Constitution. And that’s the approach. It is really quite spelled out there.”

In April 2021, before Sim secured ABC Vancouver’s mayoral nomination, he issued a press launch with the topic line, “abolish the park board.”

In August 2022, Glacier Media requested Sim about whether he was heading to make very good on his assure to scrap the board. He didn’t supply a sure or no respond to.

“We won’t be able to hold out two to three yrs for legislative variations to the Vancouver Charter [to cede jurisdiction to city hall],” he reported at the time.

“We think the provincial federal government is likely to be preoccupied [with the NDP leadership race], so it would not get the complete interest that we require from them. Our infrastructure is crumbling, and we have to bounce in now. So we pivoted. We are working a bunch of extremely gifted candidates with varied lived activities that are heading to assist us reshape our parks.”

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

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

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

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