COPE is drawing attention to the contracting-out of Park Board work at the proposed Westbank Oakridge redevelopment. The Vancouver Park Board has approved a vision-plan for the Oakridge development, which includes a 9 acre privatized ‘airspace’ park.
While this is better than the meagre park in the previous development proposal, COPE Park Board candidate John Irwin finds some issues with the plan:
"The new park will be maintained by the mall owner’s employees. Very experienced, capable Park Board gardeners are having their work contracted out. This will be the case, even though most Park Board Commissioners said they were against contracting out at the July 9th meeting.
"This contracting out was justified by claiming that Park Board staff don’t have the skills required to maintain a green roof, and could damage the underlying membrane. Clearly this claim is unfounded as Park Board gardeners already maintain green roofs, including at Coal Harbour.
"Another key issue is that the Oakridge Mall property covenant called for the provision of a 2.83 acre, ground-level park. The recently-approved vision does not meet this requirement, which is why the local residents’ association spoke in opposition. More at grade, fully public park space should be provided at Oakridge.”
John Irwin, COPE Park Board candidate: 604-682-4947