Call for resignation of 5 Vancouver Park Board commissioners.

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In Sept 2019, Vancouver Park Board voted against an injunction to clear the encampment in Oppenheimer Park. The park was occupied for over a year and a half when the Province of BC ordered the park cleared under an emergency order due to COVID-19. The park was cleared but remains unusable to this date and repairs are estimated to be around  $1m. That’s 2 1/2 years that the residents of the DTES  have lost their only park.

Without learning from this exercise, Park Board repeated this procedure at Strathcona Park in July 2020. As of February 2021, the park is still occupied by not only campers, but also violent criminals who have been terrorizing Strathcona and the city at large. The Park Board vote to allow the encampment included legislation to require campers to leave by 8am daily however it was admitted by Park Board that this would not be enforceable, and it never was. There has been no subsequent action by Park Board and the park is being destroyed.

Residents of the DTES and Strathcona have been denied access to their parks for years and the parks have been an epicentre of violence including murder, rape, assault, drug trafficking, stolen goods and have struck fear through the residents of the neighbourhood and the city on a daily basis.

There are 7 Park Board commissioners, 5 of which voted against an injunction to remove the Oppenheimer encampment - Stuart MacKinnon (Green), Dave Demers (Green), Camil Dumont (Green), John Irwin (Cope) & Gwen Giesbrecht (Cope) all voted for both encampments. John Coupar (NPA) and Tricia Barker NPA) voted against both encampments. John Irwin voted against allowing the encampment at Oppenheimer Park but voted for the Strathcona encampment.

The commissioners who voted for the encampments, even after witnessing the devastating results of the first decision at Oppenheimer, repeated their mistake, accept no responsibility and show no contrition for their actions. Therefore, we the signers of this petition call for the resignation of these 5 commissioners with the aim of clearing and restoring the parks and preventing this from happening again in the future.