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Vancouver Park Board approves new three year capital plan to improve city parks, facilities

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A new capital plan for the next three years has been approved by the Vancouver Park Board.

Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon said it was a unanimous vote to invest more than $399 million for parks, open space, recreational facilities and service yards.

“Key features of this capital plan are renewal of our infrastructure and expansion of parks. I think that the people of Vancouver will be pleased with what they see and we’re hoping that in October, when the civic election occurs, when people vote for mayor, council and park board, they’ll also support the capital plan.”

“Well this means that a lot of our aging infrastructure can be looked at and improved, it means a new community centre for Marpole with an addition, perhaps, of an outdoor pool, it means expansion we hope of park land and public spaces along the Fraser River and it means renewal of a lot of our aging parks.”

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The 2019 – 2022 capital plan is three times the $91.25 million dollars that was allocated in recent years because the board says the city is entering a new era of development in anticipation of more people moving to Vancouver.

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Commissioner Sarah Kirby-Yung called the plan a positive step forward, but she’s concerned more funding is needed to put towards community facilities.

“We’re just playing catch up now, this is a great step forward, but we have been under-investing in our community facilities, our community centres, our pools, our rinks, our parks for the last 10 years so we have a lot of catch up to do.”

“For example we’re just renewing the Marpole Community Centre now, we fought hard for that for the last four years to get that into the plan, the last Marpole Community Centre was built in 1949 so it’s almost 70 years old and we’re just not renewing at a fast enough rate, so it’s great news that we’ve got new amenities coming down for the public, but this plan is only really gonna deliver a third of the needs that we have to renew our infrastructure.”

She said because it’s been so long, the board only has about a third of the funding it needs to catch up.

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