Vancouver takes a stand against changes to provincial Parks Act

Last night, the City of Vancouver’s Parks Board voted in favour of a motion calling on the province to repeal controversial amendments to the provincial Park Act that threaten the integrity of our entire protected areas system. (If you missed it in the news, click here to read more about these amendments and how they affect our parks.)

“We have a choice about whether to be leaders or whether to be bystanders on this issue, and given that our mandate is parks and the environment as a whole, we need to be strong advocates for those jurisdictions across our province that do not have park boards to advocate for them,” said Parks Board Commissioner Trevor Loke.

Peter Wood, our Terrestrial Campaigns Director, was invited to speak at the Parks Board meeting to present our concerns with the Park Amendment Act and explain why we are pushing the provincial government to repeal the amendments. We’re very encouraged to have the support of the Vancouver Parks Board in opposing the changes to the Park Act, and hope the provincial government is taking this opposition seriously.

Aside from the obvious implications of changing the Act to allow activities in our parks that don’t support the park’s natural or recreational values – which could now include industrial activity – the amendments didn’t undergo any public consultation. Presenting to the Board of Parks was the first opportunity for CPAWS and members of the public to engage in any form of discussion about the amendments.

While the province has now offered to engage with CPAWS and other environmental organizations to figure out the details of implementing the amended Act, we’re calling on the government to repeal the amendments entirely and to keep industrial activity out of our parks.

You can help by adding your voice to the thousands of British Columbians who have already spoken out against these changes. If you’re concerned about opening up our parks to accommodate pipelines and other industrial activity, take a moment now to send a letter to the provincial Minister of Environment to let the B.C. government know that you love our parks and want to keep them protected, as they should be.