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Park Board: Coverage of Sunday, Oct. 20th's Save Kits Beach Rally

Slideshow. Save Kits Beach rally. Photos courtesy of Elvira Lount. Sunday, October 20, 2013

As much as the ne'er-do-wells and naïfs in Vision Vancouver wanted the bike lane controversy on Vancouver's west side to go away, as much as the rally at Kitsilano Beach — protesting the planned for, done deal, decided upon without consultation, "hell, we're not going to reverse our decision", and wholly detestable bike freeway through Hadden and Kits Beach parks, two parks of unsurpassed beauty — was a non-consideration for Vancouver's Park Board, despite the cynical belief system that informs the arrogant "we know what's best for you" — and one would have to say corrupt, if one were being truly honest — political machine at City Hall and Park Board, on this overcast Sunday afternoon, up to 800 citizens, tried and true, turned out to do something that one would hazard a guess most of those present on this chilly afternoon had either never done before, nor had done since the halcyon days of their youth: protest.

Kits Point Residents' Lynne Kent. Save Kits Beach rally. Courtesy, Elvira Lount. Oct. 20, 2013

Concerned parent Maria Coelho, Save Kits Beach rally. Courtesy, Elvira Lount. Oct. 20, 2013

Yes, there we were speechifying, clapping, booing Park Board Commissioner Constance Barnes "off the stage" (we've had enough of Constance, who's not a bad person, but by God, she's a Visionite), those of us gathered on Sunday at Kitsilano Beach making it perfectly clear that we've had enough of the likes of the disingenuous Vision types who keep telling us ad nauseum that they know what's good for us — because, don'tcha know, we the citizens are too stupid to know what's good for us ... hell, if we had any wit or intelligence, we'd be Park Board Commissioners or City Councillors, but we're not, and they are, so why don't we just shut up!

Well, there was no shutting us up on Sunday afternoon.

Ray Tomlin. Excerpt of Save Kits Beach speech. Courtesy, Paul Tolnai. Oct. 20, 2013
That is Park Board Commissioner Constance Barnes whispering to Commissioner Trevor Loke

CBC may be reporting that "the park board says it isn't backing down," but clearly whoever wrote their online story wasn't present on Sunday, because come hell or high water, the 800 folks who'd arrived at Kits Beach at noon Sunday would hear no talk of a bike freeway through their beloved parks.

Sure, there were shills and bike lobbylists — oh say, the likes of Chris Keam — extolling the virtues of the "bike path", but bought-and-paid-for Vision hacks were not going to carry the day — and will not carry that day — when it comes to the destruction of Hadden and Kits Beach parks.

Note should be made that a goodly number of those present on Sunday were cyclists (as is this writer), that we frequently cycle around and through Hadden and Kits Beach parks — you can watch, again, Colleen Hardwick's fine video for insight into the quiet residential street that those of us cycling for pleasure, or cycling home from downtown, take each and every day, or at least frequently. Those of us gathered on Sunday very much desire a separated bike path, but for heaven's sake, not a bike freeway through the middle of the grassy, treed areas of Hadden and Kits Beach parks.

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At Monday evening's Park Board meeting, there were 100 irate folks telling Vision Vancouver Park Board Commissioners where to shove it, when quisling Commissioner Aaron Jasper made a last-minute "strike and replace" amendment to Commissioner Melissa De Genova's motion to advise Vancouver City Council that they must direct future developer community amenity contributions for the purpose of the construction of a long overdue and much-needed seniors centre in the Killarney neighbourhood.

Jasper's watered down amendment would simply ask Council to, please oh please oh please, ask senior levels of government in Victoria and Ottawa to fund what Vancouver should damn well be requiring Vancouver developers to build. But Vision, of course, is in the pocket of developers (gosh, can we say that ... hmmm, I think we just did), and we wouldn't want to hurt Vision's developers stream of financial sustenance that allows Vancouver's greenwashing party to continue to screw us now, would we?

Coverage of Monday night's Park Board meeting is available @raytomlin, VanRamblings' twitter feed, that if you're not following it now, you oughta. And, if you're not on Twitter, just let me say this, "Get on it".

CBC TV. Coverage of Sunday's Save Kits Beach rally. October 20, 2013

Now, we raise the issue of Monday night's disquieting Park Board meeting because, although there were 100 Killarney seniors, and their friends and family, who turned up to support Melissa De Genova's entirely ethical motion, if Vision Vancouver's Park Board attempts to stack the Special Advisory Committee that's been established by Park Board to provide community input into the final route the — it's only fair to say, absolutely unnecessary — Hadden / Kits Beach bike path will take, there won't be 100 irate citizens turning up at the Park Board offices off English Bay, there'll be hundreds, and hundreds more outside on the manicured lawns.

Civil disobedience, it's a wonderful thing.

The hundreds of righteous folks who turned up at Kits Beach on Sunday — counterintuitive radicals — made it abundantly clear, they'd had enough.

You take the 100 seniors in Killarney, and the irate neighbours in Grandview Woodlands, the folks over in Langara who were threatened by Mayor Gregor Robertson and Park Board with taking away their beloved green space, the Langara Golf Course, and you add hundreds of other concerned citizens in another dozen neighbourhoods across the city, and you combine their number with the hundreds of folks who came out to protest at Kitsilano Beach, and you've got yourself a revolution, a grassroots uprising of folks who say in clear voice and good conscience, Enough is Enough.

And this isn't going to be any COPE-led movement or revolution (will they ever get it together?), and the genesis of the movement certainly won't be coming from the NPA — although it could, cuz it'd be a middle-class revolution, and as the NPA is repositioning itself as part of the Naheed Nenshi purple revolution, the New Progressive Association, you just never know, the NPA — if it plays its cards right, could push — no, let's say throw — the Vision Vancouver scoundrels out of City Hall and Park Board.

We don't include the Vision Vancouver-led Board of Education here, because Patti Bacchus and company are a gift of our landscape.

Global TV. Coverage of Sunday's Save Kits Beach rally. October 20, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013.

Mark it on your calendar. There's a revolution coming to Vancouver politics.

Hell, it might even be a Howard Kelsey-led revolution — you know those basketball types, they've got their eye on the ball (so to speak). And VanRamblings, we'd like to offer our name up as a candidate for Park Board. But for which party? Yes, that Tomlin fella introduced himself as the COPE guy, but really, COPE seems to think it has bigger fish to fry than parks — talk about a party that doesn't understand revolution, I tell ya.

Yep, it's a whole new ballgame out there.

Let's see who emerges as a community leader in the coming weeks and months to defeat the most despicable Vancouver municipal party since the days of "freeway, you wanna freeway, well, I got a freeway for you" Tom 'Terrific' Campbell. Could be a COPE gal, could be some community-oriented NPA folks. Whoever it is, they're going to have to be well-funded, strong of character and backbone, and ready to face one of the meanest, most corrupt — and, best organized — municipal parties Canada has ever seen.

Make no mistake, though, a change, it's a comin'.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 22, 2013 5:09 AM in Save Kits Beach


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