Vancouver community centres to be funded centrally after 5-2 late-night vote
The Vancouver Park Board passed has passed a motion that will see funding for the city’s community centres collected and distributed centrally rather than by individual community centre organizations.
The 5-2 vote came as somewhat of a surprise during a marathon meeting at the West End Community Centre Monday night, wrapping up shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday.
Critics, including outspoken NPA Coun. Melissa De Genova say that the centralized distribution of funds will erode the uniqueness of each neighbourhood including customized community centre programs.
Vision Vancouver members believe that the new method of funding will ensure a more even distribution of programs across the city and eliminate the have and have-not nature of the existing system of Vancouver community centres.
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Presently, the city’s community centres are run by individual volunteer organizations who funnel proceeds back to those same community centres and determine the type of program that each offers.
The new proposal will see proceeds from all Vancouver community centres collected into a central fund and then be equally redistributed across the city’s 27 community centres.
John Coupar, one of two NPA councillors on the Park Board alongside De Genova, called the proposal overkill late last week.
“[The changes] are similar to using a sledgehammer to solve a problem that could be fixed with a screwdriver,” said Coupar.
The Park Board is hoping to have all changes finalized by July 1.