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Time to re-visit park board cuts, commissioner says 0

Chris Campbell, 24 hours

When the Hastings Community Centre was shut down for a week last summer, the excuse Rolf Tevely heard was the closure was during the PNE so few people would use the centre.

“A lot of the people who come to our centre can’t afford the PNE,” said Tevely, a community association board member the past 21 years. “They rely on our services.”

The centre was one of 23 affected when the Vancouver Park Board cut 900 hours of service for a savings of about $50,000, Park Board commissioner Melissa De Genova said.

The cuts mean the centres, some of which employ staff to assist at-risk youth, cut back their summer hours, including weekend and holiday closures, she said.

De Genova added with a special budget meeting looming Dec. 13, she wants people affected by the cuts to speak up. She’s tabled a motion for Monday asking staff to look at how to reverse the cuts, and asks the public to get their names on the speakers list to voice their concerns.

“It’s important we find a way to restore those 900 hours,” De Genova said. “I hope my colleagues will see this is about the community and put politics aside.”

Tevely plans to attend and have his say.

“We just don’t want to see these cuts go on any longer.”

 

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