To the editor:
In the name of "equalizing access to community services," the park board's attempt to rush through the process by calling a poorly publicized meeting on a weeknight on short notice was a despicable sham of democracy.
The much-envied Kerrisdale Community Centre programs, along with those of other "richer" centres, are the results of passion, dedication and commitment by association leaders. I have no faith with this park board to have the same degree of financial accountability, transparency and efficiency. Ms. Sharma had the audacity to say she needed to rush through the motion so they might then proceed to negotiate how the money is to be spent. Does that not betray her intentions to put the cart before the horse?
Had there been a true goal to achieve equality of services to all Vancouverites, the park board should have first truly listened to the opinions of those who are just as passionate about these centres- people who routinely use them. Some examples that have been raised include setting up a mentorship program for other community associations that are not doing well, provide low income citizens with a flexipass that they can use at any community centre throughout the city, setting up a program for thriving community centres to donate money to others on a project by project basis
In Churchill's words, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." This cash-grab is not even socialism but cowardly totalitarianism masking itself as democracy. The board might liken itself to Robin Hood robbing the rich to help the poor, but better to read Animal Farm and reflect on who is the pig.
Gloria Huang, Vancouver