There are serious concerns with the agreement that the Park Board expects CCAs to sign by September 30, 2017. One of the issues is Park Board infringement on the autonomy of the CCAs.
We want to explain about each concern and show why CCAs are asking Park Board Commissioners to have the Park Board lawyer and CCA lawyer review the agreement.
Please read this series of blog posts on each of the six key concerns.
Original CCA Concern: Section 4.2 lists wholly internal CCA issues and makes each a potential material breach leading to termination. In addition, Section 6.1 requires CCAs to adopt and comply with a number of specified internal policies. It is highly unusual and unnecessary for one contracting party to hold this level of oversight over another contracting party. Furthermore, in a review of compliance conducted by Park Board, a CCA would have to disclose information to which Park Board would otherwise not have a right.
CCAs are independent societies and many are registered charities. As such, CCAs have responsibilities and obligations under the BC Societies Act and the Income Tax Act. The current level of regulation is sufficient for maintaining compliance with operating norms in the non-profit sector. Significant parts of Sections 4.2 and 6.1 must be removed.
Park Board Response: In the JOA, CCAs are asked to adopt and comply with good governance policies, for example, conflict of interest, responsible use of funds and succession planning. The governance and conduct policies in the JOA are typical of arrangements between the City and community service providers or non-profits. As we are working together to provide services to the public using publicly-funded assets, good governance is critical to ensuring that the CCA’s exclusive use of space is for purposes that benefit the community.
CCA Response to Park Board: The CCAs have a long history of responsible governance and stewardship of community centre programming. The success of this model is driven by strong community engagement and local volunteerism. We are primarily accountable to our members, those who make up our local communities and who expect such quality programming to continue. We are also accountable to several other bodies. For example, we provide ongoing financial and other reports to Park Board, the City of Vancouver, and other agencies such as granting bodies. We are governed by a number of regulatory bodies, as highlighted above.
The current language in the JOA is overreaching, punitive and unnecessary, given our history of responsible governance.