For Immediate Release
September 27, 2017
Members of Killarney Community Centre Society send message to reject Park Board Joint Operating Agreement
Vancouver, B.C. – The Killarney Community Centre Society (KCCS), which has been serving the Killarney community for more than 50 years, held a meeting on Tuesday, September 26 to inform members about the status of the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) that the Park Board is demanding the KCCS Board (and 19 other Community Centre Associations) sign by September 30 – or they risk being evicted from their community centre. More than 130 highly engaged association members – many of them seniors who having been working towards getting a new seniors’ centre – attended. In an informal vote (show of hands), the group unanimously said they want their Board of Directors to reject the current draft of the JOA and to work to have six identified issues in the document resolved. The KCCS board met immediately after the community meeting and unanimously voted to reject the current JOA and to continue to work to have a legal review done to address the six outstanding issues that have been identified.
Said Wendy Tupling-Guest, President of the KCCS: “The Board wanted to know what our community thought and our community members were very clear: they were unanimous in their direction. They don’t think that the current draft of the JOA works for our community and they don’t want us to sign it.” She added: “There were many seniors in the room. This is an especially important agreement for them because we have been working for years to get a new seniors’ centre. Last night, our seniors told us – in no uncertain terms – that they support our CCA. All of the members present at the meeting did.”
Tupling-Guest said that KCCS – and other Community Centre Associations (CCAs) – want to sign an agreement, but not the draft that the Park Board is forcing on them. She explained that many CCAs feel that they would have been able to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement with the Park Board to get a JOA that works for the Park Board and CCAs – if the Park Board had actually listened to the six outstanding issues they have identified as a barrier to signing. She said: “We have a group of CCAs who have informed the Park Board many times about the six outstanding issues within the document. They aren’t huge changes – and they are reasonable. Unfortunately, the Park Board is entrenched in aggressively pushing this draft forward. All we are asking for is to send this for a legal review with CCA legal counsel and the Park Board lawyer. It wouldn’t take long. If done in good faith, it would result in an agreement that we could – and would – sign. It would be a straightforward win for them – and they refuse to even consider it.”