TWO Park Board Commissioners Oppose BAN on Cars in Stanley Park

Many did not like or questioned my view that the blocking of parking lots and closure of Stanley Park to ALL cars was the product of an extreme-left tyrannical mindset now gripping the Vancouver Park Board.

Turns out … I was right..

The barring of ALL cars from Stanley Park April 8, for 24 hours a day, seven days a week … NO COMPROMISES OR ACCOMMODATION even for the disabled and the handicapped … I believe reflected an extreme dictatorial nastiness that never used to permeate Vancouver’s Park Board.

Just another move in an ever-expanding hate-on for cars that has increasingly permeated both the Park Board and Vancouver City Hall in recent years.

The barricades went up (not just at Stanley Park but at almost all Park Board parking lots) after being approved by a seven-member Park Board that included three Greens, two COPE … ie the extreme left majority being in control … trumping two NPA Commissioners.

On May 6, I wrote ALL the Commissioners inquiring for the rationale behind the TOTAL ban on cars from Park Board lots/Stanley Park 24.7.

 “The public health office continues to advise us to stay in our own neighbourhoods. The decision by staff to close destination parking lots was done with that advice in mind. As the situation improves some of these advisories will relax,” replied Commissioner Stuart McKinnon (Green).

To me, that was largely “spin”.

Bolstering my belief …. We are now in Phase Two … reopening … yet the barricades remain in Stanley Park.

Why???

In fact, here’s what BC Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said at her briefing Monday about containing the spread of Covid-19: ” It’s a less risky environment when people are in cars.”

Exactly!!! Thank you Dr. Henry!

This was about much more than just Covid.

Another Vancouver Park Board Commissioner has now responded to my inquiry of May 6:

” I completely agree with you, and I along with Commissioner Coupar have been raising these concerns,” wrote Commissioner Tricia Barker.

Both she and Coupar are NPA board members.

” In my day job I’m a personal trainer for seniors and people with terminal illnesses. Many of my clients love to visit Stanley Park and now with the restrictions they have been banned,” Barker explained.

Think about the pain and sadness the Green/COPE -dominated Park Board inflicted on those innocent people … denying people who have so little easy/simple access Stanley Park.

“If you’re older it can bring back so many memories of our younger days,” Barker added.

Now, perhaps those who criticized/questioned my blogging about the issue will better understand.

” I often feel Stanley Park holds a little bit of the heart of everyone that grew up in Vancouver,” Barker said in her e-mail.

Stanley Park is therapeutic … and MUST be made accessible for everyone.

The Park Board must take those barriers down NOW!

Again, I have NEVER advocated disrespecting the walkers, joggers, cyclists the way the Park Board had disrespected the rights of those who need cars to get around … including the severely handicapped and frail, who may even need motorized chairs/transporters … and even those psychologically frail for whom visits through the park helped greatly.

Don’t tell them to hop on a city bus around the park as a suitable alternative.

Shame on the extremists on the Board for shutting those people out!

What would be wrong, I argued, with SHARING??? Allowing bikes, joggers etc morning use of the roadway, then vehicle access after, say, Noon, or even having car-free days a couple of days a week.

But tyrants don’t work that way: so the Green/COPE majority barred ALL cars … 24/7. Period!

No tolerance/accommodation for others’ views or needs. An abuse of power.

It has to stop!

And I believe it will … because the public, as the famous line goes, is getting “mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.”

Not mention … but let’s … the looming possibility of lawsuits against the Board from restaurants and others with contracts to provide services within the park, if the barricades remain … now that BC has moved into Phase Two Covid re-opening.

Plus, there’s this from Commissioner Barker:

” I will continue to work towards getting the park open. Your ongoing input is extremely helpful and I thank you for championing this issue!”

You’re welcome.

Stand by folks … I have no doubt everyone will soon be able to once more access Stanley Park!

While the Green/COPE forces at the Park Board and their allies at City Hall plot their next attack on the car … and those who drive them.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alerts of all new postings on this Blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter.)

Posted in British Columbia | 14 Comments

Francophone Reporters Disrespect Prime Minister

For news junkies, it has become a televised “must-see”: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicks off most days at 8:15 Pacific time with a Covid-19 briefing, right in front of his home, broadcast live across the country on CBC Newsworld.

Just after 9 a.m., federal health officials and various Cabinet ministers on Parliament Hill follow up with their own televised technical Covid related briefings; then throughout the day, by an assortment of provincial Premiers, ministers and health officers … right up to the 3 p.m. daily BC briefings/announcements by Health Minister Adrian Dix and Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry … and sometimes Premier John Horgan.

And ALL of these events include my favorite feature: extended opportunities by reporters, in person or on the phone to ask questions … eliciting responses, if not always real answers.

Having watched now for weeks, there is one very peculiar … but telling … aspect of the Prime Minister’s press conferences that I’ve noticed, but other media types have not, or are too complicit or intimidated to report.

When it comes to posing questions, the Anglophone reporters, almost without exception, initially address Trudeau as “Prime Minister” … showing respect for him, and more importantly, for the office he holds.

However, almost NONE of the Francophone reporters call Trudeau “Premier Ministre”: opting for “Monsieur Trudeau” instead. Almost NONE of them EVER address him by his title! Day after day, it has been “Monsieur Trudeau”.

During my own 38-year reporting career, in print and on BCTV … including stints at Vancouver City Hall, the Legislature in Victoria and eight years on Parliament Hill … when given an opportunity to pose a question during press briefings or in interviews, I ALWAYS addressed Prime Ministers, Premiers and Mayors by their titles.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from asking tough questions, hopefully some zingers, or even being quite aggressive in my follow-ups, when I felt they were evading questions or even lying.

But reporters should always be respectful, polite and recognize the POSITION these elected leaders hold … even if they don’t personally like, agree with or, frankly, respect them as individuals.

So I have wondered why the Francophone media … senior reporters that they must be, covering Parliament Hill … when asking questions, DON’T address the Prime Minister as “Premier Ministre”?

Do they disdain Trudeau as an individual … and let their personal prejudice subvert their professionalism ? Are they separatists? Just rude? Arrogant? Poorly raised? Then I thought, maybe it’s a cultural thing … after all, Quebec n’est pas un province comme les autres?

Mais Non!

Because at 10 a.m. Pacific time, when Premier Francois Legault holds his daily televised briefing sessions in Quebec, the Francophone reporters regularly address HIM as “Premier Ministre”!

So why is Canada’s Prime Minister not addressed by his title by French-speaking media; but Quebec’s Premier is???

There clearly is a double standard in effect by the Francophone media … in their treatment of the two leaders … seems to moi!

And what makes it all the more curious is that, under Trudeau’s governance, the Francophone media are very well treated at his and his ministers’ press conferences: recognized to ask about HALF of the questions in the allotted time, even though Francophones represent less than 24 per cent of Canada’s population.

You would think they would/should be grateful.

Mais non!

It would make for an interesting story if any of our “national” media … English or Francais … had the temerity and the journalistic integrity to go back over their tapes, see how correct I am, and then turn the spotlight around and focus a few questions on their own about their disrespectful behaviour!

I’m sure the Prime Minister … le Premier Ministre … and many other Canadians would find that story most interesting.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: To get First Alerts of all new postings on this BC-based Blog, follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam … just First Alerts to new topics raised for discussion.)

Posted in British Columbia, Media, National | 13 Comments