Print
Park Board office front doors

Park Board requests multi-jurisdictional task force on homelessness

We need both a short-term and a long-term action plan that will render unsanctioned encampments such as Oppenheimer unnecessary.

Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon

September 6 2019 –

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is requesting the formation of a multi-jurisdictional task force on homelessness and will not be seeking an injunction to evict people from Oppenheimer Park. 

The request was made earlier today at a press conference hosted by Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home,” said Mackinnon. “We need to work together to build a community that ensures appropriate housing for all. Our approach must be comprehensive, compassionate, and holistic. We need both a short-term and a long-term action plan that will render unsanctioned encampments such as Oppenheimer unnecessary.” 

Mackinnon spoke on behalf of the Park Board, who met last night to discuss options for Oppenheimer Park.

“We are requesting that the City establish a multi-jurisdictional task force to adequately address homelessness and inequity within our city,” he said. “This is not just a problem for Oppenheimer Park; homelessness is all of our problem. Housing is not within the mandate of the Board of Parks and Recreation, and so we ask the City, the Province, and the Federal Government to acknowledge this as a crisis and to act immediately. This needs an unprecedented commitment of resources, now.” 

Mackinnon stressed the need to be open to potential solutions that have previously been off-limits and to engage meaningfully with people experiencing homelessness in a respectful and dignified dialogue to understand their experiences and perspectives. 

He also confirmed that the Park Board has met several times during the summer and has received continuous updates on the situation in Oppenheimer Park. The Board has approved the release of decisions made at the summer meetings, links can be found below.