Vancouver Park Board poised to approve Access Without Fear for park services

Catherine Evans

Catherine Evans

The Vancouver Park Board is poised to implement an Access Without Fear policy tonight for all users of park services, following on the heels of similar decisions by City Council and the Vancouver Public Library.

Discussions are still continuing at the Vancouver Police Department on extension of the policy to that organization, the third and final city-funded body that could be covered by the council decision in April.

The staff recommendation to tonight’s Park Board meeting would approve a new policy “to support residents of Vancouver with uncertain or no immigration status and who fear detention, psychological or physical harm, or deportation when accessing Park Board services.”

The report follows on a motion taken to the board in May by Vision Vancouver park commissioner Catherine Evans. The new policy will involve common sense changes to existing policies to replace the term “citizens” with “residents.”

Identification requirements for access to programs will be clarified and reduced, although immigration status may still be sought through the Leisure Access Program’s Self Referred Application to determine eligibility for Leisure Access Benefits.