Suzanne Anton Campaigns Against the "Wasteful" Community Garden?

Anton is tackling the important issues at City Hall

Anton is tackling the important issues at City Hall

It is so refreshing to finally have a City Councillor tackling the tough issues at City Hall.

Kerry Jang? Well he has been tied up with petty issues like finding shelter for the homeless and negotiating with the provincial government to secure funding for affordable housing. Geoff Meggs? He is the point person for Council on the Olympics, filling his time with trivial matters like renegotiating the financing for the Olympic Village so that taxpayers save $90 million. Andrea Reimer? She is tasked with shepherding the implementation of the Greenest City Action Team’s detailed 10-year plan entitled Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future, which in this administration is clearly an unimportant set of responsibilities that will have little to no impact on the City of Vancouver.

Thank God for lone NPA Councillor Suzanne Anton, who is clearly on a roll and continuing her string of superstar performances with this motion, which will be brought forward at today’s Council meeting.

 Finally someone is taking a stand against City Hall’s community garden, which is currently attracting unsavoury figures performing illicit acts like:

  • A grade 4/5 class from Simon Fraser elementary using a plot to grow wheat so they can bake their own bread
  • The Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House growing food on their plot which is then donated to their seniors’ lunch program
  • First Nations elders gardening for recreation on their plot
  • People that use wheelchairs or have limited mobility taking up six plots to keep active within their community

And why should we as taxpayers pay a one-time cost of $25,000 to create a community garden that will benefit a number of community groups and organizations for decades to come? We should not be fooled by the arrangement the City has struck with Evergreen, a not-for-profit organization that aims to make cities more livable, which has offered to manage the community garden for free, in perpetuity. Somewhere down the line, this nearly 20-year charity with “a mandate to bring nature to our cities through naturalization projects” is bound to try and milk the arrangement by demanding funds by way of extortion.

And Anton is absolutely correct…why should we as taxpayers pay for such a community benefit when the Mayor can take it out of his own budget?

Come to think of it, the same should apply to Councillors like George Chow every time he fights to make investments in Chinatown to preserve its historic heritage. George should be taking those kind of expenses out of his own office budget. You can have a desk and an administrative assistant, or you can make improvements to the community where you grew up, but you cannot have both, Mr. Chow.

Quotes like this from Chow:

“City Hall should be the facilitator to bring long-lasting policy to help this community to sustain itself”

are just ridiculous. We as taxpayers should not be paying for things to sustain our community.

So let me again offer my sincere praise for the vision and conviction of Suzanne Anton.

Let me join in with Anton in advising the kids, the senior citizens and the wheelchair bound citizens to go and grow their food elsewhere.

For $25,000, you’re just not worth it.

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