Announcement

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URGENT - Parks, Recreation & Culture Master Plan – response requested

Posted by CMHA Administrator on Jun 11 2016 at 08:51PM PDT

Subject: Parks, Recreation & Culture Master Plan – urgent response requested.

Hello CMHA families,

The City if asking for all residents (that’s Mom, Dad, Grandma & Grandpa et al) for their opinion on their Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services for the next 15 years. If you want to go directly to the survey please click SURVEY LINK Note you can choose one or more components to answer but at minimum please answer the section on Arena Sports. It will not take any more than 5 minutes of your time and could have a huge impact in shaping Coquitlam ice sports in the future.

We hope you read this communication in it’s entirety but more than that, we hope you will voice your opinion to the City of Coquitlam on the shortage of suitable ice times for our children. The City of Coquitlam has presented their Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Cultural services covering the period of time from present to 2029. A component of the Master Plan is ice arena facilities and that is the purpose of this communication.

For some background, last year, when the City initially published their summary of current services, ice sports was noted to be at an “Enhanced to Elite” level. The Coquitlam Sports Centre User Group met with a City representative to forcefully dispute that finding and it was determined that a number of components used were inaccurate and incomplete (including the idea that our hockey players could use facilities of nearby municipalities). We pointed out that we are steadily increasing the size of our teams and utilizing earlier and later ice times which are completely unsuitable for school aged children, in order to not turn children away from hockey.

After pressure by the Sport User Group (of which CMHA is a member) the City agreed to reduce the ranking of Arena Sports to below “Basic” and undertake a process whereby an independent Consultant would be hired to review our arena’s and ice sports. This process took a year and the Consultant’s report was published and went to City Council in February of this year. You can find the summary of the Council presentation/meeting here

Some of the key findings of the report included:
- The City currently provides a supply of 4.1 ice sheets in prime time utilizing the 2 rinks at Poirier as well as Planet Ice and this is NOT meeting current needs;
- Based on population and nationwide average – there needs to be a minimum provision of 4.6 ice sheets to meet current capacity which would bring Arena Sports to the “Basic” level;
- Future projections (based on population and participation trends) indicate that this would need to be increased to 5.2 sheets of ice by 2025

We attended an important meeting on Tuesday, June 7th 2016, where the City’s Master Plan was presented. This plan does NOT represent the outcomes of the 2015 Consultant’s report.

The Master Plan Implementation Strategy (attached to this email) indicates there will be no spending of any money for 9 -13 years on ANY Arena surfaces. Arena programs which were identified at well below “Basic” levels for participants are budgeted to receive nothing while programs such as aquatic services which are noted to be at advanced level are slated to receive funding in the next 5 years and beyond. Interestingly, the graphic on Page 3 of the Plan shows 2015 Arena Sports below “Basic” with a second graphic for 2020 showing an increase in the levels of Arena Sports to bring it up to “Basic – yet not one dollar is budgeted to accomplish that increase in service level.

Currently the only discussion/plan is a reallocation of services which requires the Coquitlam Curling Club to reduce their usage or move to another municipality and even that has no solid structure, just talks. In our opinion, this is not a solution nor is it feasible that it will take place anytime in the near future. In fact, they are currently promoting registration and have confirmed that 2016-2017 season will be a full season thus at minimum we would not be looking at any additional ice to meet CURRENT NEEDS for at least another year. See this “link”: http://www.curlbc.ca/curling-continues-at-coquitlam-curling-club/ for the Curling bulletin.

It is crucial that the City of Coquitlam hears from our membership that this is NOT an acceptable plan for us. We represent over 3000 residents of Coquitlam and we need our voices to be heard. NOW is the time and we must speak up.

If you have friends and family in arena sports, please forward the link.

The City of Coquitlam after spending more than $40,000 on a report which confirmed what we all know, needs a better plan for arena sports and they will only hear it if the survey shows a strong response.* Time is of the essence as they intend to close it once they have heard from approximately 1,000 residents. Let’s make those 1,000 residents hockey parents!*

SURVEY LINK

Make your voice count! Take the Survey NOW.

The document Coquitlam Master Plan - Recreation, Parks & Arts was attached to this post.

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