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Hastings Park Friends want changes

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You may notice a group of people standing on the corner of Renfrew and Hastings Streets between 1 p.m. and 2p.m. today.  They are Friends of Hastings Park, pressing for a say in how the park will be run.

Major changes are coming to the area where the PNE is located thanks to the Master Plan that was approved last year.

Linda Shuto lives in the neighbourhood and says issues such as the extension of liquor hours at the Pacific Coliseum should be dealt with by a park-specific body.

“Here’s an example of a problem that the neighbourhood has.  We have a couple of weeks to respond to this issue.  If there were proper governance of the park, there would be a body in charge of looking at all those issues.”

She adds the ideal Hastings Park government would promote the park as a place to visit year-round for arts and recreational activities, and not just for major events at the Coliseum or at the race track.

Shuto thinks it’s important a cross-section of the community gets involved in forming the new body that will oversee the park.

“Up to now it’s only been business interests that have a say in how the park is used, and so it’s really been about what businesses can come in and rent the space or what businesses can make a bit of money.”