The Kid versus Aaron Jasper

Post by Mike Klassen in

6 comments

Photograph by: Les Bazso, PNG
The wonderment of the Bloedel Conservatory and the kid trying to save it

What a charming story in Wednesday's Vancouver Sun by reporter Denise Ryan and photographer Les Bazso. A young girl from Maple Grove Elementary school has been plugging away for months to raise a few bucks to help save the Bloedel Conservatory. The story titled Nine-year-old does her part to save Bloedel Conservatory is both heartening (thanks to the girl's pluck) and frustrating (because the Vision park board has been ignoring her).

Here's a passage from Ryan's report:

Emma [Bolzer] was heartbroken when she heard that the Vancouver park board had slated the conservatory for closing after a budget meeting last November.

So she wrote to the mayor. No reply. She wrote to Aaron Jasper, the park board chairman. No reply.

Then the shy, soft-spoken girl mustered her courage and took matters into her own hands.

"I collected bottles with my cousin and my mom," Emma said. The bottle drive raised $240 for Friends of the Bloedel, a group that is trying to save the garden, without changing its essential character.

If that's not enough to inspire you, the story goes on to explain that Emma has health issues.

Emma, born 10 weeks premature, weighed just two pounds at birth.

"She has mild cerebral palsy and has sensory issues so we couldn't go to community centres because the sensory overload was too much," Christina (Emma's Mom) explained.

"Life is so high-drive," Christina said. "We need this serene place."

Emma got permission from her elementary school to start a campaign in support of the Conservatory.

So she put together a petition and a presentation, got some kids onside, and they went to each class.

Emma made a lot of new friends during the process — she pulled in more than 200 signatures and sent the petition off to the park board. (There has been no reply.)

John Coupar, president of the Friends of the Bloedel board has welcomed Emma's support.

"Aaron Jasper has said community centres are sacrosanct," Coupar said. "We need contemplative spaces as well."

Funny to think that community centres are "sacrosanct" in Jasper's eyes, yet when it comes to running political protests in them, that's fine with him now. Sheesh, would this guy make up his mind?

You go, Emma. There are lots of us impressed with your classy campaign.

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Note: The Friends of the Bloedel event "Garden Fever" to be held later this month has been postponed.

- post by Mike

6 Comments

It's absolutely disgusting that she writes to the city and gets NO REPLY from neither the mayor nor the Park Board. Do they know who they work for?

Mark you don't get it. She's too young to vote, hence they don't give a S$!T. Give it a few years and they'll be calling her to volunteer on one of their campaigns. Rest assured.

David and Goliath...

and we know how that story ended.

Good luck little one - keep up the good fight!

Following Jasper initiatives involving the shutting down of both the Bloedel Conservatory and the Children's Farm at Stanley Park (there'll also be no horse drawn carriage taking tourists around Stanley Park this summer either, thanks to Jasper), his reversal on the construction of a large, private concession and restaurant at English Bay, his involvement in jettisoning the Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool, failing to stand up for the creation of 21 acres of park land as part of the development of False Creek North, reneging on his support for true community consultation on the redevelopment of the Jericho lands / Jericho wharf, cutting children's programmes this summer at community centres across Vancouver, amidst a myriad other failures by Jasper to stand up for the public interest, Mr. Jasper has to be asking himself, "Am I taking care of myself, not to mention any future political career I might aspire to?" in the decisions he's taken part in this past 18 months?

Whether Jasper is failing himself is a question only he can answer.

Whether Jasper is failing those of us who live in Vancouver is not in question. He's failing us, he's failed us, and come this next election, he's got to go.

There's another building very much like ours operating successfully in Des Moines Iowa. If they can do it,most certainly we can too.

They certainly know who they work for and you just need to follow the $ going in to their party and the $ they put out to their buddies to see that it isn't us!

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