November was a historic month in British Columbia. Our government, and all Members of the BC Legislature, unanimously passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. We are the first province in Canada to do so. I could not think of a better way to end such a productive fall legislative session focused on reconciliation, lifting people up, and working together.
I also had the opportunity to join our community as we honoured the memory and sacrifices of our veterans. It is always important to remember those that gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Finally, as we enter the holiday season and spend time with family, we recognize that this can be a difficult time for many. Please do not hesitate to call our office if you need support. At the bottom of this newsletter, we've included information about community services and events you might find useful during this time of year.
Don't forget that my office and constituency staff are here to assist you as much as we can. Please also Save the Date for our Open House on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020. Please also let us know if you want us to amplify a community event in our constituency.
Open House with Hon. Melanie Mark
Your MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant!
Wednesday January 15th, 1:00pm-4:00pm
1070-1641 Commercial Drive, at our Community Office
Ground floor, across from Supervalu, at the Il Mercato Shopping Centre
Join us for, light snacks, short speeches, a photobooth and prizes!
In the Community
Honouring Our Veterans
I was honoured to attend a number of Remembrance Day ceremonies to lay a wreath and pay tribute to the thousands of veterans who served for our country. When we gather together we recognize the diversity of our veterans.
T'ooyakism' N'iisim' to the veterans for their courage and sacrifice.
Rights, Respect and Reconciliation
I am the proud descendant of the Nisga'a Nation, also known as briefcase warriors. I was deeply honoured to address this year's First Nations Leadership Gathering to share our government's commitment to upholding Indigenous rights.
Ha’awa to Skundaal and everyone involved with the Survivors Totem Pole at Pigeon Park. The film captured Skundaal's generosity of spirit, and the importance of pulling together and lifting people up. It was great to join so many friends and constituents at Carnegie Community Centre for this inspiring event. (link to video)
National Historic Site Designation Honours Japanese - Canadian Community
Congratulations to the Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall for receiving a National Historic Site Designation by Parks Canada! This designation as a National Historic Site affirms how vitally important it is to stand up for your family, culture and rights. This school is more than a building, it is a legacy of hope and a place of belonging for generations to come.
Great to be back at my old high school Sir Charles Tupper Secondary to reaffirm our government’s commitment to opening doors for women & young people in the trades! As a proud mom of two school-aged daughters, I encourage parents across B.C. to support their children to pursue a dynamic career in the trades.
This announcement includes a $12.4 million investment to move the dial for women, young people & under-represented groups so they can reap the benefits of a career in the trades! We’re investing in the next generation of tradespeople who will build the Best B.C.
Proud to be back at my alma mater Simon Fraser University with Premier John Horgan, and Minister of State Katrina Chen announcing our government's $73 Million contribution to build a new 21st century housing facility with 369 affordable student homes! We’re responding to a long-standing call to action from students.
So much to be proud of, so much more to do.
November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to pay tribute to those we have lost to transphobic violence. For the first time in the history of the B.C. Legislature, we had a flag raising ceremony with the transgender flag.
Our Government introduced the strongest vaping
regulations in Canada
Our government will restrict vapour product access, flavours, nicotine content, packaging and advertising, and intends to increase taxes on vapour products, to protect youth from risks associated with vaping.
Have your say: Provincial Court Family Rules Consultation
Our government invites you to have your say about the Provincial Court Family Rules. This consultation is open until December 16, 2019.
The Ministry of Attorney General and the Provincial Court of British Columbia invite comments on the proposed new Provincial Court Family Rules and forms. Feedback will be considered in finalizing the rules, which will be reviewed with the Provincial Court Family Rules Working Group and Steering Committee, the Chief Judge and eventually prepared as an Order in Council for consideration by cabinet.
In case you missed it! Return-It (Encorp Pacific) has announced changes to it’s beverage container deposit levels. Effective November 1st, deposits for non-alcoholic beverage containers will increase from 5 cents to 10 cents.
Temporary Cold Weather Shelters
Temporary shelters are opened annually through a partnership with the City of Vancouver and BC Housing. They provide additional shelter capacity to keep those experiencing homelessness safe and warm during the winter months.
These shelters typically open November through March and allow pets, carts, couples, and follow a harm reduction model. Find a location here.
Cold Winter Shelters
Visit this map to find which shelters are currently open, their location, if they allow pets, storing of belongings, and other key information. https://www.streetmessenger.io/map
Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau
The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau serves as a centralized toy warehouse for toys and gifts to be gathered, sorted, stored and shipped to Christmas Bureaus and Community agencies. Its available all year round to families, please register here: https://www.lmcb.ca/register
Aunt Leah's Christmas Trees
If you are thinking about getting a Christmas Tree, consider visiting one of Aunt Leah’s Christmas Tree Lots to support youth in and from care. Find a location near you, (hyp[erlink).
London Drugs Stocking Stuffers for Seniors
Happening until Monday December 16th. At your local London Drugs, look for the Christmas Tree with a Stocking Stuffers for Seniors tag to find personalized gift wish-lists from seniors. Bring in your new and non-gift wrapped items with the tag to the Customer Service Counter. Santa and his elves will then deliver the gifts to local seniors! https://www.londondrugs.com/stocking-stuffers-for-seniors.html
CKNW Kid's Fund
For decades, the CKNW Kid's Fund has been helping children with physical, social, and mental challenges. To apply: https://www.cknwkidsfund.com/
December Holiday Market at the Croatian Cultural Centre
3250 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
Saturday, December 7, 10:00 am to 4:00pm
Over 75 vendors bringing you the very best in hand made craft, prepared food, and seasonal nursery items!
Annual Indigenous Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair
1607 East Hastings Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society
Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Talented Indigenous artists selling crafts, jewelry and Indigenous food!
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Christmas Arts & Craft Fair
Saturday December 7 - Sunday December 8, 10:00am-4:00pm
Check out the amazing vendors displaying their fine arts, crafts, jewelry, and Indigenous food. http://www.vafcs.org/events/crafts/
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House Family Drop-in
573 E Hastings St, Vancouver
Tuesday and Thursday 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
This Families, Farming and Food (FDI) program works to mitigate the effects of material poverty by providing access to healthy food, but also in the long term as participants acquire the skills and knowledge of healthy food preparation.
Healthy Living Support Group for Immigrant Women
Want to practice your English, make friends and learn more about Canada? Come to the ongoing Health and Wellness Group for Immigrant Women!
To register please contact Sherifa Azzab: 604-879-8208 ext 203, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Arabic group: 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (800 East Broadway), and, 2nd & 4th Wednesday of every month at the Immigrant Services Society of BC Welcome Centre (2610 Victoria Drive).
Mandarin group: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm on the first Saturday of every month at MPNH. Childcare is available. Registration is required so be sure to call 604-879-8208!
For upcoming programming information, visit their events calendar here.
Complimentary Haircuts for Seniors
By Appointment every Tuesday
411 Seniors Centre (704-333 Terminal Ave)
Registration is required so call 604-684-8171 in advance!
Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
1070-1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4