September has been about making plans and transitions, as the Minister and as your MLA getting ready for the Fall Legislative Session in October, and as the mother of two school-age daughters.
My team and I have included in this newsletter information about the October 21st federal election and the Vancouver East all-candidates meeting, important government highlights, community programs and events. Please reach out to my community office if you need support navigating provincial services, or if you just want to share your thoughts on how our government is doing.
Through the Community Adult Literacy Grants (CALP) program, our government is committed to lifting people up because we believe that literacy matters! This month, I was at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House with my colleague Shane Simpson, the Minister for Social Development and Poverty Reduction, to announce this community investment that helps to break down barriers to empower people! We’re funding more than 94 programs in 80 communities across B.C.
Congratulations Broadway Youth Resource Centre! For 20 years you’ve empowered young people in East Vancouver! T'ooyaksim' N'iisim' for being a shining light in our community. Cheers to the talented young people, community allies, your dedicated staff & volunteers for hosting this milestone celebration.
It was great visiting the 411 Seniors Centre! We had an engaging conversation about issues close to the heart such as health-care and housing. The seniors also appreciated the senior's factsheet that our office has produced. Thank you for the warm welcome and to Marion, Leslie, Stuart and the other board members for the board meeting.
The Federal Election is Monday, October 21st! Elections.ca is your one-stop-shop for federal election information. You can contact them by phone at 1-800-463-6868 toll-free in Canada and the United States, and at 1-613-993-2975 from anywhere in the world.
My Ministry in Action
Our government is investing $19.8 million to bring new, affordable, on-campus student housing to Coast Mountain College’s Terrace campus! This means 108 new beds to replace outdated housing and 33 new student beds! Students have been advocating for safe & affordable housing for years, this is a long time coming! T’ooyaksim’ N’iisim CMTN First Nations Council for your instrumental advocacy!
I joined Premier John Horgan at Langara College to announce our government's continued investment in Early Childhood Educators (ECE). I was honoured to hear from educators who are passionate about quality education for our next generation. T’ooyaksim’ N’iisim for your important work as #ECEs. Because of you, families have peace of mind knowing their children are in good hands!
Our Government's Highlights
Maximum rent increases set at 2.6% for 2020
Renters need secure housing they can afford, and, that’s why our government removed the additional 2% above inflation that the previous government allowed for rent increases since 2004.
Because of our changes and the removal of the fixed-term loophole and geographic clauses, people will no longer face the unreasonable rent hikes that were allowed for years.
Station locations finalized for future Broadway Subway project
When the extension of the Millennium Line is completed, six new underground stations will connect communities and neighbourhoods to make it easier and more affordable to live, work, shop and access services along Broadway.
The following station locations are either in Vancouver-Mount Plesant or on the border of the riding:
Great Northern Way – on the east side of Thornton Street, just north of Great Northern Way. This station creates better access to Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s Great Northern Way Campus and the emerging creative economy hub in the False Creek Flats.
Mount Pleasant – at the southwest corner of Broadway and Main Street, for connectivity to the growing business and residential community in Mount Pleasant.
Effective September 16, 2019, British Columbia is ending the child welfare practice known as birth alerts.
This step is consistent with our government's mandate to provide better supports to keep Indigenous children at home and out of care. It responds directly to the recommendation from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to stop using birth alerts and reflects our commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.
Integrating accessibility into every area of life is central to creating livable communities. Our government is leading with a vision to promote inclusion and accessibility by addressing barriers within areas of provincial jurisdiction, with the principle of "nothing about us, without us."
Our government would like your feedback in preparation for the development of new laws, standards and policies. I encourage you to use one of the multiple feedback options on the government feedback page to offer your thoughts on full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in B.C. communities.
As part of Heart of the City Festival, there are two documentaries around the theme of reconciliation. Both are free and will be showing at Carnegie Theatre on401 Main St, on Saturday, November 9.
7:00 - 8:00pm The Story Behind Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way
A short film by local filmmaker Jessica Hallenbeck (Lantern Films) that traces the national cultural tour that Vancouver Moving Theatre and Indigenous artists have gone on, across Canada, in 2018. The film explores cultural practices across the land, and the reflections of participating actors, youth and elders.
8:00 - 9:00pm Survivors Totem Pole
In 2016, the Survivors Totem Pole was carved by Downtown Eastside resident and activist Skundaal Bernie Williams, and then raised at Pigeon Park in a powerful pole raising and potlatch witnessing ceremony attended by over 1,000 residents, Elders and VIPs. This moving film, by filmmaker Suzanne Tabata, follows the extraordinary community-led journey to create and raise a monument to survivors: a tribute to the enduring strength, resistance, persistence and inclusion of the Downtown Eastside community. Following the film presentation Suzanne Tabata, Skundaal Bernie Williams, and guests from the Sacred Circle Society will speak.
Federal Election All-Candidates Meeting
Vancouver-East debate hosted by 100 Debates on the Environment
Thursday, October 3rd
6:00pm - 8:00pm
520 Alexander St, Vancouver, BC
If you would like to know your electoral riding, you can locate the riding by entering in your postal code here.
Community Programs and Events in VMP
Do you know a child starting a new sport or joining a team this fall?
They may be eligible for a KidsSportBC Grant! KidSport works to fulfill its mission of eliminating financial barriers to sports participation. For more info, please call 604-333-3434 or visit www.KidSport.ca/BC
If you were born between 1970 and 1995, you may need a measles booster. Find out where you can get yours at: https://immunizebc.ca/finder
Boys and Girls Clubs (BGC)
Sports, homework, safe access to the online world, arts, crafts, and sharing meals... the Boys and Girls Club does all of that!For more information on enrolling young ones in the BGC, please call 604-879-9118 or visit: https://www.bgcbc.ca/clubs/
City of Vancouver Recreation Fall Programming
Fall programming has arrived! Activities for all age groups are available at your local community centre. Whether you are looking for opportunities for leadership, making new friends, learning how to paint or to unleash your hidden talents, there are hundreds of pathways waiting for you! Registration dates vary, so enroll early.
For more info: https://ca.apm.activecommunities.com/vancouver/Activity_Search
Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival
Wednesday, October 30th to Sunday, November 10th, 2019
Over 100 events at over 40 venues throughout the Downtown Eastside
For more info: http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/
2019 Vancouver Writers Festival
Monday, October 21st - Sunday, October 27th, 2019
Multiple locations on Granville Island. The Vancouver Writers Fest’s flagship festival welcomes local and international writers to stages on and around Granville Island for a week of literary events and immersive conversations for all ages.
For more info: https://writersfest.bc.ca/
Celebrate Halloween at Vancouver Aquarium After Hours
Thursday, October 31st, 6:30 - 11:00 pm Vancouver Aquarium After Hours has a Halloween theme this month. Take a look at the sharks and jellyfish! There will be beverages, a costume contest, trivia and more. Costumes are encouraged, but not mandatory.
Eastside Culture Crawl 2019
Thursday, November 14th - Friday, November 15th, 5pm -10pm
Saturday, November 16th - Sunday, November 17th, 11am - 6pm
Vancouver's annual four-day visual arts, design and crafts festival! 500+ artist studios in 80 buildings throughout Vancouver's Eastside! The 23rd annual Crawl will welcome more than 45,000 visitors to intimately experience this vibrant and inspiring neighbourhood – the most densely populated community of artists across Canada.
For more info: https://culturecrawl.ca/
Mount Pleasant Farmer's Market
Every Sunday until October 27th, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Dude Chilling Park, 8th Ave & Guelph St
Mount Pleasant Farmer's Market has returned this year! Each week, there are over 30 farms, producers and food trucks. Come out and try some local fare!
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society
1607 East Hastings Street (at Commercial)
The Friendship Centre is releasing its Fall Programming! Women's Drop-in Basketball is Mondays 6-10pm. Greasy Bannock Acting Class is Thursday evenings and Women's Soccer is Friday evenings. For exact timing and more programming information, please call 604-251-4844.
Saige Community Kitchen for Trans and Gender Diverse People
Sunday, October 27th, at 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Broadway Youth Resource Centre 2455 Fraser Street, Vancouver (at Broadway)
In partnership with Saige Food Bank, this Community Kitchen focuses on meal creativity, food handling, learning new kitchen skills, menus on a budget and socializing! It is organized by and for the Trans, Two-Spirit and Gender Diverse Community. Come out and celebrate! Always leftovers to take home - bring your own container! Most foods are VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE, and ALLERGEN FREE! All ages welcomed. All gendered bathrooms. Wheelchair-accessible space.
For more information, call 604-709-5720 or email email@example.com
Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
1070-1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4