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Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
June Update 
It's inspiring to see that here in British Columbia we are cautiously moving towards a new normal for our everyday lives as we move into phase 2 of our BC's Restart Plan. As well, it is great to see businesses opening up again. I want to acknowledge our incredible local businesses and service providers for doing your level best to keep our community thriving and for supporting your employees and the vibrancy of Vancouver Mount Pleasant. We should feel proud that by working together we have managed to flatten the curve.

Let’s keep up our efforts! We should continue physically distancing and keep sharing government resources and news that can lift people up. In this newsletter, you will find links of resources that support businesses, families and communities.
Typically in June, my office would be preparing to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre and Trout Lake! My staff and I will miss seeing everyone at these events in person but please find creative ways to celebrate and tag me on social media via @melaniejmark. 

The first week of June is also BC Children and Youth in Care Week (June 1-7). It's a great way to illuminate the innovative and important work from current and former youth in care. 

June is also a time to celebrate Father's Day and graduation. I want to take a moment to honour all of the fathers who are going above and beyond to support your families and community.

As the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, I want to congratulate the class of 2020, whether you are graduating from high school, college or university. Well done!  We are going to need you more than ever to build back this beautiful province.  

Even though our office is closed, we are still providing services and advocacy. Feel free to call our office at 604-660-0707 by email at
T'ooyakism' N'iisim'  ​

Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA
Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak | 馬蘭妮
COVID-19 Resources
COVID-19 Information
For a comprehensive COVID-related list of federal and provincial information, check out the following pages on my website: Public Health & Government News and Government Financial Supports.
BC's Restart Plan 

I have heard a lot of optimism about the province's plan to carefully ReStartBC. We need to be disciplined and follow health and safety guidelines as we move through this next stage together.

In mid-May, we moved to Stage 2 of the Restart Plan, which included resuming elective surgeries and allowing for personal service businesses to reopen under enhanced protocols.

To learn more:
My Ministry in Action 
Updates from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Downtown Eastside supported through skills training, employment


Our government recognizes the valuable lived experience of peers. I’m proud of my ministry for responding to a call to action from local advocates to support a grassroots approach to peer leadership and training in the Downtown Eastside. 
Many of us understand the complex and diverse needs of people in the DTES community.  Many of these individuals were failed by the residential school system, are immune compromised and are struggling with mental health and addictions.

By working with a respected grassroots organization like EMBERS and their partners, they will be able to help inform government on other tools we should be looking at to successfully support vulnerable people. Peers will be empowered to leverage their knowledge to support their fellow residents to stay safe, while gaining self-confidence, job skills & paid work experience. This is the kind of innovation our government believes in!
In the Community

20th anniversary of the Nisga'a Treaty

On May 11, 2020, the Nisga'a Nation celebrated 20 years of self-government. I am proud to be Nisga'a, my late grandmother Thelma Mark is from Laxgalts'ap, we are Laxsgiik (eagle clan). You may not know this but the Nisga'a were often referred to as Briefcase Warriors. They were the first to sign a modern treaty back in 1998.

To learn more:

Thank you to Frontline Workers from Government Caucus 

I am so thankful for our frontline workers for punching above their weight-class and taking care of our loved ones during these unprecedented times. My caucus colleagues and I appreciate all that you do. Please feel free to share this video on Twitter and Facebook. Keep shining! T’ooyaksim’ N’iisim 

Decampment Oppenheimer Park and Blessing Ceremony  

On May 9, following the decampment of the Oppenheimer Park, I took part in a blessing ceremony led by Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh elders and leaders. My colleague Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and I were called upon as witnesses. In my remarks I stated that it's not by accident that many of the people in the camp are Indigenous. I am grateful to the peers, family members and front line service providers.  We have a lot of work to do to turn things around. This is why I believe so strongly that we must Paddle Together.

To learn more:

For an overview of BC Housing’s work to monitor and respond to COVID-19, visit:

Patios extensions for restaurants, pubs and breweries

Patio season is here! To support industry recovery and allow for proper physical distancing, the government is temporarily allowing businesses to extend their patios. If you can, please support your local restaurants, pubs and breweries! We're in this together. 

To learn more :

Government Highlights 
Leadership and funding to help sexual assault survivors
Thank you Ending Violence Association of BC for your advocacy and leadership to extend supports for emergency sexual assault response services. On May 26th, Hon. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity Mitzi Dean announced $10 million to support survivors.  
To learn more:
Province launching Buy BC 

Support Local Restaurants:
  • Order take-out, drive-thru or use food delivery services
  • Purchase a restaurant gift card for a friend, or to use later
  • Choose local products whenever you can
  • Support B.C. restaurants and businesses on social media
Support BC Farmers’ Markets:

Did you know that BC Farmers’ Market Association is helping member markets set-up an online model in addition to physical markets? Find both online and physical markets at

Buy BC Online and Support BC Farmers and Food Producers:

Whether you’re a consumer in search of local food, or a farmer or food processor looking to sell your product, this list of e-commerce food platforms has you covered!

Buy BC e-commerce funding details:

More about Buy BC:

Gradual return to school for K-12 students 

As a parent of two school-aged children, I recognize that everyone has been anxiously waiting to hear about the next steps for a return to school for K-12 students. As we transition into phase 2 of Restart BC, the gradual return on June 1st will focus on health and safety.

Starting June 1, parents have the choice to bring their children back to class on a part-time basis for the remainder 2019/2020 school year as part of BC's Education Restart Plan (PDF).

To learn more:

Small Business BC

Small Business BC 
helps British Columbia's entrepreneurs grow successful and sustainable businesses through expert business advisors, educational services, easy-to-use free resources and engaging community events.

To learn more:
New  Lifeguard app 

The Lifeguard App has been developed in cooperation with British Columbia Emergency Health Services. The app was created to help prevent overdoses, as part of the harm reduction strategy.

The app is activated by the user before they take their dose. After 50 seconds the app will sound an alarm. If the user doesn’t hit a button to stop the alarm, indicating they are fine, the alarm grows louder. After 75 seconds a text-to-voice call will go straight to 9-1-1, alerting emergency medical dispatchers of a potential overdose.

For more information:
BC Child & Youth in Care Week 

During the first week of June, British Columbian's are invited to celebrate children and youth in care. 

As a former youth in care, I am very passionate about supporting and empowering young people who are or were in care.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing measures, it isn't possible to hold events in the same way.  Thankfully my colleague, Minister of Children and Family Development, Katrine Conroy put together a list of some ideas for you to be an ally.  

Check it out here:

Community Programs, Services and Events

BC 211 is an important resource to help you find supports in your community. They have recently launched their Safe Seniors Strong Communities program that matches seniors who need support with non-medical essentials to volunteers in their community who are willing to help. To register as a senior needing help or a volunteer, click here. 
To learn more about BC211:

BYRC is offering a COVID food program where youth 12-24 can access food kits. For more information, contact reception at 604-709-5720

Urban Native Youth Association presents weekly Friday fitness sessions with James from UNYA on Facebook:

Virtual Father’s Day Walk/Run – wear blue and walk or run in your neighbourhood to support the virtual Father’s Day Run and raise awareness for prostate cancer!
More info:

Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival 
Celebrate National Indigenous Day
every week for the month of June:

Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
1070-1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4

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Melanie Mark MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant · 1070-1641 Commercial Drive · Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y3 · Canada

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