From restoring the rights of critical health care workers, to rolling out new prototype childcare facilities, I'm proud of all the work our government is doing to make people's lives better.
At our open house, I had a great time connecting with constituents! What I love most about this annual event is the chance to exchange stories and hear what matters most to those who live in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.
With the last day of the legislative session on November 26, I'm excited to spend December in the community.
Finally, thank you for taking the time to read about some of the work my staff and I have been doing throughout the month, along with some updates on how our government continues to work for you. Included in this month's newsletter is information about the Clean BC plan, our government's investment in housing, events in the community, and what I've been up to!
Elections BC must receive your ballot by 4:30pm local time tomorrow, December 7th. You can drop it off at a Referendum Services Office. If you are already registered to vote but need a replacement ballot, you can receive one at the Referendum Services Office.
Referendum Services Office
Unit 119-180 Keefer St (near Keefer and Main)
Happy Holidays and warm wishes from my family and our team at the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant community office!
In The Community
The Open House at our community office on November 16 was a great success! It was wonderful to get first-hand perspectives on community issues. Learning what matters most to you is a fundamental part of my ability to effectively represent your concerns and ideas in the legislature. Ha'awa for joining us!
On this 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, I was honoured to pay my respects to our veterans, their families, and those we have lost on behalf of the people of British Columbia. We must remember all those who have and continue to sacrifice and serve, and we can never take their gift to us for granted.
Lest we forget.
Congratulations to the Native Education College Class of 2018! I was inspired to witness the Indigenous grads representing nations across British Columbia. Education has the power to transform people’s lives!
In The Legislature
I was excited to announce a new Indigenous Internship Program which will create 150 new positions over the next three years, providing opportunities for Indigenous youth to develop their business and leadership skills. This opportunity is as a result of a partnership between the government, BC Assembly of First Nations Vancouver Island University and Business Council of BC.
At the annual B.C. Cabinet-First Nations Leaders' Gathering, there were many opportunities for the government to hear from First Nations leaders what the needs are for their communities. As part of the government's ongoing commitment to advancing reconciliation, we were able to announce First Nations will now receive a portion of gaming revenue. We are also co-developing, with First Nations, legislation for introduction in 2019 to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in B.C.
British Columbian Human Rights Commission Restored
The government has introduced new amendments to the Human Rights Code that will re-establish a human rights commission for B.C. after it was dismantled in 2002.
Currently, B.C. is the only Canadian province without such a body, and the new legislation will create an independent human rights commissioner who reports to the Legislative Assembly.
The B.C. government is moving forward with 53 prototype childcare facilities that will provide quality, accessible, and affordable childcare which will cost $200/month per child. These sites will help test funding and operational models required to move British Columbia towards a universal child care system.
The two prototype sites in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant are YMCA Nanook House and Woodwards YMCA Childcare Centre.
Thousands of New Affordable Rental Homes Announced
Help is on the way for middle-income families in 42 communities as the Province moves forward with more than 4,900 new affordable mixed-income rental homes. This is the first part of a $1.9-billion investment, that will build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes over 10 years.
The new homes are designed to address the need for affordable housing across a range of income levels, in response to a housing crisis that has made housing unaffordable for many middle-class families.
In Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, the following new projects have been announced:
- The Kettle Society at 1705, 1725, 1739 Venebles St and 800 Commercial Drive
- Lookout Housing and Health Society at 545 E. Cordova St.
- Lookout Housing and Health Society at 514 Alexander St
- Salvation Army Harbour Light at 119, 128-138 East Cordova Street
B.C. Brings Gender-Affirming Surgery for Trans People Closer to Home
Transgender people in British Columbia will soon have access to publicly funded gender-affirming lower surgeries within the province, as British Columbia becomes the first province in western Canada to offer these procedures next year.
Reconstructive gender-affirming surgeries will be available within Vancouver Coastal Health starting in 2019. In addition, trans people throughout the province now have improved access to publicly funded gender-affirming chest and breast surgeries.
CleanBC Plan to Reduce Climate Pollution, Build a Low-Carbon Economy
The Government of British Columbia has released its CleanBC plan aimed at reducing climate pollution, while creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities.
The CleanBC plan was developed as a pathway to achieve the Province’s legislated climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by the year 2030, based on 2007 levels. The plan describes and quantifies measures that will eliminate 18.9 megatonnes (Mt) of its 2030 target.
Celebrate the season by making your own seasonal decor and art projects.
Various local artists will be instructing in a variety of media.
All materials provided. All ages welcome!
Weirdos Holiday Market
1739 Venables St., Vancouver
Saturday, December 8th and Sunday, December 9th
11am-6pm both days!
The Weirdos Holiday Market unites Vancouver’s most outlandish local artists and vendors to showcase an eclectic array of all things unusual, unique, and out of this world! $2 Entry and All Ages Welcome!
To learn more: https://www.facebook.com/events/511157912661949/
Community Programs and Events in VMP
Strathcona Community Centre Association
601 Keefer Street, 604-713-1838
The backpack program is a weekly healthy snack program for families, organized every Friday from 2-4pm. If you can contribute, consider giving back to the community by calling or visit the Strathcona Community Centre for more information.
Save a Smile
BC Dental Association
400-1765 West 8th Ave, 604-736-7202
This program provides families in need with financial assistance for urgent dental care and oral hygiene counselling. A referral is required from a public health nurse or dentist.
Free Youth Swim!
Britannia Community Services Centre
1661 Napier Street, 604-718-5800
All youth ages 11-18 are invited to Britannia pool for free youth swims from 8-10pm on the first Friday of every month. You can swim in a swimsuit or clean, recently washed clothes. No shoes allowed!
UGM Christmas Supper
Tuesday, December 25th
601 E Hastings St, 604-253-3323
The Union Gospel Mission (UGM) opens up to serve dinner on Christmas Day every year and it will be their 78th year this year! We know this event couldn’t exist without the help of supporters and volunteers.
You can learn about volunteering here: https://www.ugm.ca/take-action/volunteer/
For more information about the dinner or UGM’s work, visit: https://www.facebook.com/uniongospelmission/
Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
1070-1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4