With back to school, and preparing for another legislative session, September has been a whirlwind of activity in the office.
Although my Ministerial work has taken me across B.C. this month, I was proud to be part of announcements from a government whose work continues to benefit those who live in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.
My team and I are passionate about hearing from our constituents and learning more about what matters in their lives, and what makes Vancouver-Mount Pleasant such a unique community. Our constituency office is here to serve you.
One project we were excited to see completed this month was an illustrated map of the riding, a preview of which you can see at the top of this email. You can find the full map here, complete with landmarks and community supports.
Thank you for taking the time to read about some of the work my staff and I have been doing. Included in this month's newsletter is also some information about the Electoral Reform Referendum, where to access Adult Basic Education, and events in the community.
OPEN HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT It's that time of the year again: we're having our annual Fall Open House! November 16th, 11am until 2pm
1070-1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4
Back to School!
I was excited to be at the SFU Surrey Campus on the first day back to classes - great seeing the energy and excitement of the new and returning students!
It was great to have an opportunity to meet with the BC Teachers Federation to discuss the upcoming school year and what the government can do to improve the experiences of students.
Orange Shirt Day
Every year, we encourage people to wear an Orange Shirt on September 30th to raise awareness about the experiences of children in residential schools. Orange Shirt Day is a time when First Nations, local governments, schools and communities come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.
I wear my orange shirt to remember and honour the experience of my grandparents and the ongoing inter-generational trauma that Indigenous people continue to experience.
This day began in the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It is inspired by the story of Phyllis, who had her new orange shirt taken away on her first day at the Residential School in Williams Lake.
This month, I was inspired by the women who have benefited from and who work at Justice for Girls, an organisation which promotes social justice, equality, and freedom from violence for girls and young women in poverty. It heartens me to see young women giving back and to know that we as a society are working towards a world that is fairer, safer and more resilient.
During my visit at Royal Roads University, I had the opportunity to meet students that are our future leaders in areas such as agricultural food waste management and innovative recycling initiatives. I was able to be there for the opening of the Sherman Jen Building, which houses a new centre for environmental science and international partnership on the cutting edge of environmental sustainability.
I was deeply honoured for the opportunity to speak at the ceremony launching the new Indigenous Law program at the University of Victoria. I am so proud of my government's creation of the first ever program for Indigenous Law and of the 26 trailblazers who are enrolled in the program this year. The establishment of this program is an important step in answering the call of Truth and Reconciliation's Call To Action, especially Action 50.
New Benefit to Help Families with their Child Care Expenses
The new Affordable Child Care Benefit will make childcare more affordable for 80,000 families, four times the amount that qualified under the old benefit. I am proud to be part of a government that is making childcare more accessible for all families.
This new benefit is part of the government's 1 billion dollar investment in developing childcare that is quality, universal and affordable. It's important that we are developing childcare that supports the development of young children and their families.
New Major rapid transit projects to ease congestion in Metro Vancouver
Together, the federal and provincal governments have announced more than $3 billion in federal and provincial funding for two major rapid transit projects in Metro Vancouver: the Broadway Subway and the Surrey-Newton-Guildford Light Rail Transit.
The Broadway Subway will bring frequent and reliable SkyTrain access to one of the most congested transit corridors in Metro Vancouver.
Province Cuts Rent Increase to Ease Pressure on Renters
After months of consultation with communities, the BC Rental Housing Task Force has come out with an early recommendation to cut the annual rent increase, which the province has accepted and implemented.
This change means that rental increases will be tied to inflation only, doing away with the current 2% increase on top of inflation.
Voting in the Electoral Reform Referendum starts in October. You will be able to vote in the referendum by mail from October 22nd until November 30th. Elections BC will be mailing out the voting packages starting in late October.
In order to guarantee that you receive your package your voter registration with Elections BC must be up-to-date. If you have never voted, have recently moved, or changed your name, please visit their website or phone them at 1-800-661-8683 to update your registration.
The questions on the referendum are as follows:
Which system should British Columbia use for provincial elections? (Vote for only one.)
If British Columbia adopts a proportional representation voting system, which of the following voting systems do you prefer? Rank in order of preference. (You may choose to support one, two or all three of the systems.)
This month marked one year since tuition fees were eliminated from Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English Language Learning (ELL) programs in BC. ABE programs allow students to obtain a graduation certificate and complete prerequisite courses that may be needed to further advance their studies. To learn more about ABE and ELL in VMP, check out:
Native Education College
285 East 5th Avenue
604-873-3772 x328 | necvancouver.org
Vancouver Community College
1155 East Broadway
604-871-7000 | www.vcc.ca
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. No swimsuits required if you can come in clean, recently washed clothes. No shoes allowed.
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (MPNH) Community Potluck Supper
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House
800 E Broadway, 604-879-8208
October 19, 6-7:30 pm
Community Potlucks are great places to make a friend and to know your neighbours! To learn more, visit: http://mpnh.org/event/community-potluck-supper/
MPNH Free! Sewing and Repairs Matter
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House
800 E Broadway, 604-879-8208
October 22, 11:30 am-1:30 pm
Learn sewing, hemming, and jewelry and appliance repair. Advance registration required; contact (604)879-8208 or OELShayeb@mpnh.org to register. For more info, visit: http://mpnh.org/event/free-sewing-and-repairs-matter/