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Vancouver-Mount Pleasant Email Update!

August 31st 2018
Summer is coming to a close, and what a summer it's been!

August saw us working hard, playing hard, and connecting with individuals and organizations all over our community and province. There were great highlights: like celebrating with the LGBTQ+ community, joining in on community cultural festivals, meeting with stakeholders in Haida Gwaii, and connecting with some of the change makers that make me so proud to represent Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.

This month also had its challenges, with a record number of wildfires burning across B.C., resulting in unpredictable and smokey conditions around the Province. Relief efforts are ongoing, and my team and I send our deepest appreciation out to everyone working on prevention and fighting on the front lines.
Thank you for taking the time to read about some of the work my staff and I have been doing, along with some updates on how government is doing our best to work for you. There are also some updates on back to school programming, and community events.

Keep Shining!

Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA
Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak | 馬蘭妮
Out in the Community
I had the chance to sit down with the Urban Arts Architecture team earlier in August! I was inspired by their pursuit of space that promotes reconciliation and inclusion. I was really impressed to meet Ouri Scott, who is one of 15 indigenous architects in Canada. She weaves indigenous culture into design and architecture.
PRIDE 2018!

I am so proud to have PHS Community Service Society in the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant Constituency. On August 2nd we celebrated their twenty-five years of tireless advocacy and services provided to community members who need it most. I can't wait to see how they'll continue to push the envelope and punch above their weight class! Keep shining! 

Two of PHS Community Services Society's first clients! Still going strong.
Libby Davies, MP Jenny Kwan, and I were honoured to be witnesses at the celebration for PHS Community Services' twenty-five years working in the community.
Bon Voyage & Welcome Aboard!!

The end of August has meant saying goodbye to Lisa, who has been with the office since the new year. She joined us as a practicum student with University of the Fraser Valley before becoming a constituency assistant. She is off to new adventures and we wish her every success! 

You may also have noticed a new face around the office in the past few weeks—we are so happy to welcome Amy to the VMP team!
Spaces of support can be hard to find for survivors of violence, and for families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. At Saa-ust Centre, every inch of space is shaped by artists and informed by healing. I was so honoured to be invited to learn about the imporant work that they are doing to heal and restore hope. 

To learn more, please visit:
Potluck Café promotes quality food served to community members with dignity. I was honoured to meet their dedicated team and thoroughly enjoyed hearing about their journeys and what keeps them connected to Potluck Café. 

To learn more about this amazing social enterprise:
Celebrating the Japanese-Canadian community at the 42nd-annual Powell Street Festival at Oppenheimer Park!

I am continually impressed by the Japanese-Canadian community's unwavering resilience, advocacy, and commitment to promoting inter-generational cultural learning and inclusion.
Vancouver has a number of fantastic seasonal farmers markets, including two in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. I visited the Main Street Station farmers market, and had a wonderful time!
The Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Vancouver-Fairview constituency teams shared a booth at this year's Mural Fest. You can check out a map of murals here!
A new parklet has opened in front of Mount Pleasant Neighborhood House, and it was my pleasure to help cut the opening ribbon! 
Wildfires affect all of us.

Our government has declared a state of emergency to make sure we have all the resources necessary to keep British Columbians safe. Learn more on what this means here.

We want to ensure you are receiving the most up to date information as our fight against these fires continues. Here are a few resources to help keep you in the loop:

Giving a donation to the Red Cross is a good way to help those who have been affected, and now our government is matching contributions so your donation will go even further. You can donate here
Legislative Highlights!

   College of the Rockies Trades Centre Opens 

A new training facility at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook will inspire future generations of electrical and industrial mechanic students to jump-start rewarding trades careers in their local communities.
To learn more about how our government is investing in people:

Government Modernizes ICBC Rate Design to Make Insurance Fairer 
The provincial government wants to make sure B.C. drivers pay ICBC premiums that more fairly and accurately reflect the risk they represent on the roads.

To learn more:
B.C. Establishes Fully Independent Human Rights Commission
The province has moved to re-establish an independent human rights commission after the original commission for the province was scrapped in 2002.

“It will be the only completely human rights commission in North America to be completely independent of government.” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism.
To learn more:

New facility at Okanagan College gets trades students job-ready

A new Trades Training Centre in Vernon at Okanagan College with modern equipment will allow trades students to gain skills and knowledge closer to home.

To learn more:

Public Accounts confirm balanced budget, act on audit concerns

Despite inheriting issues with the finances of ICBC and BC Hydro, the operating surplus this year is $301 million, which is $55 million higher than the surplus forecast in the Budget 2017 Update.

To learn more
British Columbia files lawsuit against opioid industry

The Province of B.C. has launched a class action lawsuit against opioid drug companies, whose marketing practices have had devastating impacts on the lives of thousands of British Columbians.

The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, aims to recover millions of dollars in opioid-related health-care costs incurred by the provincial government.

To learn more:
Sexual violence and misconduct information campaign
launching on B.C. campuses
The Ministry of Advanced Education Skills and Training is launching a campaign focused on raising awareness around the topic of sexual violence and consent on post-secondary campuses. As school starts up again the campaign will target social media, popular bars and student newspapers. 

To learn more:
Families and seniors receive more help to pay rent

As part of the British Columbia government’s 30-point housing plan, the Province is expanding the eligibility requirements and increasing the benefits under the Rental Assistance Program and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER).

Effective Sept. 1, 2018, as a result of increased rent ceilings around the province, more low-income families and seniors will be eligible for additional assistance to help with their monthly payments in the private market.

To learn more:
Breastfeeding action plan promotes stronger bonds

Vulnerable women and their newborn infants will benefit from a five-point action plan to support family connections and mother-child bonds, while keeping children safe.

The plan is part of a joint special report by Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and the representative for children and youth (RCY), released Aug. 29, 2018. 

To learn more:

September Supports!

The 10th Annual DTES Alley Health Fair is coming Tuesday, September 25th! This annual street festival promotes health, wellness, and resources about local services. It also includes music, food vendors, hair-cuts, health testing, bicycle repair and so much more! Further details here:
Do you know a child starting up 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 the financial barriers to sports participation. For more information, please visit And check out the application form here:
Copyright © 2018, June 29th.

Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA.
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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