This month, while the weather has dimmed, it is great to see our bright community thrive and buzz with energy. I attended community events that brought generations together!
With all of this activity in the community, it's a great time for my team and I to connect with you. That's why my team is currently working to plan our annual Open House! Please mark your calendar and stop by our office on November 16th between 11am and 2pm.
Our open house is an excellent way to get to know your MLA and the people in your community a bit better while enjoying also some local snacks!
Included in this month's newsletter is information about Remembrance Day ceremonies in the community, the Electoral Reform Referendum, and community events.
VMP Open House!
November 16th, 11am until 2pm
1070-1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4
In The Community
After years of advocacy and hard work from the community, I was excited to open the doors at 312 Main. This new community hub offers community groups and local businesses a much needed space to come together to work and collaborate in the Downtown Eastside. 312 Main represents an inclusive approach to providing services and support to the community. Ha'awa for your leadership!
I had a great time at ACCESS's Halloween Community forum! Loved seeing everyone in their creative costumes while we all learned about some of the programs ACCESS provides, including amazing resources for Indigenous people curious about exploring on new careers and opportunities.
It was an honour to present greetings from myself and the Premier celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Japanese Hall. The Japanese Hall is a beacon of light which has been bringing people together since 1928. As the only building to be restored to the Japanese-Canadian community after the WWII internment, the Hall stands as a powerful symbol of strength and unity. We look forward to the next 90 years!
Working for You
I am always inspired to hear directly from the youth at Fostering Change about their passionate and thoughtful advocacy. Together, let’s continue to work towards making a better B.C.!
On October 9th, Young Women in Trades day, I visited a training site where they were hosting high school students interested in entering the trades. There are so many rewarding career paths available for young women interested in the trades, including heavy duty mechanics, and crane and fork lift operators. Test driving the excavator was a nice bonus. These future tradeswomen are an integral part of building the Best B.C.!
It was inspiring to have an opportunity to speak to young girls about the importance of education at G Day! With a focus on empowering young girls, G Day is about encouraging these future leaders to reach for the stars!
Government Introduces B.C.’s first Poverty Reduction Strategy
British Columbia will no longer be the only province in Canada without a Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Long-awaited, the Poverty Reduction Strategy will lift thousands of people out of poverty, create more opportunities to break the cycle and reduce barriers. Key targets include cutting child poverty rates in half and the overall poverty rate by 25% within 5 years.
After months of consultation, including broad public engagement, this province-wide plan is a crucial step in address poverty in B.C.
Twenty-seven communities and organizations in British Columbia will receive approximately $1.7 million in provincial funding to support local action to save lives, address stigma and connect more people to treatment and recovery.
The Vancouver organizations that received the funding are Carnegie Community Centre, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, Megaphone, Overdose Prevention Society and Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing.
It's November, which means it's finally time to vote in the Electoral Reform referendum! Elections BC has started mailing out voting packages in late October. If after November 2nd, you haven't yet received your voting package, you can request one online, phone Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683 or visit a Referendum Services Office. The deadline to request a package is November 23rd.
The referendum is being held until November 30th, however Elections BC must receive it by 4:30pm local on November 30th. We strongly encourage you to return your ballot well ahead of the deadline to ensure that your vote counts! You will also be able to drop off your ballot at a Referendum Services Office.
Your local Referendum Services Office is:
Unit 119-180 Keefer St (near Keefer and Main)
You can request a ballot, get help voting, or return your ballot to this location.
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.)
Here is a handy video from Elections BC explaining the voting systems!
Remembrance Day Ceremonies In VMP
National Aboriginal Veterans Day
Thursday, November 8, 9am
Carnegie Community Centre, 401 Main St, Vancouver
Doors open to veterans at 8:30am, and open to public at 9:00am.
Victory Square Sunday, November 11, 10:45am Victory Square, 200 W. Hastings St.
Sunday, November 11, 10:45am
Grandview Park, 1675 Charles St, Vancouver
Chinatown Community Remembrance Day
Sunday, November 11, 12:30pm
Chinatown Memorial Square, corner of Columbia and Keefer St.
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
Eastside Culture Crawl
The Eastside Culture Crawl Festival is coming on November 15-18! Filled with events and celebrations of local art, the festival has something for everyone. You can find a full program online here.
The 15th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival is on now! This year, the festival runs between October 24 and November 4. With venues all over the DTES, Heart of the City has made it its mission to give voice to the community. Find more info here.
Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
1070-1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4