Happy New Year! Happy Lunar New Year- Year of the Golden Rat! Hoobiyee!
I hope you received our annual householder calendar; if you're still waiting for your copy, please feel free to contact my office!
February is a special month for me. On February 2nd, 2016 (Groundhog Day) I was elected in a by-election as your Member of the B.C. Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. I am so thankful for your continued confidence in me. Your vote empowered me to become the first First Nations woman to ever be elected to the B.C. Legislature.
As Minister, I am really looking forward to returning to the Legislature for the Spring session, our Throne speech on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 and the Budget speech February 18th.
Please save the date for the 29th annual Women's Memorial March on Friday February 14th at noon at the Carnegie Centre, and for Hoobiyee, the Nisga'a New Year, Friday February 28 & Saturday February 29 at the PNE. We will have a table, please call our constituency office if you would like to volunteer.
Friday February 28 & Saturday February 29 at PNE Forum
Gigantic T'ooyaksim' N'iisim' to my Vancouver-Mount Pleasant constituents for attending our 2020 Open House, especially on a snow day! I am immensely proud to be the MLA for VMP. It was lovely to see familiar faces and meet new constituents for the first time. I sincerely appreciated hearing so many diverse perspectives.
A special thanks to Bernie Williams and Minister George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview, for sharing greetings.
Villa Cathay Care Home Expansion
For 42 years, Villa Cathay has been providing care to seniors in the heart of Strathcona! I was so proud to celebrate the opening of the Phase 2 expansion of Villa Cathay Care Home, designed by the late, architect Joe Wai. This expansion means 154 brand new care homes for seniors. Thank you to all the caring staff and partners for your dedication!
Celebrating Lunar New Year in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown at the annual parade is always lots of fun! I was joined by family, volunteers & staff handing out red pockets to the community. 2020 is the Year of the Rat, the beginning of the zodiac cycle signifying the beginning of a new day!
My Ministry, Advanced Education, Skills and Training, in Action!
Indigenous communities and the Industry Training Authority working together
I was honoured to be welcomed by Chief Judy Gerow and community to the Kitselas First Nation to announce our government's continued commitment to invest in people! In partnership with the Industry Training Authority (ITA), we’re opening more doors to support Indigenous trades training programs to build the Best B.C.
This announcement will support more than 475 Indigenous people in communities throughout B.C. to succeed in high-paying trades careers! By investing in culturally relevant skills training initiatives we’re responding to Article 7 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
Province doubles the number of specialty nursing seats at BCIT
Our government is expanding nursing and health-care programs across the province including in the North, the Northeast and on Vancouver Island because we understand British Columbians need and deserve top-quality health care.
We've more than doubled the number of specialty nursing training opportunities in B.C. by funding 1,000 seats per year, so that nurses have the tools they need to thrive. Great announcement Minister Dix.
Free 24/7 mental health supports for post-secondary students
Post-secondary students have told me there is a gap in mental health supports services. Our government is responding to this call to action, by creating a place for students to reach out for help 24/7!
Better Supports for People Living in Poverty
The changes include the elimination of the two-year waiting period for young adults. Young adults who need income assistance can apply right away. There is also expanded access to security deposits and pet damage deposits.
Our government has convened an Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply & Affordability. They are exploring solutions to ensure there are affordable homes available for purchase or rent in British Columbia’s largest cities.
Organizations and private citizens will have an opportunity to submit their feedback between January 22 and April 3, 2020 at 4pm (PST).
Property tax relief coming for small businesses, non-profits
I've heard from various stakeholders who are concerned that increasing property taxes are affecting small businesses and non-profits across Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. This spring our government will be introducing legislation empowering cities with the ability to provide relief to small businesses and organizations. Stay tuned!
In case you missed it! Return-It (Encorp Pacific) has announced changes to its beverage container deposit levels. Effective November 1st, deposits for non-alcoholic beverage containers will increase from 5 cents to 10 cents.
29th Annual Women's Memorial March Friday February 14th
The women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of Missing and Murdered women and girls in the Downtown Eastside. The march will begin at noon Friday February 14, 2020 at the Carnegie Centre on Main and Hastings. https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House Family Drop-in
573 East Hastings St, Vancouver
Tuesday and Thursday 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
The Families, Farming and Food program works to mitigate the effects of material poverty by providing access to healthy food, and empowering participants with life skills and knowledge of healthy food preparation.
Healthy Living Support Group for Immigrant Women
Want to practice your English, make friends and learn more about Canada? Come to the ongoing Health and Wellness Group for Immigrant Women!
To register please contact Sherifa Azzab: 604-879-8208 ext 203, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Arabic group: 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (800 East Broadway), and, 2nd & 4th Wednesday of every month at the Immigrant Services Society of BC Welcome Centre (2610 Victoria Drive).
Mandarin group: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm on the first Saturday of every month at MPNH. Childcare is available. Registration is required so be sure to call 604-879-8208!
For upcoming programming information, visit their events calendar here.
Complimentary Haircuts for Seniors
By Appointment every Tuesday
411 Seniors Centre (704-333 Terminal Ave)
Registration is required so call 604-684-8171 in advance!
Free tax clinics
These clinics are hosted by community organizations across Canada through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. Find out if you qualifyhere! Find a location here(please note more options will be listed closer to Spring 2020)
Hon. Melanie Mark, MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
1070-1641 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y4