We were very busy over the summer, organizing for the common good, of course!
And, here's the latest update from the Metro Vancouver Alliance.....
Strategy team meeting
Our strategy team meets on Tuesday, September 10, from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm, in Room 1209 of the Vancouver Community College health sciences building (Broadway campus). We'll be discussing our work for this fall and new opportunities for our research action teams to access grant money to pursue their priority issues.
Community Organizing Leadership Institute
Our introduction to the theory and practice of community organizing, including necessary skills you can use to strengthen your union, congregation, community group or educational organization. Join other emerging and established leaders for this in-depth workshop on Friday evening, September 27 and Saturday, September 28. Learn more and register here. The leadership Institute is free for folks from MVA member institutions. Participants from non-member institutions may pay $75 to take part. This may be applied to membership dues in the MVA if your institution later decides to join us. Please download the workshop poster here and share it.
Free workshop: Tough Conversations - keeping your cool when things get challenging
Our bodies respond instinctively when we feel challenged: the neck or jaw tightens, and the stomach gets queasy. Physical discomfort requires physical strategies. This training offers simple techniques to get you and your body working together so you can handle the challenge and communicate effectively in a way that feels better. Come prepared to ignite your curiosity and to explore new ways of taking care of yourself, especially in those tough moments. Join Shayna Hornstein, adult educator, counsellor and coach - and MVA leader - for this engaging workshop on Tuesday, October 29, 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm at the BCGEU Vancouver office. Find out more and register here.
Red dress gathering
The Hospital Employees' Union (HEU) an MVA member, is holding a red dress gathering to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls on Sunday, September 15 from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm in Bear Creek Park (13750 88 Avenue in Surrey (140th Street east side entrance). Everyone welcome. Bring a chair and a picnic lunch, some refreshments provided. Download the poster here and share it.
The coming federal election
The Public Service Alliance of Canada, an MVA member, is sponsoring an all-candidates forum for voters in the Vancouver-Kingsway electoral district on Tuesday, September 17, 7.00 pm at Collingwood Neighbourhood House (5288 Joyce Street, a few minutes from the Joyce Skytrain station). Everyone is welcome to attend. You can RSVP and even submit a question here.
MVA partner, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, will be weighing in on top voting concerns such as the rising cost of living, climate change, much-needed investments in health care and closing expensive tax loopholes. Let the CCPA know what you care about and stay up to date with their election analysis here.
Global climate strike
Greta Thunberg has landed on our shores just in time for the next Global Climate Strike. On Friday, September 27th, Vancouverites will stand together with people across the planet to demand climate justice. This global strike is not just for youth - this time, we need EVERYONE to demand dramatic and urgent action against the climate crisis. Vancouver City Hall (Cambie and 12th Avenue) from 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm.
Promote the MVA!
We're building our social media presence and need your help! Please like our Facebook page and also take a few minutes to invite your friends to like it!
A recent article in America, the Jesuit Review, explores the impact of the decline of organized labour in the United States and the growth of inequality all through the lens of Catholic social teaching. Read The decline of unions is part of a bad 50 years for American workers here.
Amid the urgency of the climate crisis, many of us are experiencing what has been called "eco-grief." An article in The New Republic suggests that solidarity is the answer to the enormous challenge ahead. Read One for all: To avert global catastrophe, we urgently need to resurrect the ancient ideal of solidarity here.
As humans, we're hardwired to care, but we have to nurture it, writes Vivian Fellegi in Broadview magazine, formerly the United Church Observer. Read The science of empathy here.
The Georgia Strait published a Labour Day message from MVA leader and president of the Vancouver and District Labour Council Stephen Von Sychowski. Read Unions celebrate Labour Day by calling for a fair Canada for everyone here.
Please join us for the Metro Vancouver Alliance 2018 Annual General Meeting and Delegates’ Assembly. We will be holding elections for the MVA Board and welcoming new and long-standing member organizations. Please RSVP to attend.
The AGM will review MVA’s active and eventful year campaigning on affordable housing, income justice, accessible transit and social inclusion and set our focus for the coming year.
Help MVA take action on this agenda and plan for the year to come.
Today, the North West Indigenous Council Society (NWIC) has announced that it will undertake a consultation on Indian Registration, Band Membership and First Nation Citizenship. This consultation meeting will take place from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at the Britannia Community Services Centre’s Astorino’s venue, located at 1739 Venables Street in Vancouver.
In June 2018, the Government of Canada announced the launch of a “comprehensive and meaningful consultation” that would involve joint work with First Nations and Indigenous organizations across Canada. The NWIC consultation meeting is part of this larger process that will wrap up on April 3, 2019. The discussions are expected to go beyond Indian Act registration and Band Membership issues and focus on the broader issues associated with self-government and self-determination.
Ms. Claudette Dumont-Smith, Minister Bennett’s Special Representative, will be attending the NWIC consultation. She is lending her expertise to the process concerning the core issues of Indian Registration, Band Membership and First Nation citizenship. Ms. Dumont-Smith is responsible for preparing a final report on the consultation activities, as well as the recommendations that will be used in a report to Parliament that must be tabled by June 12, 2019.
The mandate of NWIC is to enhance, promote, protect and foster the social, economic, educational, cultural, health, well-being and rights of Indigenous Peoples within British Columbia. We embrace and promote the 46 articles contained in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We promote reconciliation and the 94 Calls to Action contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Report and strive to build a unified voice and vision on core issues impacting Indigenous peoples in British Columbia.
For more information contact:
Scott Clark, President
North West Indigenous Council Society
Check out MVA leader Maria Robinson speaking truth to power about HandyDART funding in the Vancouver Sun today!
Maria Robinson, former co-chair of the transit Research Action Team represented MVA at the provincial budget lock-up last month (new baby in hand).
February 19, 2019
Victoria – Metro Vancouver Alliance (MVA) is a broad-based alliance of 57 civil society institutions who work together for the common good. Our member and sponsoring organizations represent 200,000 people in Metro Vancouver and over 700,000 people across the Province.
At our Provincial Election Accountability Assembly on April 4, 2017, we received commitments from Premier Horgan and Andrew Weaver on our provincial priorities. In May and October 2018, we met with Minister James and asked her to prioritize and support these commitments in the provincial budget. Today we attended the budget lock-up and examined how the Government is doing on our promises.
With an overall theme of affordability and helping families, MVA is encouraged by the spending priorities in today’s provincial budget which address the affordable housing crisis, access to transit, access to healthcare, and income inequality in British Columbia. This is how the budget aligns with our priorities.
Until now, British Columbia was the only province without a plan to reduce poverty. MVA received a commitment from Premier Horgan to work with us and our partners at the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition to develop a bold and comprehensive strategy to address the depth of poverty in our province. We are pleased to see the government unveil a Poverty Reduction Plan in this session. Related budget items include eliminating MSP premiums; eliminating student loan interest; raising income and disability rates by $50/month; removing barriers to access the BC Employment Assistance program; and funding community-operated rent banks. It is an encouraging start and will begin to make an immediate impact in people’s lives. We look forward to hearing the full details of the plan this Spring. We continue to work with our partners at the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and government to address the depth of poverty in our communities. This work will be ongoing until we see meaningful change in the lives of our members.
Housing unaffordability continues to top the list of pressures facing families in BC. MVA called for the BC Government to spend $3B a year to build 10,000 new affordable housing units per year for the next 5 years. Budget 2018 introduced a housing plan to invest $7B over 10 years for 114,000 housing units. In 2018 they built 17,000. The 2019 budget shows the continuation of this spending commitment. It also includes funding for 200 additional modular units for homeless, bringing the total to 2200. This is not enough to meet the needs of BC residents; we had hoped to see a greater investment in truly affordable housing to meet the commitment we secured from Premier Horgan in 2017.
Accessible & Affordable Transit
In 2017, MVA asked Horgan to commit to increasing HandyDART vehicle service hours by 5% for the next 4 years across the entire province through special funding directly from the province. HandyDART service in all jurisdictions is suffering, and HandyDART riders with it. As in 2018, there is no line item for this in the 2019 budget. BC Transit is getting an additional $21M in funding, so we will see some further increase in service. It is not enough and we will continue to advocate for more HandyDART vehicle hours.
Access to transportation is critical for BC residents. We must be able to get to work, to school, to the doctor, to see our families, and to participate in civic life. MVA has asked the province to fund free transit for children and a sliding-scale low-income transit pass. There is nothing in the budget to reflect funding for these programs.
MVA asked Premier Horgan to commit to increase access to coordinated primary, community, and social care services. We specifically recommended and received commitment for an annualized global funding model for Community Health Centres, and for investment in 20 new community-governed, not-for-profit Community Health Centres by 2020. The 2019 budget invests in many areas of healthcare, including 5 more new urgent primary care centres, as well as expanding and upgrading hospitals and improving integrated mental health care services. Our ask for new Community Health Centres and a global funding model however is not addressed.
This was MVA’s first invitation in the budget lock-up. This recognition is a testament to the power of the work we are doing together. Although there is more to do, we are pleased to see the provincial government engaging with civil society organizations. We will continue to build on this momentum.
Maria Robinson / firstname.lastname@example.org / 778-773-2895
Tracey Maynard, Lead Organizer / email@example.com