Building a broad community coalition in Vancouver


Deb Cameron Fawkes, an MVA Leader from UFCW, and Lead Organizer Deborah Littman, sat down with the Talking Radical Radio podcast to talk about Metro Vancouver Alliance and community organizing.

Listen in at

North Vancouver politicians commit to addressing affordable housing

Affordable Housing Assembly a Success!

Over 300 enthusiastic members of the Metro Vancouver Alliance and community partners, representing a range of faith, labour, educational and community groups in North Vancouver gathered on Family Day to call on local politicians to address the affordable housing crisis on the North Shore.


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Media Advisory: Affordable Housing Assembly

Members of faith, labour, civil society and educational organizations gather to call on municipal politicians to make concrete commitments to deal with the affordable housing crisis on the North Shore.

MEDIA ADVISORY Thursday February 4, 2016

The idea of affordable housing in Vancouver, and especially on the North Shore, has become a fairy tale.  At the end of 2015, the median price of a single family home in North Vancouver was $1,042,600. This represents an almost 10% increase since 2014 and a 21% increase over five years.

Members of the Metro Vancouver Alliance and community partners, representing a range of faith, labour, educational and community groups in North Vancouver will gather on Family Day to call upon local mayors and councillors to address the affordable housing crisis on the North Shore.

Politicians will hear research and testimony from delegates representing MVA’s member organizations and be asked to commit to specific, achievable, proposals around affordable housing and healthy neighborhoods.

Darrell Mussatto, Mayor of North Vancouver; Craig Cameron, Acting Mayor of West Vancouver; and Richard Walton, Mayor of the District of North Vancouver have all confirmed their attendance.

Date: Monday, February 8th, 2016
Time: 1PM to 3PM
Location: St. Catherine's Church, 1058 Ridgewood Drive, North Vancouver

The Metro Vancouver Alliance is a broad based alliance of community groups, labour, faith and educational institutions working together for the common good.

For more information: Patrick Bragg, MVA, cell (778) 889-3486


Beyond Conversation in South Vancouver


In an effort to address social isolation in their neighbourhood, a group of MVA member organizations in South Vancouver held a listening campaign, using a series of one-to one conversations and house meetings. One of the major challenges that surfaced during these conversations was the isolation of immigrant seniors, excluded by language from participating in their local community. It was discovered that many of these seniors bring their grandchildren to story-telling sessions at the library, but have no opportunity to interact with others while they are there. Because of cuts in funding and government restrictions, few of these seniors can access ESL classes.

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Paul Clark, Social Isolation Campaign Team co-chair on Roundhouse Radio


Feelings of loneliness and social isolation are common problems for Vancouverites. Paul Clark, co-chair of theMetro Vancouver Alliance Social Isolation Campaign Action Team was interviewed on Roundhouse Radio recently. Listen in at the link

MVA in MoveUP's membership magazine

Unions and The Metro Vancouver Alliance: Finding Common Ground and Working For The Common Good

Our friends at MoveUP, the Movement of United Professionals, have a nice article about MVA in the latest issue of their membership magazine. Check it out at the link, on page 14.

Introducing the Metro Vancouver Alliance Seminar Series

A space to stretch your brain! For those who want to dig a little deeper into the ideas that sustain our work, we'll gather in small groups to discuss readings and events broadly relevant to our goals. Our facilitator is Deb Cameron-Fawkes, an MVA Board member and part of the Leadership Training team.  Deb is a theologian and preacher, and also a union steward with the United Food and Commercial Workers. 

Watch for new events every other month! 


Going Public: An Organizer's Guide to Citizen Action by Michael Gecan

Anchor Books, 2004

Join us for a four-part study of an organizer's life with the Industrial Areas Foundation.  Gecan's readable and entertaining style is a great kick-off to our study groups. His story, told in four parts, gets us deep into the how and the why of this kind of organizing, its public wins and personal rewards. Copies are available for purchase through the MVA office.

LOCATION: Downtown Vancouver (Strathcona)



Please RSVP for our host's address and directions:

You need not attend all four sessions, but registration is required as space is limited.

  • Nov 12, 7-8:30pm : The Habit of Relating
  •  Nov 19, 7-8:30pm : The Habit of Action
  •  Nov 26, 7-8:30pm : The Habit of Organization
  •  Dec 3, 7-8:30pm :The Habit of Reflection


Upcoming topics:

  • Laudato Si, the Pope's encyclical about climate change and social justice
  • Relational Meetings Save Lives - lessons from citizens building peace in Northern Ireland; "Labour" and "Faith" - sharing stories, shredding stereotypes for a stronger Alliance.

Metro Vancouver Alliance organizes candidates meeting in Vancouver Granville, calls on politicians to support initiatives around Social Inclusion, Affordable Housing, Income Justice, and Transit.

Representatives from the Metro Vancouver Alliance’s over 50 member organizations will make presentations on four issues - social inclusion, transit, income justice, and affordable housing - to candidates in the upcoming federal election and ask for a response and a commitment to work with MVA to make Metro Vancouver a better place for all.

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It's not easy to make friends in Vancouver

Vancouver has slipped into a state of social isolation over the years, a matter complicated by poverty, housing, and transportation. 

Since 2014, MVA's social inclusion committee, led by Clark, has been working on simple measures to reduce isolation based on the dynamics of individual communities. 

“There are thousands of little drops that fill a bucket, and it’s up to us to enable thousands of creative people to unleash them,” he explains. “We have to get rid of the barriers for them, allow them to magnify and upscale their initiatives.”

The Vancouver Observer talks to Paul Clark, co-chair of MVA's Social Inclusion Action Team.

City of Vancouver motion to become a Living Wage Employer passes unanimously

VANCOUVER – The Living Wage for Families Campaign and the Metro Vancouver Alliance congratulate the City of Vancouver for its commitment to become a Living Wage Employer.

A motion introduced last week by Mayor Robertson to make the City of Vancouver a Living Wage Employer was debated today at the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services and passed unanimously. This is a welcome response to the growing income inequality in Vancouver. By adopting a living wage policy for its direct staff and contractors, the City of Vancouver is making it a little bit easier for working families to meet their expenses.

The living wage is a regional calculation that looks at the amount that a family of four, two adults working full year, full time, need to earn to meet their expenses. The living wage for Metro Vancouver is $20.68/hr.

“$20.68 is not just a number on a spreadsheet. It’s a crucial tipping point that affects every facet of life,” presented Vania Tse, CUPE 391 member and City of Vancouver employee. “I work more than 35 hours to make ends meet. What does this mean? It means more transportation time between jobs. More bus tickets per week to get to those jobs. It means I’m more tired and less able to commit time to see my family, exercise or further my own education.”

Prior to the most recent municipal election all Vancouver parties committed to explore becoming a Living Wage Employer at Metro Vancouver Alliance’s Municipal Accountability Assembly. The unanimous support demonstrates that the mayor and council intend to act on that public commitment.

“So many are struggling day to day to make ends meet with the ongoing stress this causes in families emotionally, spiritually and economically,” stated Rev. Margaret Marquardt representing Anglican Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Melissa Skelton, Diocese of New Westminster. “It is our responsibility to stand with those who are struggling and to show that we mean to do something about it. This motion on the living wage is a way towards this end!”

The next step for the City of Vancouver will be to draft an implementation plan to pay its direct employees and major service contractors a living wage. This plan will be reviewed and approved by the Living Wage for Families Campaign in order for the City of Vancouver to qualify as a certified Living Wage Employer.



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Member Institutions Accomplishments IAF Northwest


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