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:  [email protected]

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.



For interviews, contact




Vancouver – The Metro Vancouver Alliance and Living Wage for Families Campaign are coordinating a rally to show support for Vancouver to become a Living Wage Employer. On July 8th Vancouver City Council will debate a motion that will begin the process of making Vancouver a living wage city.  The rally will take place on the steps of city hall and will be followed by presentations to the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services in support of the living wage motion.

When: Wednesday, July 8, 2015  Rally: 9:00 am Standing Committee on City Finance and Services: 9:30 am

Where: City Hall, 453 W 12th Ave, Vancouver

Rally Speakers

  • The Rev. Margaret Marquardt representing Anglican Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Melissa Skelton, Diocese of New Westminster
  • Irene Lanziger, President, BC Federation of Labour
  • Blanca Salvatierra, community organizer


  • Deborah Littman, Lead Organizer, Metro Vancouver Alliance

Presenters to Council include:

  • Mary Lyn Diana, member of Hospital Employee’s Union
  • The Rev. Margaret Marquardt representing Anglican Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Melissa Skelton, Diocese of New Westminster.
  • Father David Pourier, St. Joseph the Worker, Catholic Parish
  • Vania Tse, member of CUPE 391 (Vancouver, Gibsons and Sechelt Library Workers)
  • Deanna Ogle, Campaign Organizer,  Living Wage for Families Campaign
  • Stacey Berisavac, Manager, Health Promotion, Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division
  • Linda Morris, Senior Vice President Business Development, Member & Community Engagement, Vancity Savings Credit Union

For further information, please contact:

  • Deanna Ogle, Campaign Organizer, Living Wage for Families Campaign, 604-364-2917
  • Patrick Bragg, Metro Vancouver Alliance, 778-889-3486

The Living Wage for Families Campaign announces the annual living wage for Metro Vancouver, certifies Living Wage Employers and builds broad understanding of the importance of living wages to child, family and community health.

The Metro Vancouver Alliance is a group of nonpartisan, proactive, everyday citizens dedicated to making the Metro Vancouver area a better place for all to live and thrive. Our members come from faith congregations, youth groups, neighbourhood houses, union locals, co-ops, academic departments and community non-profits.


Metro Vancouver Alliance not discouraged by No vote in transit referendum

Will keep pushing for better transit and lower fares to reduce social isolation and pollution

The Metro Vancouver Alliance is vowing to keep up their campaigning for better transit and lower fares after the No vote in the Metro Vancouver transit referendum.

“We are disappointed but not discouraged with the No vote,” says Metro Vancouver Alliance spokesperson Bruce Murray. “Better transit has very strong support, and we will keep working to get the transit system the people of Metro Vancouver need.”

The Metro Vancouver Alliance is a broad based alliance of over 50 community, labour, faith and education groups united to work for the common good.


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MVA 2015 AGM minutes

Here are the minutes of the Metro Vancouver Alliance AGM, held at St. Augustine's on June 8 2015

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Member Institutions Accomplishments IAF Northwest


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