St. James

Some nice words about MVA from Father Kevin Hunt of St. James Church in Vancouver's Downtown East Side.

As I discover more of the history of St. James', it is good to find that this ministry and witness has been part of life in this parish, and is still so, not least in the Street Outreach Initiative. On Tuesday I went with Fr Matthew to the AGM of the Metro Vancouver Alliance. It was a great encouragement to learn of this Alliance of a wide variety of faith communities, community groups and labour organisations across the region committed to listening to concerns at grass-roots level, to those who do not know how to make their voices heard, to discovering common needs, wrongs to be addressed, longings and aspirations, and to know that St. James' is a member. The Alliance's work is focused on three areas at present, affordable housing, income justice, transit, all overlapping as issues of social inclusion and all of which should be matters of concern for the whole community.

Read the whole message here.

Project RouteSpeak

Delegates representing MVAs member organizations enthusiastically endorsed project RouteSpeak at the MVA Annual General meeting, held June 8th.

The next step in MVA's transit campaign, project RouteSpeak will bring community members from across the Lower Mainland together to build consensus and citizen civic power on a range of issues that affect access to and operation of transit and transportation.

Here's MVA's proposal ...


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MVA Annual Report, 2014 -15

Metro Vancouver Alliance is a broad-based alliance of 52 community groups, labour, faith and educational institutions working together for the common good. MVA brings together diverse civil society organizations to create new capacity in a community for leadership development, citizen-led action and relationships across the lines that often divide our communities.

The members of Metro Vancouver Alliance are institutions: congregations, labor unions, educational bodies, co-operatives, small business, non-profits, and neighborhood organizations that share a concern for the well-being of their community.

The aim of MVA is to strengthen the voice of citizens and take action on issues of common concern. The Alliance builds on more than 70 years of community organizing experience developed by the Industrial Areas Foundation, with sister organizations across the US, Canada, Germany, Australia and the UK.

Organizations that join MVA do so in order to:

  • Develop leadership and strengthen community within and between their institutions
  • Build bridges across longstanding divisions that isolate communities from each other
  • Build their capacity to act against the root causes of inequality and injustice

MVA has charitable status through its educational arm, Industrial Areas Foundation Canada,

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Empowering Communities

The Hospital Employees Union, one of our member organizations, has a nice write-up about Deborah Littman, MVA's Lead Organizer, and the philosophy behind MVA in the latest issue of Guardian, their magazine for members.

Read it here!

A Yes vote is good but only a start

We are being asked to vote on a good transit plan in Metro Vancouver. But it is only a start. Even the mayors who developed it describe the plan as “neither everything we want nor all that we ultimately need.”


A Yes vote starts to meet the needs of seniors, people with disabilities, and lower and middle income people. Demand for public transit has soared, while service levels have remained practically unchanged over the past seven years. Extreme overcrowding has eroded reliability and safety, especially for seniors and people with disabilities. HandyDART service hours have been frozen since 2009, and as a result trip denials went up over 600 per cent before the contractor changed procedures to disguise the crisis. The 30 per cent increase in HandyDART and 25 per cent increase in bus service in the plan is a big step in the right direction, but not enough given that the number of people over 70 is expected to increase by 40 per cent in the next decade.

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Transit Matters!

Transit service in the Lower Mainland was one of the issues MVA member organizations identified as a priority and something that we all would work on together: before, during and after the transit referendum. Check out the video ...

Metro Vancouver Alliance joins the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition, campaigns for YES vote in upcoming referendum.


The Metro Vancouver Alliance has joined the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition advocating for a ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming referendum. 

Over the past two years MVA held thousands of conversations with people from within its member institutions about the challenges they face and the positive changes they wanted to see in the region. MVA members identified transit and social isolation as two priorities.

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Check out our transit video

The video MVA produced that outlines some of the problems users have accessing transit in the Lower Mainland is getting some great feedback. Check it out ...

MVA Transit Team on CBC's On The Coast

Maria Robinson, co-chair of MVA's Transit Action Team was on CBC's On The Coast yesterday, talking about our work on the Transit Referendum - skip to 00:52:30 to listen in.


MVA Newsletter: Upcoming Events, Rally For Fairness and Happy Holidays!


Metro Vancouver Alliance Campaign Action Teams are working hard to keep our political leaders to the promises they made prior to the municipal election.
  • The Transit Team meets Wednesdays and is working on a campaign to encourage people to vote to pass the transit referendum and organizing MVA forums on transportation issues before the referendum.
  • The Social Isolation Team is still organizing meeting times, but is holding a pot-luck on December 10th - all are welcome!
  • The Housing Team meets the 2nd Thursday of the month to work on holding Vancouver's municipal government to their commitments. Housing team members are also involved in supporting the campaign against the sale of Stamps Place community housing in East Vancouver.
  • The Poverty/Living Wage Team is busy ensuring Vancouver's municipal government lives up to their commitment to make Vancouver a living wage city and meets the first Thursday of every month.
There's more information and the full timetable for upcoming meetings at our new website. Please think about joining one of the teams if you are not already involved!

Almost 40 representatives from MVA member organizations (and future MVA member organizations) attended our last Leadership Institute! Another is scheduled for January 30th and 31st, 2015. Details and registration.
Rally For Fairness - December 11th

MVA's Living Wage Campaign Action Team is supporting our members from Hospital Employees Union (HEU) working at the Inglewood Care Centre. Please come along to their rally on Dec. 11.
Details at facebook.
Season's Greetings!

We wish you all the best over the Christmas Holidays and we look forward to working together in the new year to help make the Lower Mainland a better place for all of us.


Member Institutions Accomplishments IAF Northwest


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