COPE General Meeting
Equity Conference
Joyce Neighborhood House
April 17, 2016

2: 40pm – Agenda approved

2:45pm – Victor Elkins, introduction and opening remarks for Equity conference

Victor introduces Equity reps:

LGBTQQ2s rep – John Yano

Racialized caucus – Imtiaz Popat

Disability caucus – Stephen Lytton

Indigenous caucus – Caucus met before today’s meeting and has decided to carry out broader outreach to Indigenous community and return with recommendation for rep next General Meeting

Transgender rep – Postponed to next meeting


–Wilson Munoz and Jennifer O’Keefe planning social and affordable housing rally at City Hall for the end of June, 2016

–Upcoming publish hearing on TPP, Leadnow is planning a rally or protest in response

–May 1st rally against the TPP, contact Imtiaz for more information

–District Parent Advisory council hosting a rally tomorrow against the cuts, 5:30 at the School Board (Broadway and Granville/Fir) tomorrow, April 18

–Jennifer O’Keefe announcement about Site C dam

–Upcoming Trans Rights bill going before the provincial legislature, protecting gender identity and gender express (contact Morgane Oger –


3:00 – 3:20pm – Diana Day (Indigenous Caucus)

3:20 – 3:30pm – Tim Louis (Disability Caucus)

3:30 – 4:00pm – Meena Wong, Imtiaz Popat, Kombii Nanjalah (Presentation of Racialized Caucus)

Today the media picks the areas with the highest number of Chinese immigrants and creates a strategy of media scapegoating to “explain” the housing crisis – using people’s last names to collect statistics is an inaccurate and racialized way of gathering data. A person with a Chinese last name is as likely to be Canadian as non-Canadian. Instead of regulating the housing market, the mainstream is diverting attention onto one group, this is “economic racism.” The government needs to do something, take real action on several levels: lack of affordability, local and federal government have failed to build social and affordable housing. Current city government is selling public land to private developers, and then after the fact begging them for crumbs. Look at what happened at the Olympic Village. We need a true definition of social housing, true definition of affordable housing. Homelessness is the direct result of the lack of affordable housing in Vancouver. In London they are taxing wealth, and taking a surcharge on non-resident investors, in order to build affordable housing. When you talk to your friends, neighbors, activate them!

Our communities are changing, often without consultation of local communities and community groups. We need local mobilization, COPE can help activate and amplify people’s voices. The changing of heritage neighborhoods without any consultation of local residents, local groups – Chinatown is fighting back. Imtiaz: same thing happening at Punjabi Market. And now at former Hogan’s alley, the city is using a false progressive discourse to build more condos, there have been promises made for restorative justice but are these promises empty? They want to give us a plack, but that’s not what we want, we need more. Kombii: Hogan’s Alley a thriving community, importance of the church initiated by Nora Hendrix, a true community place, a home, used for community meetings, gatherings. Planner Leonard Marsh, “we want to displace this small colony of Negros.” Discrimination still persists in all parts of our city, even at the places we work, even in the unions. Our kids are imprisoned; these kids are imprisoned because of the system, the system of displacement globally and role of Canadian government specifically, and when migrants and refugees arrive here, even 12 year old kids, they are not supported, only sent to criminal justice system, or sent to the lowest jobs on the social ladder. We need care, treatment, support – too many black men criminalized

4:00pm – 4:10 – Victor Elkins, LGBT presentation

The importance of labour in protecting LGBTQ rights.

HEU today is a social justice union, not exclusively a labour-worker union. A person is a complicated being with many aspects, for example a worker can identify as a woker, but as gay or Indigenous

In early 1990s benefits rights for partners, HEU at forefront of fighting for LGBTQ rights. Sends delegates to global/international events, building a broader movement and learning from other struggles. We have made a lot of progress, but we need to step up our game a little bit. In some ways people have learned how to hide their bigotry, but we need to move towards a genuine transformation.

4:10 – 4:20pm – John Woods, polyamory

People who consider themselves polyamorous are marginalized for not conforming to monogamous relations. Social penalties, legal obstacles (for example partner benefits), stereotypes – it’s hard to be “out” in one’s workplace, for example. Working to create new family structures, and create new forms of real and profound commitment. Commitment isn’t only a monogamous phenomenon.

4:20 – 4:30 – Morganne Oger (Trans presentation)

“Being Safe Being Me” (new academic article published at UBC based on survey of 300 people) – documenting widespread discrimination of trans youth. Being trans in Canada is very challenging. Vancouver in many ways a beacon of this struggle, and this is because the trans movement has built on Vancouver past of social justice struggles. But there are still holes, many areas of improvement needed. The more marginalized you are the more expensive services become, partly because you need them for safety. I am being renovicted, the landlords in BC are like the wild west. 0.5% of BC population are trans, most living in Vancouver – 15,000 people, most of us rent. Anti-homophobia mentor at VSB is going to be fired, we need to fight to keep this position. Green Party of Vancouver on school board are “conservatives who recycle,” so they might vote to approve the budget.

More bathrooms are becoming gender-neutral, progress.

Discrimination against non-passing trans people. “Leave non-passing people alone, what matters is being true to yourself.” Being trans is not protected in the human rights code. We need labour contracts that are explicitly trans-inclusive.

Medical providers also need to stand up for human rights – the new hospital that gets built needs to follow the strictest standards of inclusion and non-discrimination

4:45 – 5pm – Q & A

5:00pm – COPE

Marilyn amendment to Feb 25 minutes:


1) that COPE strike a “COPE Committee to Tackle Rezoning and Densification in Vancouver” (working name)

2) This committee would also address the need for social and affordable housing, and could allow for holding community-wide meetings, town halls, etc. to dialogue about what we think is needed for livability in Vancouver, including ways to establish real community control on how Vancouver should be shaped as we go into the future.

Amendment approved

Feb 25 Minutes approved, MSC


Gretchen motion

Be it resolved that Part 3 General Meetings be amended by adding new Point 6 (existing Point 6 to be renumbered)

6. Quorum for General Meetings: When the meeting is called to order the registrar shall report the number of voting members who have registered for the meeting. Quorum shall be the greater of fifty percent plus one of this number OR twenty registered voting members.

In the event that quorum is not present when the meeting is called to order, or if quorum is lost, the meeting may still take place. However, unless and until a quorum is present no decisions (with the sole exception of decisions relating to procedure) may be made .



B Quorum for Executive Meetings

Be it resolved that Part 4 The Executive be amended by deleting existing Point 11

11. Quorum for Executive Meetings, teleconferences or email votes shall be 50 percent plus one of incumbent Voting Executive Members including at least one Table Officer.

And replacing it with new Point 11, to read as follows:

11. Quorum for Executive Meetings teleconferences or email votes shall be one third ( 1/3) of incumbent Voting Executive Members

In the event that quorum is not present when the meeting is called to order, or if quorum is lost, the meeting may still take place. However, unless and until a quorum is present no decisions (with the sole exception of decisions relating to procedure) may be made.



Nominations for Member-at-large position

Sara Sagai, represented by proxy (Lawrence Boxall)

Sara Sagai, wins my acclamation


Imtiaz moves that EDOC organize an annual Equity Conference, conference organized by EDOC



Anita, Notice of Motion

BIR –letter to City of Vancouver on neutered rabbits and cats


Motion to adjourn