“I will promote community programming for Vancouver’s diverse communities and Sanctuary City to protect those who are without status” – Imtiaz Popat
As a COPE Parks board candidate, Imtiaz Popat is passionate about expanding Vancouver’s community services and programming to reflect the city’s diverse communities. Popat hopes to use Toronto’s 519 Church Street Community Centre as a model for community programming. 519 Church Street offers services and programming for the city’s many distinct communities including LGBTQ and newcomers.
Popat is also a strong supporter of the Sanctuary City movement. “I’ll work with local grassroots movements and diverse communities to make Vancouver a real Sanctuary City, where all residents can access community centres, schools and public transit without fear of profiling or deportation,” Popat said. “In 2013 alone, the transit police reported 328 patrons to the Canadian Border Services Agency. We need to make sure that our staff at our parks and community centres do not engage in such practices and keep all personal information confidential so that all patrons feel safe in all our facilities.”
A prolific media producer, Imtiaz has hosted The Rational on Vancouver Co-op Radio, ACCESS TV on Shaw Cable 4, and produced feature films, including the documentary Stolen Memories about Japanese internment in BC. He has worked at Gallery Gachet in the Downtown Eastside, and has advocated for newcomers through his work with the Rainbow Refugee Committee and the Immigrant Services Society of BC.
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“It is indeed a pleasure to recommend Mr. Imtiaz Popat for the Vancouver Park Board in the upcoming civic election. Mr. Popat is a longtime community activist. As a concerned citizen he has dedicated his life to numerous causes. He is a hardworking, selfless community advocate, always upfront on environmental issues. Mr. Popat will be an effective Park Board commissioner in its working toward greener Vancouver”.
Promod and Rita Puri – Founders of the Link Newspaper.
“I’m pleased to endorse Imtiaz Popat as a nominee for Park Board. He is a long time social justice advocate and is passionate about making the world a better place for everyone but especially those who are marginalized”.
Mary Woo Sims – former Chief Commissioner of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission.