Change: films that make a difference!

A series of four evenings of film hosted by
Building Better Neighborhoods, COPE, Jim Hamm Productions and SFU Public Interest
Research Group.

Each film will be introduced by community activists who will facilitate
discussion after the screenings.

April 08: Turning Down the
and The Air We Breathe:
with Gordon Price of the SFU City Program, Vancouver City Councillor David
Cadman and filmmaker Jim Hamm

April 09: The Corporation:
with author Murray Dobbin and filmmaker Joel Bakan

April 14: Wal-Mart: The high cost of low price: with VDLC
president Bill Saunders and Louisie Seto, from Building Better Neighbourhoods

April 17: The Take:
with John Restakis, of the BC Co-Op Association and Rachel Marcuse, from The
Working World

All screenings at 7:30 pm at ScotiaDance Centre 677 Davie St (at
Granville), Vancouver

Tickets: sliding scale $5 – $10

For more information contact 604-255-0400, or

April 08, 2008: TURNING DOWN THE HEAT/
Narrated by Dr. David Suzuki and co-produced with the NFB, Turning Down the Heat leaves the viewer
feeling positively excited about the energy revolution that is sweeping the
world, rather than worried about yet another environmental horror story. From
Danish farmers who have installed windmills on their land to Vancouver schoolchildren who are saving money
by saving energy, Turning Down the Heat speaks to the optimist in each of
us.Jim Hamm Productions. Running time:
49 Mins. and:
The Air We Breathe is filmed in
several major urban centers in Canada and the United States, and takes an
incisive look at how political choices have led to the growing crises of air
pollution and what steps certain cities are taking down the path for cleaner,
less polluting transit systems.
Jim Hamm Productions
Running time: 48 Mins.

April 09, 2008: THE CORPORATION
The Corporation explores the
nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. The
Corporation is transforming audiences and dazzling critics with its insightful
and compelling analysis that includes interviews with 40 corporate
insiders and critics – including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman,
Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case
studies and strategies for change.
Running time: 145 Mins.

April 14, 2008: WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST

This feature length documentary uncovers a retail giant’s assault on families
and workers. The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives
of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath. Producer/Director
Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films take you on an extraordinary journey that
will change the way you think, feel — and shop. Running
time: 98 Minutes

April 17, 2008: THE TAKE
The Take is a Canadian
documentary film released in 2004 by the wife and husband team of Naomi Klein
and Avi Lewis. It tells the story of workers in Buenos Aires, Argentina
who reclaim control of a closed Forja auto plant where they once worked and
turn it into a worker cooperative, or as could be argued, a working model of
anarcho-syndicalism. Winner of 26 awards including the 2004 Sundance Film
Festival. Running time: 87

Great party at COPE 40th Anniversary Bash!

More than 350 people danced and partied till the wee hours to Wyckham
Porteous’ rockin’ folk and Aaron Nazul’s hot salsa at COPE’s 40th Anniversary

As COPE members and supporters enjoyed wild salmon and local East Vancouver
brew at the Maritime Labour Centre, Labour Council President Bill Saunders and
MLA and former COPE Cllr Jenny Kwan opened the evening with a recognition of
the hard work of four decades of COPE Vancouver
city councillors, park commissioners, school trustees and community activists.

An ethical purchasing policy, gender equity, declaring Vancouver a nuclear
weapons free zone,developing the Cool
climate change plan, appointing a child and youth advocate,
protecting Vancouver neighbourhoods from big-box multinationals, banning
pesticides, harm reduction, standing up for students and teachers, and keeping
public parks, public, were noted among COPE’s manyaccomplishments.

The evening would not have been possible without the hard work of dozens of
volunteers and supporters, including Donalda Greenwell-Baker for the great
food, Ruth Herman for the display of candidates and elected, Ibata Hexamer for
the slide show, Mel Lehan for the memorabilia, Wyckham Porteous, Aaron Nazrul,
Chelsea Johnson and their bands, Jenny Kwan, Bill Saunders, Nathan Lusignan and
Meena Wong for MCing, and Rachel Marcuse for keeping it all together.

Thanks to volunteers Louise McNeil, Anita Romaniuk, Mary Carter, Elaine
Johnston, Ellen Woodsworth, Jon Yano, Caelan Griffiths, Jason Tockman, Alex
Kolsteren, Sean Ross, Hamish MacRae, Kate Webb, Mike Rosen, Dave Ages, Derrick
O’Keefe, Sid Tann, Katie Benjamin, Kaila
Zaneder, Maya Raderecht and
others, too many to list.

Special thanks to silent auction donors Vancouver International Fringe
Festival, Cafe Etico, Firehall Arts Centre, Festival Distribution,,
MP Libby Davies, MLAs Shane Simpson, David Chudnovsky and Adrian Dix, City Cllr
David Cadman, Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock, School Trustee Al Blakey,
Michael Rosen, Rick Marcuse, and Jane Bouey.

Thanks to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Hospital Employees
Union (HEU), BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU), Public Service Alliance of
Canada (PSAC) and Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC) for their ongoing

Finally, thanks to the COPE Executive’s 40th Anniversary Committee and staff
for their hard work.

And last but not
least, the winners of matching the names with the pictures game are Peter
Greenwell, Eva Sharell and Sharon Saunders/Lynn Van Meer (team), and winners of
matching people with years elected is a tie between Peter Greenwell and Donna
Morgan.The over-all winner is Peter

Marching Against Racism

On March 21, COPE activists marched with hundreds of Vancouverites to
mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

For centuries, communities have led countless courageous struggles against
racism and the many ways in which it manifests itself in our daily lives.
Although many would like to believe that racism no longer exists, the ugly
truth is that racism is a reality, both locally and globally.

COPE celebrates International Women’s Day

COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock hosted a breakfast in her home
to celebrate
International Women’s Day. Notable women activists who attended
included Ellen Woodsworth, Ellen
Gould, Susan Stout, Meena Wong, Marena Winstanley, Rachel Marcuse, and Marjorie Buchanan.

Park Commissioner Spencer Herbert and community activist Mel Lehan were also on
hand to support the IWD event.

There was a discussion on the historical roots of IWD, and how COPE has
been active on women’s issues such as running the first aboriginal woman (Angie
Todd Dennis), for mayor, setting up a Women’s Task Force, and developing the
city’s Gender Equality Strategy, increasing child care and electing the first
out-lesbian city councillor in Canada
– Ellen Woodsworth.

Participants donated $300 to be shared between the Downtown Eastside
Women’s Shelter and COPE.

Keep Mt Pleasant Centre for Community Arts

COPE Parks Commissioner Spencer Herbert wants to
save a much used outdoor pool and create needed space for local artists.

By letting arts groups move into the Old Mt Pleasant Community centre at 16th
and Ontario,
artists will get rehearsal and office space, and allow the pool to stay open as
all the Park Board has to do is pay for the costs of operating the pool over
the summer months.

“This proposal will save a beloved community pool, and gain the city an
arts centre.It’s as simple as
that,” said Herbert.

Arts groups like the idea.

“We’re thrilled about even just the possibility. There’s a crisis in this
city for companies that don’t have their own spaces,” said Marcus Youssuf,
artistic director at neworldtheatre.

Herbert said groups from the Vancouver Opera Association to small theatre
companies are also interested in his proposal. Even the NPA concede that
reusing the Mt Pleasant Community centre makes sense.

“I like the idea of trying to find alternative uses for buildings so they don’t
get pulled down,” said NPA Commissioner Ian Robertson.

Herbert is confident that the Park Board will join the arts community in
backing his plan.

“I’m overwhelmed by how favourably this proposal has been received. The
community support for this proposal continues to grow and now includes the
Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Association, the Mount Pleasant Community
Association, The Save the Pool Committee, and the Riley Park South Cambie
Community Visions group.Interested arts
groups include the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance, the
Vancouver Opera, and the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists – BC Chapter.”

Talkin’ Politics – COPE talks about Transit, Bikes and

It was
a full house at the Our Town Café on February 11, for another in COPE’s Talkin’

Speakers David Cadman (COPECity Councilor), Fred Bass (former COPECity
Councilor and bicycle activist), and Tiffany Kalanj (Student Union of Vancouver
Community College and student u-pass advocate), were a complementary trio.
Cadman brought his depth of municipal experience to the forum and provided an
overview of just how poorly planned our regional transit system has been and
what needs to be done to get it back on track. Bass spoke to the impact all of
us as individuals can make and used himself and his family as to illustrate a
number of everyday examples of potential citizen actions. Tiffany spoke with
passion about Translink’s failure to expand the Upass program to include all
postsecondary students.

For a recount of the speakers’ presentations and highlights from the Q&A
session go to:

As a party committed to community engagement and activism year-round and not
just at election time, COPE launched its Talkin’ Politics series just
over a year ago. Previous sessions have included topics such as co-ops in Vancouver, housing for
everyone, and women in politics. Once again COPE gratefully acknowledges the
kind contribution of Chris Bouris for videoing the entire event.

Chris’ video can be viewed at

COPE’s next Talkin’ Politics will focus on Housing. Stay tuned for date,
time and place. See you there.

School Happenings

While the provincial government likes to say that the funding for
2008-09 is higher than previous years despite dropping enrolment, they neglect
to add that the increased funding is for much deservedincreases for staff; and in fact there is no-net increase at all in per
student funding.

“Districts like Vancouver
are once again left in a position of juggling and underfunding, especially in
the area of providing education to children with special needs,” said COPE
Trustee Sharon Gregson.”The
Vancouver Board of Education is set to finish 2007/08 with a surplus of $3.5
million. COPE trustees pushed the Board to hire at least five more Special
Education Assistants and also fund training and implementation of emergency
evacuation teams for each school with a top-up of emergency rations and
supplies for children in every school.”

On March 27, School Board chairperson Ken Denike announced that part of this
year’s budget surplus will go towards the five positions.

Meanwhile the fate of Garibaldi and Queen Elizabeth school annexes are remain

“Closure of Queen Elizabeth Annex has been postponed till June because of
tremendous pressure by parents,” said COPE Trustee Al Blakey. “And at
Garibaldi Annex 300 community members attended a community fair in support of
keeping their school open under a plan proposed by the community after a
postponement was moved by COPE trustees.”

COPE Newsletter April 1, 2008 Full Version