COPE supports MAP van for sex-trade workers

Last week, Vancouver city council called for a restoration of funding
for the Mobile Action Project (MAP) van, which provided support for sex
trade workers. MAP began in 2004 as a partnership between WISH, the
Prostitution Alternatives Counselling and Education (PACE) Society and
the Vancouver Agreement Women’s Strategy Task Team. The van travelled
around the city and gave sex workers condoms, clean needles and
descriptions of violent johns. The province discontinued its funding
this spring, putting many workers at risk. The motion, moved by
Councillor Jang and seconded by COPE’s Councillor Woodsworth also
called for staff to complete a report on the status of sex trade
workers in Vancouver and ways the City can improve conditions.

 

Mayor open to reoccupying Little Mountain


In last week’s Vancouver Courier (available here)
Mayor Robertson says he favors renovating and re-using the social
housing at Little Mountain during the unpredictably long delay until
the designated developer, Holborn Holdings, can get through zoning,
planning and financing delays.

COPE Councillor Ellen Woodsworth who has been a vocal advocate for
Little Mountain, expects that preparing the units for re-use would cost
about $10,000 per dwelling. “I have heard estimates of a delay of ten
to twelve years before Holborn will build on the land,” she said. “Why
not provide housing now for people until the developer is ready to
move? There is federal money available to fund the renovations.”

COPE encourages concerned residents to speak out on this issue by contacting Minister Coleman (eia.minister@gove.bc.ca) and B.C. Housing (VanCoastalRegion@bchousing.org)
and urging them to re-consider their reported opposition to the
renovate-and-re-occupy option. Letters of support can also be sent to
the Mayor and Council at mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca.

 

Concerns remain on Olympic By-law changes

Last week, COPE’s David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth were the only
councilors to vote against a sweeping set of Olympic by-law changes.

According to Councillor Cadman, “We are concerned not only that free
speech may be affected as has been articulated by the BC Civil
Liberties Association, but that adequate consultation has not been
carried out with neighbourhoods regarding issues such as bar closing
times.”

For Councillor Woodsworth, the package is just too broad: “I am
concerned that the by-law changes give unprecedented authority to the
City Manager. While I certainly have confidence in our staff, I believe
it’s important for elected officials to be involved in the process –
especially when it comes to civil rights.”

COPE is committed to watching closely to ensure that civil liberties
are respected in the lead up and duration of the Olympics. Articles on
Woodsworth’s Coventry Declaration motion and women ski jumpers are
available on our website at www.cope.bc.ca.
 
Join COPE at Pride!

An organization with a long history of advocating for LGBTQ rights,
COPE will be marching in the Pride Parade again this year. Please join
us on Sunday and help create a Vancouver for everyone!
For more information, email liz@cope.bc.ca.

 

COPE Garden Party

When: 2:30 PM, Sunday, August 9
Where: 2268 Cambridge Street
(North Garden and Cambridge)
What: Includes afternoon non-alcoholic refreshments and appetizers.
Suggested donation:  $20.00
Followed by Dinner with Park Board Commissioner Loretta Woodcock, served between 6:30PM and 8:00 PM
Dinner Cost: Couple $65, Single $35, Youth and Seniors $20
No Host Bar, door prize and live entertainment
Hosted by Donalda Greenwell-Baker and Steve Baker
RSVP for Dinner at rachel@cope.bc.ca or 604-312-9057

 

Library Grants

BC provincial public libraries have not yet received their 2009 annual
operating grants from the provincial government, nor have they been
told how much money they will be receiving – both of which usually
happen earlier in the fiscal year. There have been strong indications
that the Province has decided to stop funding libraries and that this
funding may be cut from the current and subsequent budgets.

During
this economic downturn, there has been a significant increase in the
usage of BC public libraries. Residents know that their libraries offer
more than free books to read – they are using the Internet and computer
systems to do research, hunt for jobs and more. Without provincial
grants, significant cuts will result.

COPE encourages supporters to sign the
petition at http://www.stopbclibrarycuts.ca/

COPE Newsletter — July 28, 2009