New COPE Website Coming!

Over the past couple of month’s COPE’s communications committee has been working hard to update our website and provide more opportunities for engagement. You’ll notice a new look being phased in leading up to the Olympics. If you have any thoughts, feel free to email us at cope@cope.bc.ca.

Coming up at City Council

COPE has two motions coming up at City Council this week. The first looks at restoring Legal Aid in BC and is available at http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20100202/documents/motionb5.pdf. 

The BC Government and Service Employees’ Union has launched a campaign pushing for significant improvements to the legal aid system in BC. The BCGEU is calling on the government to increase funding to the legal aid system, to allow the regional legal aid centres to remain open, and to ensure that all British Columbians have proper access to justice.

The second motion asks the City to behave in a cautious and restrained manner until an interim policy to address homeless people sleeping in public spaces is created. As a result of the Victoria (city) v. Adams Court of Appeal Decision, homeless people were granted the right to erect temporary shelters on public sidewalks if adequate shelter is not available. COPE believes the City needs to address this issue as soon as possible to ensure that homeless people’s charter rights are not infringed upon during the Olympics. The motion is available at http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20100202/documents/motionb6.pdf.

Note: These links don’t seem to be conneting properly. Both motions are at the bottom of this page: http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20100202/regu20100202ag.htm

To speak to these or any other items at council, email mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca.

 

A note from COPE-Ed and your school trustees – Stop the cuts!
COPE Trustees are focused on working with other trustees, parents, education unions and the community to turn back what are expected to be unprecedented education cuts right across the province.
This is not simply another year of under-funding. Vancouver alone is facing a $17 – 37 million shortfall.  This year, it will be impossible to avoid impacting student learning. The provincial secretary treasures’ organization (ASBO) – has stated that close to additional $300 million provincially is needed to simply maintain last year’s services.
The problem is an accumulation of unfunded costs that are generated at the provincial level  (e.g. salary benefits); actual cuts to funding grants (e.g. annual facilities grants); and inflationary costs.  For years, education funding has not met costs, but this past year’s elimination of the annual facilities grant has meant that monies that boards have had to spend any saved monies, and also make cuts during the year.  In Vancouver, more than $40 million has been cut out of the system since 2001.  Obvious administrative paring down was done long ago. The cumulative effect of this, plus the actual reduction in projected provincial funding, will mean deep and drastic cuts.
Every school will be impacted.  School closures, lay-offs, and the elimination of much needed educational programs are being seriously considered.

The situation is dire. The very future of public education is at risk.
For more information on the fight for our schools, please contact cope@cope.bc.ca and support actions by various community based groups, such as the Facebook group Stop BC Education Cuts.
COPE Commissioner on support for Bloedel Conservatory

COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock is attending the Bloedel Conservatory fundraiser Jan.30th to show her support for the geodesic dome that has been housing rare plants and 100 free flying birds for 40 years.

Woodcock voted against the Park Board’s budget reductions that lead the Park Board to issue Request for Proposals seeking other partnerships.

According to Woodcock, “the roof of the Bloedel needs improvements in order to make the building energy efficient and reduce its annual utility costs of over $200,000. I understand that there are federal and provincial energy grants that could potentially help us with renovations. Therefore, I am going to ask park board staff to start exploring provincial and federal energy grant applications.”

While the Park Board is in the process of deciding how the Bloedel will operate in the future, Woodcock also wants to seek funds for capital improvements such as energy conservation grants.

While the fundraiser, put on by Friends of the Bloedel, has sold out, the group is still taking donations.

Women and the Olympics


Panel discussion —
Women and the Olympics

on Sunday Feb. 7 – 7 PM

R

hizome Cafe at 317 E Broadway near Kingsway

Speakers include

Michael Vonn from BC Civil Liberties Association
, Harsha Wallia from the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
, Councillor Ellen Woodsworth

Chaired by Noga Gayle of Women’s International League for Peace and
Freedom

Little Mountain: A Fight for Social Housing

A film on Little Mountain housing, featuring councilor Woodsworth, will be screened this weekend at CODEV’s World Community Film Festival, along with many other great films.

For more information, see: http://www.codev.org/filmfest/filmdetail.cfm?movieID=10

Leave Out Violence Presents:
Lights, Camera, Youth Action!

February 7th, 2010.

Food! Films! Heated outdoor party! Live music! Medicine walks in community gardens! Youth voice!
“What Does 2010 mean to you?”

Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Youth Leaders are putting together a youth-led media collaboration, under an open-air tent in Strathcona Park.
LOVE will host an evening of youth-produced films, photography, and live performances that focus directly on “What does 2010 mean to you?”.

Lights, Camera, Youth Action! celebrates the creativity and positive power of youth and youth organizations. An evening of community building and celebration, the focus of the event will be harnessing youth voice towards the creation of peace and justice here in our communities and all over the world.

We still have room for more performances, live video screenings and community groups with tables full of youth resources. If you are interested in any of these please email us back with a bit about your organization and what you could offer to this event and the community at large.

WHERE: Strathcona Park — Prior St. and Hawks Ave. (Halfway between Main St. and Clark Dr. on Venables St.)
WHEN: February 7th, 2010 5 pm – 9 pm
UNITE HERE! Education workshop

“UNITE HERE!, the union for hotel workers across North America, is preparing for contracts to expire for thousands of hotel workers in Vancouver this summer.

On February 6th we will be holding an educational workshop for interested students, activits, and community members about the contract fight and what hotel workers will be fighting for in 2010.  This workshop will be geared toward people who are interested in supporting and taking active involvement in this labour struggle.”

COPE Pub Night

Another month, another awesome COPE Pub Night! Come join us on Wednesday February 10th at Original Joe’s. 

Just as always, it’s your chance to join your COPE electeds from Parks Board, School Board, and City Council, as well as executive members for a night of politics and drinks at Original Joe’s (Cambie and Broadway) starting at 8:00pm.

 With each pub night we’ve seen more and more people, their friends, partners, and roommates…so mark the date and tell your friends! The more the merrier!

Original Joe’s is at 500 W Broadway on the second floor (wheelchair accessible).

 Contact cope@cope.bc.ca for more info. 

FREE.

Jan 29, 2010: notes from council and school board and lots of events coming up!