After yesterday’s positive announcement by the City and the Province that Little Mountain tenants would be able to stay onsite while the 1:1 replacement social housing portion of the development was expedited and built, several questions still remain.
Yesterday, tenants of Little Mountain housing were delivered a letter from BC Housing stating:
If you do not want to take advantage of these services, you have the option of relocating to one of the units we have designated in the area of the site near 37th and Main, so that demolition work can be carried out across the rest of the site…If you choose to relocate to one of these units, you are advised that you will still need to move off-site at a future date so demolition of the entire site can be completed….So, I would ask you to give strong consideration to working with our relocation office staff now to identify other subsidized housing options, since everyone will have to move off the site eventually.
No timeline has been provided for the “eventual” move.
According to COPE Councillor Woodsworth, “I had understood the tenants would not have to move. We don’t have a time line as to when anything will be built but it seems to me they should be able to leave tenants in place and construct the social units on another part of the site. Tenants who prefer to stay should be able to remain on-site as long as possible so that they do not take other housing in the city that is needed by the thousands of other people on the BC housing waiting list.”
Another question surrounds the 1:1 replacement. It is not clear if the replacement is 1:1 in terms of square footage, or just in terms of units. For example, if the arrangement just refers to units, a three-bedroom unit could be replaced with a one-unit one.
Councillor Woodsworth has additional questions regarding financing: “Six of the fourteen sites were already in the provincial budget so there is no new money here, only an expedited process. Where is the timeline for the next set of sites?”
She continues, “it is much cheaper for the tax payer to house people now than the rack up medical and policing bills until the undetermined time when this additional housing will be built. There’s a possibility for the new Little Housing development to be a great mixed-use neighbourhood. It’s time to get moving on all of the committed sites.”
Councillor Cadman to address UN via video today
On September 22, 2009, COPE Councillor David Cadman will be addressing heads of state at the United Nations via video. He will be speaking as the International President of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.
Since 1990, ICLEI has been a network, an agency and a movement of over 1100 cities from every continent. It is also a focal point for local governments and municipal authorities around the world to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Together with partners United Cities and Local Governments, Metropolis, the C40 Cities, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change plus 14 regional grouping of cities ICLEI is calling for a 30% reduction in green house gases by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050.
According to Councillor Cadman, “The world’s citizens through their cities and local government, representing more than half of the world’s population and growing, are calling for a strong, comprehensive global climate change regime to be established in Copenhagen in December. I will be urging UN representatives to make these the targets for COP 15.”
The video will be the first of a series available on COPE’s website (www.cope.bc.ca) exploring local and international environmental initiatives.
Councillor Cadman continues, “local governments will be key to reducing green house gas emissions from buildings, waste, transportation and the way we plan. The connection between the local and the international is a crucial one.”
You can see the video here: https://cope.bc.ca/content/councillor-cadman039s-video-address-united-nations.
BC Liberal Homelessness Legislation “hypocritical”: Councillor Woodsworth
COPE Councillors are appalled with proposed BC Liberal legislation that could force homeless people into shelters (or jail) during extreme cold weather.
In addition to the civil rights concerns, “the legislation is incredibly hypocritical,” says Woodsworth. According to Wendy Pederson of Carnegie Community Action Project, "just between April 1st and September 13th of 2009, almost 2000 people were turned away from the city’s HEAT shelters because they were full.” Clearly, homeless people want to move inside but all the shelters are full.
Homelessness advocates are also concerned about the unintended effects of pushing homeless people – many with mental health issues – to “out of the way,” more dangerous places where they might go to avoid police. This concern could be particularly salient for women who may not want to go to shelters for safety reasons.
Councillor Woodsworth would like to see more funds released to build supportive housing. “This isn’t rocket science. We will save taxpayers millions of dollars in hospitalization and policing costs by putting people in homes and providing the supports for them to be successful” says Woodsworth.
COPE-Ed Fundraiser – October 28 – Save the date!
Stay tuned for a family-friendly COPE-Education Fundraiser on October 28. More details soon.
Commissioner Woodcock to participate in War Toys to Peace Project
COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock who has been involved in the project since its inception, will participate in the Peace Vigil Ceremony at 2pm on September 27th in front of the Peace Mural in the lobby of the community centre.
This project is an important one for Woodcock: " War in other parts of the world and violence in our own communities drastically affect how we interact with each other. When the community is engaged in promoting peace, we reduce violence in our schools, workplaces, streets and in the media".
In addition, COPE City Councillor and Peace Messenger Cities director, David Cadman, makes an Olympic connection: “It has been a tradition that nations hosting the Olympics call for a truce during their duration. Canada should echo this call. At home, we must take the lead and encourage future generations to a path of peaceful play. For millions of children around the world, war is their daily reality — a far cry from play.”
Union of BC Municipalities meet next week; Woodsworth’s campaign finance reform motion on the agenda
Two June motions, brought to council by Councillor Woodsworth will be coming to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) meeting next week.
The first urges the UBCM to ask the provincial government to: limit the annual contributions by individuals and organizations; limit the annual spending by elector organizations (parties), campaign organizers (lobbyists) and individuals seeking elected office; and outlaw contributions from sources outside Canada before the next election in 2011.
The second resolution asks Victoria to also limit both spending and contributions in "other votes." Those other votes include referendums on anything from annexation — such as the Nov. 14 one set for Cranbrook, where council wants to increase the urban footprint by 170 per cent — to major developments, to holding the Olympics, to infrastructure spending.
For more on this see Daphne Brahman’s article in the sun here: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Time+come+major+civic+election+reform/2018849/story.html
COPE pleased ice rinks open after years of work
Several years of work will culminate for COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock when two ice rinks open at Trout Lake and Killarney Community Centres on Sept 24th and 25th.
The 2002-2005 COPE Park Board worked with the community on a proposal for one rink for nearly three years. After managing to re-allocate funds from a PNE renovation, the board committed to not one, but two rinks in the 2005 capital plan.
According to Commissioner Woodcock, “I remember calling Killarney’s president, Keith Jacobson, with the good news and he was shocked. That was a memorable moment for me in my first term on Park Board.”
The opening marks the culmination of seven years of hard work by park board staff, the community centre associations and the construction company, in the face of cost escalations.
Commissioner Woodcock will be attending both openings below, which include free public skates:
Trout Lake Ice Rink, 3350 Victoria Drive at East 15th Avenue
Thursday, September 24
Official Opening Ceremonies 5:15 to 5:45 pm
Free Public Skate 6:30 to 8 pm
Killarney Ice Rink & Lobby, 6260 Killarney Street at 49th Avenue
Friday, September 25
Official Opening Ceremonies 2:30 to 3 pm
Free Public Skate 3:30 to 5 pm
COPE’s “I am a free speech zone” T-shirts and Undies have arrived!
Our first order of merchandise is already sold out, and our second order has just arrived! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase. Photos and prices can be found on the website at https://cope.bc.ca/content/cope-merch-quoti-am-a-free-speech-zonequot.