Event Notice! COPE’s 40th Anniversary Bash!

…with Wyckham
Porteous, Aaron Nazrul and Chelsea Johnson

Join
COPE friends, members, candidates and elected, old and new, for a night of
great music and fun, with guests Wyckham Porteous, Aaron Nazrul, and Chelsea
Johnson!

Wyckham is a veteran East Vancouver singer-song writer, poet and playwright.
His latest album was produced by Andrew Oldham, former manager and producer of
the Rolling Stones, and Wyckham’s performance will come on the heels of its
Canadian release. Wyckham is also known for his hit play Joe’s Cafe and as
co-founder of the Buried Heart Project. http://
www.wyckhamporteous.org

Aaron is a
rising star on the Vancouver
music scene. He combines original folk, Latin and classic covers. Aaron’s first
full release Butterfly Man has had great reviews across the country and an
excellent reception at the Edinburgh Music Festival.
http://www.myspace.com/aaronnazrul
Billboard from 1984
When: March 28, 2008

8 pm – Meet and Greet with elected
and candidates, old and new, and music to begin at 9:30

Where: Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph St, Vancouver

(at
Victoria Dr,
just off the #20 bus line)

Why: Because it will be tons of fun
and a great way to support Vancouver‘s
progressive membership-driven party!

Tickets are $15-$40, sliding scale. No one will be turned away due to lack of
funds.

Tickets: 604-255-0400, cope@cope.bc.ca, or at the door.

Take this expanded Budget
Questionnaire!

Please take two minutes to tell Mayor Sam Sullivan
and city council what you want in this year’s budget by completing this Budget
questionnaire: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=o9K0Hm2Fn9_2fBK3KWGSoe8A_3d_3d

Each year, the City of Vancouver goes through a public consultation
process on the annual budget. For the 2008 budget, the City
Choices survey was expanded by Think City to provide citizens with a wider range of choices and an
opportunity to comment on issues the city hasn’t addressed in its survey.

A summary of citizen priorities will be presented by Think City to council before the final
budget vote in April.

Your voice is important!

NPA
shift taxes onto residential homeowners

March 13, 2008 –
If you rent or own
a house in Vancouver,
your home just got a lot less affordable.

Mayor Sam Sullivan and his NPA colleagues on Vancouver City Council voted today
to shift $23.8 million in property taxes from businesses onto residential
homeowners. This will impact renters, students, seniors and many on low and
fixed incomes who are going to have to pay even more to live in Vancouver‘s over inflated
housing market.

"It is unforgivable that Sullivan and the NPA have shifted yet more taxes onto
residential taxpayers," said COPE Cllr David Cadman. "In the three years that
Sullivan has been mayor, he has hiked taxes by 15 percent. Yet at the same time
he has given his big business pals a tax break."

The tax shift was recommended by the city’s Property Tax Commission, which was
formed in 2006 by Sullivan following pressure by the powerful Fair Tax
Coalition business lobby. The Commission dismissed proposals to amend the
existing classification system that lumps all businesses – big and small – into
the same class.

"Instead of pushing for a change to the class system so we can give a break to
the small businesses that need it, the NPA have simply shifted taxes off of all
businesses so we are giving a break to big-box retailers, big banks and
insurance corporations and others who can easily afford to pay their fair share
of taxes," said Cadman.

During the Council debate, city finance staff admitted they did not follow
through on a 2005 COPE motion to negotiate changes to the provincial tax
assessment that would have created a separate small business tax class.

"We haven’t pushed the issue hard," said Ken Bayne, Director of Financial
Planning. "There is no appetite at the Assessment Authority at this time to
address this issue."

When asked if he had written to the Provincial Government formally asking for a
change in the tax classification, Bayne admitted that no written request was
sent to Victoria.

Meanwhile a motion by Cadman to let voters decide by putting a question on the
tax shift on the ballot at this November’s civic election was also defeated.

NPA
close ranks to save Park Board chair Houghton

NPA Park
Commissioners closed ranks at the March 10 Park Board meeting and voted to keep
NPA Commissioner Korina Houghton as head of the Board.

COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock had moved a non-confidence motion after
Houghton committed the Park Board to Mayor Sam Sullivan’s controversial
EcoDensity scheme without first consulting the elected commissioners.

"There is a responsibility attached to the chair position that Houghton doesn’t
seem to comprehend," said Woodcock.

When asked on March
06, NPA Commissioner Allan De Genova, referring to Houghton, said,
"(I) can’t wait till she’s gone."

But when it came time to vote, De Genova buckled under and voted with his
former NPA pals to keep Houghton as head of the board.

Musqueam
deal to get University Golf Course question of justice for First Nations

COPE Park Commissioner Loretta
Woodcock says last week’s agreement between the Musqueam First Nations and the
BC Government transferring the University Golf Course lands, and two small
portions of Pacific
Spirit Regional
Park
to the Musqueam must
be respected.

"I regret the provincial gov’t held closed door negotiations and didn’t consult
with MetroParks or residents here in the neighbourhood. They have to bear
responsibility for how people feel.

The residents in this neighbourhood have been very instrumental in bringing
attention to the seriousness of using urban parks in land claim negotiations.
What the public are saying is that protection of urban parks is paramount. With
an expanding population in cities there is a greater dependence on our green
spaces. It’s a quality of life issue, so we need to look at alternative
compensation.

From another perspective there is also an overriding principle of social
justice for First Nations, and it’s not our position to judge the Musqueam for
ratifying this agreement. The problem all along has been that we’ve making
decisions for First Nations and now that they have made their
decision we need to move forward.

In regards to the development taking place in the UBC lands, there is the
expectation that it is done responsibly and that the Musqueam consult with
the neighbourhood in their planning."

On
the 5th anniversary of the Iraq
War, join the World Against War Days of Action!

What: Rally
When: March 15, 12 Noon
Where: Vancouver
Art Gallery,
(Georgia side, at Hornby)
Music by Vancouver‘s
legendary D.O.A.

Website with more information on March actions against war:

http://stopwar.ca/

Looking for committee members for COPE Outreach Committee!

Together, we have supported the Pride Parade, Head
Tax Redress, gender equity, LGBTTQI rights, outreach to new immigrants,
anti-racism work, senior’s rights and much more. But there’s so much more to do
and we need your help to get connected with communities with language barriers.

Join us at the Congee Noodle House (141 East Broadway at Main)
on Wednesday, March 26 at 5:30pm to talk about additional strategies for
outreach.

Please contact Meena Wong, committee chair at meena@cope.bc.ca if you’re
interested in attending (we have a large table so come and be part of this
inclusive and diverse committee!).

PS You’ll also find us at the March Against Racism, March 21 at 1:00 at 14th
and Commercial Drive.

March 13, 2008

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