Several COPE proposals receive overwhelming support at UBCM

Several motions brought or amended by COPE councillors David Cadman and Ellen Woodsworth have received strong support  at the annual meeting of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) this week.

The first resolution, brought by COPE Councillor Woodsworth to Vancouver City Council in June, asked for arts investment to be re-instated by the provincial and federal governments as part of an economic stimulus plan. It passed with unanimous consent at the beginning of its plenary session on Wednesday.

The second COPE-supported motion called for a national housing strategy and was passed with an overwhelming majority later in the day. Initially collapsed into another motion about using pine beetle to build new houses, Councillor Woodsworth worked with housing advocates to get it back on the floor as its own stand-alone motion.

Another motion, amended by Councillor Cadman at Vancouver City Council, which calls on the provincial government to get rid of the HST, passed this morning.

“The City of Vancouver has said abandon the HST and now the UBCM has called on the provincial government to abandon the HST,” says Councillor Cadman. “It is time for the provincial government to listen to the people of British Columbia and abandon this tax grab that will cost the average British Columbian an additional $800 dollars and stall BC’s recession recovery.”

Councillor Woodsworth’s emergency motions on reinstating direct access gaming funding (to arts and civil society) and on campaign finance reform did not hit the floor before debate came to an end at 10:30am on Friday. They will be referred to the UBCM executive.

According to Councillor Woodsworth, “while I am disappointed that we ran out of time to hear my emergency motions, clearly, the UBCM is united in calling on provincial and federal governments to support our work to build healthy municipalities.”

The COPE-Education Committee cordially invites you to an interactive evening with Paul Shaker.

When: Wednesday, October 28, 7:30-9:30pm
Where: Museum of Vancouver (1100 Chestnut St in Vanier Park). Parking is available and the museum is close to the #2, #22 bus lines or the False Creek ferry.
What: Host of "Your Education Matters" and former SFU Dean of Education, Paul Shaker, will be speaking on "The Future of Public Education – Dangers and Opportunities". Please bring your questions and ideas! COPE Trustees Jane Bouey, Allan Wong and Al Blakey will be participating in the discussion.
Light food and refreshments will be served. Cash bar.
Cost: $40. For tickets, please call 604-255-0400 or email .
Can’t make it? Youth from the Immigrant Services Society are interested in attending – sponsor a ticket!

We hope you can join us for this lively event to support your COPE trustees and public education!

Your Education Matters can be accessed as video at; also see

**Please note: There was an error in a previous invitation. The correct location is the Museum of Vancouver.


COPE to hold “traveling neighbourhood offices” to develop policy on electoral reform and local democracy

this month, COPE will begin to develop policy that could see voters
have another say at whether the city needs to change the at-large
municipal voting system.

COPE electeds and executive memebers
will be visiting the 14 ward neighbourhoods (as recommended in the 2003
electoral reform commision) to ask residents what form of voting or
other civic engagement would best represent their communities.

COPE representatives will be there to hear about neighbourhood priorities — everything from potholes to electoral reform —
and will use that feedback to develop a policy which could end up on the ballot in 2011.

to Executive Director, Rachel Marcuse, "We are not necessarily attached
to the idea of wards but we are attached to the idea of enhanced
neighbourhood participation and enhanced local democracy."

COPE External Chairperson, Alvin Singh, "We’re now seeing shockingly
low voter turnout during elections, including at the municipal level We
want to make sure that young people, ethnic populations and other
groups feel that their votes matter — and that they have a say between
elections as well."

The first "travelling neighbourhood office" will take place on Saturday, October 17 from 2-4 at Commercial Drive and Grant St. More dates will be announced at soon.

See the article in the Courier here. 


In memory of Columba Smith

Columba was an amazing and active member of COPE for several decades.

SMITH Columba (Gallina) Born July 20, 1918 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario died in Richmond, B.C. on September 27, 2009 at the age of 91. Columba felt fortunate to live a full and healthy life, enjoying each and every day with great appreciation for her loving family and special lifelong friends. She worked hard for peace and social justice and never had a harsh word for anyone except those seeking only personal gain at the expense of others. Columba loved travelling with her special partner, Carl and her sister-in-law, Polly. She spent many happy years working at the People’s Co-op Bookstore as books and reading filled a life long passion. Her kind, gentle, calming presence is missed already by her daughter, Sylvia, son-in-law Don and everyone whose life she touched. Grandma Columba cherished special times spent with her grandchildren, Monique (Earl), Shawn (Josie), and Kevin and great grandchildren, Jennifer, Lori, Christopher, Donovan, Joseph, and Jonathan. Columba is also survived by siblings, Jim, Alan, Gemma and Elsie, sisters-in-law, Mary and Lyvia and everyone whose life she touched. No service, by request. Donations may be made to your charity of choice.

MADE in L.A.

Film screening and panel discussion with filmmaker, Almudena Carracedo, featured garment worker, Guadalup "Lupe" Hernandez, and featured campaign organizer, Joann Lo

October 29th (Thu) 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Michael M. Ames Theatre Gallery
Museum of Anthropology
at the University of British Columbia
6393 N.W. Marine Drive
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z2

October 30th (Fri) 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Labatt Theatre
Simon Fraser University
at Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3

About the film:
Maria, Lupe and Maura are three Latina immigrants struggling to survive in Los Angeles sweatshops. But one day, determined to win basic labor protections, they embark on a three-year odyssey that will transform their lives forever. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice. Film is 70 minutes long with English and Spanish subtitles. For more information about the film and to view the trailer, visit

Co-sponsored by:
UBC Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, UBC Centre for Cross Faculty Inquiry in Education (CCFI), UBC Department of Anthropology, UBC Department of Geography, UBC Law and Society Program, UBC School and Regional Planning Program (SCARP), SFU Latin American Studies Program, SFU Department of Geography, SFU Women’s Studies Department, St. John’s College, Vancouver District Labour Council, Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU), Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Pacific Northwest Labour History Association, Justicia for Migrant Workers, No One is Illegal-Vancouver, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE).

For more information about the events, contact

Loan vote on Park Board defeats wood defeats wood waste incineration plan

COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock was the lone vote against a concept design plan for the VanDusen Botanical Garden new visitor centre presented at the Sept 21 Vancouver Park Board meeting.

The $35 million dollar project will be jointly funded by Park Board, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association, and government grants. The goal in the design is to create  a "living building" certification that is higher than LEED and attempts to model carbon neutral "zero ecological footprint" building concepts based on the most up to date principles of self-sufficient sustainability.

During the briefing on the energy systems proposed for the new facility, Commissioner Woodcock questioned whether incinerating wood waste was the most sustainable energy technology. Although she spoke in favour of the landmark design, she voted against the project to protest this proposed technology.

Within a matter of days, Comm. Woodcock was informed by staff that the project is exploring a geo thermal energy system, which is the same energy efficient system that was installed in the new Sunset Community Centre.

" I’m pleased to hear that wood waste technology will be shelved in Vancouver, a city making efforts to be the greenest in the world,” said Woodcock. “Here’s an example of democracy at work where even a minority vote can influence policy".

Coop Week in Vancouver

Members of co-operatives and credit unions across Canada will be celebrating Co-op Week from October 11-17, a time to reflect on the contribution the co-operative sector has made to the lives of Canadians and their communities.

Co-op Week Events for 2009 include:

Screening of Capitalism:
A Love Story, Thursday, October 15, 7 PM, Fifth Avenue Cinemas. This special Co-op Week screening of Michael Moore’s new film will be followed by a panel discussion that includes Marc Lee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Geoff Meggs, City Councilor; and John Restakis, Executive Director, BCCA. Tickets at the door. Please Come Early!
Co-op Week Luncheon Friday, October 16, Sequoia Grill in Stanley Park. Featuring a talk on
Re-weaving Local Economies: Strategies for Sustainability, by Mike Lewis, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Economic Renewal. Please note: RSVP required. (Please call Brad at 604-662-3906.)
Join Hands for Co-ops – Saturday, October 17, 1-2 PM, City Hall — a flash mob event to celebrate the contribution co-ops make to the quality of life in Vancouver. Co-op supporters from across the city will join hands and surround City Hall as a gesture of co-op good will to the city. The band Headwater will be performing and participants will be joined by City Councilors to close this year’s Co-op Week celebrations.

Did You Know?
•    There are 9,000 co-ops and credit unions across Canada, with more than 17 million members
•    Some of British Columbia’s best-known businesses, like Mountain Equipment Co-op, Vancity (credit union), Federated Co-operatives, and The Co-operators (insurance), are co-ops.
•    The co-operative sector controls over $275 billion in assets.
•    In BC, more than 30,000 people are employed by co-ops; one in three British Columbians belong to a co-ops or credit union. Over 150,000 Canadians are employed by co-ops and around the world co-ops employ more people than all multinational corporations put together.
•    Canada’s co-operative sector is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, marking the founding of the Co-operative Union of Canada in Hamilton, Ontario in 1909.

Raga Workshop and Public Talk

RAGA: The Centre for Race, Autobiography, Gender, and Aging

Invites Faculty, Students and Community Groups to attend a FREE workshop on

Diversity, Equity and Social Justice in
Policy Development and Service Delivery

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
10:30 am to 4:30 pm
UBC C.K. Choi Building, 1855 West Mall, Vancouver

This workshop focuses on identifying the major challenges to implementing policies and practices committed to strengthening diversity, equity and social justice within institutions and organizations.  How do we envision and implement social justice with the goal of ensuring that our organizations are transformative and not limited by reproducing the status quo?  What are some of the strengths
and limitations of the strategies developed over the last ten years to accomplish this goal?

Participation in this workshop will be guided by equity criteria, and we especially encourage participants from Indigenous and First Nations communities, as well as immigrants/refugees of colour and people with disabilities. This workshop is supported by the University of British
Columbia’s Equity Enhancement Fund.

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please submit a workshop application by October 14th, 2009 via email to <> — email us for a copy of the application.  Space limited.

Workshop followed by a Public Lecture by Dr. Malinda Smith

RAGA invites you to attend a public lecture by

Dr. Malinda Smith

"Storytelling about the Practice of Equity and Diversity"

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009, 5 to 7 pm
Thea’s Lounge, UBC Graduate Student Society, 6371 Crescent Road

Dr. Malinda Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta.  She is the editor of the journal, The Ardent: Anti-Racism and Decolonization Review.

Herstory Cafe: Special event for Women’s History Month

Vancouver’s champion for women’s rights, Helena Gutteridge (1879-1960) was; a suffragette, a social, labour and political activist and Vancouver’s first woman Alderman (1937). To mark her life and contributions, historian Irene Howard, author of "The Struggle for Social Justice in British Columbia, Helena Gutteridge, the Unknown Reformer," presents an illustrated talk, "Helena Gutteridge, Vancouver’s first ‘Alderman’."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Council Chambers at City Hall (453 West 12th Ave.)
free admission, open to the public, seating is limited.
More info:

This special Women’s History Month celebration is presented by the Herstory Cafe, Councillor Ellen Woodsworth and the Women’s Advisory Committee.

Newsletter October 9, 2009: UBCM, COPE-Ed event, Travelling Neighbourhood Offices, Made in L.A., Coop Week and more