COPE team going to City
Council, School and Park Board

 

On November 15, Vancouverites elected a strong team of COPE
councilors, park commissioners and school trustees to be part of the new progressive
majority that will govern Vancouver for the next three years.

Ellen Woodsworth will join David Cadman at City Council
where they will work hard on the issues that matter to you: more transit,
building housing for the homeless, and creating sustainable and livable
neighbourhoods.

At Park Board, Loretta Woodcock will make sure our parks
stay public, and that fees remain affordable for everyone. COPE School Trustees
Jane Bouey, Alan Wong and Al Blakey will work with a new progressive majority
at School Board to get seismic upgrades back on track, and make Vancouver
schools safe and inclusive.

The new city councilors will take their oath of office at 2
pm, on Mon, Dec 08 at a ceremony at Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main St,
Vancouver.

Park Commissioners will be sworn in at an inaugural meeting
at 7 pm, on Mon, Dec 01 at the Park Board offices at 2099 Beach Ave, Vancouver.

School Trustees will officially begin their new term at an
inaugural meeting of the School Board at 7 pm, on Mon, Dec 08 at the VSB
building at 1580 W Broadway, Vancouver.

Clr Woodsworth
wants Little Mountain housing to re-open as development deal falters

Vancouver City Councilor Ellen
Woodsworth wants the provincial government to re-open 205 housing units now
sitting vacant in the Little Mountain complex off Main St.

"It has now come out during debate
in the Legislature that the deal between the province and a private developer
has apparently fallen through," said Woodsworth. "No good reason remains why
all that affordable housing can’t be used right away for Vancouver families who
desperately need suitable housing as the winter approaches."

On November 26, in a question to
BC Housing Minister Rich Coleman, Vancouver-Kensington MLA David Chudnovsky
said, "according to the City of Vancouver documents, the Little Mountain
redevelopment project is seriously delayed. It could even be dead.  The project is at least one year behind
schedule. A development permit has not even been made to the city. Meanwhile,
over 200 habitable units have been boarded up."

The 15-acre Little Mountain site,
Vancouver’s oldest social housing complex, became an issue in the recent civic
election when the remaining residents in 19 units protested after BC Housing
crews started to board over windows and doors in apartments, many still
occupied.

Residents oppose Coleman’s plan to
sell the publicly owned land to a developer for up to 1500 high-end condos and
residential towers.  Housing activists
say the site should be developed as a mixed-use community with affordable,
middle income and some market housing.

"Little Mountain can be an exciting opportunity for the city
to work with the province in building a truly sustainable community that could
be a model for the city and the region,” said Woodsworth. “It is near parks, a
new community centre and on a major transit route."

"But until any future plans are developed, we need to
re-open the perfectly good housing that is now sitting empty. Vancouver is in
the midst of a housing crisis. This is not the time to be boarding up
affordable housing."

COPE’s Loretta Woodcock
scores win for seniors, youth and preschoolers

At their final
meeting on November 24, outgoing NPA park commissioners dropped
plans
to slash discounts for seniors, and to charge preschoolers for
swimming, skating and other park programs.

During the election,
COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock had demanded that changes to the
seniors’ discount and a proposal to start charging preschoolers would have to
go to the newly elected park board.

At the November 24
meeting Woodcock was even able to pass a motion to increase the youth discount
from 25 to 30 per cent. COPE has been trying to
raise the youth discount since 2005 and Woodcock finally succeeded at
the final meeting of the NPA-dominated park board.

"During the
recent debate over user fee increases, COPE succeeded in protecting the 30
percent seniors’ discount from being eroded, and kept the age definition of
a preschooler up to the age of five which provides free programs such as
swimming and skating at most civic facilities," said Woodcock. "For residents
who are financially stretched during these tenuous economic times, the
Park Board has to implement pricing policies that encourage active and healthy
participation for young families, for youth and for seniors at our communities
centres, swimming pools and rinks."

When newly elected
Vision Vancouver and Green party park commissioners hold their inaugural
meeting on December 01, Woodcock will assume the role of Vice-Chair of the new
Park Board.  Vision Commissioner Raj
Hundal will be the new chair of the park board.

Vote for COPE among BC’s Best

The civic election may be over, but you can still vote for
COPE candidates as BC’s most influential citizens of all time.

The Vancouver Sun
is asking readers to vote for the the top 10 most influential BCers from among
a list of 150 candidates. Included in the Sun
list are COPE’s Libby Davies, Mel Lehan and Harry Rankin.  You can also vote for other progressives such
as Ginger Goodwin and Ernie Winch.

To vote go to: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/features/spiritofbc/vote_new.html.

Nov. 29, 2008: COPE team elected; Little Mountain housing; Woodcock scores win; vote for COPE among BC's Best

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