Olympic By-laws coming back to city council

As the only two city councilors to vote against the Olympic by-law changes passed by city council and now in front of the legislature, COPE Councillors Ellen Woodsworth and David Cadman are pleased that council will have another chance to look at the laws.

The by-laws, which have been under intense scrutiny from organizations like the BC Civil Liberties Association over concerns around freedom of speech, are currently in front of the legislature to give the City more power to deal with Olympic sponsorship agreement infringements.

At the initial vote on the motion at City Council, Councilor Woodsworth moved an amendment that council direct staff to include a direction to the Province to ensure the amendments would be viewed with regard to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect the freedom of speech of citizens. She also asked for clarification that these charter changes be limited to the duration of the Olympics.

Councillor Cadman moved an amendment to allow for a complete list of by-law changes to be brought forward, including any that may come about as a result of Provincial Charter changes and to allow the BC Civil Liberties and Advisory Committee to review and comment on the changes to ensure respect for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms before adoption, with particular attention to the seven by-law changes which the BC Civil Liberties indicated might be subject to constitutional challenge.

The COPE amendments were defeated by council and, subsequently, the BCCLA initiated a lawsuit.

Councillors Cadman and Woodsworth will be re-introducing some of their initial amendments and proposing that language be fine-tuned to clarify that the by-laws refer to commercial expression only.

According to Councillor Woodsworth “there has been a public outcry over these by-laws and concerns over civil liberties and the Olympics. When ideas like “free speech zones” are tossed around by security leaders such as Bud Mercer, it’s incredibly important for Vancouver City Council to take a clear position. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedom we are guaranteed free speech at all times.”

COPE would like to encourage supporters to come out to speak when the by-laws come back to council. The date will be posted at www.cope.bc.ca and at www.vancouver.ca.

URGENT call for support for paramedics TOMORROW

Please join CUPE members and striking Ambulance Paramedics (CUPE 873) who will be holding a mid-day rally outside the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee headquarters in Vancouver. The B.C. Liberal government introduced “back-to-work” legislation against the Paramedics following an edict from VANOC directing them to end the strike.

Date:       Friday, November 6, 2009
Time:       11:30 am
Place:      VANOC HQ – 3585 Graveley St. at Boundary

GETTING THERE:  There will be buses leaving the Gilmore Skytrain Station at 11:15 am (pick-up on the North West corner of Dawson (aka Henning) and Gilmore in Burnaby. There will be additional runs if required from Gilmore Station.

Pick-up point will be clearly identified by Rally Marshalls with CUPE Flags.

Public Forum on Olympic Security Issues

WHEN: Monday, November 9th 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

WHO: Hosted by: Libby Davies, MP, Vancouver-East, Jenny Kwan, MLA, Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant, Shane Simpson, MLA, Vancouver-Hastings, Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver City Councillor

With guest speakers: Micheal Vonn, BC Civil Liberties Association, Laura Track, Pivot Legal Society, Am Johal, Impact on Communities Coalition

WHERE: Grandview Calvary Baptist Church, 1803 East 1st Avenue @ Salsbury (between Commercial and Victoria).

COPE Pub Night

On Wednesday November 18th, please 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.

This is the first of a series of monthly pub nights COPE will be hosting to facilitate conversations, bringing great ideas to elected representatives or to ust hang out with friends over drinks!

This first pub night will have a special focus on our school board trustees and education issues, but everyone is welcome!

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

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

Let the women ski jumpers jump in the 2010 Olympics!

The appeal hearing for the fourteen women ski jumpers from five countries who sued the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to be included in the 2010 Winter Games is set for Nov.12-13. In July, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge found that the International Olympic Committee discriminated against women jumpers because of their gender, but stopped short of ordering VANOC to hold an event for them. The women jumpers appealed the decision. Women’s ski jumping is the only event in both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games that doesn’t allow women to compete. In the past, women have been told ski jumping isn’t "appropriate for women’s bodies from a medical point of view" and the IOC has told them their sport "isn’t developed enough", but hasn’t provided specifics on how they reached that conclusion.

Go to www.wsjusa.com to learn more about this issue.

Free Speech Zone Dance – save the date!

I am a free speech zone!

November 27, 2009
Cambrian Hall (215 E 17th Ave at Main)
Doors at 8pm

The SSRI’s

Pawnshop Diamond

DJ Citizen

More info soon!

Headlines Theatre presents Community Dialogue Sessions: housing the homeless

 Homelessness. We see it everyday. In the headlines, on the street and in our lives. We try to help. We block it out to cope.

We know solutions exist – but how do we tap into them?  

How do we create safe and affordable housing in Metro Vancouver?

A series of moderated panel discussions, the Sessions will get at the nuts and bolts of creating safe, affordable and supportive housing.

The Community Dialogue Sessions will tackle location, financing and necessary supports and services, each day respectively. Panels will be made up of people who have been homeless, Metro Vancouver City councillors, housing advocates and business leaders, among others.

The ideas discussed at the Sessions will generate a Community Action Report designed to inform policy. Headlines Theatre has written agreements from six major organizations, including the City of Vancouver, BC Housing and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, to receive the report for their research.  

Theatre Making Policy. Speak out and be heard.

Community Dialogue Sessions: housing the homeless
November 24, 25 and 26, 2009 :: 1:30 pm
Firehall Arts Centre :: 280 E. Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC

Wrecking Ball – November 23

Vancouver’s theatre community joins actors, directors and designers from across the country in creative and satirical protest to the BC government’s mind-boggling and short-sighted plan to slash 90% of cultural funding, which will make it the only jurisdiction in Canada not to invest in culture.

Vancouver’s Wrecking Ball features some of Canada’s most nationally and internationally recognized actors and directors, including multiple award-winning actor/playwrights Daniel MacIvor (House, Twitch City) and Linda Griffiths (Maggie and Pierre), Leacock-winning writer Mark Leiren Young, and Alcan Award winner Carmen Aguirre. Original member of the Nylons and BC Walk of Fame member Denis Simpson will host.

Vogue Theatre (918 Granville Street, Vancouver)
Monday, November 23, 2009, 8:00pm
By donation

November 5, 2009: Olympic By-laws, support the paramedics, pub night, Free Speech Dance and more

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