Today I went mainstreeting in Mount Pleasant with COPE Council Candidate Ellen Woodsworth, two great volunteers, and our campaign co-manager Rachel Marcuse. I met one couple who wanted to know when and where to vote, so I told them "November 15", and to check the COPE website (which was on the infosheet we were handing out) — there, you can click on "On Voting" which gives information on voter eligibility, how to register, and a link to the City Hall website which has a list of polling places.
I also talked to a man who felt strongly that we need to offer child care at all of our community centres. Many of our community centres do offer some child care programs such as before and after school care and kindercare, and some also offer pre-school programs. There are also some non-profit child care providers located in some of our parks, such as Burrardview, South China Creek, and Pooh Corner in Stanley Park. COPE has always strongly supported offering child care in partnership with our Community Centre Associations, because there is an urgent need for more affordable child care in Vancouver, especially given the cutbacks by the provincial Liberal government and the cancellation of a national child care program by the federal Conservatives.
In the afternoon, I attended a memorial for Betty Greenwell, a long-time member of COPE who passed away recently. Betty and her late husband Dusty were community activists for decades, especially in the Hastings-Sunrise area where they lived. Betty ran for school board for COPE back in the 1970’s and Dusty ran several times for Park Board; there is a park in the Hastings-Sunrise area named after him. Betty was also a long-time board member of the Hastings Community Association and did much to further the building expansion, programs, and celebrations. Betty never gave up working on issues that she felt were important to make her neighbourhood, city, and the world a better place. She was an inspiration to me – and to many others; the room at Hastings Community Centre where the memorial was held was packed! Betty was still advocating for her neighbourhood of Hastings-Sunrise when she died – in particular, the restoration of an overpass across McGill St to New Brighton Park. My Park Board running mate Loretta Woodcock and I will carry on this mission to make New Brighton Park more accessible to the people of Hastings. Thank you so much, Betty!