Environment and Public Health

7.1 COPE will adopt the Paris Accord protocols and all subsequent international agreements that are designed to balance ecological and economic necessities. In doing so, a COPE Council will recognize the limits to growth and the need for concrete action.

7.2 COPE will collaborate with residents and other stakeholders and governments on the reallocation of civic resources and implementation of zoning allowances to increase and encourage food production.

7.3 COPE will advocate for the creation of Community Food Exchange Markets, for food distribution and community building.

7.4 COPE will protect and conserve Vancouver’s water resources, ensure public ownership and operation of water resources, and secure funding to renew existing infrastructure.

7.5 COPE will ensure that, despite cuts to environmental monitoring and research by the federal government, air and water quality are being monitored, including levels and types of radiation, carbon dioxide and monoxide, and greenhouse gasses.

7.6 COPE will support an ongoing public forum on air and water quality, and inform the public of the current state of the environment and potential effects on public health in Vancouver as well as performing research on solutions to climate change.

7.7 COPE will establish designated separate smoking areas with shelters so that smokers can stay sheltered from rain, and non-smokers can be separated from second-hand smoke.

7.8 COPE will expand the City of Vancouver’s Ethical Purchasing Policy to include a ban on genetically modified products, open net salmon farming, and other products that do not reflect sustainable resource use.

7.9 COPE WILL enable municipal officials to speak out against health privatization and demand adequate funding of our public health care system in every community. Municipal officials can use their zoning powers and public outreach processes to foster the development of not-for-profit health care instead of private for-profit facilities. Vancouver will stand in solidarity with counterparts across the province and request that the Union of BC Municipalities call on the provincial government to take specific measures to stop the growth of private for-profit medical facilities.

7.10 COPE WILL lobby the Province of British Columbia to:

7.10.1 Establish a moratorium on any further expansion of private, for-profit surgical and MRI/CT clinics,

7.10.2 Require an end to public funding of for-profit clinics, including the contracting-out of day surgeries and the provision of Health Authority contracts to for-profit clinics,

7.10.3 Require full accountability and transparency on the part of for- profit clinics by ensuring that they submit to all oversight and regulatory mechanisms currently applied to public facilities operating under the BC Hospital Act; and

7.10.4 Expand public capacity by requiring the development of publicly funded and administered outpatient facilities,

7.10.5 Require UBCM to continue to research and monitor the threat to universal public health care posed by the operations of private, for- profit surgical and MRI/CT facilities in its member communities.

7.11 COPE will prioritize the exigencies of a global climate emergency. All policies and programs will maximize efficiencies while minimizing or eliminating contributions to Green House Gas emission and other causes of climate change.

7.12 COPE will advocate for adequate health related services in the West End, if St Paul’s Hospital is relocated from its present location. COPE protests the move unless adequate replacement services are made available to it area’s residents, including but not limited to a public 24 hour – 7 days a week, medical clinic complete with lab and other diagnostic tools, enhanced ambulance services, seniors, mental health, and addiction services, and aids related treatment. Improved service integration, assurance that all services be provided within the public health system, and a smooth transition between hospital based and community based services must delivered.

7.13 COPE supports Vancouver becoming a Blue Community and public, non-profit ownership and operation of water and wastewater treatment services in our community. COPE will lobby the provincial and federal governments to fulfill their responsibility to support municipal infrastructure to address increasing problems with water quality, conservation, and wastewater treatment by funding renewal of existing water and wastewater infrastructure and building new systems. COPE will also work with other municipalities in Metro Vancouver to improve our water system and wastewater treatment.

7.14 COPE will commit to establishing environmental policies and programs through a participatory design process that involves, on an equal basis, those most affected by those policies and programs and who are not standing to gain financially.