Signs of spring: Sun Run is this Sunday April 15, 2012, street closures and transit info


Signs of spring, don’t forget that the Sun Run is this Sunday. Don’t even think of driving downtown on Sunday till well into the afternoon. Best to walk, ride your bike or take the bus. Continue reading Signs of spring: Sun Run is this Sunday April 15, 2012, street closures and transit info →

Does the City of Vancouver need a rental advocate?

City of Vancouver Rental Advocate

The City of Vancouver needs a full-time Renters’ Advocate to support renters who are being evicted from their homes and to be a voice from the City to the Province on the need to revise the Residency Tenancy Act (RTA). Since the Provincial government has changed the RTA and moved the Resident Tenancy Branch office from where to where? , renters’ security of tenure has been significantly affected and the appeal process has become much more difficult.

Vacancy rates have declined while rents continue to increase and the power imbalance between renters and owners is decidedly in favour of landlords. From “Renoviction”, “geographic catch-up” clauses and Byzantine appeal processes, the conditions for renters in the City of Vancouver have lacked both stability and consistency. These issues have been chronicled by the Renters at Risk Campaign and can be view at their website: Renters At Risk Continue reading Does the City of Vancouver need a rental advocate? →

Rally to Defeat Bill C-31 “Defend the Rights of all Immigrants and Refugees


more photos from the rally

On Wednesday, April 4, at 2pm at 300 West Georgia (at Hamilton St. across from the CBC Building) a rally is being organized to protest the Stephen Harper Government’s Bill C-31, which will affect the rights of immigrants and refugees. Continue reading Rally to Defeat Bill C-31 “Defend the Rights of all Immigrants and Refugees →

A march in defense of public education Sunday April 1, 2012, Vancouver Art Gallery


more photos
Monday morning update: Opps, march was organized by Occupy Education.

In yet another page in the book of growing inequalities in Canadian society students from the Canadian Federation of Students BC and other supporters of public education rallied at the Vancouver Art Gallery to raise the issue of increased student debt from higher tuition fees and the lack of direct support to students and post-secondary education by government.

Here is a link to the Canadian Federation of Students BC with a lot of content on the issue:CFSBC

The Canadian Federation of Students-BC, represents 150,000 university and college students in the province and has a launched a new campaign entitled Education Shouldn’t be a Debt Sentence.

It would be a troubling trend if the wealthy were the only ones who could be able to afford university because of the high cost of tuition and the lack of progressive grants and loan programs from different levels of government. Access to education should be based on merit and also be used as a tool to aid social mobility as well as to better integrate different elements of Canadian society. This requires that government take action on adequately funding post secondary education.

West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee (WEMAC) Recommendations – 2011 Community Priorities Survey

Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Advisory Committee (MEMAC) recommendations that were dated March 17, 2012, will be considered by Vancouver City Council’s Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation and Environment at its meeting on:

DATE:    Wednesday, March 28, 2012
TIME:    9:30 am
PLACE:    Council Chamber
Third Floor, City Hall

The agenda for the meeting and the relevant report can be viewed at: Meeting Agenda no later than the Friday preceding the meeting.  Hard copies will also be available upon request at that time.
WEMAC Report

If you wish further information on this matter, please contact Kevin McNaney at 604.871.6851.  If you wish to address the Standing Committee, please call me at 604.873.7191, by 1:00 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.  Please note speakers are requested to limit their comments to no longer than five minutes. Continue reading West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee (WEMAC) Recommendations – 2011 Community Priorities Survey →

Play, live, work and die in Vancouver. 2000 spots open up at the Vancouver Cemetery.

a view of the Vancovuer Cemetery from the CoV website

On the City of Vancouver’s website the Vancouver Cemetery has announced that 2000 new spots have opened up.
Vancouver Cemetery

The announcement states the following:

“Vancouver’s only cemetery is located west of Fraser Street between 31st and 43rd Avenues. The cemetery’s beautiful vistas and central location make it a place where many Vancouverites have chosen to honour the memories of their family and friends, and go for quiet contemplation. It’s a unique, open space where city history is preserved.

Owned and operated by the City of Vancouver since 1886, Mountain View is made up of 106 acres of land with approximately 92,000 grave sites and 145,000 interred remains.

For the first time in more than 23 years Vancouver’s only cemetery has new spaces available for purchase. The award winning construction project at Mountain View Cemetery has resulted in more than 2,000 new spaces available for cremated remains.”

Not surprising given Vancouver aspirations to be the “Greenest City”, Vancouver Cemetery is a member of the Green Burial Council, which has established more environmental safer practices of burial that do not require embalming, expensive vault lids or a concrete box. One can even be buried in a shroud.

The Vancouver cemetery is proud to state: “Since its opening in 1887 Mountain View Cemetery has had few restrictions on burials leaving the majority of decisions to individual choice.”

My letter to my MP, the Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry on the spring budget and FCM recommendations

13 March 2012

Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry MP

hedy.fry@parl.gc.ca

Re: Federation of Canadian Municipalities recommendations to develop more affordable housing in Vancouver

Dear Dr. Fry:

As you know, Mayor Gregor Robertson, in his capacity as the Chair of Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FMC), is calling on the Federal Government in its spring budget to allocate funds to create more affordable housing.

Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada to live in. The City of Vancouver (CoV) and the Province of British Columbia have been taking steps to solve the homelessness crisis. In 2005, the CoV passed its Homeless Action Plan, which had 87 recommendations for all levels of government.  The plan was updated in 2008 with specific policy recommendations for the Federal Government to create more affordable housing including the recommendation to develop a national housing plan. The CoV also made the following 3 recommendations: Continue reading My letter to my MP, the Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry on the spring budget and FCM recommendations →

Affordable Housing: What the Federal Government could do in the next budget to improve the situation

The spring budget

In 2005, the City of Vancouver (CoV) passed its Homeless Action Plan, which had 87 recommendations for all levels of government. The plan was updated in 2008 with specific policy recommendations for the Federal Government to create more affordable housing including the recommendation to develop a national housing plan. The CoV also made the following 3 recommendations: Continue reading Affordable Housing: What the Federal Government could do in the next budget to improve the situation →

Vancouver Park Board wants to know if “A-Maze-Ing Laughter” has a home in English Bay

"A-Maze-Ing Laughter" by Yue Minjun in Morton Park down in English Bay Vancouver's West End

More photos

The Vancouver Parks Board has received an offer from the Vancouver Biennale Foundation to extend the public exhibition of this sculpture for a period of 20 years at no cost to the City, the Vancouver Parks Board or residents.

As part of the approval process, Vancouver Parks Board is doing a public consultation, asking residents if they support the idea.

If you want to participate in the process email the Park Board at pbcomment@vancouver.ca. and give them your feedback. Put “Biennale Consultation” in the subject line.

The deadline is March 16th.

Rally to protect public education, Wednesday March 7, 2 pm, Vancouver Art Gallery


Photos from the rally

A rally was organized by Vesta Teachers at the Vancouver Art Gallery this Wednesday March 7, at 2 pm.


I participated in the rally in support of teachers and public education on Wednesday March 7 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. There were easily a couple of thousand folks out on the plaza supporting the teachers.

Both of my daughters attend public schools and I attended in support of our teachers for all their efforts in teaching my girls over the years. Their school attendance mirrors the time that the BC Liberals have had their hands on the controls of government and public education. This is the second strike that my daughters’ education has had to endure. Continue reading Rally to protect public education, Wednesday March 7, 2 pm, Vancouver Art Gallery →