Stronger Four Pillars Drug Plan First Step to Healthy, Safe Neighbourhoods

Media Release: Thursday September 29, 2011

Vancouver Can Count on COPE to Deliver A Comprehensive Plan to Improve Public Health and Community Safety
Stronger Four Pillars Drug Plan First Step to Healthy, Safe Neighbourhoods

Vancouver- COPE Candidates are reinforcing Vancouver’s Four Pillar’s Drug Strategy as part of a comprehensive plan to improve Vancouver’s public health and community safety. COPE Council Candidate Ellen Woodsworth, School Candidate Gwen Giesbrecht, and Park Candidate Brent Granby outlined their plan today. COPE’s plan wants greater attention paid to all four pillars: enforcement, treatment, prevention, and harm reduction.

“Health and safety are synonymous when it comes to public policy in Vancouver,” said Ellen Woodsworth. “Vancouver’s supervised injection site is one example – a vital primary health care facility that saves lives by preventing drug overdose deaths, limiting the spread of disease, while also helping people access addiction treatment, and reducing public disorder by moving open drug use safely off the sidewalk.”

“Vancouver needs more facilities like Insite, not less,” said Woodsworth. “If Stephen Harper chooses to stand in the way of making Vancouver safer, then the community can count on COPE to stand with them to protect our neighbourhoods.”

Voters can count on COPE to ensure police resources are focused and directed where they matter most, by addressing violent crimes, while other social service components work on tightening the safety net around Vancouver’s struggling families and disadvantaged youth. “Police do not want to be mental health social workers and nurses, their job is to protect our community from violence and exploitation,” continued Woodsworth.

“More attention on prevention is crucial to a health city so Vancouver’s children are not lead down a path to addiction,” added Gwen Giesbrecht. “Vancouver Schools play a vital role in making sure kids do not fall through the cracks.”

COPE’s public health and safety program acknowledges that without accessible and affordable activities, young people are more likely to choose more dangerous options. COPE also urges the Park Board to work with the City to ensure places to play are safe with regular sweeps for needles and the instillation of safer disposal boxes in washrooms and park facilities.

“Basket ball is drug prevention, hockey is drug prevention, child care is drug prevention,” said Brent Granby. “Voters can count on COPE on Park Board to make sure programs that are fun for children and youth continue and are expanded.”

“We all must work together for a healthier, safer city,” added Woodsworth. “Everything is interconnected, and the harm of one neighbourhood, harms the entire city.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sara Mohr 778-926-4657;
COPE backgrounder on public health and community saftey

COPE to Unveil Commitments to Improve Vancouver Public Health and Community Safety

Media Advisory: Interview Availability

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 27 2011

COPE to Unveil Commitments to Improve Vancouver Public Health and Community Safety


Vancouver’s Coalition of the Progressive Electors (COPE) will be unveiling the first key platform plank of this civic election campaign, focusing on public health and community safety.

Candidates will host a media conference to highlight healthy and safe community spaces and centres in the Downtown Eastside (Strathcona) area. The community of Strathcona is just one example of an area in Vancouver that needs more social services to support struggling families and at-risk youths.

COPE City Council Candidate Ellen Woodsworth
COPE Park Board Candidate Brent Granby
COPE School Board Candidate Gwen Giesbrecht

WHEN: 10 AM, Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WHERE: MacLean Park, Corner of Georgia and Heatley


MEDIA CONTACT: Sara Mohr 778-926-4657;

Count on COPE Park Board Candidates Brent Granby and Donalda Greenwell-Baker to Build More Public Washrooms

Media Advisory: Interview Opportunity

Photos of washrooms at Pigeon Park

September 25, 2011

WHAT: COPE Candidates for Park Board, Brent Granby and Donalda Greenwell-Baker will make the building of public washrooms in Vancouver a priority. “For seniors, low income residents, folks of varying physical abilities and tourists, COPEʼs plans will create and maintain parks for everyone,” said Granby. “It stinks,” said Granby “Literally. Vancouverʼs alleyways and home ownersʼ backyards should not be the only option for people needing to use a washroom.”

This week the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation moved forward with a Capital Plan to improve the cityʼs parks and community centre amenities. Once elected, Granby and fellow COPE Park Board Candidate Donalda Greenwell-Baker will ensure that the Vancouver Parks Board work with neighbourhoods to create parks and community centres for everyone. “More accessible washrooms are an important step to keep our parks and neighbourhoods clean, and make our city more inclusive,” said Greenwell-Baker.

Pigeon Park is one of Vancouverʼs neighbourhoods that need a washroom the most, yet their facilities seem to be on constant out of service notice. Granby and Greenwell-Baker will be at Pigeon Park this Sunday demonstrating the important of this public amenity.

WHEN: Sunday, September 25, 2011 -10 am

WHERE: Pigeon Park at the corner of Hastings and Caroll Street

MEDIA CONTACT: Mae Price 778-986-5863;


Healthy City, Active City: Moving Vancouver Forward

City of Vancouver Transportation 2040/Walk 21 Public Event

October 5th, 2011
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 West Hastings Street
Asia Pacific Hall
7 pm to 9 pm

Join experts from around the world to learn more about the link between health and transportation, and discuss how Vancouver can be one of the leading cities to integrate health into transportation planning.

Why You Should Attend:

Hear about highlights from the Walk 21 Conference- the International Conference on Walking and Livable Communities being held in Metro Vancouver October 3-5. 2011.

Learn about how transportation and public health decisions affect individuals and communities.

Find out what Vancouver can learn from other cities around the world who are making the link between health and transportation.

Discuss how Vancouver can integrate health into transportation planning, and raise awareness about the importance of active transportation.

James Sallis, Professor of Psychology, San Diego State University
Harriet Tregoning, Director, Office of Planning Washington DC
Peter McCue, Manager, Premier’s Council for Active Living, New South Wales, Australia
Larry Frank, Professor and Bombardier Chair, School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia

Aaron Jasper’s motion to explore developing a native cultural and educational centre

At the September 19, 2011 Park Board meeting the Chair of Park Board will bring the following motion forward:

Whereas a $250,000 annual operating deficit was identified during the 2010 budgeting process for the operation of the Children’s Farmyard;

Whereas the Park Board was interested in eliminating this deficit by seeking alternative operating models or partnerships by directing staff to seek such expressions of interest

Whereas staff advised the Board on September 20, 2010 that a Request for Expression of Interest for the Farmyard was unsuccessful;

Whereas the Park Board approved the closure of the Children’s Farmyard effective January 2, 2011 and all animals be relocated to safe and secure homes;

Whereas Stanley Park has a significant historical and cultural connection to the First Nations people and is recognized as traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waultuth nations:

Whereas Park Board staff have been actively working to further develop and expand the relationship with the First Nations people;

Therefore be it resolved that staff seek a qualified party to develop and operate the previous Children’s Farmyard area as a First Nations cultural and educational experience focusing on raising the awareness of the rich history between Stanley Park and the First Nations people.

This motion would be a good start in the process of reconciliation of Vancouver to the legacy of the displacement of native people in the city.

The motion was support by the board.
photos of old farmyard

Thanks for all your support to be a COPE candidate for Park Board

Wow, what an exciting day yesterday was with the COPE policy conference and the nomination meeting. I was just running on fumes by the end of the meeting and felt drained. Met up with my wife and only one daughter (the other one could not be pulled away from a play date) after the meeting and had a wonderful meal at the Nook on Denman St. to celebrate.

I am so proud, excited and humbled to be acclaimed as a COPE candidate for Park Board. It was a long process that started back months ago planning my campaign and it was a lot of fun going all over the city talking with folks and encouraging them to join COPE. I had a awesome little working group to allow me to share ideas and discuss plans with.

I would like to thank everyone who helped me with my bid to get a spot on the COPE slate. I really appreciate all the people who took out memberships and were able to attend the meeting yesterday. I would also like to thank all the members of COPE who attended yesterdays meeting and participated in the process. COPE meetings may not always be pretty but, it is real grass roots democracy in action and takes a bit a time. So, thanks to everyone who make through the whole meeting.

I really like to thank Loretta Woodcock who always works so hard for Vancouver residents. Loretta spent the morning in COPE Park Board policy conference and was so helpful in building consensus on our policy. I was so proud and happy to stand with all the COPE members and give her a standing ovation in tribute to her 3 terms on Park Board. Loretta has generously mentored me over the past 3 years, teaching me the ropes of the role of being a Park Board commissioner and of being a effective elected official.

The nomination meeting was a great success for COPE, which can be gauged by how well attended it was with folks who wanted to participate in COPE.

Now the real exciting part starts of communicating the positive message of the hard work that COPE has done over the last 3 years of advocating for affordable housing, making more progress on sustainability issues and working on representing residents to develop a Vancouver for everyone.

Here are some photos from the nomination meeting that Christine Ackermann took: Flickr

VBP Commissioner Loretta Woodcock’s endorsement of Brent Granby for COPE Park Board candidacy

As the lone COPE park board commissioner for the past 3 years, I want to acknowledge and thank Brent Granby for being my political confidant and intelligent sounding board. Brent is both unpretentious and passionate in his quest to contribute to making Vancouver a better place for everyone to live in.

Brent has dedicated more than a decade of his life advocating for community gardens, sustainability and neighbourhood improvements. He is a community centre enthusiast and a humanitarian who well understands the diverse nature of Vancouver.

There is not a corner of this city that Brent hasn’t bicycled to. He is the familiar face that I have seen at park board committees and board meetings, feverishly taking notes and twittering on issues that have come across the board table.

Vancouverites can have confidence that when they elect Brent Granby, they will have someone who has a thorough knowledge and is ready to perform his duties in a principled and positive way. His willingness to lend his ear and give his time to all residents will make him an asset to all Park Board Commissioners in creating solutions. Take a moment to read his website and you will understand the depth of his understanding and commitment to everything that the park board represents, and then join me in supporting Brent’s candidacy on Nov.19th.

Linda Rubuliak’s endorsement of Brent Granby for COPE Park Board candidacy

I live in the West End and work downtown with a large non-profit organization. I have worked with Brent Granby on a number of innovative projects related to immigrant integration and community building over the last few years. The projects have included organizing intercultural community gardens, a large symposium that brought together 75 organizations to learn more about inclusion and a unique youth project which builds leadership skills through bike building. Additionally, as an interested member of the West End community, I have taken part in large meetings organized by Brent and WERA. Through this experience, I have seen Brent’s capacity from a variety of perspectives.

I am pleased to endorse Brent for COPE Park Board Candidate because he has many of the skills and qualities that I believe are important in today’s civic and political leadership. Brent is a collaborator. He has clearly thought out opinions, but is very open to hearing other viewpoints, with the intent of finding efficient ways to meet community needs and engage people and organizations in community building. I think this is vital at a time when citizens are disengaging. Brent brings ample grass-roots level experience about how to encourage a diverse group of people to get engaged and work together.

Brent is truly committed to environmental sustainability and has a deep understanding of how that can be accomplished in a large urban context. Additionally, he has put a lot of effort into understanding elements related to social sustainability. I trust he will keep issues related to equality of access and social integration top of mind when determining policy.

Lastly, I like Brent. He is an intelligent and caring person. In a group, he is not the first one to speak. He listens carefully and puts forward his own ideas after thoughtful reflection. I believe we would be well served to have Brent on Park Board.

Linda Rubuliak

Christine Ackermann’s endorsement of Brent Granby for COPE Park Board candidacy

I first came to know Brent when I was renovicted from my rental suite. He helped our group of West End tenants in understanding our rights and connected us to resources that enabled us to dig deep and fight for our cause. We won, in large part because of Brent’s support. He gave us his time and talents and never asked for anything in return.

In doing so, Brent taught me the meaning of community.

Brent is a dedicated and passionate activist. He has a talent for engaging people in civic issues and bringing them together to work towards a common goal. He is an original Renters at Risk volunteer, and his work with the West End Residents Association (WERA) has significantly shaped our community over the last five years. From community gardens, to pedestrian safety, to saving St. Paul’s Hospital, Brent’s involvement has made a positive impact in our neighbourhoods, our parks, and our homes.

Through WERA, I have worked with Brent since 2008. He is a giving and supportive team player who knows how and when to inject humour into the mix. Brent has integrity and he’s authentic. When he believes in something, he lives it. This is especially true if it has anything to do with taking action to protect our environment.

In short, Brent Granby is exactly the kind of public servant we need to elect.

I am proud to endorse Brent for COPE Park Board Candidate. He has devoted himself to the work of the Park Board over the last few years. He understands and studies the issues. Right now Vancouver needs Commissioners who are committed to meaningful consultations with communities and committed to evidence-based decision making. We need Brent Granby on Park Board. I urge you to join me in supporting his candidacy for Commissioner.

Christine Ackermann
President, West End Residents Association

Ellen Woodsworth’s endorsement of Brent Granby for COPE Park Board candidacy

Brent Granby for Park Board, what an incredibly powerful idea. Park Board will never look the same. I have been working with Brent for the past three years. I follow his Tweets to try to follow his outstanding public work and ideas. It is sometimes hard to keep up given he is so active as a social and environmental activist although the media are covering his work on a regular basis.

Brent has worked on so many community issues and received well deserved acknowledgement as a community leader on issues as far ranging as Saving St Paul’s Hospital to standing up for the West End as President of WERA and as a resident and father.

Brent has attended many City Council and Park Board meetings to listen, learn and to speak out. At Council he has spoken against the tax shift from business to residents, regarding the Operating Budget under-funding the Park Board, redevelopments in the West End and other matters.

Over the past two years he has often joined me on his bike with or without his kids. He has attended Earth Days at Everett Crowley Park, as well as
Canada Day at Hastings Park, Grandview Park and the Chinese Cultural
Centre. We have gone to the Farmers Markets to hand out flyers and sat at the COPE table at Car Free Days on Main St., on Denman St and at Kitsilano Day and up to Dunbar for Dunbar Days to mention just a few events. I hope you will join us as we will be carrying the COPE banner at the Downtown Eastside Housing March on Sept 17.

Brent is intelligent, well spoken and a pleasure to work with. He has worked very hard for COPE both on the executive and out in the community.

I hope you will join me and many others in voting for Brent Granby for
Park Board.

Ellen Woodsworth
Councillor City of Vancouver