OneCity, the Vancouver municipal political party focused on affordable and equitable housing, opposes Vision Council dismissing needs of long-time Chinatown resident seniors.Read more
Tickets are available now! Click here to be taken to our Eventbrite page.
In mid-October, Education Minister Mike Bernier fired the Vancouver School Board of Trustees because the Board refused to pass a budget that required debilitating cutbacks. Since that time, accusations have swirled; senior staff have resigned; and shots have been fired in all directions. Who are the real losers? Vancouver's kids, families, and school staff members, who lost a democratically elected leadership team that was genuinely committed to serving our kids.
One question that has come up over and over again since the firing: should it be the role of the school board to act as advocates for public education? Bernier - and others - have suggested that some school trustees were prioritizing advocacy for funding over requirements to pass a balanced budget (ironically, of course, the Trustees were set to pass a balanced budget the same day they were fired). Fighting for better conditions for kids shouldn't be the first priority of the Trustees, they said.
It soon, however, came out that not all trustees were guilty of prioritizing advocacy. NPA trustees, keen to preserve their relationship with the BC Liberals, circulated a letter to supporters and made public comment stating that advocacy needs to take a back seat to "stewardship". Once again, they acted as Christy Clark’s lapdog, and stood up for a government that bafflingly, despite surpluses, continues to sacrifice kids by chiseling away at education budget.Read more
How the province and city sacrificed opportunity for social and affordable housing in favour of private interests.
Initially published at The Tyee: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2016/09/12/Little-Mountain-Sad-Housing-Lessons/
There’s a huge, hard-to-miss vacant lot near the corner of 35th Avenue and Main Street in Vancouver. Until 2007, that 15-acre vacant lot was a thriving, successful social housing community — Little Mountain.
Little Mountain’s 224 units were built after the Second World War to house returning veterans. Thousands of families lived there over more than 60 years.
Until March 2007, when residents began to be pushed from their homes and the community was destroyed by BC Housing, which owned the land, and its masters in the BC Liberal government.
On July 26, almost a decade later, Vancouver city council approved a development plan prepared by the Holborn Group, a huge Malaysian corporation. The company plans to build 1,500 new units, with the vast majority — about 1,200 — high-end condos. The bulldozed social housing units will be replaced and fewer than 50 additional social housing or “affordable” apartments will be built. Construction won’t be finished for at least 10 years.
And one of the greatest opportunities for new social and affordable housing in Vancouver will have been lost forever.
What can we learn from this sad, sad story? What should have been done at Little Mountain?Read more