Like so many of you, we’re shaken and saddened by the recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of US police officers. In Toronto, the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet are also deeply troubling. We are profoundly concerned by the ways white supremacy, institutional racism, and police brutality continue to thrive, though we are inspired by the protests and challenges to power that have been sparked by these horrific events.
Black lives matter. We stand in solidarity with those demanding justice for Black communities. We stand in solidarity with all Black people for whom institutional racism causes harm and deep pain.
We ask you to join us as we work to turn that fear and grief into action. Our response to violence and racism is to issue a challenge to them -- always. We must do this as individuals and organizations. We will continue to stand in solidarity with struggles for racial, economic, social, and environmental justice for Black communities. We see these endeavours as interconnected to all of our work for justice.
School Trustee Jennifer Reddy will continue to fight for equity in public education, including ensuring that our schools are places where Black students can learn in dignity and safety . Councillor Christine Boyle will continue to support anti-racism work by amplifying the voices of Black communities and leaders, and challenging the idea that policing is the solution to all of the problems our communities face.
As activists, and as a political party, we will continue to centre the voices of those our society marginalizes. We will foreground policies that ensure justice and dignity for all, and not just a few.
Please take a few minutes to check out this list of resources, including links to organizations fighting racism and supporting Black communities. You can scroll down to a list of Canada-specific organizations. If you would like to help Black communities in BC, please consider donating to the Black in BC Community Support Fund for COVID-19.
Dear Greater Vancouver Food Bank's Board of Directors,
We know that food banks have long been a critical source of support for those in need in this city. And this pandemic has shone a light on the importance of the social infrastructures that are in place to support those who are in need.
Equity and inclusion are part of OneCity’s core values as an organization. Our thousands of members and supporters across the city are working to build an equitable and inclusive city, where those who are marginalized, precarious and vulnerable can still feel supported and engaged. As you are well-aware, food security is a critical part of the social supports that help those who are most in need to participate and stay engaged in civic life.
For this reason, we are deeply troubled to learn about GVFB’s new policies for those in need to access food banks, including requiring proof of residency and proof of income from those hoping to access your services.
Research and evidence show that the majority of food bank users are legitimately in need. We’re deeply concerned that requiring proof of residency and income will discourage and keep those who are most in need from using food banks. This group can include those who are homeless, recent and non-status newcomers who lack documentation, and anyone who feels stigmatized for using food banks.
We urge the GVFB Board to heed the call from so many from the food security community, community groups, and residents, to revisit and remove the barriers that are being put in place for food bank users through these new policies. These changes will hurt those who are most in need.
Thank you for the work that you do. And we hope that the concerns raised by so many in the Greater Vancouver community will help improve the important service you provide.
Anna & Laura, Co-Chairs
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Dear Friend --
As British Columbia and Vancouver move towards a tentative re-opening of public and economic life, OneCity organizers and elected officials are reflecting on our priorities for economic and educational renewal in Vancouver, and the principles that will guide our work.
First, we strongly endorse the work of the non-partisan Just Recovery Coalition. We hope all municipal political parties will embrace the principles laid out in the Coalition’s Joint Statement as we work collaboratively to respond to this crisis in ways that lift everyone up.
Moving forward, OneCity’s work will be guided by 3 main principles:Read more
OneCity stands in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en peoples who are defending their homelands, their rights, and their culture from the reckless destruction of their territories and their spiritual and cultural sites.
Coastal GasLink, emboldened by court injunction and the support of the RCMP, is determined to proceed with their destructive pipeline in defiance of a recent eviction notice from Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the Province of British Columbia promises to implement through a recently passed law, requires public projects to obtain “free, prior and informed consent” from impacted Indigenous peoples.
The actions of Coastal GasLink, the BC Supreme Court, and the RCMP to willfully ignore the Indigenous legal systems of the Wet’suwet’en, to trespass and destroy Wet’suwet’en lands, and to criminalize Indigenous land-defenders demonstrate a blatant disregard for the standards and principles of reconciliation enshrined in the UN Declaration and the Calls-to-Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. These actions represent a direct infringement of the human rights of Indigenous peoples.
With the aim of enforcing an injunction, last January RCMP in full tactical gear stormed Wet’suwet’en territory armed with assault rifles, and was reportedly authorized to use lethal force. Now, with a new injunction passed, the threat of violence is ever-present.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on Canada to immediately stop the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. They express deep concern with the lack of Indigenous free, prior and informed consent, alongside the forced removal, disproportionate use of force, harassment, intimidation and the escalating threat of violence that have been associated with this project.
We at OneCity hold these same concerns. “The Wet’suwet’en nation are our northern neighbours and many Wet’suwet’en people call Vancouver home,” says OneCity School Trustee Jennifer Reddy. She recently moved a motion to have the Vancouver School Board commit to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. “The rights and title of Indigenous peoples must be respected.”
OneCity remains committed to justice, reconciliation, and to tackling the climate emergency. OneCity City Councillor Christine Boyle says, “our work on climate justice and social justice in this city cannot be separated from the current struggle on Wet’suwet’en land. Indigenous rights and Indigenous land-defenders must be respected if we are to make progress on combating climate change.”
OneCity calls for an end to this display of colonial power which undermines any work done towards reconciliation. We call on the provincial government to de-escalate the situation through a commitment to non-violence and to co-developing solutions alongside the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leadership. We call on all parties to respect the human rights of Indigenous peoples, on the RCMP and Coastal GasLink to immediately halt their aggressive actions, and on our local communities to support the Wet’suwet’en peoples.
Please consider taking action to support the West’suwet’en:
Solidarity actions and Supporter Toolkit at unistoten.camp
[Bridge over the Wedzin Kwa (Morice River) in Wet'suwet'en territory December 2019 - Photo by Michael Toledano]
In the Midst of Housing Crisis, OneCity Councillor Proposes Low-Income Housing in Every Neighbourhood
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9th, 2019
In the Midst of Housing Crisis, OneCity Councillor Proposes Low-Income Housing in Every Neighbourhood
OneCity Vancouver Councillor Christine Boyle is bringing forward a motion to explore allowing temporary modular housing in all neighbourhoods of Vancouver.
As recent events in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park have highlighted, Vancouver is in the midst of a housing crisis. A crisis most acutely impacting low-income residents, and Vancouverites already dealing with impacts of the opioid crisis, mental-health illnesses and physical disabilities. New solutions need to be identified and put into action.Read more
Here’s why you should care about the Vancouver School Board Long-Range Facilities Plan - whether you have kids in school, or not: A message from the OneCity Schools Caucus
The Long-Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) was recently released by the Vancouver School Board. It's the first piece of information released about the VSB's plans for exploring school consolidation and closures. There are 28 schools on the list - 6 secondary, and 22 elementary. Some are on the list because they might be closed; others are on the list because they might become "consolidation sites" - bureaucratic speak for schools that might grow to host displaced students.
January 16th, 2019 (Vancouver/Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-waututh Territory) -- The City of Vancouver joins cities around the globe like London, England and Los Angeles, California in declaring a Climate Emergency.Read more
Vancouver, BC; October 4, 2018 -- OneCity Council Candidates are calling for the rezoning of former Little Mountain Social Housing to rental-only. OneCity is also calling on the provincial government to renegotiate the terms of the development deal with Holborn Holdings to ensure increased non-market and social housing.Read more
Stewart best choice to unite progressives this election and stop the NPA.
Vancouver, BC; September 19, 2018 – An overwhelming percentage of OneCity members have advised their candidates for city council and school board to endorse independent Vancouver mayoral candidate Kennedy Stewart as the best choice to unite progressives in the October municipal election and stop the NPA.