Today the CCPA-BC added its support to a joint statement led by the Vancouver Just Recovery Coalition calling on the City of Vancouver to prioritize lessening existing inequalities, respecting Indigenous rights, and tackling the climate emergency in their COVID-19 recovery plans.
Read the full statement below. You can endorse this statement here.
Joint Statement for a Just Recovery
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the world is thinking about the future, hungry to rebuild anew. This moment presents an opportunity to examine if the status quo was truly serving our people, our environment, and our opportunities to live, work, and prosper.
As we have watched the pandemic unfold, the devastating impacts on those without homes, without adequate income, without jobs easily conducted remotely, without access to information, social support or food have only made painfully clear the inequities that are part of Vancouver’s social fabric.
The Vancouver Just Recovery Coalition is calling on the City of Vancouver to prioritize lessening existing inequalities, respecting Indigenous rights, and tackling the climate emergency. We believe socially just strategies to recover and rebuild post-COVID-19 will better support vulnerable communities, and make a safer, healthier city for all.
As many Vancouverites continue to struggle financially and emotionally with the pandemic, now is not the time to reduce social spending. Now is not the time to restrict spending in an effort to preserve the status quo.
As our federal, provincial and municipal governments begin to strategize on their post-COVID recovery and rebuilding strategies, we need to prioritize those most impacted, ensuring that our economic recovery lessens existing inequalities, respects Indigenous rights, and tackles the climate emergency. The pre-COVID status quo was failing too many people.
This is especially true in Vancouver, where the impacts of COVID-19 on the City’s operating budget, combined with anti-tax lobbying, could mean delays or defunding of critical cultural, social equity, and climate programs.
The City of Vancouver is very limited by its inability to run a deficit to cover the gap. The lack of fiscal tools for local governments threatens the City’s provision of essential public services, social programs and other public priorities. This includes essential programs and services that many of those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic rely on: public libraries, public transportation, community centres, neighbourhood houses, homeless outreach services, food security programs, etc. There is also an urgent need for more affordable housing options, accessibility improvements, and capital upgrades to aging community centres and other infrastructure. The loss of these supports and programs will disproportionately affect women, those struggling with homelessness, renters, health workers, elders, youth, artists, cultural workers, small businesses, sex workers, Indigenous peoples, communities of colour, and those continuing to fight the opioid crisis. Alternatively, investing in services and programs, such as cultural services, public libraries, and climate action will enable Vancouverites to heal together and build a better city for the future.
Vancouver’s Just Recovery Coalition calls on the Governments of BC and Canada to provide Vancouver and other local governments with emergency funding supports to address financial short-falls caused by the pandemic, and to develop, in coordination with the City of Vancouver and others, additional fiscal tools that allow municipalities to be more resilient in the face of future crises of this scale and scope.
Threats to the City of Vancouver’s essential services, programs, and public priorities, presents a significant risk to Vancouver’s vulnerable communities in an already unaffordable city. This danger could get even worse if there is pressure for Council to pass an austerity budget in 2021.
Any recovery strategy should offer every resident the same opportunities to rebuild their lives and thrive in a safe, inclusive, just, and caring society.
Now is the time to approve innovative, progressive recovery and rebuilding plans with a strong focus on social spending to invest in the rebuilding of our communities. Now is the time to invest in building a city of complete communities based on care and compassion…a kind of city that will be more liveable for everyone.
Matthew Norris, Co-Chair of the Just Recovery Coalition [email protected]
Kimberley Wong, Co-Chair of the Just Recovery Coalition @KimberleyLW, [email protected]
This statement is endorsed by the following individuals and organizations (as of May 7, 2020):
411 Seniors Centre (Leslie Remund, Executive Director; Marion Pollack, Board Chair)
Adriana Laurent, UBC Climate Hub
Alain Chow, Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, Kissa Tanto Restaurant
Alen Dominguez, General Manager, Tara Cheyenne Performance
Andrew Ledger, President, CUPE Local 1004
Andrew Stephens-Rennie, Director of Ministry Innovation, Christ Church Cathedral
Axis Theatre & Chris McGregor, Artistic Director
Ayendri Riddell, Campaigner, BC Health Coalition and board member of the BC Civil Liberties Association
Brian McBay, 221A Gallery
Carmen Lansdowne, Executive Director, First United Church Community Ministry Society
Carousel Theatre for Young People
Chinatown Today (Kimberley Wong, Louis Lapprend, Kaitlyn Fung, Angela Ho, Emily
Tso, Amanda Wan, Dominique Bautista, Katrina Nguyen)
Christie Watson, Chair, C-Space & Managing Director, Rumble Theatre
Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC
Dani Fecko, Fascinator Management
David Ng, Vancouver Artist Labour Union Co-operative (VALU CO-OP)
Delinquent Theatre & Christine Quintana, Artistic Director
Denise Williams, CEO, BC First Nations Technology Council
Electric Company Theatre (Carmen Aguirre, Kim Collier, David Hudgins, Kevin Kerr, Jonathon Young, Clayton Baraniuk)
Franco Boni, PuSh Festival
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Heather Redfern, Executive Director, The Cultch
Heidi Taylor, Theatre Artist
Ishmam Bhuiyan, UBC Social Justice Centre, COVID-19 Coming Together
Jackie Hoffart, Producer, New Moon Comedy
Josh Martin, Company 605 Dance Society
Kari Scott-Whyte, President, CUPE Local 391
Kate Hodgson, UBCc350, COVID-19 Coming Together
Kevin Loring, Artistic Director, Savage Society
Landon Hoyt, Binners’ Project
Laura Cuthbert, Founder, Populous Map
Lizzy Karp, STORYHIVE
Marcus Youssef, Neworld Theatre
Marcy Cohen, Steering Committee BC Health Coalition, Research Associate CCPA-BC
Margo Kane, Artistic Managing Director, Full Circle: First Nations Performance
Matthew Norris, Vice-President, Urban Native Youth Association
Megan Lau, The Future is You and Me
Mindy Parfitt, The Search Party
Norman Armour, Co-founder, PuSh Festival
Pat Kelly, Kelly&Kelly
Rena Cohen & Realwheels Theatre
Richard Wolfe, Artistic Director, Pi Theatre
Samantha Lin, organizer, Sustainabiliteens
Shannon Daub, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office
Theatre Replacement (Maiko Yamomoto, Corbin Murdoch, James Long, Chelsea MacDonald)
Vancouver Creative Space Society / Progress Lab 1422
Carl Bessai, Filmmaker
Chris Haddock, Filmmaker
Colin Thomas, Journalist/Critic
Dean Paul Gibson, Theatre Director
Gabrielle Rose, Actor
Jane Heyman, Theatre Director
Kathryn Shaw, Theatre Director
Keltie Forsyth, Arts Manager
Laura Lightbown, Film & TV Producer
Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, Dance Artist
Vanessa Kwan, Visual Artist
Zsuszi Gartner, Writer
Zsuzsi Fodor, Food Systems Planner + Consultant