Happy Pride!

Dear Friends,

Happy Pride!

It’s been so wonderful seeing you all in the neighbourhood as we’ve been out regularly with our mobile office! When the legislature is not in session my job is to keep working hard and advocating for this community – hearing from you directly helps me represent you better.

We’ve announced some more programs and services to make life better for West End and Coal Harbour residents this summer – I wanted to share a few highlights! Keep reading to learn more about:

  • Calling for action against conversion therapy
  • Improving seniors long term care options
  • Sharing recycling tips from a local resident’s group
  • Increasing Childcare spaces in Vancouver
  • Investing in the Arts

We also launched a new consultation on plastic recycling. I’ve heard from many of you that you want to see a reduction in single use plastics and ocean waste – so make sure to give your feedback by mid September.

My office will be closed on August 5 + 6 for the long weekend. You’re always welcome to call or send an email and our team will get back to you when we return on the 7th. I look forward to seeing many of you at the pride parade on the 4th, and out and about our community this summer!

Thank you again,

Spencer



Taking action against Conversion Therapy

Recently we wrote a letter asking the Federal Government to amend the Criminal Code regarding the hateful practice of conversion therapy.

This letter from myself, the Attorney General and Minister of Health, outlines that conversion therapy is not allowed in our health care system and in mental health services – people can file complaints if they have been affected, and practitioners will face disciplinary action.

Stronger Federal laws could make this practice illegal across the country, which it should be. When we are queer or trans, we don’t need to be fixed – we should be celebrated!


Victories for LGBTQ British Columbians

Here is a snapshot of some of the great things our government has done over the past two years to enhance the rights and services for LGBTQ folks:

A new independent Human Rights Commission

In 2002, the former government eliminated the Human Rights Commission, making BC the only province in Canada without one. We’ve re-established the commission and made it fully independent. Our new Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, starts in September.

PrEP is now free

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, is now available for no cost to all British Columbians at high risk of HIV infection. Nearly 3,300 people have been prescribed PrEP since we expanded access in January 2018.

Top surgeries available in every BC Health Authority

We’ve expanded upper surgery to Burnaby, Kamloops, Kelowna, Port Moody, and Prince George, helping folks — and the people who care for them — stay closer to home. Interested in gender-affirming surgery? Find out how: phsa.ca/transcarebc/surgery/ how-to-get-surgery

Lower surgeries now available in BC

We were the first province in western Canada to introduce gender-affirming lower surgery, including supportive aftercare.

X gender marker option available for BC IDs

We’ve made it easier for British Columbians who do not identify as male or female to display an X marker in the gender field of their BC issued driver’s license, identity card, birth certificate, and BC Services Card.

Bringing SOGI 123 to all 60 BC school districts

All students deserve to be welcomed, included, and respected in a safe learning environment while being fully and completely themselves. As of May 2019, all of BC’s 60 School Districts and independent schools have adopted SOGI 123. Find out more: teachbc.bctf.ca/.


It’s been great to get out on the streets this summer and see so many community members! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas for the West End and Coal Harbour. Your inspiring feedback helps me advocate for this community year round.


Guest Contributor: Panorama Green Team!

The following is a message from some of our neighbours:

The Village Green: Does your building want to save over $7,000 a year?

In face of the overwhelming imperative to reduce our waste, how do you get over 200 people in a high-rise dwelling to work collectively toward advanced recycling initiatives, lowering their carbon footprints and working toward zero-waste goals? [read more…]

Did you know: Strata condo buildings have more challenges with recycling than rental apartments! If you are interested in learning more, or want to start a Green Team initiative in your building, feel free to contact the Panorama Place Green Team at panoplacegreenteam@gmail.com . “We’re in this together, and every step in the right direction counts!”



Give us your feedback on single-use plastics

We’re engaging with people right now on the path forward to reduce plastic pollution in B.C. We want to know what you think. Please participate by September 18 at 4pm.

You can read more about our plans and add your voice to the conversation here

 


2,300 new child care spaces in Vancouver

It was my pleasure to join the Premier, Ministers, the Mayor, School Trustees, and Park Commissioners to celebrate our governments commitment to build 2300 new affordable childcare spaces in Vancouver in the next three years. This partnership will make a real difference, and will see the biggest increase in childcare spaces in Vancouver history. Thanks to all who have supported investments in childcare over the years! We finally are seeing real change.

 


Investing in the Arts

July 7th was a gorgeous night for live music, and a night for good news too! Thanks to Minister Lisa Beare for sharing the great news that we will have many more symphonies in the park because of our government’s 1 million dollar boost in support for community arts programming by the VSO. And thanks to the VSO, the Park Board and all who came out to celebrate music in the park.

 


More choices for long term care

I’ve spoken with many seniors, and children caring for their aging parents, who were afraid that they or their loved one would be put into a care home far away from their community. Under the old policy, seniors had to go with the first bed available – our government is changing that.


Community Events


Vancouver Pride Parade
When: Sunday August 4, 12pm
Where: Robson, Denman and Beach Avenue
A celebration. A protest. A party. A place to take up space. An opportunity to don our finest and shiniest. A chance to recognize how far we have come and reflect on where we need to go from here.

Sunset Beach Festival
When: Sunday August 4, 11am
Where: Sunset Beach

Join us for a festival along beautiful Sunset Beach with a Main Stage, Sunset Beach Oasis, Community Zone, Family Fun Zone, beer garden, food trucks, interactive art and more!

 

The Really Gay History Tour
When: August 1, 3 and 5 at 2pm
Where: Meet at the City Centre Skytrain station

It’s time for Vancouver’s secrets to come out of the closet. The wild, untold history of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community comes alive through stories of struggle, unity, and celebration on an adventure through Downtown and the West End. You’ll meet a history of outrageous drag queens, book store bombings and the unsung heroes who forever changed the social fabric of our city. Info and tickets here

 

 


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