Community Links Bulletin - September to December 2014

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of my Community Links Bulletin! I want to thank you all for the thoughtful replies and suggestions on my Healthcare mailing, and as always, I’d also like to hear from you about your experience, ideas and suggestions about any federal matters or community initiatives of interest to you.

I want to extend my congratulations to the Heart of the City Festival on its 11th Anniversary. Please visit http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/ for all the wonderful and exciting programs and projects happening at this year’s Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival.

I’d also like to invite you and your family pets to join me at Pets with Santa at Kingsgate Mall (370 East Broadway, at Kingsway) on Saturday, December 6, from 2 pm to 4 pm. This event will give pet parents the opportunity to celebrate the festive holiday by having a photo of their pets taken with Santa.

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The next deadline for submission to the Community Links Bulletin is Friday, November 28th for the January to March 2015 edition. Listings must be under 40 words and include event, date and time, location, sponsoring agency and contact name and number. Information can be emailed to libby.davies.c1@parl.gc.ca, faxed to 604-775-5811 or mailed postage-free to 2412 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E2.  Information in the Community Links Bulletin is subject to change without notice. Please check with the contacts provided to ensure accuracy.

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EVENTS & WORKSHOPS ˜

September 25 to October 10 – Vancouver International Film Festival / The 33d Annual Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America. It is a 16-day annual celebration of film, and features renowned international and award-winning films and documentary from around the globe. For more information, visit www.viff.org.

September 27 – MetamorFest / Time: 12 pm - 6 pm; Place: Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, 800 East Broadway / Presented by the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, MetamorFest is an annual Harvest Festival showcasing arts and culture in the lively, vibrant, and diverse neighourhood that is Mount Pleasant. The day will include live bands featuring a wide array of local talent. There will be face painting, henna, a play for children, food and much more. General admission to the event is free while some activities will have minimal costs. Workshops are by donation. Funds will go toward continuing the vital programs, services and the "home away from home" offered at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House. Come out to celebrate, connect, and build community. http://www.mpnh.org/metamorfest/

October 18 – Aboriginal Mother Centre Society (AMCS) Community Open House / Time: 11 am - 4 pm; Location: AMCS, 2019 Dundas Street, Vancouver / This is a Homelessness Action Week Event. Programs include a panel session with guest speakers; turkey lunch with all the fixings, traditional drumming, guided tour of the AMCS facility, care package giveaways, door prizes, diaper drive (your donation is appreciated). Everyone is invited. For more information, please contact AMCS Outreach at 604-558-2627 x 7004. 

October 18 – Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House’s 14th Annual Pumpkin Patch in the City / Time: 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday; Location: 2131 Renfrew Street, corner of 5th Avenue and Renfrew / Everyone is welcome to join us for a day of spooktacular fun: Pumpkin patch,  bouncy castles, face painting, Halloween story time,  games; and  food and community resources including: Hastings North Community Police information booth and a visit from the Fire Hall 14 fire truck to make this a great event for families.  

October 29 to November 9 – The 11th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival / To celebrate and launch its 2nd decade, the 2014 festival theme is ‘Keeping the home fires burning.’  The upcoming 2014 Festival features a feast of twelve days of music, stories, songs, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, theatre, dance, processions, spoken word, forums, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibits, mixed media, history walks and an array of artists. A special festival highlight is the Theatre in the Raw production of The Raymur Mothers, which brings to life the inspiring story of single moms living down on Campbell Avenue at the Stamps Place (Raymur) Public Housing Project.  In 1971 they took action on the train tracks, fighting for a pedestrian overpass to get their children safely to Admiral Seymour Elementary School. Other 2014 highlights include festival favorites and festival surprises: Carnegie Jazz Band, Barrio Flamenco, Sawagi Taiko, Dovbush Dancers, Keepers of the Flame: A Celebration of Poetry, and much more to be announced. For more information, visit http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/.

November 1 to April 25, 2014 (Saturdays only) - Winter Farmers Market / Time: 10 am to 2 pm; Location: East Parking Lot of Nat Bailey Stadium, 30th & Ontario Street / Vancouver Farmers Markets (otherwise known as Your Local Farmers Market Society) is about people who love fresh food at festive gatherings. When you shop at Vancouver Farmers Markets, you help keep BC farmers farming. For more information, visit www.eatlocal.org/markets.html. Special Holiday Market: Saturday, December 6, 2014; Time: 10 am to 4 pm; Location: Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive, at East 16th Avenue. http://eatlocal.org/markets/1392-2/

November 20 to 23 - The 18th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl / The 18th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl - Vancouver's 4-day visual arts, design and crafts festival. This event involves more than 20,000 people visiting artists in their studios in the area bounded by Main Street and Victoria Drive north of First Avenue in Vancouver, Canada. For more information, visit http://culturecrawl.ca/.

November 21 to 23 – Britannia Christmas Craft Fair / Time: 3 pm to 8 pm (November 21) and 10 am to 5 pm (November 22 & 23); Location: Britannia Secondary School, 1001 Cotton Drive, Gym A and B / Do you want to get an early start on your Christmas shopping? Check out the Annual Britannia Christmas Craft Fair. Admission fee is $2 (children 12 & under free), with all proceeds to benefit the inner-city kids programs in the Britannia HUB. For more information, visit http://www.britanniacentre.org/community/events/events_calendar/events/3...

 

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Libby’s Travelling Community Office is coming to a location near you … Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014 / Time: 12 pm to 3 pm / Location: Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (800 East Broadway) ** look for Libby’s table at MetamorFest

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FUNDING $OURCE$ / AWARD$ ˜

American Express (AMEX) / American Express supports non-profit organizations that are preserving and enriching diverse cultural heritage, developing new leaders for tomorrow, and encouraging community service. For more information, e-mail amexcanadafoundation@aexp.com or visit AMEX’s website at www212.americanexpress.com/dsmlive/dsm/int/ca/en/personal/aboutamericanexpress/corporateandsocialresponsibility.do?vgnextoid=8ae9cad2a08c0210VgnVCM100000defaad94RCRD.

Apprenticeship Completion Grant / The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a taxable cash grant of $2,000 maximum available to registered apprentices who have successfully completed their apprenticeship training and obtained their journeyperson certification in a Red Seal trade on or after January 1, 2009. For information, visit http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/goc/apprenticeship/completiongrant/pr....

Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) / The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year, up to a maximum of $2,000 per person, available to registered apprentices once they have successfully finished their first or second year/level (or equivalent) of an apprenticeship program in one of the Red Seal trades. For more information on eligibility and application deadline, visit http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/goc/apprenticeship/index.shtml.

Avon Foundation / Deadline: October 31st / In honour of Avon Canada’s Centennial Anniversary, the Avon Foundation for Women will award a total of one million dollars to breast cancer charities. Ten grants of $100,000 will be awarded to Canadian charitable organizations aiding and/or supporting those touched by breast cancer. To kick off the grants, an additional donation of $100,000 was presented to Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support following the announcement. Ten charities will be awarded funds in January 2015. To be considered for funding, Canadian breast cancer charities are invited to submit a proposal online at www.avon100.com by October 31, 2014.

BC Hydro Community Champion / Deadline: September 30th / Are you a non-profit group making British Columbia more sustainable? With BC Hydro's Community Champions program, you could win $10,000 for your initiative by simply explaining what you do in a YouTube video. Create a short video, no longer than three minutes, to nominate yourself as a Community Champion, and upload it to YouTube. Send us the link and a submission form by September 30th and you could be chosen as a finalist. Between October 15 and November 30, finalist videos will be featured on the Community Champions site and winners will be determined by public voting and a panel of BC Hydro judges. Winners announced December 8, 2014. Web: https://champions.bchydro.com/

BC Rehab Foundation – Individual Grant / The BC Rehab Individual Grant is intended for individual funding requests from persons with physical disabilities. The Foundation receives applications requesting equipment such as manual and power wheelchairs, hospital beds and mattresses, wheelchairs ramps, lifts and repairs, and funding for recreation therapy programs, and the list goes on. The allocation committee meets 3 to 4 times a year to review applications and determine funding. It will only consider complete applications so please ensure that you have filled out each component of the application to the fullest extent possible. For more information, please visit http://www.bcrehab.com/individual_grant_app.htm.

Birks Family Foundation / This Foundation supports causes in the following areas: Canadian universities through capital campaigns and other special projects; bursary plans at Canadian universities; hospitals, health services, long term care institutions and specialized health organizations; social service agencies; and arts organizations which promote the development and understanding of Canadian culture. For information on funding guidelines, please visit www.birksfamilyfoundation.ca/.

BMO Financial Group / BMO Financial Group's support focuses on social responsibility in the communities it serves. As an active participant in Canadian communities, it believes in the possibilities of personal growth and achievement through continuous learning and access to education. Traditionally, it focuses on specific projects or programmes that add value to the scope of services offered by an organization in the following areas: Education; Hospitals, Health and Research; Civic and Community Services; and Arts and Culture. For more information, visit http://www.bmo.com/home/about/banking/corporate-responsibility/community....

Canada Trust Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) / Deadline: October 15th / TD FEF's primary funding areas are: Environmental education; Urban greening and enhancing biodiversity; and Energy conservation. Below is a list of projects which may be considered for TD FEF funding: Environmental education; Tree plantings (native plant species); Energy conservation; Schoolyard or urban naturalization projects; Community gardening programs; Habitat restoration; Endangered species / wildlife protection; and Environmental research. Applications are accepted year round. The TD FEF Local Chapter Advisory Boards meet on a quarterly basis to consider grant application requests, with some chapters meeting more frequently. Next deadline: Completed applications received by October 15th will be reviewed during December 2014, and organizations will be notified in January 2015. For more info, visit www.fef.td.com/funding.jsp.

Canadian Heritage - Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage / The Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program delivers its funding through three separate components: Local Festivals, Community Anniversaries and The Legacy Fund. The Local Festivals component provides funding to local groups for recurring festivals that present the work of local artists, artisans, or historical performers. The deadlines for Local Festivals applications are January 30, April 30 and September 30. The Community Anniversaries component provides funding to local groups for non–recurring local events and capital projects that commemorate an anniversary of 100 years or greater in increments of 25 years. The deadline date for all Community Anniversary projects is January 30. The Legacy Fund provides funding for community capital projects that commemorate a local historical anniversary of 100 years or greater in increments of 25 years. There is no fixed deadline for Legacy Fund submissions; however, project must be submitted at the latest by the date of your anniversary. For more information, please visit http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1267799042836/1276800169608.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart / Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a community-based program that helps kids in financial need to participate in organized sport and recreation such as hockey, soccer and swimming. The program works with community organizations to form local Chapters that identify and approve the children who receive support. Applications for assistance can typically be submitted from January 15 to November 1, (varies by Chapter) with the goal to be equitably distributed over Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter activities. For more information on funding eligibility and deadline, visit http://jumpstart.canadiantire.ca/en/ or call toll-free 1-877-616-6600. Based on your postal code, a representative will provide a contact to the closest Canadian Tire Jumpstart Chapter.

Canadian Western Bank Group (CWB) / The Canadian Western Bank Group's community investment efforts are focused in three areas – Education, Health Research and Promotion, and Community Development. CWB will only accept requests through the online application process. The review process for requests for less than $25,000 takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Requests for funding over multiple years or in an amount exceeding $25,000 are reviewed on a quarterly basis and may take up to 90 days for a final decision. For more information on funding guidelines, visit http://www.cwbankgroup.com/community-investment/why-we-give.

Choice Markets – Community Giving / Choices Markets support local community groups wherever possible. Some examples of the type of groups supported include: local children's recreation groups; local elementary and high school events; community fundraising events; and non-profit family and social service organizations. All donation requests should be submitted in writing at least four weeks prior to the event. For more information on how to apply, visit http://www.choicesmarket.com/CommunityGiving.aspx.

CIBC – Donations and Sponsorship / CIBC supports causes in communities through corporate donations and sponsorship. The areas of focus include: Kids: Provide children and youth in-need with education and training, mentoring, self-esteem and leadership skills as well as healthy and active lifestyles; Cures: Support those living with cancer through programs, services and equipment as well as research into prevention, early detection and treatment; and Community: Assist Canadians in need through skills development, including financial literacy and employment opportunities; increased access to community services and promoting equality and diversity. For more information on funding guidelines and how to apply, visit https://www.cibc.com/ca/inside-cibc/community-matters/funding-guidelines....

Citizenship & Immigration Canada - Inter-Action Events / The Inter-Action Events stream provides funding to community based events that foster one or more of the following: intercultural/interfaith understanding; civic memory and pride; and respect for core democratic values. The primary intention is to create concrete opportunities for interaction among cultural and faith communities. Applications are considered year round. For more information, visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/funding/index.asp#events.

CN EcoConnextions From the Ground Up  / Deadline: October 30th / CN EcoConnextions From the Ground Up provide funding of up to $25,000 for the greening of municipal properties across Canada, especially in communities along its rail lines. It is intended to enhance your community’s environment/social health and wellbeing as it relates to one or more of the following: Urban forests; Traffic calming and Safety; School greening; Transforming spaces; and Naturalized areas, park creation or restoration. Application deadline is October 30, 2014. Recipients will be announced February 2015. For more information, visit info@cnfromthegroundup.ca.

Cures for Kids Foundation / Next deadline: October 31st / Cures for Kids Foundation supports programs for children’s life-threatening illnesses and raises awareness in the community. The Foundation provides grants of between $500 and $2,500 to qualifying organizations for specific programs and projects. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed twice yearly. The Foundation awards grants twice a year: Spring Granting Cycle - Applications due in April, grants made in June; and Fall Granting Cycle - Applications due in October, grants made in January. For more information, please visit http://curesforkids.ca/grants/.

Delta Hotels / The Delta Helps program supports various initiatives including an adopt-a-shelter program where local women's shelters are provided with personal goods, bedding, towels, and other related items. They also have a community cruiser that visits local events encouraging community volunteerism. Delta properties from coast to coast support a wide range of local causes that benefit our communities. Donation requests are granted to provide support for charitable organizations with their fundraising efforts. Delta’s corporate office gives priority to requests of a national or regional scope from organizations aligned with Delta’s community outreach initiatives. If your organization is located in a community in which a Delta hotel or resort is located, please contact the property directly. Web: https://www.deltahotels.com/About-Delta/Social-Responsibility/Donations.

Dreamcatcher Foundation / The Dreamcatcher Foundation will provide support through grants to individuals and communities with a goal of developing youth as future community leaders. The Dreamcatcher Fund will contribute to eligible applicants in the areas of: arts and culture; education support; health support; and sports and recreation. For more information on eligibility and application deadlines, please visit www.dcfund.ca/funding_programs.php.

Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation / The Foundation promotes an appreciation of traditional expression in painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking, by aiding worthy art students, artists or sculptors who need further training or other assistance during their formative years. Awards are limited to candidates in the early stages of their careers and who are working in a representational style in painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. To be eligible, candidates must have already started or completed training in an established school of art; and/or demonstrate, through past work and future plans, a commitment to making art a lifetime career. Web: www.elizabethgreenshieldsfoundation.org/main.html.

EPCOR - Community Investment Program / EPCOR considers participation in community programs that are based in communities where they operate and are focused on life’s essentials: food, water, shelter, safety, energy and education. For information, visit http://corp.epcor.com/communityinvestment/Pages/community-investment.aspx.

EcoAction Community Funding Program / Deadline: November 1st / Since 1995, Environment Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program has provided financial support to community-based, non-profit organizations for projects that have measurable, positive impacts on the environment. The Program encourages action focused projects that will protect, rehabilitate or enhance the natural environment, and build the capacity of communities to sustain these activities into the future. In keeping with Environment Canada's national environmental priorities, the Program supports projects that address the following four themes: Clean air: to reduce emissions that contribute to air pollutants; Clean water: to divert and reduce substances that negatively affect water quality or to focus on water conservation and efficiency; Climate change: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change or to deal with the impacts of climate change; and Nature: to reduce biodiversity loss, protect wildlife and plants, and protect and improve the habitat where they live. For more information on funding guidelines and how to apply, visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/ecoaction/default.asp?lang=En&n=FA475FEB-1.

GoodLife Kids Foundation / GoodLife Kids Foundation is a Canadian private foundation with a vision for every Canadian kid to have the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life. The Foundation is accepting requests for funding from registered charities and qualified donees in select cities across Canada. GoodLife Kids Champion Grants are available to registered charities and qualified donees and proposals are accepted throughout the year. Grant requests of up to $10,000 will be considered, although requests above this amount may be considered from time to time. Visit the GoodLife Kids Foundation website at http://www.goodlifekids.com/ or full grant criteria.

Google Grants - AdWords / Google Grants is an in-kind donation program awarding free AdWords advertising to selected charitable organisations. Google supports organizations sharing their philosophy of community service in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, and the arts. For more information, visit http://www.google.ca/intl/en/grants/.

Law Foundation of BC – 2014 Small Project Initiative / Deadline: December 13th/ To be eligible for funding, a project must fall within one or more of the five program objectives of the Law Foundation: legal aid; legal education; legal research; law reform; and law libraries. All applications that fall within the program objectives of the Law Foundation will be considered. The maximum amount available for each time-limited project is $15,000. To be considered, the application must be received by the Law Foundation no later than 12 pm on December 13. For more information, please visit http://www.lawfoundationbc.org/project-funding/small-projects/.

Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation / The Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation has two major objectives: investigation and support of complementary and alternative medicine, particularly in the treatment of cancer; and economic education that promotes the principles of a free market. The Foundation also supplies support to organizations that help people who fall through the social safety net of government programs for the needy. There are three funding cycles each year. Applications will be accepted at any time. For more information, visit www.hecht.org/html/guide/indexg.htm.

Neighbourhood Matching Fund / Deadline: October 15th/ The Neighbourhood Matching Fund supports neighbourhood-based groups that want to make creative improvements to local public lands. Eligible projects must actively involve the community and build neighbourhood connections. The community groups are reimbursed for project expenses based on equivalent contributions from volunteer labour, other funding sources, and in-kind donations. Next deadline: October 15th. For more information, visit http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/neighbourhood-matching-fund.aspx.

Service Canada – Canada Summer Jobs 2015 / Need summer help? Looking for a cost-effective way to hire a student this summer? Explore the Canada Summer Jobs initiative, which offers wage subsidies to employers in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to create job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. Please visit Service Canada’s website at http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/epb/yi/yep/programs/scpp.shtml in the fall for information on applying for Canada Summer Jobs 2015.

Shoppers Drug Mart Life Foundation / The Shoppers Drug Mart Life Foundation supports the health of Canadian women in body, mind and spirit, helping them live life to the fullest. They focus their giving on programs that promote good health, prevent diseases, and help Canadian women lead stronger, healthier lives. For more information, visit http://www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/Women/Apply.aspx.

Status of Women - Women's Program / The objective of the Women's Program is to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada. Funding is provided to eligible organizations in support of projects at the local, regional and national levels that address the following three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving women's and girls' economic security and prosperity; and encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles. Funding is available for time-specific projects of 36 months or less that address barriers to women's participation and equality in Canadian society. Status of Women Canada accepts and reviews applications to the Women's Program on an ongoing basis. For more information, please visit www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/fun-fin/wcf-fcf/index-eng.html.

Telus – Community Investment / Deadline: October 20th/ Telus' community investment efforts are focused in three areas - arts and culture, education and sport, and health and well-being in our environment. Each year, TELUS Community Board members choose programs that best meet our vision and clearly demonstrate the following criteria: focus on youth; demonstrate social and / or technological innovation in program delivery; fit one of our funding pillars: arts & culture, education & sport, or health & well-being in our environment; and defines and measures outcomes. Application deadline is October 20, 9 pm PST. For more information, visit http://about.telus.com/community/en/how_to_get_funded/.

Whole Foods Market / Whole Foods Market stores hold community giving days (otherwise known as "5% Days") where five percent of that day's net sales are donated to a local non–profit or educational organization. The groups that benefit from these 5% Days are as varied as the communities themselves. If you have questions about donation policy or want support, please contact the Marketing Director at your local store. Web: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/caring-communities/commu....

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COMMUNITY & GOVERNMENT SERVICES ˜

ARA Mental Health Action Research and Advocacy Association / ARA Mental Health offers advocacy services for mental health consumers living in the Greater Vancouver area. Advocacy or intervention includes: locating resources, accessing food, health and safety issues, medical/dental, substance abuse, child apprehension, appeals and tribunals, safe and affordable housing, legal referrals, counselling and one-on-one support. Hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Address: 163 West Pender Street, Vancouver. Phone: 604-689-7938.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) / The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) helps people with all disabilities to live with dignity, independence and as equal and full participants in society. Our Advocacy Access Program assists people to access provincial (PWD) and federal (CPP-D) disability benefits. For an appointment, please phone 604-872-1278.

Canada Revenue Agency - Taxpayers' Ombudsman / The Taxpayers' Ombudsman is responsible for ensuring that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) respects the service rights outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/frnss/rights-eng.html). The Taxpayers' Ombudsman's role is to also: conduct impartial and independent reviews of service-related complaints about the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA); facilitate taxpayer access to assistance within the CRA; identify and review systemic and emerging service-related issues within the CRA that have a negative impact on taxpayers; and provide advice to the Minister of National Revenue about service‑related matters in the CRA. For more information on the complaint process, visit http://www.taxpayersrights.gc.ca/menu-eng.html.

Canada Small Business Financing Program / The Canada Small Business Financing Program helps you with your financing needs. Under the program, the Government of Canada makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing risks with lenders. The program’s main objectives are: to help small businesses get started and established firms to make improvements and expand; to improve access to loans that would not otherwise be available to small businesses; and to stimulate economic growth and create jobs for Canadians. For more information, visit http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/csbfp-pfpec.nsf/eng/Home or call toll-free 1-866-959-1699 or email csbfa-lfpec@ic.gc.ca.    

Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) / CCTS is an independent agency, created by CRTC, to resolve consumer and small business complaints relating to most deregulated retail telecom services. This includes complaints about wireless, home phone, long distance and internet access. Customers unable to resolve complaints about billing, contract terms or service delivery may file a complaint with CCTS for a fair, impartial and independent review. For information, visit www.ccts-cprst.ca or call toll-free 1-888-221-1687 or email response@ccts-cprst.ca.

Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC - Vancouver / - Distress Line and Suicide Prevention Services - Need someone to talk to? Call the Crisis Centre in Vancouver for immediate, free, confidential, non-judgemental support, 24 hours a day, everyday. Call 604-872-3311. / - Volunteering - The Crisis Centre in Vancouver is looking for volunteers to answer calls from people in stressful situations and to assist with high school suicide prevention workshops.  Four hours a week after excellent training. Call 604-872-1811.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) / If you have a complaint or feel you have been treated unfairly by a collection agency, you should contact the head of the collection agency, the agency’s ombudsman, the financial institution where you borrowed money, or your provincial regulator. The FCAC can help you determine whom to contact. The agency also informs Canadians of their rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions and makes sure that banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies respect the laws and agreements that protect consumers. To reach the FCAC, call toll-free 1-866-461-3222, email to info@fcac-acfc.gc.ca or visit www.fcac.gc.ca.

Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House – Volunteer Opportunities / Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House welcomes you to engage in volunteer and community experience. The experience is an opportunity to gain new skills and at the same time, look for ways that you can use to improve your community. There are many different positions to volunteer in: Drop-in programs for families with children ages 0 to 6; Arts and Crafts; Community Events; Button Making; Garden; and Recycling. For more information, contact Eva at 604-251-1225 x 238 or by email to eva@froghollow.bc.ca. Address: 2131 Renfrew Street, at East 5th Avenue.

General Insurance Ombudservice (GIO) / GIO only works with those companies offering home, automobile and business insurance, to assist in the timely resolution of conflicts between consumers and their insurance companies. Any home, car or business insurance policyholder who has a concern, problem or dispute with a General Insurance Ombudservice (GIO) member company can use the service. In BC, all general insurance companies must be members of GIO. For more information on GIO, please visit www.giocanada.org or phone toll-free 1-877-225-0446.

MPA Society - Mental Health Empowerment Advocates Program (MHEAP) / MPA - MHEAP provides professional advocacy for people living with a mental illness. The Society assists clients with disability benefits from welfare and / or Canada Pension Plan; access any type of benefit; and complete basic income tax forms. It also helps with residency tenancy disputes and makes referrals to service agencies. MPA also provides outreach and education to other organizations. For more information, please call 604-482-3700 or email advocacy@mpa-society.org.

National DO NOT CALL LIST (DNCL) / The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) gives consumers a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls. If you are a consumer you can choose to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive by registering your residential, wireless, fax or VoIP telephone number on the National DNCL. You can also check your registration, find out how to remove your number from the National DNCL, and file a complaint about telemarketing calls. For more information on DNCL or to register, please visit https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/index-eng.

OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) / OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) is a national independent complaint resolution and information service for consumers of life and health insurance products, including life, disability, employee health benefits, travel, and insurance investment products such as annuities and segregated funds. For more information, visit www.olhi.ca. 

Service Canada - The Office for Client Satisfaction (OCS) / The Office for Client Satisfaction (OCS) is a neutral organization mandated to accept and respond to citizen feedback about Service Canada, and recommend ways the organization can improve. It helps Service Canada address specific client concerns quickly, and uses the feedback it receives, surveys, and other measures to identify general service issues. Whether you have a complaint about Service Canada that cannot be resolved at the local level, a suggestion for how the organization can improve its service, or some positive feedback, contact the OCS. The OCS does not replace internal redress mechanisms, review or overturn decisions made under legislative authority, but may review service related issues to ensure individuals are treated fairly. It has the capacity to resolve frontline issues brought to its attention by working with all the relevant stakeholders and dealing with the situation accordingly. You can contact OCS by phone, TTY, fax, mail, or by submitting a feedback form, available online through the link below and in Service Canada Centres. To find out more about OCS or for contact information, please visit http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/ocs/contactus.shtml.

S.A.F.E.R. (Suicide Attempt Follow-Up, Education & Research) / Trained professionals working to: reduce suicide risk for those in crisis; provide assistance to family and friends who care about them; aid those bereaved by suicide in dealing with their loss; and deliver education, training and consultation on suicide prevention, intervention and post-intervention.  Contact information: Intake Worker - Phone: 604-879-9251 (Mon.-Fri., 8:30 am to 4:30 pm), Office: #300 – 2425 Quebec Street, Vancouver, BC V5T 4L6. For 24-Hour Crisis Support, call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Vancouver Midtown – WorkBC Employment Services Centre / Vancouver Midtown provides services and support to help you in your job search. The centre offers integrated services that are accessible to all British Columbians, including people facing multiple barriers to employment. For more information on the programs and services, please visit its website at www.vancouvermidtownesc.ca. Address: 110 East 3rd Avenue. 

Vancouver Northeast Employment Centre / The Vancouver Northeast Employment Centre is operated by MOSAIC, in partnership with Back in Motion, the BC Centre for Ability, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, and the Vancouver Eastside Educational Enrichment Society (VEEES), to offer employment services to both employers looking for qualified candidates and local residents looking for work. The Centre is located at 2555 Commercial Drive, kitty corner from the Broadway and Commercial Skytrain Stations. For more information, phone 604-708-9300. There is also an Employment Centre for Youth at 2106 Commercial Drive.

Vancouver Homeless Storefront Office / Veterans Affairs Canada, in partnership with Wounded Warriors.ca, established the Vancouver Homeless Storefront Office to identify and help veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Wounded Warriors.ca is supporting the storefront office initiative by providing funding to offer immediate help to any homeless veterans such as vouchers for emergency provision of food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Contact information: Veterans Affairs Canada, Vancouver Storefront Initiative, 310 Alexander Avenue (in the Veterans Memorial Manor), Vancouver, BC V6A 1C3. Phone: 604-666-0244. Website: www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Vancouver Police Department – Log It or Lose It Campaign  / Log it or Lose It is a campaign to encourage citizens and business owners to record their property in a manner that will help the police return the item to its rightful owner is recovered. Police recover thousands of items yearly that are auctioned because the theft was never reported or the rightful owners did not have a record of their property. Help VPD change this by recording all of your property information. For more information or get a copy of the printed form, click on the link http://vancouver.ca/police/crime-prevention/log-it-or-lose-it.html.

This Update from Libby was posted on September 21, 2014