Community Links Bulletin December 2008 to February 2009

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your support and confidence in the recent federal election – it’s warmly and gratefully received. And welcome to the latest edition of my Community Links Bulletin! The bulletin was delayed by the federal election and we are now trying to get back on schedule.

I am looking forward to a new parliamentary session with my NDP colleagues to work for progressive policies and values, be it public health care, desperately needed housing, or protection of our environment for our community and communities across Canada. I believe our presence and role in Parliament is critical to ensure that human dignity and social justice are at the top of the political agenda – not the bottom.

The Community Links Bulletin’s priority is to inform residents and community organizations in East Van about the activities and services carried out in our community. And we are constantly compiling new editions of the bulletin so please feel free to send me your community updates, events, feedback or suggestions.

Best wishes,


November to April 25: Vancouver Farmers Market
The Mission of Vancouver Farmers Markets is to foster community health and local economic development through the creation of a venue where community members have greater access to safe, healthy, locally produced, environmentally friendly food, and where BC producers can market their goods directly to urban consumers. From
November 8 to April 25, from 10am-2pm (every other Saturdays), at the WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac at Victoria Drive 604.879-3276. For information, visit

November to December 31: Vancouver Traffic Authority needs you! Vancouver Police Department is looking to hire 20 new recruits for 2009. The training class starts March 2009. This is a paid, part-time position coordinated by the Emergency and Operational Planning Section of the VPD. For more information visit the VPD website at or call Constable George Wong, Coordinator, Traffic Authority Unit 604-717-3094.

December 2008: I CARE HOMELESS Christmas 2008
Christmas can be an emotionally turbulent time for homeless people separated from their families. With the homeless, a little goes a long way at Christmas. This year, Dream Catchers Sport and Wellness Society is asking for your help to donate socks to warm the feet and hearts of the homeless, and coffee gift cards to give warmth to their bodies. To get involved, please contact Rhonda Alvarez at or Cell: 778-895-6410. Web:

December 7: Rogers Santa Claus Parade
The Rogers Santa Claus Parade features over 60 marching bands, dance troupes, festive floats and community groups, which entertain over 300,000 spectators. Each year, Rogers volunteers collect non-perishable food items and monetary donations on behalf of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. In the past four years, over $22,000 and 26,500 pounds of food have been collected from generous Parade audiences. From 1 pm to 2:30 pm, come join in the magic, fun and festivities at the 2008 Rogers Santa Claus Parade! For more information, contact Beth Thompson at 604-689-1889 or email

December 10 or 11: Holiday Hampers 2008
Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House would like to sponsor 40 families in need with hampers this year. You can participate by purchasing non-perishable items for a holiday dinner and gifts for each member of the sponsored family. Items can be delivered to Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House (2131 Renfrew Street) on December 10 or 11. You can also donate money or single item if filling a hamper is too much for you to take on. For more information, contact Jennie at 604-251-1225 or

December 12: British Columbia Moments
You can help to define moments that celebrate BC’s history by submitting an event from our past that has helped to shape our province. Chosen entries will be preserved in a series of 150 engraved stones to be laid in the grounds of the Parliament Buildings in our capital city. All entries must be a maximum of 50 words and can be made by visiting You can also pick up a submission form from any MLA and send it to the Office of the Speaker, Room 207,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC V8V 1X4 or fax it to 250-387-2813 by December 12.

December 13: Annual Toy Drive for the Animals
Vancouver Community Council is holding their annual Toy Drive for the Animals from 11 am to 3 pm at BCSPCA #1205 E 7th Avenue in Vancouver. A pancake brunch will be
served, by donation, all day. There will be lots of activities for children, and Santa could even make an appearance! If you plan on stopping by, please bring quality toy and food donations for the shelter animals.

December 19: Vancouver Hastings Food Drive
Due to the economic downturn, the Vancouver Food Bank has seen a sharp drop in donations this year. Many members of our community rely regularly on the food bank, many of them families with children. Shane Simpson, MLA for Vancouver Hastings, will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items until December 19. Please help if you are able. You can drop-off your donations at Shane’s office at: 2365 East Hastings
Street (at Nanaimo), Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.

December 21: Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
From 6 pm to 10 pm, celebrate Winter Solstice in your own neighbourhood. Free community evening featuring fantastic performers, the amazing Swedish Fire, hot
chocolate and a beautiful 600 candle Labyrinth of Light. In addition, the In House Festival offers a series of concerts in several East Side homes. Lanterns will be sold for the neighbourhood procession, or you can make your own lantern. For more information, visit: or

January 20 – February 8, 2009 – PuSH Festival
The annual PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is one of Vancouver’s signature events. The Festival presents work in the live performing arts: theatre, dance, music and various hybrid forms of performance. For more information, visit


ARA Mental Health Action Research and Advocacy Association
ARA Mental Health offers advocacy services for mental health consumers in Greater Vancouver. Advocacy includes locating resources, accessing food, medical/dental,
substance abuse, safe and affordable housing, legal referrals, counselling and support. Hours are 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and a drop-in safe space with accessible computers is offered to mental health consumers. Address: #423-119 West Pender Street, Vancouver. Phone: 604-689-7938

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 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 or call toll-free 1-866-959-1699 or email

Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC)
The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) is the regulatory body for Canada’s authorized immigration consultants who represent, advise, or consult with a client for a fee. Many people use the services of Immigration Consultants every year
with satisfactory results. Unfortunately in some instances, a client may have concerns with the quality of services offered and wants to file an official complaint. For information on how to file a complaint, please visit:

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 1-866-914-6097 or visit

Leave Out Violence (LOVE)
Interested in empowering youth towards advocating non-violence in your community? Want to contribute your professional skills to a non-profit? Leave Out Violence (LOVE) has a number of volunteer opportunities aimed at helping end violence youth to youth! For information, contact Paula Navratil at 604-709-5728 or

Neighbourhood Law Clinic
The Neighbourhood Law Clinic presents Access Justice, a non-profit agency that provides volunteer lawyers who give FREE legal advice to those who cannot afford it.
There are also different kinds of ‘legal clinics’ on different days, covering all areas of law. For more information or to make an appointment, call 604-878-7400.

Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS)
PICS administers a federally-funded Wage Subsidy Program that serves individuals who are unemployed, legally entitled to work in Canada and meet program requirements. The program connects employees to employers in a wide array of industries for paid-on-the-
job full time (minimum 30 hours per week) work experience. The program also subsidizes employers a portion of wages for hiring eligible individuals who are ready and willing to work. For more information on PICS Wage Subsidy Program, please contact 604-324-7733.

The 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 ( 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. The Taxpayers’ Ombudsman will generally review a complaint only after all the CRA’s internal complaint resolution mechanisms have been exhausted. For more information on the complaint process, visit

VEEES Community Service
newSTART Bridging Employment Program for Women is a 13-week Bridging Employment Program for women on employment assistance and dealing with violence
or abuse issues; provides classes and workshops on: self management, career exploration, job search, educational upgrading (GED), basic computer skills, and certification for First Aid, SuperHost, Food Safe and Serving It Right. newSTART 1691 East Pender Street, Vancouver, 604-215-4344
newCHAPTER and newCHAPTER2 Community Employment Resource
Centres offer free services to all job seekers, providing internet access, fax, phone, photocopying, one-on-one resume and job search assistance, and Service Canada Case Management services, including: development of Return to Work Action Plans and assistance with and submission of SDEB (skills training financial assistance)applications. newCHAPTER 2106 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, 604-254-3353 newCHAPTER2 835 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, 604-215-2295


City of Vancouver – Project Grant Deadline: December 15, 2008
Project grants are intended for arts organizations that have been active in Vancouver for at least one year, and that do not receive civic operating assistance. They are the City’s main form of support for new and developing groups, as well as for established groups that work on a project basis. For more information, please visit the City’s website at or contact the main reception at 604-871-6434 to be directed to the appropriate staff person.

BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group’s support focuses on social responsibility in the communities it serves, such as 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. Requests for funding are reviewed by BMO’s Corporate Donations Committee, which meets on a quarterly basis. For more information on funding eligibility and how to apply, please visit,1089,divId-7_langId-1_navCode-4691,00.html.

The Co-operators – Co-operative Development Program
The Co- operators administers a program of grants and investments dedicated to cooperatives and emerging/expanding co-operative ventures. The purpose of the program is to encourage the formation of self-sustaining co-operatives in a strong and diverse cooperative sector, which can meet the needs of Canadians while paying special attention to social needs and development. Proposals for funding are reviewed three times per year; each summer, winter and spring. For more information please go to

The 13th annual Flare Volunteer Awards Deadline: February 6, 2009
FLARE Magazine announced the call for nominations for the 13th Annual FLARE Volunteer Awards. The awards honour Canadian female volunteers aged 13 and up who
have made a significant contribution to the lives of people in their communities. The FLARE Volunteer Awards also announced a new category that is just for teens. For more information, or to submit a nomination, visit:

The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation Deadline: March 15, 2009
The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation provides funding to stimulate and invigorate non–profit organizations in the cultural and creative arts and the social services who
serve communities throughout British Columbia and the Yukon. The deadline for the one-year grant in the Fine and Performing Arts is March 15. Should the deadline date fall on a weekend, the deadline will be moved to the Monday immediately following. For more information, visit

Margaret Mitchell Fund for Women
The Margaret Mitchell Fund supports programs and initiatives that promote economic and social justice for women in Vancouver East. Priority will be given to projects that alleviate poverty, promote equality and help women to gain confidence and power. For more information about the Margaret Mitchell Fund for Women, please contact the VanCity Community Foundation at 604-877-7241.

The Minerva Foundation Deadline: March 31, 2009
The Minerva Foundation provides grant funds to existing non-profit community organizations providing services intended to support programs that deal with issues of
safety for women and girls. Prevention of violence against women, street safety and development of life skills are of special interest. For more information on funding and application process, visit

Mountain Equipment Co-op – Access Grants
The intent of the Access Grant is to inspire participation, protect or facilitate public access, and promote responsible use of the outdoors. For more information on the Access Grant and other grants by MEC, please visit, click on
“Sustainability”, then “Community Contributions”. Deadline: March 10, 2009

Staples Business Depot – Community@Work program
Staples Business Depot’s new Community@Work program supports organizations and initiatives that focus on education, environment and entrepreneurship. The program
will focus charitable efforts in these areas: Entrepreneurship; Education; and Environment. To request a donation, complete an online request form at Applications will be responded to in 30 days.

Community Links Bulletin listings are provided free of
charge, and based on availability and space. We give priority to events taking place in the
federal riding of Vancouver East. Please note deadline for submission. Your listings must be 40 words and under and must include event, date and time, location, sponsoring agency and contact name and number. Your submission can be emailed to, faxed to
604-775-5811 or mailed (postage free) to 2412 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E2.

Deadline for submission to 2009 Community Links Bulletin
March/April 2009: Friday January 23, 2009
May/June 2009: Friday March 27, 2009
July/August 2009: Friday May 29, 2009
September/October 2009: Friday July 24, 2009
November/December 2009: Friday September 25, 2009
January/February 2010: Friday November 27, 2009