CCEC Blog
Search
 

The Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (WGIFS) would like to express solidarity with the most vulnerable who were displaced from the Strathcona Park Tent City on May 3, 2021, including seniors, people living with disabilities, chronic illness, addictions and poor mental health. Since the time we began our residency at the Strathcona Fieldhouse in 2019, we have witnessed some of the saddest experiences of the human condition, which have made us understand the need for a transformative justice approach to address the underlying systemic injustices that created the conditions at the encampment.

 

A transformative justice approach calls for accountability of ALL parties involved to play a role in dismantling the colonial matrix of power that is built on a long history of genocide, associated with eviction, displacement, and normalizing the criminalization of disadvantaged peoples, thereby perpetuating the ongoing cycles of unresolved trauma underlying the flawed foster care system, racial capitalism, drug and alcohol addictions, sexual violence, and lack of justice the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, and 2SLGBTQ.

The camp was located in one of the most gentrified and poverty-stricken neighbourhoods in one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It is time for courageous and bold action to abolish the white supremacist structures and processes that caused the disparities. Sadie Keuhn, an Elder in the Black community with a long history of anti-poverty and anti-racism leadership, states: “I believe that most people believe that every one of us has a basic right to safe housing. One which is accessible and affordable and which we have a say about. All these things seem so simple and straightforward and so very important attributes of a just society. We must make it so”.

 

As tensions and polarizations have increased within the  Strathcona Park known for its rich history of social justice activism, there is a dire need for reparations to the land and displaced communities. We call for defunding the police and allocating more adequate financial, technical and human support to develop trauma-informed land-based healing programming in the Downtown Eastside community, where  Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, and poor working-class white people are overrepresented.

 

The WGIFS calls on governments, police, homeowners, and organizations to work with communities to develop more just and adequate frameworks for socially responsible policies and nature-based planning in park spaces. Increasing access to the infrastructure and support needed for Indigenous-led, land-based healing programming in the park can serve to restore the land, territory and dignity and breathe some much-needed healing and regeneration into the DTES. We call on all involved to join us in a decolonizing approach to making reparations with the Coast Salish, whose unceded land and waters we occupy as uninvited guests – to chart the pathway to transform the darkness surrounding the trauma and harm that’s been caused. Heal the land, heal the people.

 

 

Media Contacts:

 

Dawn Morrison, Founder/Curator

Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty:                                      778.879.5106

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

A surge of attacks in one of Canada’s most multicultural cities is surfacing long-simmering racial tensions. Vancouver is known as one of the most Asian cities outside Asia where 25% of the residents speak a Chinese language.  However, the past year has seen a 700% increase in anti-Asian racism incidents.  More anti-Asian hate crimes were reported to police in Vancouver than in the top 10 most populous US cities combined.

Last Monday was declared a Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism.  With almost 50% of residents of Asian descent in BC experiencing a hate incident in the past year, we are confronting an undercurrent of racism that runs long and deep. It is a history that includes the 1885 Chinese Head Tax, 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act and 1942 Japanese internment camps. For more information on the history of anti-Asian racism, download the book,  Challenging Racist “British Columbia”. The booklet, co-published by the CCPA-BC Office, ties the histories of racism and resistance to present day anti-racist movements.

Locally, a new coalition founded by a Burnaby woman committed to stopping anti-Asian racism, organized small group rallies across the Lower Mainland.  In  April, she founded the Stand With Asians Coalition (SWAC) after hearing that there was a 350% increase in incidents of anti-Asian racism in Burnaby related to the pandemic. SWAC is currently a community of over 1,700 people that raises awareness to combat anti-Asian racism and to foster inclusiveness. Learn more on their facebook page

We also need to look at anti-racism through a wider lens. We need to recognize that all forms of hate in public spaces create unsafe conditions for members of all racialized communities.  For example, we are hearing of companies, organizations and communities doing work around JEDI that is justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. These are more than just buzzwords, they represent concepts, themes, and actions and truly involve representing the interest of all people. This is a much more complex issue and conversations that we need to foster and be part of in our communities. We will be exploring JEDI and also critical race theory in future blogs.

What comments do our members have on anti-racism?  Do you feel that Vancouver has lost its image as a progressive multicultural city with our increasing anti-racism incidents?  Add your comments to the blog.


Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Anti-Asian racism has increased significantly during the pandemic. In BC, there have been more violent incidents and hate crimes directed towards individuals who appear to be of Asian descent. There have also been many instances of microaggressions, hostile attitudes, and racist comments during what is for all of us, an already frightening and stressful time.


The release of the booklet called, Challenging Racist British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting, is co-published by CCPA BC and timely in light of recent events. They document how this recent cycle of anti-racist activism is part of a broader history of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities challenging white supremacy – particularly since 1871 when BC joined Canada.  Unfortunately, the past 150 years of history in BC has embedded systemic racism in our society and institutions. 


The book also recognizes those people who have been doing the work of anti-racism and anti-colonialism in BC for the past 150 years. They say that these historical figures are presented not as addendums to our provincial history—they are its history. 


Challenging racism is a complex issue as we need to work on both ourselves and on our society.  The book says, “the work is to dismantle our own inequities, racism and lack of diversity; and work together transcending privilege and transforming our institutions.”  We all need to rethink where we've come from, and where we want to go in terms of racial equality. 


The booklet is available free - click here to download a PDF - and there will be more resources available to support learning and teaching the histories of racism, resistance and present day anti-racist movements.  You can also click here to register for a virtual Book Launch on March 21 at 3:00pm PST. The event takes place on the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination whose theme this year is youth standing up against racism. 


Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Wednesday, February 24 is Pink Shirt Day -  Anti-Bullying Day -  when people wear mainly a pink shirt to symbolise a stand against bullying.  Did you know:

  • Two out of three youth have faced bullying over their cell phones or online. 

  • Three out of ten bullied students reported missing school at least once.

  • Three out of five LGBTQ+ students feel unsafe at school.  

  • Every seven minutes someone is bullied on a playground in Canada.


A recent survey also found cyberbullying surpassed drugs and alcohol as the top concern among Canadian parents.  Bullying affects us physically, emotionally and mentally and is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes, and online. Bullying comes in many forms, including but not limited to verbal attacks, physical violence, threats and intimidation.


This years’ Pink Shirt Day theme is, “lift each other up”.  The focus is on working together and treating others with dignity and respect. The pandemic has affected us all and shown the importance of helping one another and advocating for those who need it.


Chances are that you or someone you know is being impacted.  How we respond to bullying as a victim or witness is important. Over 90% of bullying incidents have peer witnesses. But when those peers intervene, most incidents are quickly resolved.  


Remember that kindness and compassion can go a long way.  It is important to support healthy self esteem and teach empathy, compassion and kindness. There are many resources available for parents, caregivers and our youth.  Visit the Pink Shirt Day website for more information.  Make every day an anti-bullying day!


Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

The federal government committed to support businesses and individuals through this pandemic. We will see investment in a child-care program, standards for seniors care, a disability benefit modelled after the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors, and initiatives in the areas of homelessness; and support for working women, migrant workers, Indigenous people, and racial minorities. COVID-19 has exposed a lot of problems that are not new. We need to ask ourselves, “Did this Speech from the Throne address the problems while embracing a Green New Deal and Just Recovery?”


Sadly, not.  There was little new commitment to take action on climate change and the environment.   CCPA quoted from Seth Klein’s new book, A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the climate emergency, that we must adopt an emergency mindset. 

 They also say that the speech “fell far short of expectations for a bold, just and green recovery - and is silent on the billions of dollars this government is spending on fossil fuel subsidies and the Trans Mountain pipeline.”  The bottom line is that we hoped to see more green initiatives at the federal level. 


The speech also failed to address a guaranteed base income. And its proposed measures are largely downstream measures, rather than investing in the root causes of, for example, incarceration for racialized and Indigenous peoples. The vulnerability of migrant workers is another issue and you can learn more on the  Together For Full & Permanent Immigration Status For All campaign. We are also falling short to support a resilient public health care system that includes funding to address the opioid crisis, a mental health crisis, and ongoing climate emergencies. The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities, worsened poverty, and we are more vulnerable by the economic shocks of COVID-19.  


We need a stronger commitment towards a Just Recovery at all levels of government.  We are now entering the provincial election campaign and have an opportunity to ask our candidates some hard questions and vote for representatives that commit to helping us weather the pandemic and ensure a just recovery. 


Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Internet provider discontinues service in Haida Gwaii - Aug. 19.  The COVID-19 crisis has brought into sharper focus a digital divide that is both socioeconomic and geographic. As our lives have shifted to online, many of us take for granted our internet connection and the access that comes with it. The Internet is considered a basic service, but there are too many people who don’t have accessible, inclusive and affordable service.


A Digital Divide is a difference in access to technology between nations, regions and people based on demographic factors such as income, race and age.  One year ago, we wrote a blog on the Digital Divide and its importance to our communities. The crisis has highlighted how essential an internet connection is to daily life - to earn a living, to access mental health resources, or to apply for benefits - and why it’s unacceptable that one in 10 Canadian families do not have a home internet connection.  


Racialized, low-income people are being hardest hit by the Divide. With COVID, it has become more difficult for marginalized populations to stay connected to their social and community support networks.  This is not only in remote areas or on Indigenous lands but here in Vancouver. The Binners Project in the Downtown Eastside, for example, had to change its weekly meeting to phone calls. Most Binners, who do not have access to the internet or a cellular phone, felt more disconnected and lonely as many still are not employed.


Internet access is expensive both as a customer and for the service providers. Many rural, remote, and Indigenous communities don’t have access to a good connection due to the costs to service a small number of people. A town with a population of 14,000 reports that it can take at least 2 hours to download large files like homework.  Teachers with slow or no access are wondering how they will provide online learning for their students. ACORN reports that more than one third of Canadians have to make sacrifices to afford home internet, like forgoing spending on transit or even food.


The Province included internet and telecommunications in the list of services that must continue to be delivered during the pandemic, describing these services as “essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.”  Home internet is used for vital life activities and at the same time remains unaffordable and inaccessible.  Let’s support a Just Recovery where all British Columbians have access to high speed internet. 


Please share your comments with our members.


Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

We’ve come to a fork in the road. We need to decide if we are an ‘oil country’ or a ‘country of nature?’ Do we want the previous status quo, with its now-obvious holes in our health and social well-being nets, and its trajectory towards climate catastrophe? Or do we want to “build back better” in ways that fight climate change, inequality & injustice?


We talk about  building a healthier, fairer, greener province based on a clean economy. We want to support strong climate and clean energy policies needed to build a resilient economy. We know the projects generated from a clean energy framework can put people to work in safe, healthy, well-paid jobs. We understand that a green recovery is a  just recovery and we don’t want anyone to be left behind. 


The Premier’s Economic Recovery Task Force is scheduled to release its findings from the 6 week public consultation process this month. The report aims to provide recommendations on how the $1.5 billion fund set aside for recovery spending will be deployed.  A member of the task force,  The BC Federation of Labour, submitted, “We must make up for lost time in addressing the climate crisis, with an accelerated and inclusive path to a green economy. The global collapse of oil prices is only the latest drastic swing in the fossil fuel economy — and one more sign that a sustainable future must rely on a swift transition to cleaner, renewable sources of energy.” They continue by saying, “We must look beyond economic indicators to human outcomes — our goal entails nothing less than the end of poverty, homelessness and other inequities. And it goes deeper: a meaningful connection to the communities they live and work in and with — even in times of crisis, with no exceptions.” Reading submissions like those of the BC Federation makes it sound hopeful that the BC Economic  Recovery Plan will support a Green New Deal. 

At the same time, however, we continue to invest in fossil fuel projects. The Trans Mountain Pipeline, owned by the Canadian Government, continues to be built despite knowing there is no longer a market in Asia or in the US to sell the gas; that we publicly committed  to climate action in the Paris Agreement; we have a flawed consultation process with Indigenous communities; a  failure to consider the risks posed by increased tanker traffic; ongoing protests and other concerns.  We know that the BC Recovery Plan Task Force is represented in favour of heavy industrial business and is  lobbying to have their projects be financially supported through the Plan.  

The Report
is scheduled to be released this month.  Let’s see how well the  recommendations reflect the importance of workplace safety, strong public services, and our collective responsibility to take care of each other. We have the chance to address those gaps, and to do much more. We can build back better than before.

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

There is a stark racial divide in our country. Our current system is tailored towards supporting and protecting white supremacy and catering to white fragility. We need to address how the institutions that govern our lives have internalized and implemented racism. 


“The system perpetuates racism, gender inequities, fragmentation of social and ecological systems, and weakens efforts of the many individuals, organizations and agencies to achieve deep and meaningful truth and reconciliation between IBPOC and settler society.” says  Dawn Morrison, Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and CCEC Board Member. 


We hear about white privilege, class privilege, and institutional privilege. We need to acknowledge that racism can look like hate, and show up as apathy, silence, ignorance and in the refusal to learn. Most recently, we’ve seen an increase in the number of anti-Asian acts of hate and violence. Systemic racism is complex. It has evolved out of a set of deeply rooted systems in our country. 


One thing we can do is to learn more about systemic racism and how to confront it  when we see it. Being silent is not an option.  In the last three months, there has been an eight-fold increase in anti-Asian hate crimes that included punching, subtle words and dirty looks; and we’ve opened a conversation about systemic racism in policing systems. For example,  Anti-Racism training (A.R.T) is available that helps participants shift from being  frozen/silent bystanders to becoming active witnesses during racist encounters. 


In Canada, we have an  Anti-Racism Strategy 2019-2022 called, Building a Foundation for Change.  The strategies outlined intend to help address barriers to employment, justice and social participation among Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities and religious minorities. In BC, the Organizing Against Race and Hate program was recently replaced with ResilienceBC Anti-Racism Network 


We can all do our part. Learn more and get involved. 


Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

This years’ film follows the director and fellow members of her community, as they are gradually expelled from their central Toronto neighbourhood by Vancouver-based developer Westbank, which recently began building 800 rental units on the site of legendary bargain department store, Honest Ed’s.  

The film supports our belief that housing is a basic human right. We all need a place to live and a community that is affordable, clean, and safe. Unfortunately, we are seeing the impact of redevelopment pressure on local businesses, people and the fabric of our communities. Working together, let’s make sure that our Restart Plans include housing that is equitable and just.”  


We also know the important roles that arts and culture are playing to help us recover from the pandemic. A DOXA spokesperson says, “We believe that documentary cinema holds power within moments of social momentum and change, and is a valuable tool in interrogating these unjust systems and institutions. We also believe in anti-racist education, increased mental health services, housing initiatives, income security, harm reduction services, accessible rehabilitation, arts and cultural programs, social workers, conflict resolution services, transformative justice, and other vital community-based systems.”


We agree that housing is a vital community-based system.  We need to build the kind of housing Vancouver needs and support social housing, guaranteed below market rental, moderate income rental, workforce housing, co-ops and co-housing.


CCEC is pleased to be the DOXA Festival Screening Partner for the film, There's No Place Like This Place, Anyplace . Let us know what you think. 


Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

We are in the same storm, not the same boat.

As we are in Phase 2 restarting, we ask ourselves: What do we want our community to look like? What did we learn from our time of self-isolation? What will be our economy?

At CCEC, we support a just recovery for all. We agree that now is the time to move forward with innovative, progressive recovery and rebuilding plans with a strong focus on social spending. Now is the time to invest in rebuilding our communities and cities based on care and compassion.

We cannot go back to the way things were. We are seeing the results of chronic underinvestment and inaction in the face of the ongoing, pre-existing crises of colonialism, human rights abuses, social inequity, ecological degradation, and climate change. We see that the people most impacted by the inequities are those living in poverty, women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), racialized, newcomer and LGBTQ2S+ communities, people with disabilities, and seniors. We are seeing that the situation is forcing governments and civil society to face the inadequacies and inequities of our systems. There is no going back as “normal” caused our current situation and problems.

The recently formed Just Recovery Canada, an informal alliance of more than 150 civil society groups, have released “Six Principles for a Just Recovery.” The principles ask that all recovery plans being created by governments and civil society:

  1. put people’s health and wellbeing first;
  2. strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people;
  3. prioritize the needs of workers and communities;
  4. build resilience to prevent future crises;
  5. build solidarity and equity across communities, generations and borders; and
  6. uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous people.

The principles aim to capture the immense amount of care work happening throughout Canadian civil society right now and present a vision of a Just Recovery that leaves no one behind.

 

Now is the time to get involved and fight for a Just Recovery. We need to be on the path toward an equitable and sustainable future. 

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Search

home | online bankingprivacy code  | contact | site map
© 2015 CCEC Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.