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Posts Tagged "funding"

11Sep

Vancouver passes a culture plan for the next decade — with no major increase in funding | CBC News

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The City of Vancouver has passed a new arts and culture plan for the next 10 years that is bold in ambition, if not in funding. 

Entitled “Culture | Shift,” the plan aims for “blanketing the city in arts and culture” and prioritizes affordable and accessible spaces, cultural equity, accessibility, reconciliation and decolonization. 

The full report can be read here

But while there are dozens of recommendations in the report, the amount of additional money budgeted over the next four years is just $3.2 million and would leave cultural service funding as a smaller percentage of the city’s budget in 2023 than it was in 2010. 

“It seems like not a like a lot of money to me,” said Vancouver Coun. Adrianne Carr, who nonetheless voted in favour. “Is the amount of money being recommended sufficient?”

Cross-collaboration

Jessica Wadsworth, co-chair of the Vancouver Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, said “we wanted to make a reasonable request, but certainly we can ask for more.” 

The City of Vancouver wants to add 800,000 square feet of new cultural spaces over the next 10 years. (Boombox)

However, she applauded the overall plan — which came after months of consultation with hundreds of artistic groups — and said the lack of major funding increases was mitigated by the city’s commitment to move more efficiently across different departments. 

“The collaboration with urban planning, with people that do business with real estate and development … I think that collaboration is worth more than the dollars,” she said.  

The city hopes to build 800,000 square feet of cultural space in the next decade, including 400 spaces that double as housing. In addition, the report calls for a a music task force, as well a hired person within city hall to lead its music strategy.

But the committee was equally as excited around the decolonization and equity recommendations, which included developing Indigenous grant programs and increasing investment and leadership opportunities for Indigenous arts and culture. 

“If we articulate land acknowledgements, than we should decolonize arts and culture,” said Megan Lau, the committee’s other co-chair.

“If we say Vancouver values culture, we have to find a way for artists … of every type to make a living wage.”

Drummers who call themselves Star Child at the Squamish Nation 32nd Youth Pow Wow in West Vancouver on Sunday, July 14, 2019. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC) (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

‘Mission creep’

The plan was applauded by most councillors, who said it was a necessary step to ensure artists could continue to live in Vancouver. 

But Colleen Hardwick abstained from the vote, saying that while she had worked in the creative sector for over three decades, the plan was a sign of the city’s “mission creep.” 

“I’m supportive of the creative industries. I eat, live and breathe it. But I’m also very mindful … that we have to live within our means,” she said.

“We are continuing to ask for more and more on things that fall outside the scope of local government.”

However, all other councillors voted in favour. 

“This isn’t mission creep,” said Pete Fry. “This is how we build pride in our city. This is how we build the economy, [and]  how we build a city for everyone.” 

Vancouver’s new plan looks to “blanket the city in arts and culture,” with an emphasis on reconciliation, decolonizing, cultural equity and accessibility. (City of Vancouver )

10Jun

Renters facing eviction get support through rent bank funding to Vancity

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Renters facing short-term financial difficulties will soon get more help and avoid evictions with new funding for community rent banks.

Rent banks provide emergency low-cost or no-cost loans to help renters facing eviction. As part of Budget 2019, the Province granted $10 million to the Vancity Community Foundation (VCF), a non-profit foundation associated with Vancity credit union, to develop a sustainable, provincewide rent bank system. Vancity has been supporting rent banks in communities for over a decade and will consult with existing rent banks to develop a sustainable provincial program.

“Preventing homelessness by helping people avoid eviction is key and rent banks play an important role,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The Province is contributing this funding to support a sustainable network of rent banks to help people in B.C., and I look forward to hearing about the consultation, and the plan that Vancity and the existing rent banks will have in place for the long term.”

VCF and Vancity are working with existing rent banks to better understand their operational needs, discuss best practices, identify service gaps and examine expanding the rent bank model to more communities throughout B.C.

Existing rent banks already have access to funding from the provincial grant to ensure their immediate needs are met and their work is sustainable. Following the consultation, funding will go toward expanding a B.C.-wide system so tenants experiencing short-term financial crisis can be supported, regardless of where they live.

“People with lived experience of these issues are guiding this work,” said Catherine Ludgate, senior manager of community investment, Vancity. “We are taking a consultative approach with the rent banks to assess how they can expand service across the province, so more people can access funds and avoid homelessness.” 

Rent banks support the goals of TogetherBC, the provincial poverty reduction strategy. Implementing a B.C.-wide rent bank system was a recommendation of B.C.’s Rental Housing Task Force, following consultations with landlords and tenants throughout the province.

The funding builds on other improvements government has made to support renters in B.C., including cutting the annual allowable rent increase, introducing stronger protection for tenants during renovations or demolitions and enhancing eligibility and benefits under the Rental Assistance Program for families with children and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters.

“Housing security is a priority for the BC Green Party and the provincial government,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and a member of the Rental Housing Task Force. “Rent banks offer a level of security for renters and landlords that doesn’t currently exist, and alongside the task force recommendations, will help to create a stronger, more supportive rental market for British Columbians.”

Addressing poverty and homelessness is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Spencer Chandra Herbert, chair of the Rental Housing Task Force and MLA for Vancouver-West End —

“We know how expensive, disruptive and stressful evictions can be for everyone. We need to be proactive if we’re going to reduce homelessness. Rent banks help keep people in their homes and get back on their feet, while ensuring the rent gets paid. That’s why I helped found Vancouver’s Rent Bank. They work.”

Allison Felker, interim executive director, VCF —

“We’re using our financial tools and expertise to build capacity for rent banks, ensuring they have the ability to meet the needs of our communities.”

Kellie Carroll, executive director, the Network of Inner City Community Services Society and the Vancouver Rent Bank —

“The staff at the Vancouver Rent Bank are pleased that the funds that the provincial government is providing will contribute to the long-term sustainability of rent banks in B.C.”

Melissa Giles, director of programs, Mennonite Central Committee and the Fraser Valley Rent Bank —

“Through the funding, the Province has made clear the important role of rent banks in helping at-risk people receive the critical support they need to remain housed and off the streets. Working together as a coalition, we are committed to see these funds used efficiently in the support of existing rent banks and the expansion of the program into new communities in B.C.”

Learn More:

TogetherBC, B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/poverty-reduction-strategy

Renting in B.C.: https://www.renters.gov.bc.ca 

BC Housing Rental Assistance Programs: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/rental-assistance


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27May

Provincial funding embraces accessibility and inclusion

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People with disabilities will be supported in living with independence and as full participants in their communities, through $500,000 for community projects that improve accessibility.

“Every day, people with disabilities overcome barriers that could otherwise impact their lives,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Organizations across B.C. are working to embrace diversity, create equal opportunities and improve social inclusion. This funding will support them in that important work and contribute to the Province’s commitment to building a better B.C. for people with disabilities.”

The funding announcement launches B.C.’s second annual AccessAbility Week, May 26 to June 1, 2019.  AccessAbility Week promotes and celebrates diversity and inclusion, and recognizes the importance of accessibility.

The funds will be distributed through grants administered by Disability Alliance BC (DABC). A call for proposals will be posted on the DABC website in summer 2019, and grants will be awarded by the end of the year.

“Disability Alliance BC is honoured to have the opportunity to once again support projects that promote greater accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities in B.C. communities,” said Justina Loh, executive director, Disability Alliance BC. “With funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, we will help enrich and improve the lives of all people with disabilities. We are grateful to government for providing the funds and the opportunity to see more amazing projects come to life.”

During AccessAbility Week, communities throughout the province will host events and supporting activities that promote inclusion and accessibility. The celebrations are supported by $10,000 in provincial funding to the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC). AccessAbility Week 2019 will wrap up on June 1, Access Awareness Day.

Quick Facts:

  • This is the second year that these grants are being made available. Last year, 16 community projects received funding for projects that will be completed by the end of this year.
  • In B.C., more than 900,000 people aged 15 years and older, or 24.7% of the population, self-identify as having a disability.
  • One in five Canadian adults has a disability.
  • The provincial government provides up to $5 billion annually to fund services and supports for people with disabilities in B.C.

Learn More:

B.C. government accessibility initiatives: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

View the 2018 AccessAbility Projects: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018SDPR0056-002319

Disability Alliance BC: www.disabilityalliancebc.org

SPARC Access Awareness Day: www.sparc.bc.ca/accessibility/

View the AccessAbility Week Proclamation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/AccessAbility_Week_2019.pdf


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7May

Non-profit for people with disabilities shocked after 3 municipal partners pull funding | CBC News

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An organization that has helped people with disabilities pursue active lifestyles in the Greater Victoria area for more than 30 years says its future has been thrown into doubt after three long-term municipal partners announced they were ending their contracts with them. 

The Capital Regional District (CRD) — the regional government for southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands — as well as the districts of Saanich and Oak Bay have decided to end their contracts with Recreation Integration Victoria (RIV) this summer.

RIV provides volunteer training and leisure access passes for persons with disabilities, according to Yvonne Locke, president of the Victoria Integration Society, the non-profit partner that operates RIV. 

“We felt like we had been blindsided,” Locke told Gregor Craigie, host of CBC’s On the Island.

She says the possibility of ending partnerships had not been raised in a January meeting between RIV and the municipalities when the latest contracts were signed. 

Oak Bay and the CRD will end services with RIV at the end of June, and Sannich will end services at the end of August. 

Locke says RIV will work with their remaining partners to discuss the future of the organization. 

“We hope that somehow we can reconfigure to provide those same services in the future. But we really don’t know if we’ll have enough resources to do that.”

The Capital Regional District and the districts of Saanich and Oak Bay have decided to end their contracts with Recreation Integration Victoria this summer. (Recreation Integration Victoria/Facebook)

‘Integrated service’

In the summer, RIV provides service to 70 children who want to have one-on-one recreation services for one week, says Locke. The activities range from attending soccer and basketball camps to kayaking. Services are available to adults as well. 

“The idea originally was, rather than each municipality providing service to their local community, it would be better to have an integrated service,” Locke said. 

Recreation Integration Victoria has helped people with disabilities pursue active lifestyles in the Greater Victoria area for more than 30 years. (Recreation Integration Victoria/Facebook)

Locke is concerned the municipalities will not be able to provide replacement services in time. But Saanich and the CRD’s Panorama Recreation Centre say there are plans already in the works.

The Panorama centre says it is allocating funds to programs supporting inclusion. 

“We understand the change may raise concerns so we have a series of actions we are taking to continue to provide inclusion support and services,” the CRD said in a statement.

Those actions include enhanced support services over the summer, continuing to offer the access pass currently offered by RIV, and improving accessibility.

Kelli-Ann Armstrong, senior manager of recreation in the District of Sannich, said the municipality’s decision to end the contract is due to an effort to improve other services. 

“There are new, unanticipated and expanding areas that also require support, such as growing older adult populations, youth at risk and new Canadians,” Armstrong said.

“With two of the region’s departments also terminating the agreement, we felt it was an appropriate time to do the same.” 

According to Armstrong, Sannich’s decision was well planned and communicated in advanced. 

“It’s unfortunate the RIV felt that this was a surprise,” she said. “But we feel we have had discussions with them leading up to this decision.”


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30Apr

New funding will support food security programs throughout B.C.

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With a $3-million grant from the B.C. government, the Victoria Foundation will improve access to fresh, nutritious, affordable food for thousands of people who regularly experience food insecurity.

“Connecting more people to healthy food will make a huge difference in the lives of so many families,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This is a perfect example of how we can all work together to reduce poverty and make life better for British Columbians.”

From the $3-million provincial contribution:

  • Up to $2 million will be used to help purchase the Mustard Seed’s Food Security Distribution Centre, which is a hub to redistribute food across south Vancouver Island and home to the region’s Food Rescue Project. The building has been leased since 2017, and the purchase will provide long-term stability for the program.
  • The remaining funding will be used to offer grants to organizations in B.C. for food security projects that can help low-income individuals and families.

“The Victoria Foundation and Mustard Seed are partners in a far-reaching network of businesses, non-profits and community volunteers working together to tackle food insecurity in a sustainable way,” said Simpson. “Our government is proud to support these efforts and help them grow to reach every person who needs support.”

Food insecurity occurs when people do not have reliable and regular access to quality, healthy, culturally appropriate, affordable food. It affects the health of approximately 50,000 people in the capital region and around half a million people provincewide.

Through the new Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund, the Victoria Foundation will work with local non-profits throughout B.C. to identify community-specific needs and create food security projects that support health and wellness. More details on the fund will be available in late June 2019.

“Food security is central to the well-being of people, which makes it a priority for our region and the Province,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO, Victoria Foundation. “The new Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund will help us build and support other programs like the Food Rescue Project, because better food creates healthier individuals, families and communities.”

The Food Rescue Project operates in collaboration with more than 50 member organizations of the Food Share Network, an informal group of local non-profits, First Nations, school districts and organizations working toward a food-secure region. The Mustard Seed recovers about 1,815 kilograms (4,000 pounds) of fresh food daily from local grocery stores and redistributes it to network members, who in turn help feed 35,000 food insecure people in the capital region annually. The centre is the key piece in a food distribution network that decreases food insecurity and connects people with social service programs.

“The distribution centre will secure a permanent location for a food hub for the capital region,” said Derek Pace, executive director, Mustard Seed Street Church. “Purchasing the building gives us the stability we need to continue growing the network of donors who provide food each week and to continue to support and participate in the Food Share Network made up of those groups who distribute food to people in their communities. In addition to helping ensure that the Food Rescue Project remains sustainable, the centre will enable the community’s larger vision for food security, growing programs in food literacy, employment, environmental sustainability and the local food systems.”

The Victoria Foundation is actively working to find other donors to support the Mustard Seed’s purchase of the Food Security Distribution Centre and the Food Security Provincial Initiatives Fund. Vancity has already committed $200,000 to support the purchase.

Learn More:

TogetherBC, B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/poverty-reduction-strategy

The Victoria Foundation’s food security initiatives:
https://victoriafoundation.bc.ca/food-rescue-project/

The Mustard Seed Street Church’s Food Rescue Project:
http://mustardseed.ca/food-rescue/

A backgrounder follows.


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23Apr

Health database that crosses provincial borders gets federal funding

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Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor


Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Dr. Kim McGrail says she and her team ran into a familiar challenge when they were trying to compare different approaches to family health-care reform across the country.

They wanted to look at Quebec and British Columbia, which share the same goal of ensuring every resident has a family doctor but are tackling it through different care models.

Gathering the data was going to be difficult, said McGrail, who is a professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health.

“The question is, is there a difference in outcomes with these two different approaches? It’s really, really complicated,” she said.

“It’s two different data requests, different timelines, different roles. And then you get the data and the data themselves are really, fundamentally different because you’re talking about primary care data that is negotiated in provinces between medical associations and governments.

So there’s nothing that looks similar about this data across the country.“

McGrail is the scientific lead for a new health research database that aims to eliminate some of those challenges. The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Canadian Data Platform is expected to launch in the next two or three months.

She said it will provide a single portal through which researchers can request information from various sources from across the country and share analytical tools.

“What we’re doing is trying to build those resources up front so when a researcher comes along and has that sort of question, it’s a much, much faster journey to get that answer,” she said.

McGrail likened the current research process to an undulating wave graph. A researcher will start at the bottom of the wave and work their way to the top then move on to something else. Another researcher who picks up the same topic has to start at the bottom of the wave again.

The database aims to eliminate those waves, having the second researcher pick up at the peak of where the last person left off.

“We trying to push people up so they can start closer to the top,” she said.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor was at University of B.C. Tuesday to announce the federal government and several partners are contributing $81 million over seven years to support the database.

She said the database will help improve responses for health-care priorities that affect all provinces.

“Cancer, the opioid crisis and heart disease don’t stop at Kicking Horse Pass, the Ottawa River or the Tantramar Marshes,” she said.

Other funding partners include the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Ontario Ministry of Health, Population Data BC, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information and the University of B.C.


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20Mar

B.C. government doubling grant funding to provide low-cost dental care to more people

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Twenty-four not-for-profit dental clinics around the province will have their annual operating support from the British Columbia government doubled, helping them provide a mix of free and low-cost dental care to people living in poverty.

The $3.6 million in funding over three years, which includes $2 million to upgrade dental equipment in the clinics, comes just days after the Province launched TogetherBC, B.C.’s first-ever poverty reduction strategy.

“Too often, people living in poverty cannot afford to take proper care of their teeth because they have to put the basics like food and shelter first,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

“Access to quality, affordable dental health and hygiene care should be available to more people, and that’s why we’re making it a part of this government’s efforts to reduce poverty throughout B.C. This investment in community-based dental services will support not-for-profit dental providers across the province and benefit thousands of low-income families, children and seniors over the next three years.”

The one-time $3.6-million grant to the BC Dental Association (BCDA) will help B.C.’s 24 not-for-profit clinics provide more services to some of the province’s most vulnerable people, including:  

  • an annual grant of $20,000 for each clinic over the next three years to help offset the costs of materials and dental lab fees required to provide services to financially vulnerable people. The increase doubles the amount the clinics received in 2017. 
  • approximately $2 million over three years to support capital needs such as equipment like X-ray machines, dental chairs, pediatric equipment and computer software for the electronic submission of dental forms.

“Oral health is an important component of our overall health,” said Raymon Grewal, president, BCDA. “This funding will play a critical role in enhancing the access to dental care for financially vulnerable British Columbians, improving their quality of life and employment opportunities while also reducing the cost to the public health-care system by helping these patients remain free of oral pain and infection. The BCDA welcomes this partnership with the provincial government and looks forward to supporting its poverty reduction plan.”

Increasing access to dental care for people in need is part of TogetherBC, the Province’s first poverty reduction strategy. TogetherBC reflects government’s commitment to reduce poverty and make life more affordable for British Columbians.

Guided by extensive engagement undertaken with thousands of British Columbians, TogetherBC represents a starting point for delivering on the targets introduced in the 2018 Poverty Reduction Strategy Act: a 25% reduction in B.C.’s overall poverty rate and a 50% reduction in the child poverty rate by 2024.

Quick Facts:

  • Not-for-profit dental clinics in B.C. provide dental treatment for free or at reduced rates to low-income families.
  • Last year, B.C.’s not-for-profit dental clinics provided safe, affordable, quality dental-care services during approximately 54,000 patient visits.
  • In addition to the non-profit clinics, through the Healthy Kids Program, children of low-income families can get help with the costs of basic dental care, prescription eyewear, hearing instruments and alternative hearing assistance.
  • In 2017, the Province increased funding by $6 million annually for the BC Healthy Kids Program, bringing the current investment in the program to almost $30 million a year.

Learn More:

Reduced cost services offered by the BC Dental Association:
http://www.yourdentalhealth.ca/visiting-your-dentist/reduced-cost-clinics

Learn more about B.C.’s commitment to reduce poverty for the people of B.C.: 
http://www.gov.bc.ca/TogetherBC 

Find out about the Healthy Kids Program and low cost of dental care for children:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/healthy-women-children/child-teen-health/dental-eyeglasses


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20Feb

B.C. Budget 2019: Discounted transit fares, HandyDART funding absent

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Two initiatives that could make transit Metro Vancouver more accessible and affordable were missing from Tuesday’s provincial budget.

The region’s mayors have been advocating for funding for HandyDART, the door-to-door shared-ride service for people with disabilities, and a break on transit fares for people with low incomes and youths.

“We would have liked to have seen those programs included in this year’s budget,” said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté, who chairs the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.

For the past couple of years, both the council and TransLink, the regional transportation authority, have argued that the provincial government should help pay for HandyDART.

TransLink has invested money in expanding HandyDART service as part of its 10-year regional transportation plan, and made some changes following a review to improve the quality of service.

However, Coté said the majority of HandyDART trips are related to health services, such as dialysis or specialist appointments, and seeing some investment from the Ministry of Health would make sense.


Viveca Ellis, a leadership development coordinator of the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition and All On Board campaign coordinator, wants free transit for youth and reduced fares for others.

PNG

“We think there is an argument to be made that there should be better support through the provincial government, just like the provincial government mainly funds those services throughout other parts of the province,” he said.

“That’s been a longstanding issue that the Mayors’ Council and TransLink have advocated for better support there.”

The budget did include some extra money for transit — and HandyDART — improvements, but for communities outside Metro Vancouver. It adds $21 million over three years for B.C. Transit to expand bus services in 30 urban and rural communities and make improvements to help seniors and people with disabilities.


LISTEN: This week on the In The House podcast, Mike Smyth and Rob Shaw discuss the 2019 BC NDP government budget – was it a prudent NDP spending plan or a missed opportunity to get its agenda done?

We also discuss the CleanBC plan, BC Green leader Andrew Weaver’s budget response and the BC Liberals struggling to define themselves within the budget debate.


A spokesperson for the HandyDART Riders Alliance could not be reached for comment, but on social media shortly after the budget was released on Tuesday, the group called the lack of specific funding for HandyDART “disappointing.”

Coté said he hopes increasing demand for HandyDART service will prompt more serious conversations with the province about a long-term, sustainable funding model so that TransLink can continue to provide the service.

Providing discounted transit passes for people with low incomes and free transit for youths under the age of 18 has been discussed around the Mayors’ Council table, Coté said, and such initiatives have been adopted in other major cities.

“I think the Mayors’ Council is very interested in the idea, but it’s something we strongly feel would be most appropriately funded through a provincial poverty reduction strategy,” Coté said.

Such a strategy was outlined in the budget, but details about the specific programs therein were not released. It’s expected that the public will hear more in the coming weeks.

Related

Viveca Ellis, campaign organizer for #AllOnBoard, has been lobbying for a regional plan and provincial funding for making transit affordable and accessible for all people in the region.

“In the budget documents and the information that we have right now, we didn’t see anything specifically related to transit affordability and accessibility to transit for low-income people in the TransLink service region or any other region,” Ellis said.

“We’re looking forward to the release of the poverty reduction plan and seeing what will be addressed there in terms of affordable transit.”

Coté said the Mayors’ Council will move forward by formalizing their position on reducing transit fees for low-income earners and youths this spring.

“We do expect continued discussions on that regard there and hopefully future inclusion in budgets in coming years,” he said.

The budget did follow through on promised funding for major transportation infrastructure projects, including the Broadway subway line, for which $1.12 billion has been allocated over the next three years. The total cost of that project is $2.83 billion.

[email protected]

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29Jun

Government of Canada announces funding agreement to give British Columbians the tools they need to find and keep good jobs

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By investing directly in Canada’s greatest asset — its resilient, hardworking people — the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that the economic growth Canada creates is the kind of growth that works for everyone.

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with over $2.5 billion over six years to invest in their workers. These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $250 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 84,000 more British Columbians will benefit over the six-year period.

Speaking at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, Sajjan said these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in British Columbia, including assessments, skills training, work placements, job search assistance, upgrading, certification and employment supports.

Through these new agreements, the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs than before — including people from groups typically under-represented in the workforce, such as people with disabilities, women and Indigenous peoples.

As innovation and technology continue to change how people live and work, British Columbians, and all Canadians, are met with new challenges and new opportunities. This government investment in jobs and skills training will help British Columbians prepare for the good, well-paying jobs that will be created by British Columbia’s growing economy. Everybody deserves the opportunity to benefit from an innovation-driven economy — and that means ensuring that both employed and unemployed people have opportunities to acquire the skills they will need for the jobs of today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.

The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years, British Columbia will receive approximately $844 million — more than $211 million through the WDA, and close to $633 million through the LMDA.

Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and British Columbia will be able to measure how these programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups, like Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and women. The Government of Canada will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and can be continually improved.

The WDA will help British Columbia deliver training and services, such as:

  • Bridges for Women in Victoria, with a goal of helping women impacted by violence or abuse break the cycle of abuse and trauma through education and employment training.
  • Blade Runners, a program that helps at-risk youth obtain and sustain full-time employment with life skills and job readiness training, job placement and monitoring, and ongoing support.
  • Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training that assists Indigenous peoples explore and develop trades specific skills in urban areas and in home communities.

Funding under the LMDA will allow British Columbia to help more people and more employers meet their needs through:

  • 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province that offer training and employment supports to people who are unemployed or underemployed. Supports include job-search resources, employment planning, skills training and work experience placements.
  • Customized assistive supports and employment training, offered through WorkBC centres, that help people with disabilities re-enter the workforce.
  • The Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program that helps people get back into the workforce, through projects that offer skills training and work experience.
  • The Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI), in which single parents on income or disability assistance can get the supports they need to re-enter the workforce.

Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through investments like the provincial agreements announced today, the middle class can be strengthened, and help more of the people working so hard to join it.

Quotes:

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour —

“I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today’s agreements with British Columbia, we’re ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger, and our workers and their families thrive.”

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, federal Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South —

“To drive the kind of economic growth that is inclusive, we need to invest in people. Our government committed to do just that, and we are delivering with $250 million more in funding to help 84,000 more people get the skills they need to succeed in today’s changing economy.”

Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction —

“The new Labour Market Development Agreement expands eligibility to people who are underemployed — someone in a job with unpredictable hours, little long-term security, or that doesn’t match their skills. By increasing employment opportunities and earnings potential, we can help lift more people out of poverty and build a better B.C. for everyone.”

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training —

“Our government is investing in people so they can get skills and retraining employers are looking for, with a specific focus on under-represented and vulnerable groups. The Workforce Development Agreement also means we can better respond to the skills training needs of communities and employers with more flexible and timely programming. We want everyone to be able to participate in and prosper from B.C.’s strong, sustainable economy.”

Quick Facts:

  • Until recently, the Government of Canada transferred nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Through Budget 2017, the federal government is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017-18 to 2022-23:
    • $900 million over a period of six years (in addition to the $722 million provided annually) in new WDAs that consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired in March 2017); and
    • $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories.
  • In total, from 2017-18 to 2022-23, the Government of Canada will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
  • Through these agreements, provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.
  • The LMDAs and WDAs include a commitment to strong performance measurement. Canada and British Columbia will work together to measure how programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups, like Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and women. Canada and British Columbia will report to Canadians on the impacts of these programs to support continuous improvement.

Learn More:

Workforce Development Agreements: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/workforce-development-agreements.html

Labour Market Development Agreement: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/lmda.html


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30May

Provincial funding will improve accessibility

by admin


To mark B.C.’s first AccessAbility Week, the Government of British Columbia is announcing funding to support projects that will improve accessibility throughout the province.

“People with disabilities often face both physical and social barriers in their day-to-day life, and that needs to change,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The $500,000 we are announcing today is one way our government is supporting organizations to advance their work, reduce barriers and increase accessibility throughout the province.”

The funding will be distributed through a series of grants administered by Disability Alliance BC (DABC). A call for proposals will be issued later in the summer 2018, and the grants will be dispersed by the end of the year.

“There is a lot of great work happening throughout B.C. to enhance accessibility and inclusion,” said Sam Turcott, DABC’s advocacy access program director. “This funding recognizes these efforts, and will help organizations to move forward on projects and initiatives that will help people with disabilities participate more fully in their communities.”

The Province proclaimed May 27 to June 2, 2018, as B.C.’s first AccessAbility Week, to promote inclusion and accessibility, and to recognize the people and organizations who are working to make B.C. a more inclusive and welcoming province for people with disabilities.

Quick Facts:

  • More than 500,000 people in B.C. over the age of 15 years identify as having a disability.
  • For organizations interested in applying for funding, details on the call for proposals will be available on the Disability Alliance BC website in the coming weeks.

Learn More:

B.C. government accessibility initiatives: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

Disability Alliance BC: www.disabilityalliancebc.org


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