Weekly Richmond PRC information round-up 2023

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Although a slow return to a new-normal is underway, the post-pandemic world remains an uncertain one. To help Richmond residents cope with constant changes, Richmond PRC member organizations continue to offer a mix of in-person and virtual services. We endeavour to keep everyone updated with weekly news and announcements from both service providers and government. And if you, or someone you know, would like to join the RPRC please browse our website for more information.

Monday January 30, 2023

Greetings to members and friends of the Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition (RPRC):

This is our 3rd Roundup for 2023. If you have some news, just send it to info@richmondprc.org ​​and we will endeavour to spread the word among our members and associates.

-> RWRC’s International Women’s Day Celebration (Thanks to Tammi Belfer)

Please join us at the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre’s International Women’s Day Celebration and Auction. The silent auction is live Feb 18th to March 18th!
Theme: “Emerge with us! Let’s Crack the code together to innovate for a gender-equal future.”
Date: Saturday, March 4th, 2023
Time: 2 – 4 pm
Location: Lipont Gallery 4211 No. 3 Rd (south of Cambie)

Enjoy and expect:
An exhilarating atmosphere with artwork of emerging women artists!
Our famous Silent Auction!
Support Women’s Centre programs – Hot Ink, Work Ready and others!
Light refreshments
Tickets $50

Please purchase tickets through this link.

-> Caregiver Hub program starts up (Thanks to Richmond News and RCRG)

A new support group program is being launched for male caregiver volunteers to exchange information and experience next month. The Richmond Family & Friend Caregiver Hub program, operated by Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG), is starting a new monthly support group for male caregivers who provide unpaid care to older adults starting Feb. 17. The program’s free sessions are open for caregivers who are friends or family members as well.

While Carol Dickson, manager of RCRG’s Senior Community Support Services, said both genders take on the responsibility of caring for the elderly, male caregivers may experience unique and unexpected challenges. The support group aims to provide a safe space for them to connect and learn from peers, she explained. “Often you learn from other caregivers what works,” Dickson said, “So you are there to support others when they are having a tough time and celebrate when things go right.”

Dickson said some male caregivers may not attend workshops but actively seek information. She added this group can be an “essential outlet” for male caregivers, and serves as a reminder that “they are not alone.” The support group will meet on the third Friday of every month. To register for the Male Caregiver Support Group, or to request more information, call 604-279-7099 or email caregivernavigator@rcrg.org. You can also visit the Caregiver Hub online by clicking here for a full list of services, workshops and events.

->Celebrate Black History in February at the Library (Thanks to Richmond News)

Brighouse library will be showing three different documentaries over two weekends for Black History Month. The free screenings, to be shown in the Launchpad area, will be available from Feb. 4 to 5 and Feb. 18 to 19. John Ware Reclaimed, in which filmmaker Cheryl Foggo re-examines John Ware, a Black cowboy who settled in Alberta, will be shown during the first weekend from Feb. 4 to 5.

The second weekend, from Feb. 18 to 19, will feature Ice Breakers, a short documentary about the history of a Black hockey league in Atlantic Canada, as well as True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball, a story about three young athletes pursuing dreams of playing in the NBA.

The library’s Each One, Teach One Book Club will also be reading Chelene Knight’s Junie, which explores the complex mother-daughter relationships and offers a glimpse into Vancouver’s former Hogan’s Alley neighbourhood.

-> Seeking Members for Richmond Partner and Family Advisory Committee for MHSU

The Richmond Mental Health and Substance Use Partner and Family Advisory Committee (Richmond PFAC) is currently recruiting people with lived and living experience of mental health and/or substance use, as well as family members, to join the committee.

The goal of the Richmond PFAC is to represent the diverse voices of clients and families within Richmond Mental Health and Substance Use. The group fosters a collaborative environment between patients and families and advocates for teamwork and responsiveness in improving access to services and quality of care. Learn more.

->City invites residents to explore meaning of homelessness (Thanks to Community Social Engagement)

Richmond residents are invited to come together for a two-part, in-person community conversation about the circumstance of homelessness in Richmond. We will explore the meaning of home and the meaning of homelessness. Together we will talk about what contributes to homelessness, share our hopes for the future, and generate ideas for how we can create a more connected, inclusive community. Registration is required to attend (and will be accepted up to the day prior to the session.).

Note: This conversation was originally presented in June 2022 and was so popular that we are holding it again. It will follow the same format and topics of discussion. Seating is limited, so if you participated in June, please do not register again.

Part 1 sessions:

  • Wed., February 8, 2023 (5:30 to 7:30pm)
  • Sat., February 11, 2023 (11:00am to 1:00pm

Part 2 session:

  • Wed., February 15, 2023 (5:30 to 7:30pm)

Visit LetsTalkRichmond.ca for more information and to register.

->2023 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver (March 7-8, 2023): Call for Volunteers

The 2023 Homeless Count team is recruiting qualified volunteers for the 2023 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver. The Count will take place throughout the region inside shelters during the evening of Tuesday, March 7, 2023 and on streets throughout the day and evening of Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

By volunteering for the Count, you are helping to gather valuable information used by governments, service providers, community groups, and funders so they can plan for appropriate programs to address homelessness and measure progress in reducing homelessness.

To complete the application form and for more information, visit the website.

->Richmond housing market and the foreign buyers ban (Thanks to Richmond News)

It has only been a few weeks since the ban kicked in, but it’s unlikely to affect the local market, according to a Richmond realtor. Canada’s ban on foreign homebuyers is only a few weeks old, but it’s unlikely to have an effect on the housing market, in Richmond at least.

That’s the opinion of Richmond realtor Johnson Lai, who said B.C.’s much more established speculation and vacancy tax and the pandemic all but killed off foreign interest in local property.

Lai, who has worked for Macdonald Realty in Richmond for four years, said he used to deal with a very small percentage of offshore buyers prior to covid in 2020, when global travel restrictions halted such sales activity. But he added that, even before the pandemic, the introduction of the province’s speculation tax – two per cent of a property’s assessed value for foreign homeowners – scared off most foreign interest in Richmond’s real estate market. “It has only been a few weeks (since Canada’s ban) and right now we’re not seeing a lot of changes to the market,” Lai told the Richmond News. “For the past few years, because of covid, we didn’t have many foreigners coming into the market, but (the market) was still red hot.”

->City seeking public input on revamping older playgrounds (Thanks to Richmond News)

Richmond residents are being asked for feedback on the revamping of three of the city’s older playgrounds. The City is this year planning to makeover Heather Dolphin Neighbourhood Park at 9260 Dolphin Ave., Great West Cannery Park at 12691 No. 2 Rd. and Odlinwood Neighbourhood Park at 10811 Shepherd Dr. The parks were constructed in the 1990s and may need to be brought up to date for safety reasons.

Richmond residents can provide feedback on LetsTalkRichmond.ca, and their thoughts will be taken into consideration for the future design of the selected playgrounds. The survey ends on Sunday, Feb. 12.

->Where are your inflation dollars going? (Thanks to Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

What’s driving inflation in Canada? Between 2020 and 2022, business prices increased by a whopping 19 per cent in the country on average. Where did those dollars go?
CCPA senior economist David Macdonald breaks down the numbers using new data which shows that, of every dollar spent on higher prices in the last two years, 47 cents was converted into corporate profits in four industries—led by mining, oil and gas extraction. Corporate profits are eating up the vast majority of the extra inflation dollars, far-outpacing increased labour costs or other expenses.

As politicians, central banks, and technocrats work to end inflation by triggering and economic slowdown, understanding the source of increased prices is key. The data is clear—the largest driver of inflation is corporate profits. Read the whole report.

-> Homelessness Community Action Grants (Thanks to Henry Yao, Richmond MLA)

Indigenous organizations and other groups that work with people facing homelessness throughout British Columbia are encouraged to apply for the Province’s Homelessness Community Action Grants.

The Homelessness Community Action Grants support community-based projects, partnerships, research and other collaborative efforts to respond to gaps in the system of services and supports for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Chosen projects build on local resources and knowledge about homelessness and its causes, increase public awareness and support, and respond to gaps in services for people experiencing homelessness.

See the news release, and for information about the program and how to apply go to:
www.sparc.bc.ca/partnerships/provincial-homelessness-grants.

Monday January 9, 2023

​Greetings to members and friends of the Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition (RPRC):

This is our 2nd Roundup for 2023. If you have some news, just send it to info@richmondprc.org ​​and we will endeavour to spread the word among our members and associates.

->Community Services Pop-Up at Brighouse Library Jan 12th (Thanks to Sarah Stern and Scott Newcombe)

The second Community Services Pop Up is just around the corner on Thursday, January 12th, 2023, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. We would appreciate your support in spreading the word. Please share this promotional postcard through your networks.

->Save the Date for Women’s Centre Fundraiser March 4, 2023 (Thanks to Jasmine Law)

Our hope for 2023, is that it will be a year shared with you! We have so much to celebrate: A brand new year together, no longer apart. A brand new year for Richmond Women’s Resource Centre (RWRC) to uplift women and build community.

Please Save the Date of Saturday, March 4th, 2023 from 2-4 pm for RWRC’s International Women’s Day Celebration and Auction. Invite your closest friends to enjoy light refreshments in a fun loving and modern locale, surrounded by the artwork of emerging women artists at Lipont Gallery on No. 3 Road across from Aberdeen Canada Line Station. Also, please watch for our RWRC Online Auction from February 18th, 2023 to March 18th, 2023. We are accepting donations for the online auction now until February 15th, 2023.

->Family Services ‘Nobody’s Perfect ‘Parenting Program (Thanks to Bilquis Hirani)

A FREE program for caregivers of children ages 0 to 6 (childminding provided) starting Jan 30th.
Questions and registration: Call 604 279 7100 or email richceds@fsgv.ca. Also see the poster.
MEET with other parents of young children
SHARE questions, concerns, and ideas about parenthood
LEARN about child development, safety, health, and behaviour
DISCUSS real-life parenting situations
DISCOVER positive ways of parenting

->City of Richmond budget includes Poverty Reduction Planner (Thanks to City Director of Finance Mike Ching)

Here is an email received to the RPRC inbox from the City of Richmond: “Thank you for submitting your comments on the proposed Consolidated 5 Year Financial Plan (2023-2027) during the comment period from December 13, 2022 to January 8, 2023.

The proposed 2023 operating budget includes funding for a new Community Social Development Planner 2 (Poverty Reduction) position. This position will lead poverty reduction and prevention initiatives and work collaboratively with the community to advance the actions outlined in the 2021-2031 Collaborative Action Plan to Reduce and Prevent Poverty in Richmond.”

->Special Awareness Events Calendar for 2023 (Thanks to Cory Tymich)

Please see attached to this email, Charity Village’s special awareness events acknowledged by the Canadian non-profits calendar. It is chockfull of special days for celebration and commemoration that may be useful to your organization.

->New halal grocer to replace Steveston 7 Eleven store (Thanks to Richmond News)

A new business is taking over Steveston’s old 7 Eleven location. Hayat Supermarket, a halal butcher and grocery store, will soon be opening on Steveston Hwy and No. 1 Road. According to its Instagram account, it is set to welcome community members this spring.

The 7 Eleven store had closed down in 2022. It was one of the oldest 7 Elevens in the city and community members were saddened by its closing. A petition by a McMath student to keep the store open garnered more than 600 signatures. As of now, no opening date has been confirmed for Hayat Supermarket

->Richmond Canada Line disruptions due to construction (Thanks to Richmond News)

More Canada Line service disruptions are coming for Richmond as construction continues for the new Capstan Station. Service will be ending four hours earlier at 9:30 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays between Bridgeport and Richmond-Brighouse stations for five weeks starting on Jan. 16. Regular service is expected to resume Saturday, Feb. 18.

The service disruptions are a safety measure as crews are set to install escalators and station roofs with a large crane. Extra bus service will be available between Bridgeport and Richmond-Brighouse stations and will run approximately every 10 minutes, stopping at every impacted station. According to TransLink, Capstan Station is still on track to open later this year.

->TransLink to donate bikes left in storage parkades (Thanks to Richmond News)

TransLink has bike parkades at stations across Metro Vancouver for convenient storage but those who have been using it as a long-term solution to Vancouver’s space issue won’t be able to do so for much longer. TransLink, in partnership with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police, announced this week that bicycles left abandoned or discarded in bike parkades will be removed and donated to charity.

The clear-out is intended to free up space before the busy spring and summer months and long-term storage is prohibited so customers can use the spots for same-day use. The bikes that have not been reported stolen will be donated to the PEDAL Society’s Pedals for the People Program, a non-profit organization that provides bikes to Metro Vancouver residents in need of affordable transportation. Details here.

->New B.C. regulations raise minimum age for hazardous work (Thanks to CBC News)

New B.C. rules that came into force Jan. 1 increase the minimum age for young people allowed to perform hazardous work. Employees need to be at least 18 for most hazardous tasks, including tree falling and logging, using a chainsaw, working underground, or work with exposure to certain harmful substances, according to the amendment to the Employment Standards Act.

The minimum age is 16 for work in construction, silviculture, forest firefighting, and for jobs from heights that require fall protection. “Work experience can be a rewarding and exciting opportunity for young workers … I certainly believe it should never compromise their safety,” B.C.’s Labour Minister Harry Bains said on CBC’s Early Edition Monday. Bains said B.C. was behind many other jurisdictions across the world in allowing youth to perform potentially dangerous work.

->Watch for tax credits in your bank account this month (Thanks to Richmond News)

Bigger tax credits are on the way this month for low and moderate income-earning individuals and families in B.C. The provincial government, which is sitting on $5.7 billion of surplus tax revenue, will return some of that in the form of what it calls an enhanced “BC Affordability Credit,” which will be added to the Climate Action Tax Credit this month, according to a government statement Jan. 5.

A family with 2021 net adjusted income of less than $43,051 (or single people who reported less than $36,901) will receive an additional $164 per adult (from $48.38) and $41 per child (from $14.13). The extra credit is gradually reduced to zero once the income threshold reaches $150,051 for a family of two, or $79,376 for an individual (family thresholds move up and down with more or fewer children and are lowered for single parents). Read the story, and check out the full details on the government’s website.

->What’s it cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Metro Vancouver? (Thanks to Richmond News)

December’s reprieve from increasing rental costs in Canada’s priciest market hasn’t carried into the new year. Metro Vancouver rental prices for an unfurnished one-bedroom unit have increased in January 2023, rising $30 from $2,227 to $2,257, according to Liv.rent’s latest rent report.

The five most expensive cities in Canada in which to rent are located in B.C. this January, with West Vancouver taking the top spot this month with its one-bedroom, unfurnished units averaging $2,844. North Vancouver isn’t far behind in second, with its units averaging $2,576 rent this month. The third-most expensive market in the country this month is the city of Vancouver, with one-bedroom, unfurnished units averaging $2,488 per month in rent. In the fourth spot, Burnaby’s apartments averaged $2,394 in January.

Richmond rounded out the top five priciest markets in Canada, with units averaging $2,195 to ring in the new year. See average listing rental price by type for Metro Vancouver.

->What Does Our $78-Billion Federal Housing Program Really Fix? (Thanks to The Tyee)

How can Canada possibly spend five years and tens of billions to fix the housing crisis, but still have no idea if it’s working? That’s the question raised in a recent report by the federal auditor general. Canada’s government is in the process of spending $78.5 billion — about $5,000 per family — to fix housing. But it can’t show that money is having any demonstrably positive effect — not in reaching the goal of cutting homelessness in half and not in reaching the goal of supplying hundreds of thousands of housing units for lower income Canadians.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. takes the bulk of the auditor’s heat as CMHC leads the so-called “National Housing Strategy.” But that strategy also identifies roles for Employment and Social Development Canada and Infrastructure Canada. The audit identifies a severe lack of co-ordination between the departments as a major source of the problem.

The report is particularly scathing when examining the nation’s Reaching Home program that supplies funding to 62 Canadian municipalities experiencing ever more serious problems of homelessness. Learn more in the Tyee’s fascinating article.

->Anti-Racism & Diversity Training on Feb 24th (Thanks to MLA Kelly Greene)

The BC Government is funding anti-racism and diversity training by Zoom on February 24, 2023. Please share this post from LinkedIn with your networks.

->Apply for a grant with the Community Services Recovery Fund (Thanks to Richmond Community Foundation)

The Richmond Community Foundation is pleased to announce the Community Services Recovery Fund will be open for applications on January 6, 2023.

The Community Services Recovery Fund is a one-time, $400 million investment by the Government of Canada to help charities and non-profits adapt and modernize. This investment will strengthen the sector as it supports recovery in communities from coast to coast to coast.
This fund is a collaboration between the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada, and United Way Centraide Canada to provide funding to community service organizations, including non-profit organizations, Indigenous Governing Bodies, and registered charities located in Canada.

Now more than ever, charities and non-profits are playing a key role in addressing persistent and complex social problems faced by all Canadians. The Community Services Recovery Fund responds to what charities and non-profits need right now and supports organizations as they adapt to the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

Monday January 2, 2023

Greetings to members and friends of the Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition (RPRC):

Happy New Year! This is our 1st Roundup for 2023. If you have some news, just send it to info@richmondprc.org ​​and we will endeavour to spread the word among our members and associates.

Best Wishes for 2023 from Unite Here!

Unite Here Local 40 sends their best wishes for 2023 to
the Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition. The card (see attached) is made from a picture of our last rally at Pacific Gateway Hotel (Richmond), where workers have been on strike for over a year. Thanks for supporting them!

->Here’s how TransLink’s changes will affect your bus route (Thanks to Richmond News)

Locals will see some significant changes across the Metro Vancouver transportation network in the new year. TransLink has announced numerous service changes for bus routes across the Lower Mainland, which will come into effect on Jan. 2, 2023

TransLink is also implementing “small service adjustments” on 14 routes to provide increased service at peak travel times and to reduce overcrowding. This will also mean that slower times of the day will see reduced service. Changes affecting Richmond are: 410 Richmond-Brighouse Station / 22nd St. Station.

->That was 2022: Richmond city council had a busy year (Thanks to Richmond News)

Richmond city hall was busy in 2022. In addition to the municipal election when two new councillors were elected, city council approved several big developments. But land-use wasn’t the only issue on the table – city council also decided to revisit its flag policy after neither a pride flag nor a Every Child Matters flag were flown this year.

Taxes are going up – as they do every year – but city council voted a substantial increase this year, compared to last. And, finally, developers could end up paying more in fees to build in Richmond, something that one Richmond developer says will be passed on to homebuyers. Read the story.

->Food Banks Canada 2022 Report

As the 2022 Hunger Count report points out, the past year has seen historic inflation for basic necessities like food, fuel and housing, while the invasion of Ukraine has to led to massive disruptions in supply chains, the global food supply, and global economics.

What does this all mean for people living in Canada? Groceries are more expensive, gas is more costly, basic necessities are taking more of our incomes, housing is harder to afford, and governments are reluctant to offer the assistance that was available at the height of the pandemic.

While all people in Canada have felt the pinch in one way or another, it is clear that some groups are being particularly affected more than others. As the data plainly shows, longstanding fissures in our social safety net are being exposed in the midst of this economic turmoil.

Food banks are seeing an increasing number of seniors and people living on fixed incomes walk through their doors. People who are employed (or who were recently employed) are turning to food banks more often because their incomes are still too low, even with a job. Students who may have had enough budgeted for their previous academic years are now being forced to turn to their local food banks as well.

What the number of food bank visits showed us this year is that no one is safe from these economic challenges. What the data also shows us is that while food insecurity can affect anyone, this past year’s economic climate has exposed and further entrenched the deep poverty that existed before the current economic downturn.

->Renters need better legal protection – and more respect (Thanks to the Globe & Mail)

For the first time in decades, buying a house is no longer looking like a sure path to financial security for Canadians. The combination of rising interest rates and flatlining real estate markets have squeezed the wallets of prospective buyers – and squeezed them into the rental market. The ranks of renters, while still in the minority, are growing three times as fast as those of homeowners. And those renters may not be who you think.

For one, the rise of the rental nation is not just a big-city phenomenon. The growth of renters in smaller cities outpaced larger urban centres over the last decade, according to census data highlighted by a report from Royal Bank this month. And the rental nation is getting older: Boomers were the single-fastest growing group of tenants nationwide. “We expect these demographic and behavioural trends to continue fuelling demand for rental housing in the years ahead,” the report states.

The rising number of renters underscores the need to change flimsy legal and financial protections – and to change how we think about lifetime tenants. For a long time in Canada, home ownership was a signal of financial well-being and success. By extension, renters were the poor or at least those who hadn’t yet gotten financial traction in life. That narrative was never completely true. And it’s now become increasingly disconnected from reality.

Rapidly rising rents in urban cores means that hefty household incomes are needed to secure a lease. In Vancouver, according to apartment search site Zumper, the median cost for a two-bedroom is $3,500 a month – likely requiring a tenant making at least $120,000, if landlords are looking for people who won’t be spending more than 35 per cent of income on rental payments. Learn more.

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