Weekly Richmond PRC information round-up 2023

man reading tablet

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 May 22, 2023

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

This is our 12th Roundup for 2023, a special edition as some of the events are coming up quickly. This email is filled with information from our RPRC organization members and allies, local news, and all levels of government. 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.

May is Child Care month and Care Givers month! Take some time to thank those people in our lives that take care of our children, our friends and our elders.

->Apply for Ethel Tibbets scholarship! (Thanks to Richmond Community Foundation)

The application intake period for the 2023 Ethel Tibbits Scholarship is now open until May 31, 2023. This scholarship is awarded annually to Richmond women seeking to further their career prospects, so they can better support their families. The scholarship can be used for both tuition and course materials, whether you’re participating in a training program, or taking classes to upgrade your skills or credentials.

Please see the poster. We will begin our social media promotion next week as well, if you are able to like and share, we would be most grateful.

->Emergency Preparedness Event June 5th (Thanks to RCRG)

Join RCRG on June 5th from 3-4.30 pm Richmond Caring Place for an exciting and educational event, the Preparedness Party in a Box!
Sponsored by the Richmond BC Alert campaign, this event is designed to equip Canadians with the knowledge and resources they need to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies. Canada’s diverse geography and climate make it susceptible to a range of natural hazards, but only one in ten Canadians have taken steps to protect their homes.

With interactive games, prizes, refreshments, and expert resources, our event will help you learn about the risks in your region and take action to mitigate them. Don’t miss this opportunity to protect yourself, your home, and your community! Call 604.279.7099 or email for free registration at caregivernavigator@rcrg.org.

->Invasive species removal event May 27th (Thanks to MLA Henry Yao)

Henry Yao, MLA, Richmond South Centre is hosting an Invasive Species Removal event on Saturday, May 27th 9:00am – 11:00am at Garden City Park. We are partnering with the City of Richmond for professional advice and equipment, and St John Ambulance for first aid. All are welcome! Please sign up if interested.

->Info Sessions available from Canada Revenue Agency (Thanks to Laurie Amigo, CRA)

Here is some information about the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) and Benefits Outreach Program.

Benefits and credits can make a big difference to people in your community. The CRA’s CVITP and Benefits Outreach Program can help people, and the organizations that serve them, learn about the benefits of tax-filing, including what benefits and credits they may be eligible for, and the supports available to help with completing an income tax and benefits return.

I would be pleased to offer a free information session to your organization about the benefits and credits that your clients could be eligible to receive. Please note that we can now offer in-person information sessions as well as virtual information sessions.

List of information sessions available:

  • General Benefits and Credits Presentation
  • Newcomers Benefits and Credits Presentation
  • Persons with Disabilities Presentation
  • Benefits & Credits for Family Caregivers Presentation
  • Indigenous Peoples Benefits and Credits Presentation
  • Benefits and Credits for adults 65 +
  • Post-Secondary Students Presentation
  • International Students Presentation
  • Scam Awareness Presentation

Please feel free to contact Laurie at Outreach.BC2@cra-arc.gc.ca if you are interested in a session and we can organize a time that is convenient for your organization.

->Making Life More Affordable and Supporting the Middle Class (Thanks to Government of Canada)

I stumbled across this a while ago. Although it deals with filing taxes and federal Budget 2023, the contents apply all year round. See: https://www.budget.canada.ca/2023/report-rapport/chap1-en.html#m3

->Free courses offered by Recovery College YVR (Thanks to CEAN Newsletter)

On May 2, the Government of British Columbia, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) of North and West Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) launched Recovery College YVR (RC YVR), a community learning centre offering free courses to address transitional gaps across the mental health and substance use system.

RC is based on a thriving community mental health model from the United Kingdom that offers various virtual and in-person workshops, groups, webinars, educational events, and community connection points to enhance mental health literacy, provide peer-to-peer support and aid in developing meaningful personal goals. The YVR RC is the 17th location in Canada.

Visit the website to learn more about this initiative.

Monday May 15, 2023

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

This is our 11th Roundup for 2023. This email is filled with information from our RPRC organization members and allies, local news, and all levels of government. 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.

->Participate in the SPEAK Health survey (Thanks to Athena Estremadura and RASC network)

VCH and BCCDC have asked the RPRC to administer a health survey called ‘SPEAK’ in Richmond. The purpose of this SPEAK survey is to collect data on social determinants of health (housing, food, income, etc) in order to adapt services and/ or increase services to meet community needs.

The survey is taking place all over BC. Our RASC (Richmond Advocacy & Support Committee) is doing the survey in Richmond. We are looking for participants to complete the survey. You can drop in or send an email to info@richmondprc.org. Here is the info on the SPEAK health survey:

Dates: Every Tuesday through May and June
Time: 9.00 to 11.30 am
Location: Brighouse Public Library (7700 Minoru Gate, 2nd floor Computer Lab)

->Support the RCD’s Krispy Crème fundraiser (Thanks to Ella Huang)

Order your Krispy Kreme doughnuts now and pick up from RCD on Thursday May 25th – last day! To thank you for supporting RCD take home 1.59 kg of Jasmine rice as a gift for every 2 boxes of doughnuts. Don’t miss out on this good deal!

Fill out the form or call Anne at 604.232.2404 if interested.

->Community Shred-a-thon May 27th (Thanks to RCD and Ella Huang)

Prevent identity theft by shredding your important documents! Saturday May 27th from 10-2 at Lansdowne Centre Mall (SW corner by Canada Line). All proceeds are donated to the RCD to support services and programs for people with disabilities.

->Vision Zero to make Delta roads safer (Thanks to Delta Optimist)

The RPRC Vision Zero project report and recommendation to engage in a Vision Zero process was presented to Richmond City Council in March. It was sent for a staff report with no timeframes on when it will come back to Council.

On the other hand, Delta Council at its Committee of the Whole meeting on May 2 heard a presentation from a consultant and Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord on the next steps for Delta to formulate its own Vision Zero strategy, aimed at eliminating all traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries by making communities safer for all modes of transportation.

Several cities such as Vancouver, Surrey and Toronto have already adopted their own Vision Zero strategies in recent years.

Some of the stats presented included 65 per cent of all collisions are occurring at intersections while heavy trucks, despite accounting for just three per cent of vehicular traffic, account for 12 per cent of accidents involving someone being killed or seriously injured. Vision Zero will hopefully reduce that number, as well as improve connections to schools and community services and address the needs of older adults and vulnerable road users.

The city of Delta is to develop a holistic and strategic road safety approach, which includes stakeholders and community partners. The city has begun undertaking community outreach and engagement and will put together a special stakeholder group. A new plan is to be approved for implementation by 2024. See the story.

->Two-thirds of Richmond kids still waiting for child care spaces (Thanks to Richmond News)

May is Child Care Month, dedicated to celebrating early childhood educators and child care providers. Richmond got 627 more child-care spaces within the year, but the current supply only covers one-third of the children in Richmond.

The City of Richmond recently wrapped up its 2017-2022 Child Care Needs Assessment and Strategy with a final update, boasting “significant progress” such as reaching 78 per cent of its 10-year plan to provide more than 10,000 licensed child-care spaces in the city, and the opening of early childhood and development hubs last year. Since the strategy was put in place in 2017, the city saw a 44-per-cent increase in child care spaces with a total of 2,535 new spaces, including almost 1,000 for infants and toddlers under the age of three.

The city is in the process of creating a new 10-year strategy for child care initiatives and activities in Richmond, which will involve consultation with local families, child care providers and the broader community. Learn more.

->BC Eviction Mapping Project report (Thanks to First United Church Vancouver)

Today is the launch of the BC Eviction Mapping project—the first of its kind in the province.

Since June 2022, First United been gathering data through a BC Eviction Survey as part of the BC Eviction Mapping project, led by Dr. Sarah Marsden, Director of Systems Change and Legal. The aim is to make BC tenant protections stronger by providing evidence that forms the basis of a law reform platform.

The interactive map and Interim Report are now available to view on our website. Take a look to see where evictions are happening across BC, who is being evicted, and what the impacts are.

Trends emerged from the data that can be categorized into four themes:

  • Prevalence of “Landlord’s Use” evictions
  • Homelessness after eviction
  • Neighbourhood displacement after eviction
  • Prevalence of informal evictions


->Average rents in Metro increased in May (Thanks to Richmond News)

Average prices have increased this month over last. Metro Vancouverites hoping for a reprieve from sky-high rental prices won’t catch a break this month. The average price for an unfurnished, one-bedroom rental unit in the region has climbed to $2,318, up $55 from $2,263 in May, according to liv.rent’s latest report. Since May 2022, the average rent for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit in Metro Vancouver has increased by $302.

Rental prices in the region saw two consecutive price declines in February and March but the top five priciest markets were located in the Lower Mainland. Costs increased in April, climbing by $55 to $2,208. Liv.rent says that the rising rental prices have coincided with the beginning of the busy summer renting season. See the article for all the neighbourhood stats.

->Housing advocate launches class-action lawsuit against BC Housing (Thanks to Delta Optimist)

A social housing advocate from Delta, who has recently launched a class-action lawsuit against BC Housing, says she’s disappointed an audit of the government operator made public by the provincial government only examined one partner provider — that of Atira Women’s Resource Society.
Elizabeth Zbitnoff says she was hoping for more to come out of Monday’s release of the Ernst and Young forensic audit. “As soon as I watched the media release, I said to myself, ‘What about the rest of the non-profits? From my understanding, that’s what the forensic audit was supposed to be on, not just Atira. I’m not surprised to see they kept it limited — just my honest opinion,” said Zbitnoff.

The Ladner resident says the findings of conflict of interest between Atira and former BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay “goes to the bigger problem” — that being systemic mismanagement of social housing units, including her own. Glacier Media reached out to BC Housing for comment but did not hear back by publication.

Zbitnoff is one of a dwindling number of residents of Ladner Willows, a townhouse complex that provides subsidized housing to low and moderate income-earning people, as well as those with disabilities. The reason why it’s a dwindling number is because the 40-unit complex fell into disrepair, she told Glacier Media. Read more of this story here:

->Join us to mark 2 YEARS ON STRIKE! (Thanks to Unite Here Local 40)

Show your support for striking Pacific Gateway Hotel workers in Richmond as they continue to fight to save their jobs & for a fair contract!
Thursday, May 25th at 5pm at Pacific Gateway Hotel, 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond

Check out the Facebook event!

->Letters: Steves deserves to be recognized (Thanks to Delta Optimist)

His commitment to farming and agriculture should be acknowledged. Isn’t about time that Harold Steves, who created the Agriculture Land Reserve, were truly honoured for his work?

He has recently retired as a Richmond councillor and it is high time the government and the farming community honoured him in a significant way.
Perhaps the Delta Farmers’ Institute and local MLAs should lobby for the B.C. Government to give Harold his well-deserved recognition.

->There’s a Better Way to Deliver Primary Health Care (Thanks to The Tyee)

Community health centres offer one-stop access to care and supports, say proponents. Karen Lundgren says the community health centre where she works in downtown Victoria is the kind of place she’d want to receive medical care.“It’s the best way to do health care,” Lundgren said. “I would love to go to my family doctor and have access to a physio there, counselling there, you know like a one-stop shop. It’s not the norm and it needs to be.”

Lundgren is the manager of the nursing team at Victoria Cool Aid Society’s community health centre and she runs the organization’s outreach sites and mobile health clinic. A non-profit that also provides housing and runs a dental clinic, Cool Aid targets its services to people who are impacted by poverty, colonization, stigma and homelessness. The health clinic is one of 31 members of the BC Association of Community Health Centres. Other clinics in the association serve various populations, with some specializing in caring for Indigenous people, immigrants or seniors, or on a particular neighbourhood or region.

Some of the other community health centres operating in the province include ones run by REACH and RISE in Vancouver, the Community First Health Co-op in Nelson and half a dozen across the Gulf Islands. There’s a move towards funding community health centres through the government’s primary care networks of providers and clinicians who come together to plan for and deliver all of the primary care needs of a community.

->Mayors calling on Feds for permanent public transit fund (Thanks to Richmond News)

Metro Vancouver mayors are flying to Ottawa next week to call on the federal government to expedite a $3-billion permanent public transit fund, claiming higher immigration rates will put more pressure on TransLink’s infrastructure needs.

The funding is scheduled to start in 2026, but Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West, chair of the Mayors’ Council, says the funds will be needed next year.
Since TransLink serves about 2.6 million people, representing about seven per cent of Canada’s population, a representative cut of the annual fund would be $205 million. TransLink says the funding plan will:

  • more than double bus service over 2022 levels;
  • add up to nine new traffic-separated Bus Rapid Transit lines;
  • make improvements to the region’s major road network;
  • increase HandyDART service by 60 per cent and provide 24-hour service;
  • begin planning for a rapid transit solution to the North Shore (Metrotown to Park Royal);
  • build the Burnaby Mountain Gondola to Simon Fraser University;
  • extend SkyTrain to the University of British Columbia;
  • increase SeaBus service start and end times to match SkyTrain’s service hours; and,
  • expand cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Keep reading.

->Here’s how much wealth the richest 1% in Canada have (Thanks to Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – CCPA)

This is an excerpt from a blog post by CCPA economist Alex Hemingway:

I’ve just crunched the numbers on wealth inequality in Canada, and the statistics are shocking. The richest 1% now control one quarter of the country’s wealth. The 87 richest families on average each have more than the 12 million Canadians at the bottom of the economic ladder combined.

The country needs a wealth tax. My research shows that the positive impacts could be significant—if we tax wealth over $10 million annually, even at rates between 1% and 3%, it would raise more than $32 billion per year. That’s enough to pay for universal pharmaceutical coverage, free tuition for post-secondary education, 100,000 affordable homes per year and a major increase in public transit investment combined. Read more in my blog post here.

A wealth tax is both practical and hugely popular with Canadians—89% support it, including 83% of Conservative voters. The challenge is that the wealthy have been able to largely keep it off the federal policy agenda. But with increased awareness and pressure, policymakers may feel compelled to act. Please help us spread the word.

Tuesday April 25, 2023

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

This is our 10th Roundup for 2023. This email is filled with information from our RPRC organization members and allies, local news, and all levels of government. 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.

Please note, yours truly will be out of province for a week so this Roundup will have to suffice! Back on May 3rd.

->Job posting for Richmond Family Place (Thanks to Valerie Allen and Ruth Taverner)

Richmond Family Place is currently looking for a part time Early Years Bridging Project Outreach Worker. It is a part-time contract position that would be ideal for someone who may be looking for an opportunity for Canadian work experience or looking to re-enter the work force. We are hoping to recruit someone who can speak either Ukrainian or Mandarin, although we will consider candidates with other languages skills.

Please see the job description, attached to this email. But please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions regarding this role. Valerie Allen (she/her) Ph: 604-278-4336 Mon-Thurs from 9-1.

->RCD Community Support Skills Training (Thanks to Ella and Ian at RCD)

SIX FREE workshops to support volunteering with vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, children with special needs and seniors. Everyone is welcome to join! Click here for workshop schedule. To register: Complete the Registration Form and return to Ian Yeung For enquiry: Call Ian at 604-232-2404.

-> Benefits Finder – great resource during tax time (Thanks to Deb Turner)

The Benefits Finder is a tool that can help you find Benefits and Services that you may be eligible to receive from federal, provincial or other sources. It asks a few questions and uses your answers to search. It does not collect or track your information. The more questions you answer, the more customized and accurate your results will be.

-> Pretty purple flags in Richmond mark an ugly reality (Thanks to Richmond News)

Richmond News editor Eve Edmonds has her say on the recent anniversary of the B.C. government declaring opioid use a public health emergency.
It’s a pretty sight: a field of small purple flags standing a foot off the ground, it looks a bit like a meadow of lupine. Too bad every one of those 2,272 purple flags represents the ugly reality of addic­tion and drug poisoning.

Last Friday a group of heartbroken family members and their supporters gathered in front of the Brighouse library to mark the seventh anniversary since the provincial government declared deaths due to opioid use a public health emergency.

Since then, an additional 11,171 men, women and children have been killed, some say murdered, in B.C. as a result of this toxic plague. We used to call these deaths drug over­doses, but that implies a user decided to take more than they should have, like some­one on a drinking binge. That may have been the case for some, but many were taking exactly what they normally take. They just didn’t realize their supply was laced with, oh let’s say, an ele­phant tranquilizer. In other words, the user didn’t overdose any more than if the beer they were drink­ing was spiked with arsenic.

-> Update to Tertiary Mental Health Substance Use program (Thanks to CEAN)

Several clients and family members took part in a focus group, interview or a talking circle as part of a review of the mandate for Tertiary Mental Health and Substance Use program at VCH. Your input directly informed changes to the mandate, including:

  • Expanding the eligibility criteria to include clients who may also be struggling with drugs or alcohol, along with severe, long-lasting mental illness
  • Including consultation with families and community teams when TMHSU care teams decide clients have met their care goals and are ready to transition to community
  • Using clear, simple language to describe the mandate
  • Including a description of Tertiary care in the mandate
  • Using positive, inclusive language to describe admission criteria, and
  • Clarifying the referral pathway into Tertiary services.

See the report.

-> Twelve more Foundry centres to support young people in B.C. (Thanks to CEAN)

Young people and families will have faster, easier access to mental-health and addiction services and primary care with the expansion of Foundry centres to more communities throughout the province.

Through Budget 2023, government will add 12 new Foundry centres to provide young people aged 12-24 and their families and caregivers free and confidential services to fit their unique needs. Supports include mental-health and addiction counselling, physical and sexual health care, peer support and social services. Read more.

-> Youth mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic: Conversations with young people (Thanks to VCH)

Review an excellent report by the McCreary Centre Society and funded by VCH, honing in on experiences and solutions proposed by BC youth.

-> Social prescribing could ease the burden on family doctors (Thanks to CBC News)

Suggestion of non-medical treatment shifts focus from, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ to ‘What matters to you? When a Toronto doctor sent out a tweet earlier this year of the prescription she’d just handed to a patient, she had no idea the impact it would have.

“Puppy of choice,” it said, “with walks twice daily and lots of love.” It was a real prescription, written on her prescription pad, handed to a patient experiencing feelings of loneliness.

Thousands of people liked it, shared it and left their own comments, many asking if they could be Dr. Iris Gorfinkel’s patient, too. In the end, it reached more than 700,000 people. “I think the reason that it struck such a raw chord is because people saw themselves in it,” Gorfinkel said.

The family doctor, who’s been practising for more than 20 years, says she’s been doing some form of what’s now known as social prescribing since her earliest working days — suggesting non-medical treatments for patients who come to her with symptoms that suggest loneliness or isolation.

Monday April 17, 2023

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

This is our 9th Roundup for 2023. This email is filled with information from our RPRC organization members and allies, local news, and all levels of government. 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.

->Richmond rally mourns lives lost to drug poisoning (Thanks to Richmond News)

Thousands of purple flags and ribbons representing victims of the toxic drug crisis covered a large field outside Richmond library. “My brother, on Dec. 14, passed away. He was one of two men in Richmond on that day. And just like many other men, he died while playing PlayStation in his bedroom,” said Trevor Tablotney. Tablotney was one of the many Richmond residents and local politicians who gathered outside the Richmond Cultural Centre on Friday morning to commemorate all the lives lost to the toxic drug crisis and demand action.

A total of 2,272 purple flags were placed on the field to acknowledge the number of overdose deaths in B.C. last year. April 14, 2023 marks the seventh anniversary since the B.C. government declared the overdose and drug poisoning crisis a public health emergency.

“This is not a crisis that’s only felt in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, it’s being felt in Richmond, with 28 deaths last year alone, and across the province and across Canada,” organizer Debbie Tablotney told attendees.“These people had families and friends that loved them, and they did not deserve to die.”
Tablotney lost her son Curtis to a drug poisoning last December. Many other community members joined her, carrying photos of their loved ones who suffered the same fate. Agnes Thompson was one of them. She knew Tablotney’s three sons when they attended a preschool she worked at, and she also lost her eldest grandson, Tristan Coatta, in 2021. Coatta was a photographer.

->A Week of Celebration, Gratitude and Recognition (Thanks to RCRG)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right: April 16 to 22 is National Volunteer Week! At RCRG, we’re busy preparing for the 2023 Volunteers Are Stars Awards, happening this Wednesday, April 19, at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. It’s the first time in three years the event will be held in person, and we can’t wait to be together again with friends, partners, and fellow community members, celebrating Richmond’s best and brightest volunteers. There’s still time to purchase tickets, and we’d love for you to join us!

->Free Event “Why is #MentalHealth Trending? (Thanks to Cory Tymich and RCFC)

Here is a free relevant upcoming event (May 3) from SPU Public Square that may be of interest. Deep Dive, “Why is #MentalHealth Trending?

->Free Community Education event May 4th (Thanks to Cory Tymich and RCFC)

RCFC is inviting all to Richmond Mental Health Film Committee’s FREE community education event. Although we had to go virtual for our 2020 event, we had such great feedback from our attendees that we thought we would offer another online! This event will be held on May 4th as part of Mental Health Week (May 1st- May 7th). Learn more and register via the link above.

As for the May 4th event, Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, here is what our presenter had to say: “Mindfulness brings with it the wisdom and insight to distinguish and navigate the currents of life – to know what draws us away from anguish and towards wellbeing. It is a powerful self-care tool that can help us shift from a state of unaware reactiveness to one of wise and compassionate responsiveness, from moment-to-moment.​” Please also see the poster.

->Richmond Food Bank thanks Volunteers (Thanks to Richmond News)

The Richmond Food Bank is celebrating its 40th anniversary and the biggest applause goes to its volunteers. Hajira Hussain, executive director of the Richmond Food Bank, said all the work the Richmond Food Bank has done since its inception is due to volunteers that have stepped up.

“No matter how the need increases, the volunteers and our community have stepped up to meet that need, or to meet that demand,” said Hussain. “They are what keeps us going and how we are able to serve the growing number of people that are coming to the food bank for grocery assistance.”

The Richmond Food Bank started on March 6, 1983 by serving 20 families and is now serving 1,200 households. Hussain told the Richmond News the need has also increased 56 per cent from before the pandemic. “A lot of people who never expected to be here, but are finding themselves accessing the food bank just because it’s been harder to make ends meet,” she said. “We’re lucky to have so many volunteers every day coming in to provide for the community.”

With National Volunteer Week coming up, Hussain said they will be showing their appreciation to the volunteers with several social events including a barbecue potluck. “I don’t think we can function even one single day without our volunteers. Because of them, we get our energy and motivation to go that extra mile.”


Enjoy delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts and support RCD!! The RCD Krispy Kreme Fundraiser is back, pre-order your box of doughnuts ($16 per dozen, tax included) and pick up on Thursday (fourth day) of every week in May – May 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th. Return the Order Form to Anne by every Monday for Thursday order in the same week. By Mail: RCD, 842-5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6X 2X9 Or fax to: 604-232-2415. For additional info, please call 604-232-2404 or visit www.rcdrichmond.org.

->Roses Angels gives to local non-profits (Thanks to Richmond News)

Richmond’s Rose’s Angels 10th annual event is once again helping vulnerable people through care package donations in the community. Rose’s Angels, under the umbrella of the Kehila Society of Richmond, received donations from the local community and donated care packages to 13 not-for-profit organizations this year.

More than 7,000 packages have been donated to organizations since 2012 in honour of Rose Lewin and Babs Cohen, Courtney Cohen’s grandmothers. Cohen, co-founder of Rose’s Angels and Lynne Fader, co-executive director of the Kehila Society of Richmond, created the “passion project” together.

Items in the packages include hygiene products, grocery gift cards, food and scarves. For more information about Rose’s Angels or to make a donation, contact Cohen or Fader at The Kehila Society of Richmond on 604-241-9270 or email RosesAngelsEvent@gmail.com. Read the story.

->Richmond Cares Richmond Gives Caregivers event May 18th

The Caregivers Connect Celebration is a special event during our Family Caregiver Month Awareness in May. This event offers caregivers an opportunity to enjoy fun and reflective activities, including a short somatic (body-centered) dialogue session and accessible mindful movement class. This event is virtual, so anyone in B.C. (and beyond!) can join.

When: Thursday May 18, 10:30am – 12pm PST
Where: Zoom
Register and Save your Spot!

->Richmond’s rental scooter pilot project completes one year (Thanks to Richmond News)

Four abandoned e-scooters and an e-scooter-involved collision was reported last year by the RCMP. Richmond officials said their pilot rental scooter program has had “little effect on policing resources.” May will mark the one-year anniversary of the launch of the City of Richmond’s e-scooter pilot project, the first e-scooter rental program in Metro Vancouver.

However, earlier this month, Paris, which has been a pioneer in this urban transportation option, voted in a referendum to ban rental e-scooters, over concerns about them clogging sidewalks, causing traffic accidents and injuries, and reducing the use of public transportation.

Although there have been complaints around e-scooters in Richmond, particularly those used for food delivery, Richmond officials said the Lime rental program “appears to have had little effect on policing resources. And we are hopeful this will be the trend for the future,” wrote Ian Henderson, Richmond RCMP spokesperson, in an email to the Richmond News.

->Costs of densifying your single-family home neighbourhood (Thanks to Delta Optimist)

With the B.C. government prepared to impose provincewide zoning regulations to densify single-family detached home neighbourhoods, Metro Vancouver is launching a study that may help answer the cost of doing so.

Eric Aderneck, Metro Vancouver’s senior planner in the regional planning and housing services division, will help shed light on the costs of providing infrastructure and services to different forms of housing. When a neighbourhood densifies, it must factor in sewer and road maintenance and expanded needs of a larger population, such as police, fire and community services. The question, according to some mayors, is, who will pay for this and how feasible is such a plan?

Aderneck’s study, according to his report to Metro Vancouver’s regional planning board April 14, “will explore the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ municipal and regional infrastructure/servicing capital and operating costs (i.e. roads, water, sanitary, sewerage, park, as well as other local government services such as recreation, policing, fire, etc.) for different residential forms, densities, and locations of housing.” See the article.

->R.A.G. exhibition questions housing affordability (Thanks to Richmond News)

“Why do we feel like we need to own homes?” This is a question Toronto-based artist Amy Ching-Yan Lam is asking people at Richmond Art Gallery’s latest exhibition. Lam, who has been a practicing artist since 2006, is hosting her first gallery exhibition in Richmond titled “A Small But Comfy House” from April 22 to June 11. Featured at the exhibition are artworks, a book and an animated video of a famous Pekingese dog named Looty that was taken from China’s Summer Palace by British troops at the end of the Second Opium War.

A new series of sculptures created by Lam in collaboration with HaeAhn Woo Kwon will also be on display. Both these elements of the exhibition represent the housing crisis in Canada while making the connection to the “larger history of colonial activities and enterprises,” according to Lam. She has always had childhood dreams of financial stability and a “small but comfy house and maybe a dog,” but the reality is far from those dreams.

->Join the conversation with the Human Library! (Thanks to Kelly Thoreson)

Human Library: yourlibrary.bibliocommons.com/events/6410fbe981da764500c39b63

Date: Sunday, April 23, Time: 1:00-4:00pm Location: Richmond Public Library, Brighouse branch (100 – 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond, BC)
Registration: Drop-in on a first-come, first-served basis until “last call” at 3:30pm
Audience: Teens, Adults, Seniors

Description: Join the conversation at Richmond Public Library’s first-ever Human Library! The Human Library is a non-profit organization that began with its first event in Denmark in 2000. It has established itself as a global learning platform with an initiative to create safe spaces for dialogue between human Books and their readers.
The conversations between Books and readers can not only help challenge prejudices and stereotypes but also contribute more broadly to greater cohesion across social, ethnic, and religious divisions. During a Human Library event, readers will see a variety of available Book titles and will be able to select one to “borrow” for a 20-minute reading slot. Readers and Books will then have a one-on-one conversation where Books will introduce themselves and readers will then have the opportunity to ask questions.

->Improve community programs, services and facilities! (Thanks to City staff Donna Lee)

The City of Richmond is seeking focus group participants to help improve community programs, services and facilities, including parks, recreation, arts, culture, heritage and library services. Residents are invited to discuss what prevents them from participating in programs and services and to help generate ideas for what might make it easier for more people in the community to participate.

Focus groups are being held April 25, 26 and 27th. Time commitment: 1½ to 2 hour discussion at an in-person meeting. Visit www.LetsTalkRichmond.ca/NeedsAssessment and check out the poster for meeting dates, times and contact information.

->Job Opportunity – Community Ambassador (Thanks to City staff Dorothy Jo)

The City is embarking on a new Social Development Strategy. The consultant team for this project, Modus, is seeking to hire Community Ambassadors who can help host events and learn from community members as part of creating the new Social Development Strategy.

The deadline to apply is April 28, 2023. For more information, please contact Kiera Vandeborne, Engagement Specialist, MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement Inc. at Kiera@thinkmodus.ca.

->CCPA survey data shows extent and impacts of ‘gig economy’

The rise of the “gig economy” and on-demand work through online platforms like Uber and Skip the Dishes has ignited public debate about precarious work and what makes a “good job.”

We all know that precarious work existed long before Uber and is not limited to the gig economy. But government efforts to develop an effective precarious work strategy for BC—as promised in the 2020 election—are hampered by the lack of data on the scale and impacts of precarious work. Statistics Canada simply does not collect the regular, timely data on many important dimensions of precarious employment that are needed to understand the security and quality of jobs in today’s labour market or track any changes over time.

So CCPA embarked on their own data collection project to gather new evidence on the scale and unequal impacts of precarious work in our province. Our pilot BC Precarity Survey was completed by over 3,000 workers aged 25 to 65 from across BC in the late fall of 2019. It provides a unique snapshot of the provincial labour market at a time of historically low unemployment and relative labour market strength just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

You can read more about the findings from the pilot BC Precarity Survey in our new report, “But is it a good job?” The upshot? We found that precarious work is a widespread problem in BC, contributing to socio-economic and racial inequalities and putting strain on families and communities across the province. Also visit: https://www.policynote.ca/precarity.

Monday April 3, 2023

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

This is our 8th Roundup for 2023. This email is filled with information from our RPRC organization members and allies, local news, and all levels of government. 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.

->Empowering Seniors & Caregivers: Online Interview (Thanks to RCRG and Carol Dickson)
Working with seniors and their caregivers is a fulfilling and challenging job that requires devotion and empathy. In an interview with Carol Dickson, Manager of Seniors Community Support Services at RCRG, we gained insights into the importance of building relationships with seniors and their caregivers, understanding their needs, and providing appropriate support.

->Atmosphere project at Alderbridge is stalled (Thanks to Richmond News)

The Atmosphere project on No. 3 Road stalled in 2020 and is now just a hole in the ground. The RPRC notes that this ‘hole in the ground’ has a number of L.E.M.R. (low end market rental) units that the City refers to as ‘secured’ affordable housing units.

The financier of the condo project Atmosphere, under creditor protection, on No. 3 Road and Alderbridge Way, is asking the courts to make the owners pay back $191 million. Atmosphere was supposed to be an 824-unit condo development with retails shops, office and underground parking.

After demolition and excavation of the site, construction ground to a halt in 2020. Building permits expired a year later. The Atmosphere property is owned by a numbered company, but the lawsuit claims its beneficial owner is Alderbridge Way Limited Partnership. The property is described in court documents as “an excavated and shored hole in the ground.”

The $191 million Romspen Investment Corp. is demanding the original loan they gave to Atmosphere of $143 million as well as interest, which is accruing at about $1.6 million every month. They are also asking the court to order Alderbridge Way to sell the property. Romspen claims, in its civil suit filed in BC Supreme Court in February, Alderbridge Way has breached its contract and defaulted on its obligations. Read the whole story.

->16 more affordable rentals on Westminster Highway (Thanks to Richmond News)

Rentals for low-income families will be clustered on two floors in a new Richmond development. But none of the units – even the one three-bedroom unit – will be even a thousand square feet in size. The largest apartment, a three-bedroom unit, will be 980 square feet. The affordable rental units will be clustered on the fourth and seventh floors of the 15-storey condo building on Westminster Highway, just east of No. 3 Road. The owner, a numbered company whose director is Chi Qiu Zhang, has signed a memorandum-of-understanding with SUCCESS to manage the units.

Last year, city council passed a new policy requiring new developments in City Centre to have 15 % affordable housing units. This building, however, is grandfathered into the previous policy and only 10 % of the floor area is dedicated for affordable rentals. See the article.

->Richmond under Construction – Second in a Series (Thanks to Maria Rantanen)

Twelve residential towers are planned at the south end of Richmond Centre. The first tower at Richmond Centre is being built as the shopping mall’s south end is transformed into a residential/retail complex. The former Sears has been demolished and the parking structure will soon be gone as well.

The developer, Cadillac-Fairview, is demolishing a total of about 260,000 square feet of the mall, which includes the Sears building. However, the plan includes building more retail along No. 3 Road. When fully built out, there will be 2,200 residential units in 12 towers at the south end of the mall. This will include 150 affordable rental units and 200 market rentals, amounting to about 10 % of the total square footage. More here.

->Mark your calendar for Faces of Richmond! (Thanks to Jimmy Ho)

During BC Seniors Week, an art project and celebration of seniors, called Faces of Richmond will be held in June at the Minoru Centre for Active Living Seniors Centre. Faces of Richmond is a celebration of the seniors in our Richmond community. Jimmy reports, We first start with an interview to record the life stories or fond memories that these Seniors want to share.

Next, we will get local artists to paint portraits of the senior participants using photographs taken during the interview. Combining the portrait and interview, we will create an audio-visual art exhibition for the public. After the exhibition is over, the artists will give the portrait to their respective seniors as a gift.

->Join the City’s Poverty Reduction Table (Thanks to City staff Olivia Boguslaw)

The City is currently seeking a resident with lived and/or living experience to participate on the Community Poverty Reduction and Prevention Table. The purpose of the Table is to help advance actions identified in the 2021 – 2031 Collaborative Action Plan to Reduce and Prevent Poverty in Richmond. The resident Table member will be asked to share their expertise by:

  • Attending approximately six – 1.5 hour meetings annually;
  • Preparing for meetings by reviewing the meeting materials; and
  • Participating in discussions, sharing insights and feedback on new initiatives to advance actions in the 2021 – 2031 Collaborative Action Plan to Reduce and Prevent Poverty in Richmond.

Honorariums are provided to recognize the contributions of resident Table members. Table meetings are held bi-monthly on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. online through Zoom. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16. Interested residents should connect with Olivia Boguslaw at 604.276.4000 ext. 3032 or OBoguslaw@richmond.ca to informally discuss the position.

->City’s Poverty Reduction Table project proposal (Thanks to Richmond News)

City staff is encouraging councillors to authorize a grant application of $50,000 with the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program to help fund poverty reduction projects.

Proposed projects include developing a pilot program offering peer-to-peer resource navigation at multiple Richmond libraries, according to the city staff report.

“The main goals of the project are to offer navigation supports that address identified needs in the community; to provide vulnerable residents with increased access to community resources outside of the City Centre area and traditional service hours; and to promote greater social inclusion by expanding peer and community-based networks,” reads the report.

->7 ideas to end cycles of poverty in B.C. communities (Thanks to TriCities Dispatch and Cory Tymich)

We’ll have to work together to build more accessible and equitable financial systems, these experts say. The Tri-Cities Dispatch is publishing stories about financial literacy and inequality in B.C., in partnership with The Discourse. In response to a community survey, B.C. residents said they want to better understand the barriers that some people face in accessing financial institutions and resources, and where solutions exist.

Jerry Buckland is a professor of economics and international development at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. Guy Dauncey is a Ladysmith-based author who is working to publish a book called The Economics of Kindness, about ways all of us can help build an economic system that works for everyone and for the environment.

The article focuses on 7 ideas to end cycles of poverty. They are:

  • End the myth that low-income people are bad with money
  • Recognize how personal and systemic traumas perpetuate poverty
  • Support community organizations that build bridges to financial access
  • Build a stronger social safety net
  • Reform banking regulations
  • Push local credit unions to lead the way
  • Support co-operative models for housing and business ownership

->Federal Budget puts predatory lenders in their place (Thanks to BC ACORN)
Great NEWS! After years of its Fair Banking Campaign, ACORN members had a huge win when the Federal Government announced in the Budget 2023 that it will introduce changes to the Criminal Code by lowering the criminal rate of interest from the equivalent of 47% to 35% Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This change will cover payday loan lenders such as Money Mart and iCash. The government has also committed to launch consultations to see if it can be further reduced.

This will help working class people save millions of dollars. BUT we need to keep the pressure on to: a) ensure all fees are included in the rate and b) fair credit alternatives are created through programs like postal banking.

->TransLink annual fare increase takes effect in July (Thanks to Richmond News)

“TransLink’s annually scheduled fare increase helps pay for the growing cost of transit and is less than half the rate of inflation,” a spokesperson for TransLink tells V.I.A. in an emailed statement. “We continue to have some of the lowest fares of any major transit agency in Canada.”
The fare increase equates to 5 to 10 cents per trip for the majority of customers and is capped as part of TransLink’s Safe Restart agreement with the province to keep fare increases low.

Single-trip tickets using cash or a Compass card will go up $0.05 for one zone, $0.10 for two zones, and $0.15 for three zones. Meanwhile, day passes will see an increase of $0.25, and monthly passes are set to go up $2.35 for one zone, $3.15 for two zones, and $4.25 for three zones.

->National Seniors’ Council Public Consultation on Aging at Home (Thanks to Federal government)

The National Seniors Council (NSC) has launched a public consultation that is intended to “inform measures to support Canadians to age at home in dignity”. This consultation is open to all Canadians – older adults, caregivers, those who have experience or expertise in working with older adults, and individuals representing the diverse voices in our communities.

The consultation is open for public comments from Monday, March 20 until Friday, April 14, 2023 only and invites people to share their views and their lived experiences on this issue.

The focus of the consultation is to receive comment from: Older adults, Caregivers (family/friends), Health, social, and community care and service providers or volunteers, Groups working with or representing older adults, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQI+ communities, newcomers, cultural communities, official language minority communities, Indigenous communities, etc., Researchers and academics, and All other interested Canadians and organizations.

Take part in the consultation online, or send an email to receive a printable form to mail by April 10th.

-> Lifeguard subsidy program – applications open (Thanks to City staff Dorothy Jo)

Aquatics is excited to launch the Instructor/Lifeguard Subsidy Program effective immediately! This subsidy program targets youth and adult residents (13+ years) who are experiencing financial hardship, and who are interested in a career or position as an Instructor/Lifeguard.

To qualify, applicants need to complete an ILSP application form and drop off at any City of Richmond recreation facility, the Richmond Cultural Centre, the Public Works Yard or Richmond City Hall.

Becoming an Instructor/Lifeguard requires extensive training and successful completion of several courses in lifesaving, lifeguarding, first aid and swimming instruction. The Instructor/Lifeguard Subsidy Program will subsidize eligible Richmond resident applicants up to90 per cent of the total course fees. Eligible Courses include:
· BrBronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, Standard First Aid & CPR-C/AED, National Lifeguard Pool, National Lifeguard Waterpark, Swim for Life Instructor, Lifesaving Instructor.

In addition to applicants meeting eligibility requirements, the ILSP will also include an interview to determine suitability and commitment to completing all of the required courses. Aquatic staff will monitor the successful applicants throughout their participation in the program and all graduates will have the opportunity to interview for an Instructor/Lifeguard position with the City of Richmond.

This initiative will be offered until December 31, 2023 or until program funds are fully allocated to applicants. This may be extended following a review of the program. To learn more about this program visit www.richmond.ca/aquatics or check out the FAQ. You may also contact Donna Hand, Aquatic Supervisor, at aquatics@richmond.ca or 604-238-8017 for more program information or questions on how to support the launching of this program, including registration.

->City’s Diversity Symposium seeks presenters (Thanks to City staff Dorothy Jo)

The City of Richmond Diversity Symposium is a free conference for professionals, volunteers and community members interested in learning, sharing and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in their communities. The Diversity Symposium aims to equip participants with the knowledge, skills and tools to build diverse, equitable and inclusive communities.

This year’s symposium is happening from October 23 to 27, 2023. Virtual sessions will take place from October 23 to 27 and an in-person session will be happening on October 27. We are seeking presentation proposals for the virtual sessions of the 2023 Diversity Symposium.

The theme for this year’s symposium is Resilience – the ability to adapt and evolve through adversity and change. We are looking for proposals that focus on building resilient communities through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion, including emerging topics and trends, best practices and innovative ideas, or thought-provoking conversations.
The deadline for submission is Monday, May 8, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. PST. For more information, please visit the website.

Monday March 20, 2023

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

This is our 7th Roundup for 2023. This email is filled with information from our RPRC organization members and allies, local news, and all levels of government. 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.->Together Again, Celebrating Richmond’s Volunteers (RCRG) (Thanks to Ed Gavsie)

Please welcome RCRG as the newest organizational member to the RPRC! And their annual event Volunteers Are Stars is back. Really back! That’s right: for the first time in three years, Richmond’s largest celebration of volunteerism will be held in person.

On April 19, during National Volunteer Week, we hope you’ll join us at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, as we recognize our community’s most passionate, dedicated, and inspiring volunteers. Come on Wednesday, April 19 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm to the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. 7551 Westminster Highway. Tickets are $75 each, and just $50 for RCRG members! Purchase them directly through the website.

On a special note, the RPRC network called Richmond Advocacy & Support Committee, or RASC, is nominated for the Constellation Award! See all the nominees.

>Free Income Tax Clinics in Richmond (Thanks to Benjamin Yong)

Thanks to our community partners for again offering free income tax clinics in Richmond. Here they are, all in one place on the RPRC website. You can also check out other local information!

Richmond charities get almost $50K in funding (Thanks to Richmond News)

Eleven Richmond charities recently received a total of almost $50,000 in funding from the Richmond Community Foundation (RCF) to carry out community initiatives. Family Services of Greater Vancouver received the largest grant at $8,000, which will fund a food literacy and cooking skills program for adults with disability held in partnership with Aspire.

Grants of $5,000 were awarded to six charities for different purposes, including summer camps for Diabetes Canada and Zajac Ranch Society, and purchases of digital instruments and a garlic brusher for Richmond Music School and The Sharing Farm respectively.

The Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition, on the other hand, will use the funding for a pedestrian road safety initiative while Richmond Centre Disability has plans for a new youth volunteers training program to help them better support vulnerable community members. Funding also went to Pathways Clubhouse, Rabbitats Rescue Society, Relay Education and the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre.

The grants were funded by eight of RCF’s forever funds, which were created by philanthropic people, businesses and groups to give back to the community. “We’re pleased we were able to support such a diverse range of community projects,” said Ed Gavsie, RCF executive director. “This year’s grant recipients illustrate the strength and vibrancy of Richmond’s charitable sector, and their initiatives in areas like food security, public safety, and inclusive recreation will benefit countless residents.”

->Richmond gets $9.1 million for ‘deeply affordable’ housing (Thanks to Richmond News)

The City of Richmond is receiving $9.1 million in federal funding to build 18 “deeply affordable” homes for vulnerable people. The Minister of Housing Ahmed Hussen was at Richmond City Hall on March 13th to make the announcement, explaining the money is coming from the Rapid Housing Initiative, a $4 billion federal housing fund that began during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To qualify for this funding, cities need to build the homes within 18 months. “Today is the beginning of hopefully more investments,” Hussen said. “As we get creative and deepen our partnership, we can find ways to bring federal housing dollars to help the most vulnerable in our community” Hussen said safe and affordable housing allows people, especially the most vulnerable, to “pursue your dreams.”

A recent housing study, based on statistics from 2016, noted 25 % of all households in Richmond were spending more than 30 % of their income on housing. Furthermore, the study noted 6,140 households in Richmond were in “extreme core housing need,” meaning they were spending more than 50 % of their income on housing. From 2006 to 2016, the cost to rent rose 4.5 times faster than household incomes.

Where the 18 homes will be built and other details are still being worked out but should be announced within a month, Mayor Malcolm Brodie told the Richmond News. More here: https://tinyurl.com/mppb8vud

->BC Budget 2023 Highlights

  • Budget highlights pertaining to poverty reduction include:
  • Free contraceptives as of April 1st
  • Rent supplement increase of $125/ month for IA and PWD recipients
  • Increased earnings threshold for PWD recipients
  • School meals program funding
  • $400 Rent tax credit for low-income renters starting in 2024
  • Climate action tax credit for low-income earners, starting July, up to $900 per family
  • New funding for mental health and addictions services

Read the media release.

->Share your input on reducing poverty at a virtual town hall (Thanks to BC Government)

This is to notify you about the public engagement to update B.C.’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Townhall dates have now been announced. We encourage anyone with an interest in poverty reduction to share their views in a virtual regional townhall meeting, including those with lived and living experience of poverty.

These sessions are held on Zoom. Please register for the townhall session closest to where you are located. Times listed are Pacific Standard Time (PST). Registering ensures we have the right amount of notetakers and facilitators for each session.

You can also visit engage.gov.bc.ca/povertyreduction. B.C.’s public engagement on poverty reduction is open until April 14, 2023.

Accessibility supports: Accessibility supports, including CART Live Captioning Services and American Sign Language interpretation will be provided at all sessions. Please send an email if you require these accommodations (to ensure we set up breakout rooms appropriately) or other accommodations (such as language interpretation, childcare, transportation costs or other expenses required to access this event) so we can ensure everyone can fully participate and collaborate in our sessions.

->Opinion Piece on the BC Budget and School Funding (Thanks to The Tyee)

When the provincial budget dropped Feb. 28, many were surprised and disappointed to see that the province’s increased spending on social issues like housing, mental health and addictions treatment, and jobs training did not translate into more money for public schools.

The Education Ministry’s budget did increase by nearly two-thirds of a billion dollars, $625 million of that earmarked specifically for public schools — a “clearly sizable” budget increase of nearly 10 per cent over the 2022 budget, says John Malcolmson, a former research analyst for the BC Teachers’ Federation and CUPE.

But the majority of the new funding is already spoken for in terms of new costs school districts need to cover, not to mention high inflation on existing costs. Check out the whole interview.

->COVID-19 and flu vaccine clinic for kids open in Richmond (Thanks to Richmond News)

The clinic is open for children from six months to 11 years old and older children with special needs. Children can get these vaccinations at the Richmond pediatric outreach clinic at 8100 Granville Ave. throughout March and April.

In addition to a flu vaccine, VCH also recommends everyone five years and older receive their COVID-19 booster even if they’ve already been infected with the virus “as the combination of infection and vaccination provides the strongest protection.”

At this time, VCH isn’t recommending children six months to four years receive a COVID-19 booster. The Richmond clinic accepts drop-ins on a first-come, first-served basis between 9:15 a.m. and 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates: March 16-17, 24-26, 31 and April 1-2, 6, 14-16, 21-23, 27-28. Click to book a vaccination appointment.

->98 modular homes that offer people autonomy to be demolished (Thanks to The Tyee)

Could this happen to the 80 Richmond TMH units?

What is the future of the 98 studio units of temporary modular housing at Larwill Place in downtown Vancouver? This housing is for people who have been or are at risk of being unhoused. Residents are now being moved into different social housing because the city wants to put office towers on the site. The two buildings are supposed to be empty by Aug. 1. The ‘temporary’ part of temporary modular housing is the land lease, not the buildings — which are designed to last three decades.

BC Housing was asked what would happen to the Larwill modules, the response was a statement that read, in part, “BC Housing, MPA Society and Vancouver Coastal Health have always been prepared to vacate the Larwill Place project site by the end of the lease agreement. We are still determining the best use for these specific housing modules, and further information will be made public once plans have been finalized.” Learn more.

->Register to give input to BC Budget 2024 (Thanks to MLA Kelly Greene)

On behalf of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, MLA Kelly Greene has asked our office to inform you about the provincial Budget 2024 Consultation. At this time, the Committee is inviting registration for presenting to the Committee. We would appreciate your assistance in encouraging participation from Richmond groups and Richmond leaders, including stakeholders supporting Richmond-Steveston community members.

British Columbians interested in presenting to the Committee are asked to complete a request form by Thursday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific) through this link or by calling the Parliamentary Committees Office at 250-356-2933 (toll-free in BC at 1-877-428-8337).

The Committee will be holding several public hearings to hear from British Columbians about their priorities for the next provincial budget. Public hearings are anticipated to take place in late May and June and will be a mix of in-person and virtual (video/teleconference) meetings. The Committee expects to hold in-person meetings in Richmond (please continue to check the Budget website for date and time). Additional opportunities to participate will also be available beginning in late May.

Monday February 27, 2023

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

This is our 5th Roundup for 2023. This email is filled with information from our RPRC organization members and allies, local news, and all levels of government. 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.

->Apply for $500 Housing Benefit (Thanks to Richmond News)

Lower-income renters have until March 31, 2023 to apply for one-time $500 housing benefit, which aims to help lower-income renters with the cost of rent. The Government of Canada launched the benefit in December, and more than half a million Canadians have applied. In order to be eligible, applicants must:

  • be a resident of Canada in 2022 for tax purposes;
  • have a principal residence in Canada;
  • an adjusted net income in 2021 of $35,000 or less for families, or
  • for single individuals, an adjusted net income $20,000 or less; and,
  • pay at least 30 % of their adjusted family net income towards rent in 2022

Applicants must only apply for themselves, and do not need to receive other housing benefits to be eligible. Applications can be submitted through Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account.

->Volunteers needed to survey Richmond seniors (Thanks to Richmond News)

More than 29,000 seniors will be surveyed in B.C. in 294 care homes. All seniors at publicly funded long-term care homes are being surveyed about their quality of life. The surveys are being done by the Office of the Seniors Advocate. Seniors at one Richmond care home have already been interviewed, but volunteers are needed this spring to speak to seniors at five more facilities The survey was first done in 2016/17, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the seniors advocate felt it was important to reassess how seniors are doing at long-term care facilities and what can be done to make their lives better.

Volunteers are being asked to commit a minimum of 40 hours of surveying – they will be provided with all the necessary training. The interviews will take place in Richmond in March, April and early May. Anyone interested can apply to volunteer to survey seniors at care homes can find information here.​ Check out the full results from the 2016/17 survey.

->BC Rental Protection Fund developed (Thanks to BC Non-Profit Housing Association)

A new $500-million fund will be managed by B.C.’s community housing organizations to help deliver safe, affordable, and culturally supportive housing for individuals and families across B.C. The newly developed Rental Protection Fund will enable non-profits to purchase and manage residential buildings to secure their affordability forever. This investment will lay the groundwork for better long-term livability, equity, and affordability in B.C.

The Fund will be jointly managed and distributed through a non-profit society created by the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA), BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA), and the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC). See the story.

->New extreme weather shelter for women opening in Delta (Thanks to Delta Optimist)

A new extreme weather shelter is opening at the Crossroads Church in North Delta. The shelter will support women and children seeking emergency overnight accommodation during extreme weather events. An information report to city council notes that the need for a women-only shelter was identified by various community partners and supported by members of the Delta Opposes Violence Everywhere community planning table.

It’s a joint initiative of community partners, including the Homelessness Services Association of BC (HSABC) and City of Delta to expand emergency shelter resources in the city. The new shelter will receive operational funding from BC Housing and will be managed by WINGS Fellowship Ministries. Delta is providing seed funding of $10,000 to assist in setting up the shelter.

A previous report to council notes that the seasonal nature of the EWS program also means that homeless people in Delta may be left without overnight accommodation during extreme weather events between April and September, unless they are able to access a 24/7 permanent shelter elsewhere in Metro Vancouver. Learn more.

->More Rental Housing coming to Richmond (Thanks to Richmond News)

City Council is meeting Monday February 27th to decide on three housing agreements that, if approved, would secure 156 low-end market rental (LEMR) affordable housing units, 120 market rental housing units and 17 market rental units. Read the city staff report.

The developer, Polygon Homes, is looking to develop two six-storey, mid-rise towers with 100 % rental housing. One stand-alone affordable housing building will have 156 LEMR units while the other rental building with 120 market rental units. The proposed development is in the area of Cambie and Sexsmith. SUCCESS is working with the developer to acquire and operate the 156 LEMR units.

->Another 200 YVR food service workers join union (Thanks to Richmond News)

The RRPC is a long-time supporter of UNITE Here local 40. More than 200 food service industry workers at Vancouver International Airport – cooks, dishwashers, servers, cashiers, and bartenders – who work for SSP Canada at YVR – voted last week to join UNITE Here Local 40 Local 40.

The workers serve the travelling public at outlets such as Monks Bar and Grill, Dirty Apron, Sal y Limon, Banh Shop, Freshii, and Thai Hang, among others. The company SSP is one of several multinational operators contracted by the Vancouver Airport Authority to operate food service outlets inside the terminals.

The new union members will join nearly 350 other food service workers at YVR already represented by the union. According to the union, contracted airport food service workers are not covered by the YVR Living Wage announced in 2022, with many of them earning well below the Metro Vancouver living wage of $24.08 per hour.
“We congratulate the 200 SSP workers who took the brave step to stand up and join our union so they can bargain for a better standard that all YVR airport workers deserve,” said Zailda Chan, president of Local 40.

The union also represents airline catering workers, who led a strike action at Gate Gourmet in 2022 and won the biggest wage increases in years for those food service workers. Following that victory, the majority of Gate Gourmet workers will be making close to $25/hour by this summer.

>Share your feedback on City’s Youth Strategy (Thanks to City of Richmond)

Are you between 13 to 24 years old, a parent/guardian, work with youth, or represent a youth-serving organization? If you live, or work with youth in Richmond, we’d love to hear from you. The Draft Youth Strategy was created with the input from extensive public and stakeholder engagement and work by City staff. Once approved by Council, the Youth Strategy will provide the City, and others working with youth, with an important framework to support and meet the unique needs of youth aged 13-24 in Richmond through to 2032.

How to Share Feedback:

✅ Visit LetsTalkRichmond.ca to review the draft strategy and complete the online survey.
✅ If you are 19 to 24 years old, join us at a Social Night on Wednesday, March 22*
✅ Connect with the City’s roaming street teams that will be engaging with youth at various locations throughout Richmond.

->Give feedback on a Community Wayfinding Strategy (Thanks to City of Richmond)

The City of Richmond is seeking public input as it creates a Community Wayfinding Strategy to help residents and visitors navigate through Richmond with ease—by foot, on wheels or via public transit. Wayfinding connects people to their surroundings and helps them find their way—for example, through directional signage and visual landmarks. Wayfinding can also promote attractions, places of special interest and the best routes for moving through the city.

From now until Sunday, March 26, 2023, there will be a number of opportunities to share feedback, both online and in person.

  • Online: review information and complete the online survey
  • In person: drop by one of two pop-up events

We encourage you to be part of this unique project that will positively affect residents and visitors in the years ahead..

->BC Pledges a Big Budget Boost to Protect Workers’ Rights (Thanks to The Tyee)

On February 23rd, Labour Minister Harry Bains announced $11.9 million in new money for the branch over the next three years, part of a response to a backlog of cases that have left many employees waiting months or years for help. That would mean a roughly 22 % budget increase for the branch this fiscal year.

Bains says it is part of a larger project to revitalize the branch after deep cuts during the previous BC Liberal government. Since 2017, when the NDP government was elected, the branch’s annual funding has risen from $7.9 million to more than $14 million, and its staffing has grown from 98 full-time equivalents to about 142.

Bains says officers are being encouraged to pivot from a complaint-based model to one based on investigations. “I think it’s clearly going in the right direction,” Bains said in a previous interview with The Tyee.

->Opinion Piece -The Time Has Come for a Bolder BC Budget (Thanks to The Tyee)

The province will unveil new spending priorities next week. Here are areas that need a big push. British Columbia is facing big social and environmental challenges ahead of Budget 2023: sky high rents, health care under enormous strain, a toxic drugs crisis, climate disruption and the need to build and rebuild crucial but eroded public services (to name a few).

The good news is that B.C. has more than enough fiscal and economic capacity to increase critical public investments to address these crises, even with a possible recession on the horizon. Grocery prices and tighter budgets lead many to community shared agriculture programs. Here’s why it’s worth the investment.

The province is closing out the current fiscal year (2022-23) with a multibillion-dollar budget surplus, much of which could be used to pre-fund priority investments under the new premier. While the province’s most recent projections show modest deficits in the following two years, a closer look reveals that these are far more than offset by an estimated $14 billion in “fiscal padding” that is tucked away in the budget over that same period. Click for the article.

Monday February 13, 2023

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

This is our 4th Roundup for 2023. Happy Valentine’s Day! This email is filled with information from our RPRC organization members and allies, local news, and all levels of government. 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.

-> Richmond Women’s Resource Centre Fundraiser Mar 4th (Thanks to Tammi Belfer)

Please support the RWRC’s 2023 International Women’s Day Celebration and Auction. Together, we can keep our doors open for another year with this fundraiser. Our sponsors are Lipont Place, Turning Point, Crystal Clear Advertising, Vancouver Premier College, and Tourism Richmond, as well as singer-songwriter, Cherelle Jardine’s musical performance. Call 604.279.7060 for tickets.

->RPRC’s Vision Zero project and our own Athena Estremadura gets media attention! (Thanks to Richmond News)

A pedestrian safety project has received feedback from Richmond residents and aims to persuade the city to become “Vision Zero.” Vision Zero is a worldwide initiative highlighting the importance of proper road safety measures, emphasizing zero serious injuries, disabilities, and deaths on the road.

The project, collaborating with Richmond Poverty Reduction Coalition (RPRC), is gathering data to present to the City of Richmond in strategizing a safe road solution for all. The RPRC is involved because it believes that people in poverty are more likely to be a victim of on the roads, given the fact they’re walking the streets more than others. While the city is working on infrastructure and pushing policies that improve road safety, Athena Estremadura, project coordinator of Vision Zero for Richmond, believes more can be done.

“Vancouver And Burnaby are Vision Zero cities; they are committed to that movement, but Richmond is not,” Estremadura said, “When you have the Vision Zero commitment, you are recognizing that causes of all car accidents should be preventable.”

Vision Zero’s pedestrian safety survey will share the perspectives from organizations such as the food bank, Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, and Richmond Centre for Disability, as their members are less likely to drive and be more vulnerable on the street.

->FSGV invites you to a Black History Month event Feb 15th (Thanks to Bilquis Hirani)


Douglas College, New Westminster Room N2201 @ 700 Royal Ave on February 15 from 6:30 – 8 pm

See poster. Join in for a panel discussion & film screening catered event: food served starting at 6 pm!

->Nominations open for Multiculturalism & Anti-Racism Awards (Thanks to Maylen Crespo)

The nomination process for the awards is now open. We hope you will share this information with your contacts and communities and encourage individuals or organizations to apply. Anyone interested in submitting a nomination can do so on the BC Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards page.
The business, organizational, and individual award categories are as follows:

  • Intercultural Trust Award (2 awards): Provided to an outstanding organization or individual for their work in building intercultural trust and understanding and/or reducing racism and hate between communities.
  • Breaking Barriers Award (2 awards): Provided to an outstanding organization or individual for their work in tackling systemic or institutional racism and reducing barriers for marginalized communities.
  • Emerging Leader Award (1 award): Provided to an outstanding youth/young adult, age 15-30, for their work in building intercultural trust, tackling racism or reducing barriers for marginalized communities. Award provided with a $5,000 grant to be given to an organization of the youth’s choice.

->SUCCESS to operate affordable housing units in Capstan area (Thanks to Richmond News)

SUCCESS is the preferred non-profit to operate 156 affordable housing units being built by Polygon in the Capstan area. A housing agreement between the city and Polygon is on the agenda for next week’s planning meeting, and it outlines the rents and square footage of the affordable units that make up 10 per cent of the floor area of the entire development. According to the housing agreement going to planning next week, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been secured with SUCCESS which will “acquire” the affordable housing units and operate them.

There will be 33 three-bedroom units (980 square feet in size), which will rent for $1,489 a month. There will also be 45 two-bedroom apartments (741 square feet renting for $1,218 a month), 60 one-bedroom apartments and 18 400-square-foot studio apartments. The housing agreement being proposed also includes maximum incomes for those moving into the affordable units. They range from $34,600 for studio apartments to $58,050 for three-bedroom apartments. Read the whole story.

->Invitation to participate in the development of the Richmond Accessibility Plan (2023–2028)

The City of Richmond is developing the Richmond Accessibility Plan (2023–2028). The Plan is intended to guide the City’s work to advance accessibility in the community, in collaboration with community organizations and residents. Community members with disabilities, their families and caregivers are invited to participate in one of the upcoming focus groups that will help shape the new accessibility plan. Please join us and share your ideas on how the City can identify, prevent and remove barriers for people with disabilities in the community.

Accessibility: The City of Richmond strives to host events that are accessible and inclusive for everyone. American Sign Language interpretation and closed captioning will be provided. If you have any other accessibility needs that we can accommodate, please let us know when you register.

Pre-registration is required for all sessions. Register by emailing tracy@happycities.com and include your name, the session you would like to participate in as well as any accessibility needs, we can accommodate for you. Details for each session are below:

  • Focus Group #1
    Date: Wed, Feb 15, 2023
    Time: 10:00-11:30am
    Where: Launch Pad Classroom, Brighouse Library, 100-7700 Minoru Gate
    Pre-registration is required.

The Launch Pad Classroom is an accessible space and accessible parking is available onsite at the Brighouse Library. Parents with young children are welcome to attend; however, no childminding is provided on site.

  • Focus Group #2
    Date: Wed, Feb 15, 2023
    Time: 6:30-8:00pm
    Where: Online, via Zoom. Pre-registration is required to receive Zoom meeting link.
  • Focus Group #3
    Date: Tue, Feb 28, 2023
    Time: 6:30-8:00 pm
    Where: Online, via Zoom. Pre-registration is required to receive Zoom meeting link.Your input will help to further accessibility in the community so that everyone—of all backgrounds, ages and abilities—feels included in the Richmond spaces where they live, work, play, share, and learn. Please feel free to reply to the email address above any questions you may have.

->BC becomes only province to provide 100% rent bank coverage (Thanks to Karina Reid)

Rent Banks are administered by non-profits in many communities in BC. Unfortunately, Richmond does not have a rent bank. Do we need one?

BC Rent Bank is a project of the Vancity Community Foundation, funded by the BC government (see this news release to learn more.)

Rent banks offer interest-free loans to help low-to-moderate income renters who are struggling to pay rent and/or essential utilities (gas/hydro). The maximum loan amount is up to $3500. Repayment terms are from 6 month to 36 months. Terms of agreement are set by rent banks themselves. This is a loan program. Applicants will need to demonstrate they have the financial ability to pay regular monthly expenses and the monthly loan repayment, and if eligible. Apply here.

->Richmond Public Library is hosting a Human Library event! (Thanks to Kelly Thoreson)

Kelly writes, Richmond Public Library is hosting a Human Library® event on Sunday, April 23, and we are in the process of recruiting volunteers to participate as Books. We are trying to reach community members with a diverse range of life experiences, and I am hoping you are able to help share our brief application form with your networks or contacts you think may be interested in this unique opportunity. I know you are well-connected in the community and may be able to support us with reaching folks with valuable stories to share that we may have otherwise missed, either through individual referrals or by sharing this information with the RPRC newsletter.

I have included further information below, but please feel free to reach out with any further questions. You can also reach our planning team directly at rplhumanlibrary@yourlibrary.ca – please feel free to share this email address with anyone who is interested as well.

->B.C. announces new funding program for accessible taxis (Thanks to CBC News)

The B.C. government announced new funding Wednesday for taxi companies to make their fleets more accessible for people with disabilities. Around $3 million of funding will be available under the Passenger Transportation Accessibility Program, according to the ministry of transportation and infrastructure.
It will provide rebates to eligible taxi owner-operators for costs associated with maintaining their wheelchair-accessible taxis. “This is going to make getting around more equitable for people requiring the use of a wheelchair or living with other mobility challenges,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming at a news conference.

The province says it will launch three more funding streams for accessible transportation over the next two years. It says the accessibility program will be funded using revenue from the per-trip fee implemented in September 2019, to help offset the regulatory costs and impacts of enabling ride-hailing operations.

->Volunteer opportunity in MLA’s office (Thanks to Amy Li)

Volunteer for the Richmond South Centre Constituency Office of Henry Yao, MLA

  • Looking for volunteers to support our community. Join the team as a regular volunteer or help out with special events or projects.
  • Sign up at forms.gle/v11RzN7soguuQxsN6.
  • The first volunteer orientation to meet one another will be on Saturday, February 18, 2023 1:00pm – 2:30pm. Additional details will be sent out at a later date.
  • Any questions, please contact the Richmond South Centre Constituency Office at Henry.Yao.MLA@leg.bc.ca.

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:

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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