July Report from the Chair

Hello allOutdoor-Rocking-Chairs-From-Vardai

I must first apologize for the lack of updates from me over the last couple of months; I was somewhat overwhelmed with my day job. I was asked to step into the role of Director of Communications for the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation a month and a half before their national launch in Ottawa and the launch of their don’t change much campaign. Exciting, but all consuming!

I have managed to continue meetings in support of the Social Policy Framework initiative. On June 5 I presented to Metro Vancouver’s Social Policy Committee. These are senior staffers from around the region, and were very supportive of the initiative.

On May 12, New Westminster Council passed a resolution calling on the Premier to begin this conversation with British Columbians (Thanks Lorne Hill). Vancouver Council unanimously passed a similar motion on May 14, Kamloops May 16 (Thanks to Jackie Stokes), and Richmond on May 21 (Thanks Lisa from FSGV). The District of North Vancouver joined the call on May 26 (Bill McMichael), as did Burnaby.  Surrey signed on June 9 after a full court press by Craig East, Christine Mohr and the Surrey Board of Trade’s Aileen Murphy.

To date, we have 10 municipalities that have endorsed the call and two local area government associations.

We are waiting to hear if BoardVoice has been accepted to provide a clinic at UBCM on the Social Policy Framework to help explain it in advance of the vote.

I met with RCMP Inspector Ted De Jager of the Operations Strategy Branch on June 23. He was very supportive of our work and says it mirrors much of the thinking within the RCMP on a ‘whole government approach’ to crime prevention. He is forwarding some reports from the Ministry of Justice that he believes will bolster the case for a SPF.

We held a third meeting of the Lower Mainland Community Boards In Action group that generated several ideas for next steps.

On June 23 I presented the SPF to the Vancouver Arts Summit. They were primarily interested in how we had achieved such momentum on the initiative. I believe that is due in large part to our focus on the community, as opposed to our respective agencies, and our focus on what our communities could be if we can get the SPF set up.

On June 27, Doug Hayman and I met with the Vancity Foundation and then the Vancouver Foundation. Both were very supportive. We are waiting for a meeting with Tamara Vroomen, and the Vancouver Foundation is exploring pulling together a select group to discuss the SPF and help advocate for it.

And finally, I had the delightful opportunity to lunch with Janet Austin, CEO of the YWCA Metro Vancouver. Janet will arrange a meeting with her Chair and/or board. They would add a powerful voice to our rapidly growing chorus.

Lynn Malinsky has been busy up in the Okanagan. She has approached Mayor Doug Findlater in West Kelowna (the Premier’s riding), met with Keith Fielding, the Mayor of Peachland, and requested a meeting with Walter Gray, the Mayor of Kelowna. We just found out today that Penticton Council will be considering the SPF this evening. Amazing work Lynn.

There is a feeling that this is about to go to a higher level. Some of the strongest voices in the social service sector, municipal sector and business sector appear to be on board or ready to pick up the cause. It is exciting… and a little scary!

Please keep sending in your updates and I will try to get them into these updates. And email Doug with your comments and thoughts–I always see them.

Thanks for your ongoing interest and support and enjoy the summer weather!  I hope to see you all at the 5th Anniversay Board Voice Conference in November.