29th SVSACS Members Meeting Minutes
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Call to Order
The 29th regular monthly meeting of the Southeast Vancouver Seniors Arts & Cultural Society (SVSACS) was called to order at 10:10 a.m. on Thursday, January 28 at Champlain Heights Community Centre.
The following members were present:
Lorna Gibbs, Const. Heather Brown, Tom Chin, Wendy Enslander, George Grant, Manfred Hagen, Keith Jacobson, Mabel Leung, Philip Mah, Bert Massiah, Jazmin Miranda, Kamlesh Sethi, Joan Wright
Regrets: Margaret Gilbert, Linda Hagen, Eric Lau, Davinder Lehal, Jean MacPherson, John Pawluk, Debbie Osborne, Chris Podlecki, Jukka Vuorma, Brian Swartz, Louise Seto
Approval of January 29 Agenda
Manfred Hagen made a motion to approve the agenda. Seconded by Philip Mah. Carried.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
Lorna's name will be corrected. Manfred Hagen made a motion to approve the October 9 Meeting Minutes. Seconded by Kamlesh. Carried.
Correspondence file folder was circulated with a copy of the final draft of the Feasibility Study Southeast Vancouver Seniors' Centre, a copy of SVSACS Stories of Southeast Vancouver, and an article from the Courier covering the book launch.
Our Charitable Status application was submitted by Dan Chapelski at the same time as our Business Licence application. Business Licence was issued and received by SVSACS in October, but we have had no advice as to Charitable Status as yet. A formal inquiry form has been filed with assistance from Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh's C.A., Patrick Tam. Lack of Charitable Status is delaying us because we have fundraising opportunities that require issuing tax receipts. Lorna is continuing her investigation.
President's Report: Lorna Gibbs
It has been a very busy time, with lots happening in November and December. Lorna was interviewed on CBC's afternoon program, "On the Coast" about the recently-published, Stories of Southeast Vancouver, and will likely be called back for another interview. Additional copies of the book have been printed and are available for $15.
Feasibility Study: In December and early January, Lorna met with City Spaces consultants, the Park Board, City Council and City staff. Lack of continuity has been unavoidable due to staff transfers and retirements, and has not helped us meet deadlines.
Special Events: SVSACS arranged two enjoyable and affordable events: the Singing Christmas Tree, and a Dinner & Dance with Dal Richards. We appreciate the help of Constable Heather Brown and Champlain Heights Community Centre for promotion, bus and our volunteer driver, Alex, as well as Bert and Heather who obtained tickets, posters, etc.
Budget 2010: There are letter-writing campaigns regarding 2010 budget constraints for to community centres, neighbourhood houses and community policing centres, all of whom serve the most vulnerable of our population. Without these people we would be hurt. VCH has had its cuts, the ten Adult Day Centres have had their budgets cut by 10 per cent, which may mean that one Day Centre will have to close. Home support is minimal. A petition to reinstate gaming funds to non-profit groups, sports, the arts, etc. is being circulated. Please give your support.
Keith Jacobson, (President, Killarney Community Centre) updated the committee on progress of the Seniors' Centre Feasibility Study. Over the last five years, Keith and Lorna have been conferring with the provincial and municipal governments about funding. The Park Board required completion of a feasibility study before further consideration could be undertaken, and this is now complete. The City Spaces consultants hired to carry out the Feasiblity Study reviewed available seniors' facilities and services in the area, and found that there was indeed a need.
Mayor Gregor Robertson assuredKeith Jacobson and Lorna Gibbs that the City could provide the capital dollars, but could not provide the operating costs. Because the Feasibility Study was not finalized on schedule, Keith took the final draft of the study to Councillor Raymond Louie in an attempt to beat the deadline on the Federal Stimulus Infrastructure money which has to be spent by March 31, 2011. The hope was that the municipal and provincial governments would come together, so they could access the Federal Stimulus Infrastructure money. But that time has passed.
Keith Jacobson spoke with Kash Heed who had initially promised Lorna that he would see that a Seniors' Centre would be built. Kash Heed said that the Provincial Government is reviewing their capital projects. The Federal Government is willing to provide the money only if the provincial and municipal governments bring their share to the project. Raymond Louie said that the City is also reviewing all their capital spending to determine where money is available. He said that $2 million is a small part of their capital budget.
Gaming funds: All sports groups at Killarney Community Centre over the past 50 years have had gaming funding. Killarney operated their own bingo hall, but came upon hard times and it was closed. Killarney Community Centre took all of their ten bingo licences to Planet Bingo. Since then, they have raised money through gaming funding to keep their sports activities and childcare registration fees lower.
Prior to 1999, government involvement in gambling was illegal unless charities were involved. In 1999, the NDP Provincial Government signed a memorandum agreement with Bingo Council of B.C. (BCBC), and BCACG, another gambling society to give one third of the money that they raised back to charities. In 2002, the NDP government fell to the Liberals, who said they would not live up to the memorandum agreement, but would guarantee that they would give the same amount of gambling money to charities, plus the CPI and Cost of Living for the City of Vancouver until last year. When the Liberal Government took power in 2002, they received $454 million, and $1.2 billion in 2009. They have not increased the amount to charities, except for the CPI and Cost of Living. One-and-a-half million dollars increased to $156 million.
Last year B.C. Government made a decision to take a portion of the $156 million from gaming, and pay towards two programs. $40 million went to Feed the Children, a downtown eastside program that had originally been funded by the Ministry of Social Development, and $20 million was given to the Arts Council that had originally been funded by another provincial body. The B.C. Government has taken $60 million from the original $156 million, leaving only $90 million to divide amongst 7,000 charities across the province.
Many of our non-profit and charitable groups rely on gaming funds for their operations. With the cutbacks their very survival and the services they deliver to our communities are in jeopardy Children's sports programs, choral groups, arts groups, theatre groups, neighbourhood houses and programs. All are being severely affected! Our citizens agreed to gaming with the understanding that a good portion of the profits would be returned to the community in the form of grants. Those charities have applied for funding, but have not had any notice whether they have been rejected or accepted. Because of this, the BCBC and BCACG have developed an on-line petition to urge the government to return the money they had agreed to in 1999. They are hoping to collect 15-20,000 signatures. Lorna has sent the petition out to all her networks. Please sign the petition and forward it on to friends, families and neighbours. Link: http://www.petitiononline.com/VCBS2010/petition.html
George Grant, Chairof Victoria-Fraserview-Killarney (VFK) Vision Implementation Committee, reported on the founding and purpose of the committee. A questionnaire was sent to every household by the City of Vancouver asking for input on the way the city and neighbourhoods should develop, and what they perceived as community needs. City Council approved this Community Vision in January 2002, and the VFK Committee was formed in April 2002. Development within the VFK area is to follow the guidelines set out in the VFK Vision Implementation document. The committee has found that, while there are comparatively few issues in this area, housing affordability is a major concern. City studies indicate that there are more renters in Vancouver than homeowners.
The VFK Committee meets nine times a year on the fourth Thursday of the month, from January to May, and September to November. (No meetings in January or February 2010 because of the Olympics.) If you are interested in being on the e-mail list to receive information about their progress, please contact George (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), or go to the VFK website at:
VFK Committee plans to host an Annual Community Meeting. However, it will cost approximately $5,000 and VFK's budget has been eliminated despite a Council Motion allotting $10,000 annually for each CityPlan Committee. George will continue to investigate how it can be done for a minimal amount.
Council has approved ParkLane Homes' proposal to go ahead with Phase 2 of East Fraserlands Development. Their plan includes the provision of a temporary community centre, convenience store and daycare facilities. Roll out of the development will take several years, and is dependant on sales. In the interim, Community facilities at Killarney, Champlain Heights and South Vancouver Neighborhood House will have to absorb the additional population.
Two upcoming open houses of interest: Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre proposed conceptual designs that include concepts for the redevelopment of Norquay Park. The second of two viewings is set for John Norquay School, 4710 Slocan Street, Tuesday February 2, 2010, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information see website:
Fraserview Park Redevelopment Open House is scheduled for February 9, 2010, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Fraserview Boys & Girls Club, 7595 Victoria Drive. The open houses will provide residents and others an opportunity to review and comment on proposals.
Mabel Leung was introduced to the Committee. Mabel is an accomplished Chinese brush-painter, writer and poet, but with great modesty, who describes herself as a housewife (non-cooking kind). She was a Registered Social Worker in Hong Kong, and worked for 25 years with school children and seniors in a medical school setting. She did committee work and served on a Legislative Council. Mabel now volunteers at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House as a program facilitator in leadership training. She has also served on the Richmond School Board and volunteers with the Vancouver Food Bank and other community centres.
Constable Heather Brown from the Collingwood Community Policing Centre is a partner with SVSACS for "Afternoon at the Movies" held on the fourth Friday of the month, as well as other Safe Teas and Safe Transit Tours through the year. January's movie will be Julie and Julia, and will be held at the Champlain Heights Community Centre at 1:30 p.m. on January 29. Popcorn, tea and cookies will be served. There will be no program in February as Heather is being deployed to work on the Olympics.
SVSACS is collecting funds for Haiti Relief to be sent to the Red Cross. A donation box will be available at the movie event January 29 at Champlain Heights. Tax receipts are not available to individual donors. A cheque will be written to Red Cross for the amount collected, and a tax receipt will be sent to SVSACS. $45 was collected from two members.
As transit and traffic will be severely affected by security for the Olympic Games, the next SVSACS meeting will be on March 5 at Champlain Heights Community Centre,
Lorna thanked everyone for their participation and support. Meeting adjourned at 11:20 a.m.
- Norquay Park Upgrade Open House February 2, 6 to 9 p.m., at John Norquay School, 4710 Slocan Street
- Fraserview Park Upgrade Open House February 9, 5 to 7 p.m. at Boys & Girls Club on Victoria Drive (opposite Sir James Douglas School) Your chance to voice your opinion.
- Sasamat Lake Bus Trip February 17. Register and leave from Champlain Heights. Includes three-course lunch at Fireside Lodge with a Celtic band. $20 for members ($23 for non-members). For information, call: Lorna at 604-325-0163; or Sandy Lim at 604-718-6575.
- Killarney Chinese New Year Celebration February 20, Entertainment and Great Lunch 11 a.m. $8.50 Register at Killarney in advance.
- Healthy Brain Aging March 11, 4 to 5 p.m. at Killarney Community Centre. Register for free.
- Vegetable &Amp; Herb Gardening Workshop March 17, 12:30 to 3 p.m. at Moberly Arts Centre. Cost: $5. For Seniors with mobility issues. A Registered Horticultural Therapist will help seniors adapt their gardening techniques, and grow herbs to flavour their food and keep them healthy at the same time. Call Cindy Chevalos at 604-718-6521.
- Waterfowl Refuge Bus Trip March 19, Trip to Reifel Waterfowl Refuge in Steveston. $7 for members. Pack a lunch or buy lunch (not included in price). Come and see Snow Geese. Register at Champlain Heights Community Centre (604-718-6575); or Call Lorna (604-325-0163).
- Seniors as Leaders Volunteer Training 3rd Tuesday of the month, 10:15 to 12:15 p.m., at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House. February 16: Anti-racism workshop with Sharon Dhaliwal. March workshop: Navigating the Healthcare System and How to Make a Complaint. Register at SVNH. For information, call: Joan 604-324-6212.