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Is it better for the province to give rent supplements to low income people than to build more social housing? This is an important question for BC residents to ask. Metro Vancouver counted 2770 homeless people in March this year, more than have ever been counted.

In addition, “We know the count underestimates the number of people who are actually homeless,” says the Metro Vancouver report. When you add in the hidden homelessness and people at risk of homelessness you get at least 116,000 people in BC  who need decent housing they can afford.

Despite the growing crisis, BC’s Housing Minister, Rich Coleman, seems to have given up on building new social housing: “We don’t build social housing anymore,” he told the Vancouver Sun in February. Instead, Coleman said the government will only be giving rent vouchers for market housing.

The following is a speech by Natalie Knight delivered at “Decolonization 101,” a panel organized by Streams of Justice on June 2, 2014. The panel took place at Grandview Baptist Church, Unceded Coast Salish Territories.

I want to acknowledge that we are on occupied and unceded Coast Salish territories which are Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, and Skxwú7mesh-ulh Úxwumixw lands.

On February 26th of this year, an Inuk woman named Loretta Saunders was found murdered and dumped on the side of the road in Salisbury, New Brunswick. Her death raised a national conversation about violence against Indigenous women. It is a deeply sad loss, and an acute effect of colonialism. And I also wonder about the reasons why Loretta received a more mainstream response than others or those that can’t even be reported, those deaths that are basically sanctioned by the police. Loretta was in university and maybe it was easier for Canada’s white-dominated society to recognize her and her violent absence. Maybe an Inuk woman who goes to university is more comprehensible than the over 1,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women who have been documented in the recent RCMP report, and the many Indigenous women still in certain shadows, including those missing and murdered below the colonial border.

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Today I was one of the 28,809 teachers that voted yes in favour of a strike escalation. I did so with a heavy heart. As a new teacher, I can’t afford to go on strike. As somebody who values public education, I can’t afford not to.

Imagine you are a guardian of a child. You want the best for your child but you know that:

  • BC is investing $1,000 less per student than the national average.
  • There are 1,443 fewer learning specialist teachers in BC than in 2001–02, despite increased demand.
  • BC has the worst student-educator ratio in Canada.

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Postering: one of the many activities you can participate in.

The Mainlander is currently looking for more writers and editors to cover diverse political issues in Vancouver.

The Mainlander wants to diversify and expand our writing collective. In particular we want to encourage women, people of colour, indigenous people, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQQIP2S and/or low-income people to submit articles and participate in the collective. We realize that this involves working towards making The Mainlander a safe, accessible, supportive and inclusive space for everyone to participate and we welcome all feedback relating to this aim.

decolonize

Colonization is not only a past historical process of domination violently imposed on Indigenous people; it’s a political and economic structure that continues to oppress and control their lives, despite official state apologies and strategies of cultural recognition. Decolonization signals a process of departure from colonial ways, but what does it mean and what might it entail for both Indigenous people and settlers? What obligations does it place upon all of us to change our ways of thinking and living together? This community forum will open up space for probing these crucial issues.

Komagata Maru

After entering Burrard Inlet in the early morning of May 23rd, 1914, the Komagata Maru stopped a kilometre from the shore and dropped anchor. Authorities prevented the 376 passengers of the ship from landing. This was in part because of the Continuous Journey regulation added to Canada’s Immigration Act in 1908 which required that all migrants come to Canada on a single, direct trip. Because the ship had made a short stop in Japan on the long journey from Hong Kong to Vancouver, the regulation meant that its passengers couldn’t disembark. The incident left its mark and further entrenched a set of practices regarding migration which we see to this day.