Vancouver City Council meets every second week. The clerk’s office shares upcoming agenda items and motions before these meetings, which can be accessed on this website.
When agenda items are released the week before council, a Watch Council member will go through and highlight and recommend any notable motions to be discussed with other Watch Council members. If there are any motions that significantly impact women, Watch Council members will be immediately notified and meet virtually that same evening to decide how to respond.
Here are the important motions we're taking action on for the week of July 20th, 2021.
About the motion
This motion is an Equity Framework spearheaded by the Chief Equity Officer Aftab Erfan that provides a starting point for all city departments to integrate systems change, intersectionality, and Indigenous reconciliation within their internal structures.
WTC supports this motion because this framework, when applied with genuine effort, has the ability to truly shift the way the City of Vancouver does all of its work and as such, can create a deep impact into the community. It will require the will of council, and the effort of staff to make it meaningful. We look forward to learning more about how the city will collect data and hope it will start by implementing a disaggregated collection and reporting system; to seeing how this work will be measured and reported to recognize the successful changes and find the gaps to continue working on them, and to see how this work transforms the external work of the city. The work will need to be done with an anti racist and justice lens, and continue to centre intersectionality.
A WTC board director is speaking to council about this motion on July 20.
If this motion passes, it will provide a common understanding and a united approach to equity, to be used by all City departments. WTC will follow up and track the implementation of the Framework to ensure the City follows through on its commitments.
About the motion
This motion speaks to the impacts of extreme heat and poor air quality on the residents of Vancouver as a result of the climate crisis. It discusses the disproportionate impact of the heat on low income residents, people living with a disability, older people, people with chronic health conditions and people who are unsheltered. It directs staff to report back on short term and long term strategies and recommendations for Planning for Extreme Heat and Air Quality Mitigation in Vancouver.
WTC supports this motion because it recognizes that the groups that are disproportionately harmed by climate change have the least means to personally mitigate the impact of extreme heat and poor air quality. It acknowledges that planning decisions that have caused or worsened spatial injustice against disabled, racialized and/or poor people contribute to the creation of urban heat islands and poorer air quality on arterials. The motion calls for historically under-served areas and populations that have been harmed by systemic oppression and inequitable policies and wealth inequality being prioritized in the response.
WTC Managing Director, Ash, is speaking to council about this motion on July 21st about her experience living through the heatwave and how it impacts people with chronic health conditions.
If it passes, this motion is calling on city staff to report back on short and long term strategies and recommendations for extreme heat and air quality planning in Vancouver. WTC will continue to monitor and follow up on the report back to council to ensure the plan is intersectional.
About the motion
This motion acknowledges that the city has a gap around specific or defined youth housing targets in the Housing Vancouver Strategy. According to the 2020 Homeless Count, youth made up 9% of unsheltered people in Vancouver. These young people are disproportionately those ‘aging out’ of the care system, queer, disabled, Indigenous, and young people of colour.
WTC supports this motion because young people have unique housing needs, and youth homelessness is projected to get worse as the housing affordability crisis deepens. An intersectional lens should be applied to all housing policies and decisions to ensure that the city is prioritizing the needs of young people experiencing the most vulnerability.
If this motion passes, staff will examine the question of youth housing needs, within the city’s larger housing needs spectrum, and considering these needs as part of the City’s policy and planning processes. WTC will follow up to ensure council follows through
About the motion
This motion calls for council to support the creation and funding of a new Community Policing Centre for the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.
WTC does not support this motion. We amplify the concerns of Defund604 and Pivot Legal in the creation of community policing program in the Mount Pleasant Area. “Community policing centres claim to be independent and serve the community, but in reality, they function as an arm of the police. CPC’s in our communities legitimize and increase surveillance, criminalization, and harassment of marginalized and oppressed folks, especially unhoused neighbours.” - Defund604. “The issues identified by the Mount Pleasant BIA would be better resourced by creating peer-led services, supporting low-barrier 24-hour drop-in centres, expanding health and harm reduction programs, and developing sufficient housing and social programming in the mount pleasant area.” -Pivot Legal Society
You can read about the other recent motions in July 2021 that WTC has taken action on here.