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 September 20th, 2021.
Watch Council is back in session, with one year to go until the next municipal election. Council has an opportunity to use the next 12 months to enact meaningful change, and we look forward to working with them to ensure an intersectional lens across motions. This week, we’re supporting two motions:
Establishing a Friendship City Program in the City of Vancouver
About the motion
The motion wishes to develop a Friendship City Program, akin to the Sister Cities Program where Vancouver works with another city “to share information, promote educational exchange, and enhance economic development.” The city currently has five Sister Cities: Guangzhou, Los Angeles, Odessa, Yokohama, and Edinburgh. The proposed Friendship City Program will allow the city to sponsor a community organization in Vancouver that has a close relationship with the residents of another city. The motion calls on City Staff to consider the implementation of this new program and to reevaluate the existing Sister Cities Program, and suggestions for updating the gendered language.
We support the proposal to include a program that eliminates gendered language and instead uses friendship to describe the relationship between cities. We support the push towards using gender-neutral language across City Council programs and materials.
Acting on the Climate Emergency by Opposing the Tilbury LNG Phase Two Expansion Project
About the motion This motion calls on City Council to formally oppose FortisBC’s phase two proposal to expand the Tilbury LNG facilities, direct the Mayor to formally inform BC Environmental Assessment Office on the City’s opposition, and direct city staff to engage with the BC Environmental Assessment Office.
As made abundantly clear over this past summer, vulnerable populations are and will continue to be disproportionately impacted by extreme climate events. The second expansion of the Tilbury LNG facility threatens the immediate quality of life of those living around it while “increas[ing] the LNG production capacity of the facility by up to 7,700 tonnes per day.” As mentioned in the motion, this directly counteracts with the International Energy Agency’s urgent recommendation that no new fossil fuel projects should be approved if the world is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and maintain a safe climate.
The City of Vancouver should stand alongside local nations and municipalities to protect lives over profit and oppose the expansion.
As we move towards a push for climate justice in our municipalities, Women Transforming Cities would like to push decision-makers to use an intersectional lens to evaluate the reverberating impact of actions such as this expansion on the safety and livelihood of diverse women, trans people, and those who are gender nonconforming.
According to the UN, 80% of those displaced by climate emergencies are women, and women face higher rates of intimate partner violence amidst deteriorating climate conditions. Such disasters further the displacement and stigmatization of racialized communities through environmental racism, and LGBTQIA+ communities who often also experience higher rates of violence and displacement from the climate crisis. As mentioned in the motion, this expansion goes against the City’s efforts in their Equity Strategy to ensure safety for women and 2SLGBTQI+ people. We support this motion both in solidarity with those living in the areas of this expansion project, as well as those who feel its impact more globally.