The City of Vancouver is providing additional warm and welcoming space for anyone who needs to get out of the cold tonight and Sunday night. Two community centres will be open extra hours (Creekside, 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., and Britannia, 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.) as warming shelters, supported by staff and volunteers.
Today City Council approved Vancouver’s 2017 Budget, which offers a broad range of services using a limited range of revenue sources. The 2017 Budget makes a record investment in affordable housing, provides new funding to improve city services like permits and licensing, and adds targeted funding to address the fentanyl overdose crisis that is putting a huge strain on City police and fire services.
On Wednesday night, Vancouver Fire and Rescue hosted me on a ride-along at Fire Hall 2 for a first-hand view of the horrific impacts of the fentanyl overdose crisis in the Downtown Eastside. Even after months of talking to firefighters, police, outreach workers, drug users and health providers on the frontlines of the overdose crisis, and reading countless reports and news stories, it was shocking to see the extreme impacts of fentanyl.
The City of Vancouver and the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) have taken a significant step in realizing an innovative social service hub for urban aboriginal youth by securing all the land for the new Native Youth Centre. The Centre will be the first of its kind in Canada: a purpose built, Aboriginal youth-led, multipurpose facility offering social, cultural, educational and health related programs, including 220 affordable homes.
The City of Vancouver is encouraged that today’s federal budget makes significant commitments to short and long-term investments in housing, transit and social infrastructure, and Mayor Robertson and the City are reaffirming their commitment to work closely with both the provincial and federal governments to expedite projects that put this funding to use.
Today City Council approved Vancouver’s 2016 Budget. This balanced budget will keep taxes and fees low while making investments in priority areas such as affordable housing, transportation, and infrastructure.
“The City of Vancouver plays a strong role in supporting our city’s economic leadership and enhancing the livability and quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver is keeping taxes low while investing in priorities like affordable housing, community services and better service delivery.”