Tag Archives: Wildlife

What Does Community Really Mean? Notre Dame Neighbours Are Learning It Doesn’t Include Them

28 Mar

NotreDameNeighboursLogoFor those that follow us regularly, you will know we are big fans of East Van artist, June Hunter.  We have a mutual love, admiration and respect for urban nature and wildlife that call East Van home.  June Hunter and many of her neighbours organized last Fall to form a peaceful group called Notre Dame Neighbours to oppose a large stadium and artificial turf field.  This development application was proposed in 2004 – 2005 by Notre Dame School located in Hastings Sunrise. The school is just steps from June Hunter’s home.  In 2004-2005, Notre Dame School had revealed plans for a new campus, sports stadium and removal of the perimeter poplar trees.  Residents were fine with the new building, but opposed the sports stadium and tree removal.  So after some back and forth, a compromise was reached and Notre Dame School agreed to build a grass practice field instead of the stadium and keep the trees.   The building was finished a few years ago, but the sports field construction never took place.NotreDameNeighboursConcerns

In September 2018, residents learnt purely by accident that Notre Dame School had submitted a request for a minor amendment to the 2008 building permit to the City of Vancouver. But the amendment was far from minor, it was basically the original development plan submitted in 2004-2005 that was opposed by residents. This time around, funny thing, neither the City of Vancouver or Notre Dame School informed the residents of the proposed changes to the development application.

Last winter Notre Dame Neighbours started a letter writing campaign to get more information which continues you to this date with Freedom of Information requests and minimal helpful response from the City of Vancouver.

Hundreds of local residents have signed a petition, citing urgent concerns around parking, traffic safety, noise, and loss of green space and asking that the matter be moved to a new building permit process so that all of those important matters can be properly studied. Notre Dame Neighbours will hand this petition over to the City next week. If you wish to get a sense of the timeline of events, Notre Dame Neigbhours have prepared one, see Timeline.

We appreciate development and change are necessary as part of a growing City, but the communities we live in are shared by everyone who lives and works there.  That includes the wildlife and birdlife that June Hunter regularly features in her art work and on her blog.  She truly provides a bird’s eye view into the variety of species that call East Van home.  June Hunter is committed to saving her urban forest and on doing research on the topic, learnt that urban forests play an important role in climate change. June also learnt of an interesting new project called Citizen Cool Kit being discussed by the University of BC Forestry Department.  It’s an initiative encouraging local neighbourhoods to come together to lower their carbon footprint.  The view is that it is an all community based effort to combat climate change.  An important aspect of this is maintaining and enhancing our urban forests.

What we don’t like about development in Vancouver is when the City slamming the door on residents trying to get access to information about what’s happening in their own neighbourhoods.  The Notre Dame Neighbours were hopeful with a new Council having been elected last fall that there might be more transparency and although they did get a few ears after much persistence, they do feel left out of the process. Considering the repercussions that residents would have to deal with including extra noise, traffic and a host of other issues, Notre Dame Neighbours should be party to the discussions that affect their daily lives.

NotreDamePermitApplication

There is an Open House happening at Notre Dame School, 2880 Venables Street on Wednesday, April 3rd from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The timing is a little suspect, as those with families, working and commuting, may find it challenging to make that time.

We at ILiveInEastVan are passionate about community, we all share the spaces we live  whether apartment buildings, churches, schools, streets, roadways, parks, the air, all of it.  So this one has us a bit perplexed as it’s Notre Dame Secondary School, a school which is founded on God and Community and espouses values to its student, faculty and alumni. This is what they state as their values on the school’s website and we quote (our emphasis in bold):

LOVE

We are committed to loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our souls and all our minds, and to loving our neighbours as ourselves.

SERVICE

With Jesus Christ as our model we serve our own community and respond to the needs of the greater community through prayer and good works.

COMMUNITY

Students, teachers and staff, parents, pastors and parishes, and alumni work together as the Notre Dame community. We foster healthy relationships  between  all members of the community and we respect. 

So when they speak of community, do they mean only amongst themselves?  It certainly is the impression that the Notre Dame Neighbours are left with at this juncture.

If you wish to contact the City about this development application, you are welcome to write to Project Developer, Andrew Wroblewski at email Andrew.wroblewski@vancouver.ca or Director of Planning, Gil Kelly email Gil.Kelly@vancouver.ca.  If Vancouver wishes to continue touting itself as one of the Greenest Cities In The World, they may wish to try and keep more of what makes it green.

If you wish to learn more, visit Notre Dame Neighbours:NotreDameNeighboursStopTheStadium

Web site: www.notredameneighbours.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/ndneighbours/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ndneighbours

 

TODAY April 23rd is Animal Abuse Prevention Day in BC

23 Apr

 

TakeActionForAnimalsSPCA2

The BC SPCA recently polled its members to see what members, like myself, would like to see the BC SPCA focus on going forward.  The answer was preventing animal abuse.   They are asking each and every one of you to take action to help animals.   If are concerned that an animal may be in distress, please do not ignore it.  A simple call could save the life of an animal and prevent unnecessary suffering.

Animal Abuse Prevention Day has been observed since 2011 after a private citizen requested a provincial proclamation as a memorial to 56 sled dogs in Whistler, B.C., who lost their lives on April 23, 2010. That proclamation has been observed by the provincial government each year since, making this year the fourth annual event.

The BC SPCA investigates nearly 8,000 complaints of animal abuse and neglect each year, but the good news is, you can help. Everyone is invited to help the province’s most vulnerable animals. Here’s a few things they suggest you can do:

* Don’t be a bystander! If you are concerned that an animal may be in distress, do not ignore it. Your actions could help save a life. In addition to protecting the animal, you may also be protecting children or adults at risk of being harmed. Recognize the signs of an animal in distress and report animal cruelty to BC SPCA’s toll-free hotline at 1-855-622-7722.

* Take responsibility for the animals in your life. Animals are a part of everyone’s life. Pets, wildlife, farm animals and animals used in research can all benefit from our actions. Be a responsible animal guardian, learn about the Five Freedoms, choose SPCA Certified foods and protect wildlife.

* Speak up for animals. Send a message to your local elected officials to let them know how important it is to have strong animal protection legislation as well as resources for animal cruelty law enforcement and prevention work. You can also add your voice to one of our animal welfare campaigns.

* Teach the kids in your life that kindness counts. Early prevention is our best weapon in the fight against animal abuse. Summer camps, Pro-D day workshops, school presentations, teacher curriculum units and our popular Kids Club are just some of the engaging ways the BC SPCA’s youth education programs help children of all ages develop lifelong empathy skills and learn the value of compassion toward all living things.

* Learn about the Violence Link. All too often, animals are not the only victims of abuse. There is a strong connection between animal cruelty and other forms of violence such as bullying and domestic abuse.

What constitutes an animal in distress?  An animal is in distress according to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA Act) if an animal is:

*Deprived of adequate food, water, shelter, ventilation, space, care or     veterinary treatment;

* Injured, sick or in pain or suffering; or

* Abused or neglected.

Take action for animals today!  If you suspect an animal is being neglected or abused, don’t hesitate to call the BC SPCA Hotline 1-855-622-7722. They can investigate the matter and determine if there is in fact an issue and/or educate who is possibly unwittingly causing distress to an animal. In some cases, one can hope only education is required.   Please do your part to speak for those that can’t speak for themselves.

TakeActionForAnimalsSPCA

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