Posted June 21, 2021
BC ACORN reset and relaunched their provincial campaigns over the last couple of months, and it turned out really well. With the BC NDP Government in charge now is the time for BC ACORN to show that their campaigns are not only vital to low-to-moderate income people, but are also popular and make sense for the province!
Here are the four main planks of The BC ACORN People's Platform that was developed over the last couple months by BC ACORN membership.
- 10 Paid Sick Days!
- Raise the Rates and Rewrite the Act!
- Major Tenant Law Reform
- End Predatory Lending - Give Access to Fair Credit
Note that each plank has an online action. Make sure you fill each action out to send an email to the Ministers and your MLA calling for the People's Platform Demands.
Once the platform was decided on, BC ACORN got hard at work planning for their ACORN People's Forum, where they would virtually relaunch their provincial platform to the NDP government.
Amazing work was done by ACORN's broad membership to get the work out about the Forum. Petition and poster parties were held in Victoria, Burnaby, and Surrey, as well as 1000's of phone calls being made.
After all the hard work ACORN Peoples Forum was held on June 12th 2021. Over ninety ACORN members and allies came out to show support, with Ministers David Eby (Housing), Harry Bains (Labour), and Nicholas Simons (PWD) representing the BC NDP government.
The meetings started out with long time New West ACORN leader Melanie Campbell powerfully asking the Attorney General David Eby if the BC Government was going to search the grounds of the former residential schools for indigenous childrens remains. She went on to ask if the government was going to move beyond words and symbols and fundamentally reconcile the trauma her people endured by the hands of the BC and Canadian governments.
The meeting continued, moderated by a talented ACORN leader out of Victoria named Albertine La Chance. One by one ACORN leaders explained the reasons for each campaign demand, and then put it to the Minister for a response.
Newton ACORN Chair Tabitha Naismith took Raise the Rates and Rewrite the Act, Emily Thoppil out of Burnaby ACORN took on Housing, and another Burnaby leader Lori Pederson took on the Paid Sick Day.
While the Ministers certainly did not give positive responses to each one of the platform demands, that was not entirely expected either. After all this was the launch of The ACORN People's Platform and the start of the campaign, not the end. BC ACORN will have to fight for increases to PWD rates, organize for vacancy control and province wide landlord licensing, and join with labour allies across the province to demand 10 Paid Sick Days. Rest assured that BC ACORN membership is committed to doing just that.
Some forward progress from the BC Ministers at the meeting. Each minister agreed to having ACORN be formal stakeholders for the tenants, workers, and PWD recipients in their ministries. David Eby indicated the province was looking into inclusionary zoning rules and regulations and that ACORN would be invited to be a stakeholder in that process. Eby also answered during the Q and A section of the meeting that he would look to using the Burnaby rental replacement / rent stabilization model to stop tenant displacement through demovictions. Certainly not everything we wanted, but worth noting.
If you have already done our online actions, make sure to share them on social media: