BC ACORN

BC ACORN started organizing in 2005, starting with our first chapter, Surrey. Since then we have built up six more chapters across the lower mainland (New Westminster, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Whalley, Guilford, and Newton). Some of our biggest victories include: Canada’s first living wage policy in New Westminster; the introduction of a healthy homes bylaw in Surrey; regulation of payday lending; and many local victories against slumlords!

Despite losing our office in an explosion in 2013, BC ACORN is stronger than ever and continuing the fight for healthy homes, disability rights, and closing the digital divide!

Want to be part of the fight? Join ACORN!

 

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PRESS ADVISORY: BC ACORN Disability Rights Group demanding increased income from Ministry of Social Development

BC ACORN Disability Rights Group ACORN’s Disability Rights Group is a growing organized body of disabled British Columbians demanding livable allowances from the Provincial Government. They are holding their second monthly action as a part of the rights-based campaign for livable income.

  • Wednesday Oct 24th at 11:15 AM
  • New Westminster Ministry of Social Development Office – Columbia Square at the 10th St. and Agnes St. entrance. (1015 Columbia St.)

Tom Page, leader of the group states: “The response from the disabled people’s community has been strong. More and more people have been calling the ACORN office asking what they can do to help out the campaign. Disabled people have nothing to lose, it’s hard to imagine falling further behind economically.”

ACORN Disability Rights Group is a large group of determined disabled people committed to justice. They believe it is their human right to receive a livable income.

ACORN is demanding

  1. An immediate increase of PWD rates to $1200, and review of what amount of money is needed for disabled people to meet the cost of living.
  2. Make the benefits accessible for disabled people by cutting needless bureaucratic red tape and automatically getting recipients the benefits they are entitled to.

For more information and reports, or to talk with spokesperson Tom Page, call Scott Nunn at 778 500 2874 - or email bcacornva@acorncanada.org

For more info on ACORN Canada visit www.acorncanada.org

Big Returns: Update from BC ACORN Tax Site

Lead volunteer Jane Tseng at BC ACORN's tax site. Since 2007 ACORN members across the country have been helping their neighbors file their tax returns. 

Here's what that has meant for low and moderate income communities in BC's lower mainland: 

  • 10,961 returns filed. 
  • $12,301,800 delivered to people in the form of their returns, credits and benefits. 
  • A quarter of the returns processed were from past years - meaning they likely wouldn't have been submitted without the help of BC ACORN's volunteers and members. 
  • Approximately $790,000 saved by community members who would otherwise have paid to have their returns prepared. 
  • 2/3rds of the people who came to get their taxes done were also engaged in ACORN Canada's campaigns for financial justice

ACORN members are grateful for the support of the many volunteers who make this service possible, and for the generous financial support of Vancity Credit Union

Burnaby Now: Roma rally participant pleased; Refugees concerned with new immigration rules

Rally for fair treatment of refugees.

A group of Roma-Hungarian refugee families descended on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada office in Vancouver last Tuesday for a rally and managed to have their case heard by one insider.

"We had roughly around 40 people," said Florian Botos, a Burnaby resident and Roma-Hungarian who's lived in Canada for years. "We came out as families, small kids were there."

The rally was mostly Roma-Hungarian families from Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam, but ACORN, a community activist group, helped them organize the protest.

Burnaby Now: Rally in Burnaby demands increase to disability rates

BC ACORN's Disability Rights Group.Roughly a dozen people, mostly with disabilities, gathered outside a Burnaby welfare office Wednesday, demanding the government increase their monthly benefit payments.

"We're fed up being treated like a bunch of beggars. We're angry and we're not going to be silent any longer," said New Westminster resident Tom Page, spokesperson for ACORN, a social justice organization. ACORN's disability rights group was holding the demonstration on Wednesday morning on the corner of Kingsway and McKay Avenue near Metrotown.

According to Page, people receiving disability benefits from the government live in "abject extreme poverty" receiving only $906 a month (which translates to $10,872 annually), while Albertans receive $1,588.

"B.C. has one of the highest costs of living in Canada, but the disability rates have fallen to sixth place," Page told the crowd through a megaphone.

Page also bemoaned the difficulties and wait-times to get on disability and the fact that benefits are not retroactive to the date of application.

ACORN wants the disability rates raised to $1,200 immediately, followed by a study to come up with a livable rate that's indexed for inflation. According to Page, who's on disability, the government hasn't increased the rates since 2007.

ACORN Disability Rights Group Launch Aggressive Campaign for Liveable Allowance from BC Government

BC ACORN's Disability Rights Group.BC ACORN’s Disability Rights Group will be launching a more aggressive campaign to increase pressure on the government to meet people’s basic needs - it has become 100% clear that the BC Government will not increase the rates for disabled people. The ACORN Disability Rights Group will be holding a launching rally, as well as recruiting new members who will be waiting in line on Welfare Wednesday outside of the Ministry of Social Development office in Burnaby.

Join us Wednesday, Sept 26th at 11:00 AM – Ministry of Social Development, 4603 Kingsway.

Burnaby Now: Roma refugee families rally in Vancouver

BC ACORN rallies at Immigration Canada offices. Sept 18 2012.Roma-Hungarian refugee families from Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam are gathering for a rally today outside of the federal immigration offices on Georgia Street in Vancouver.

"Roma people, Roma families have a big fear to go back to Hungary. Their life is in great danger there," said Florian Botos, a Burnaby resident who's helping organize the rally. Botos is expecting 50 or 60 people, mostly Roma refugee families from Hungary.

According to Botos, Roma people in Hungary face widespread discrimination and attacks from neo-Nazis, some of which have resulted in death.

The families are planning a peaceful protest, said Botos.

PRESS ADVISORY: Hungarian Roma refugees concerned for safety if and when deported

BC ACORN rally for refugee rights. September 18 2012. Members of ACORN Canada will be holding a protest in front of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada on Tuesday, September 18th at noon to highlight the serious threat to life and safety that new deportation rules mean for the Roma community in Canada.

Florian Botos is the spokesperson of ACORN Canada's Roma constituency:

"They are deporting us back to a situation where we will be beaten, harassed and possibly murdered by neo-Nazi groups that roam the streets of Hungary with little to no deterrence from the Police. It's terrifying.

Victory for BC ACORN's Disability Rights Group

futureshop logoBC ACORN's Disability Rights Group, led by Rick Erb, Tom Page, Noel Ouellette, and Canada Drouin recently took action to make their local Future Shop accesible. 

After the management of their local Future Shop ignored a letter about their entrance being difficult for many customers to navigate, ACORN members came out with petitions to build public support for their demand that the entrance be made accessible. 

Building for a National Day of Action on Housing

Ottawa ACORN planning meeting for August 29 Day of Action. On August 29th, ACORN members across Canada will be taking action for affordable and livable housing. 

Right now, members are hard at work building those actions. Get in touch with the ACORN office closest to you if you can help.

In Ottawa and Toronto ACORN members met this week to talk about turn-out and details for the day of. 

Communites across Canada are facing a crisis - they're in desperate need of more affordable and livable housing.

In BC, ACORN members recently met with the assistant deputy minister for housing after a long campaign to pressure his government to take the needs of tenants more seriously. Read more about that here

In Ottawa, ACORN members recently started a city-wide Healthy Homes campaign. Read more about that here

August will be busy as ACORN members from coast to coast continue meeting, and planning, and organizing.

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