Joint Statement for a Just Recovery

Vancouver Just Recovery Coalition

April 30, 2020


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the world is thinking about the future, hungry to rebuild anew. This moment presents an opportunity to examine if the status quo was truly serving our people, our environment, and our opportunities to live, work, and prosper.


As we have watched the pandemic unfold, the devastating impacts on those without homes, without adequate income, without jobs easily conducted remotely, without access to information, social support or food have only made painfully clear the inequities that are part of Vancouver's social fabric.


The Vancouver Just Recovery Coalition is calling on the City of Vancouver to prioritize lessening existing inequalities, respecting Indigenous rights, and tackling the climate emergency. We believe socially just strategies to recover and rebuild post-COVID-19 will better support vulnerable communities, and make a safer, healthier city for all.


As many Vancouverites continue to struggle financially and emotionally with the pandemic, now is not the time to reduce social spending. Now is not the time to restrict spending in an effort to preserve the status quo. 


As our federal, provincial and municipal governments begin to strategize on their post-COVID recovery and rebuilding strategies, we need to prioritize those most impacted, ensuring that our economic recovery lessens existing inequalities, respects Indigenous rights, and tackles the climate emergency. The pre-COVID status quo was failing too many people.


This is especially true in Vancouver, where the impacts of COVID-19 on the City’s operating budget, combined with anti-tax lobbying, could mean delays or defunding of critical cultural, social equity, and climate programs. 


The City of Vancouver is very limited by its inability to run a deficit to cover the gap. The lack of fiscal tools for local governments threatens the City’s provision of essential public services, social programs and other public priorities. This includes essential programs and services that many of those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic rely on: public libraries, public transportation, community centres, neighbourhood houses, homeless outreach services, food security programs, etc. There is also an urgent need for more affordable housing options, accessibility improvements, and capital upgrades to aging community centres and other infrastructure. The loss of these supports and programs will disproportionately affect women, those living with disabilities, those struggling with homelessness, renters, health workers, elders, youth, artists, cultural workers, small businesses, sex workers, Indigenous peoples, communities of colour, and those continuing to fight the opioid crisis. Alternatively, investing in services and programs, such as cultural services, public libraries, and climate action will enable Vancouverites to heal together and build a better city for the future


Vancouver’s Just Recovery Coalition calls on the Governments of BC and Canada to provide Vancouver and other local governments with emergency funding supports to address financial short-falls caused by the pandemic, and to develop, in coordination with the City of Vancouver and others, additional fiscal tools that allow municipalities to be more resilient in the face of future crises of this scale and scope.


Threats to the City of Vancouver’s essential services, programs, and public priorities, presents a significant risk to Vancouver’s vulnerable communities in an already unaffordable city. This danger could get even worse if there is pressure for Council to pass an austerity budget in 2021. 


Any recovery strategy should offer every resident the same opportunities to rebuild their lives and thrive in a safe, inclusive, just, and caring society. 


Now is the time to approve innovative, progressive recovery and rebuilding plans with a strong focus on social spending to invest in the rebuilding of our communities. Now is the time to invest in building a city of complete communities based on care and compassion...a kind of city that will be more liveable for everyone. 

Endorse below. (Note: your name will be added to the list below.)

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Abeer Yusuf

Adriana Laurent, UBC Climate Hub

Adriane Carr, Vancouver City Councillor

Alain Chow Bao Bei Chinese Restaurant, Kissa Tanto Restaurant

Alen Dominguez, General Manager, Tara Cheyenne Performance

Alix Krahn

Am Johal

Amanda Card

Amanda Burrows, 

Amy Kiara Ruth

Andrea Thompson

Andrew Ledger, President, CUPE Local 1004

Andrew Stephens-Rennie, Director of Ministry Innovation, Christ Church Cathedral

Anjali Appadurai, Sierra Club BC

Anna Rempel

Anna Bulford

Anthony Hughes, Green Party of Vancouver

Arianna Murphy-Steed

Ashcer Goodman

Atiya Jaffar,

Ayendri Riddell, Campaigner, BC Health Coalition, Board Member, BC Civil Liberties Association

Barb Parrott

Barbara Wood

Bonnie Klein

Brandon Intharangsy

Brenda Leadlay

Brian McBay, 221A Gallery

Brittany Morris

Bryn Davidson

Cait Murphy

Caitlin Chan

Cameron Pearson

Camille Dumond, Refugee Livelihood Lab

Carl Bessai, Filmmaker

Carmen Lansdowne, Executive Director, First United Church Community Ministry Society

Chiyi Tam, BC's Solidarity Economy

Chris McGregor, Artistic Director, Axis Theatre

Chris Haddock, Filmmaker

Christie Watson, Chair, C-Space, Managing Director, Rumble Theatre

Christine Quintana, Artistic Director, Delinquent Theatre

Christine Wu

Colin Thomas, Journalist/Critic

Dani Fecko, Fascinator Management

Danielle Mee

David Ng, VALU CO-OP

David Chudnovsky

Dawson Franks

Dean Paul Gibson, Theatre Director

Denise Williams, CEO, Urban Native Youth Association

Devan Mcclelland, Shift Delivery Co-op

Diane Wilmann, Kiwassa Neighbourhood House

Donna Dykeman

Duncan Smith, Force of Nature

Eleanor Boyle

Elisabeth Tanner

Erica Huntley

Erin Conners

Eugene McCann

Farron Rickerby

Franco Boni, PuSh Festival

Gabby Doebeli, UBC Social Justice Centre, COVID-19 Coming Together

Gabrielle Rose, Actor

Gala Munoz-Carrier

Galen Elfert

Ginger Gosnell-Myers

Grace Dupasquier, Alliance of BC Students

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Gyda Chud

Heather Redfern, Executive Director, The Cultch

Heidi Taylor, Theatre Artist

Hilde Colenbrander

Ian Robertson

Ian Bushfield, BC Humanist Association

Isabelle Busby

Ishmam Bhuiyan

UBC Social Justice Centre, COVID-19 Coming Together

Jackie Hoffart, Producer, New Moon Comedy

Jade Ho, Teaching Support Staff Union

Jane Heyman, Theatre Director

Janet Fraser, Vancouver School Board Trustee

Janey Lew

Jayne Simpson

Jean Swanson

Jenna McNeil

Jenna Hildebrand

Jennifer Reddy, Vancouver School Board Trustee

Jennifer Hollinshead, Peak Resilience Counselling

Jessica Parker

Joanne MacKinnon

John Brennand, Retired USW-TWU & former VDLC Executive Board member

John Chapman

Johnny Perry

Josh Martin, Company 605 Dance Society

Judith Snider

Justin Choi

Kari Scott-Whyte, President, CUPE Local 391

Karri Green-Schuermans, Chambar Restaurant

Kate Hodgson, UBCc350 and COVID-19 Coming Together

Kate Potapova

Kate Davis

Kathryn Shaw, Theatre Director

Keltie Forsyth, Arts Manager

Kevin Loring, Artistic Director, Savage Society

Kimberley Wong, Co-Chair, Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group

Kyla Epstein

Lara Therrien Boulos, Unearthing Wisdom Consulting

Larry Kuehn

Laura Track

Laura Lightbown, Film & TV Producer

Laura Cuthbert, Founder, Populous Map

Lee Bensted

Leonard Schein

Leslie Remund, Executive Director, 411 Seniors Centre


Lois Chan-Pedley

Lydia Tang

Marcia Toms

Marcus Youssef, Neworld Theatre

Marcy Cohen, BC Health Coalition and CCPA-BC

Margo Kane, Artistic Managing Director, Full Circle: First Nations Performance

Marion Pollack, Board Chair, 411 Seniors Centre

Mary Wu

Matilda Kumih

Matthew Norris, Vice-President, Urban Native Youth Association

Maya Korbynn

Megan Holec

Megan Lau, The Future is You and Me

Melissa Holloway Bacon

Melissa Woodward

Meryn Corkery

Michael Wiebe, Vancouver City Councillor

Michael Hughes

Michelle Dumond, Fuzzy Records

Michelle Cuomo

Mindy Parfitt, The Search Party

Mitra Mansour, Creative Room

Nadja Komnenic

Nicolas Demers

Niki Sharma

Noni Nabors, Our Time Vancouver and COVID-19 Coming Together

Norman Armour, Co-Founder, PuSh Festival

Olive Dempsey

Pat Kelly, Kelly&Kelly

Pedro Chamale, Artistic Director, Rice & Beans Theatre

Pete Fry, Vancouver City Councillor

Petros Kusmu, World Economic Forum Global Shapers Vancouver Hub and the Hogan’s Alley Society

Pimvan Geffen

Rachel Cheang

Rena Cohen, Realwheels Theatre

Richard Wolfe, Artistic Director, Pi Theatre

Robert Fisher

Ruth Herman

Sam Reeve, Car Free Vancouver Society

Samantha Lin, Organizer Sustainabiliteens

Sarah Common, Hives for Humanity

Sera Bao, Common Energy UBC

Shannon Daub, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - BC Office

Shay Dior

Stephen Von Sychowski, Presdient, Vancouver and District Labour Council

Stephanie Goodwin, Executive Director, Out on Screen

Steve Anderson

Stuart Mackinnon

Taiya Robert

Tara Cheyenne Freidenberg, Dance Artist

Terra Poirier

Thien Phan

Tim Lam

Tonye Aganaba, Ocean Surf Sounds

Trilby Smith

Van Dang, Ricecake Vancouver

Vanessa Kwan, Visual Artist

Wade Lifton

Zahur Ashrafuzzman

Zsuszi Gartner, Writer

Zsuzsi Fodor, Food Systems Planner and Consultant

Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC

Electric Company Theatre

Chinatown Today

Theatre Replacement

grunt gallery

Progress Lab 1422

Vancouver Creative Space Society

Carousel Theatre for Young People