“I think it’s important to get involved and engaged with city planning for the West End,” says West End Residents Association (WERA) president Christine Ackermann, who attended the session. “Housing, in particular, is such an important issue. It’s good to have diversity at the table.”
But Ackermann says she is aware of community concerns regarding the planning process.
“I have heard [from the community] that the process is very rushed,” she says. “That doesn’t mean that they’re not doing a good job. It’s just difficult with the timeline. Less time for a community means less outreach to the community.”
For the first time in five years, there was a toilet in Nelson Park today.
Unfortunately, the toilet, a port-a-potty rented by the West End Residents Association, was only there temporarily, part of a campaign to raise public awareness that the popular park has been without a public washroom since the park was re-landscaped in 2007.
More than 100 West Enders signed WERA’s petition calling on the Park Board to install a permanent public washroom in Nelson Park. The petition can still be signed online at the WERA website (www.wera.bc.ca).
WERA president Christine Ackermann said a permanent washroom is needed by all the park users, including children, seniors, strollers, dog owners and vendors and customers of the weekly West End Farmers Market.
She said the petition will be delivered to the Park Board, in the hope that the Board will expedite installation of a washroom in Nelson Park.
WERA president Christine Ackermann was quoted in a Vancouver Courier story about the City’s plans to create an online rental database. Ackermann was also interviewed by other media outlets, including CKNW. According to the Courier story:
COPE, which lacks a representative on council, and the West End Residents Association want the database to include licensed secondary suites so tenants know whether their suites are legal and fire safe. Christine Ackermann, president of WERA, noted the B.C. Apartment Owners and Managers Association support a database that includes secondary suites. WERA wants tenants to be able to see if their landlords have applied for any development or work permits. “Because those are the tools that landlords use to evict tenants,” Ackermann said.Continue reading →
More than $17 million will be spent to repair electrical systems and elevators at aging hospital following power outages
Shane Bigham Sep 22, 2011 15:00:09 PM
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - St. Paul’s Hospital is getting millions of dollars to make some critical repairs. The money will be used to replace aging electrical systems at the hospital, and fix the elevators.
The provincial government today committed 17.2 million dollars for these repairs. 12.5 million will be spent on electrical upgrades including generators, transformers, automatic transfer switches, switchgears and other critical electrical components. This money is on top of the million that was already spent this year, following a massive power failure at the hospital in February.
4.7 million will be spent on the hospital’s aging elevators. Patients and staff have complained about elevators that are slow and frequently out-of-order.
Dianne Doyle with Providence Health Care says the repairs should have only a minimal impact on the work that goes on at the St. Paul’s.
“There may be some minor inconveniences related to the elevators. Aside from that, no impact.”
There are critics. West End NDP MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert calls today’s funding announcement by the government a ‘band-aid solution.’ He’s concerned about what will happen in the event of an earthquake.
WERA has been in the news lately, thanks to the upcoming Festival of Light and Pride Parade and a new community planning process for the West End.
WERA president Christine Ackermann was quoted on CBC, asking firework spectators to remember they are gathering in a residential neighbourhood when they head out to watch the fireworks. The story is available on the CBC website here. She also appeared on the Bill Good Show on CKNW Friday morning discussing whether West Enders are making special fireworks preparations after last month’s Stanley Cup riot. An audio archive of the interview will be available in a few days here.
Ackermann also spoke to Radio Canada television about the Pride Parade and whether or not we still need Pride considering how far gay rights have come in Canada. And recently Xtra! quoted her twice on the news that City council is asking staff to investigate whether staff can work on three community plans concurrently, including one for the West End. Those stories can be found here and here.
The December 10 edition of the Vancouver Courier included a profile of WERA’s new president, Christine Ackermann. In the story by Cheryl Rossi, Ackermann says “affordable housing is always going to be number one on my list, as well as renters’ rights, especially in light of the news that came out on the weekend about the Seafield [apartment evictions],” she said. “…Because I identify as a lesbian, I’m definitely going to be looking at doing a little bit more work with the gay community in the West End.”
Shauna Lewis / Vancouver / Friday, November 19, 2010
The West End Residents Association (WERA) will be more involved in the gay community, says the group’s new lesbian president.
Longtime renters’ rights advocate and WERA director, Christine Ackermann, replaced Brent Granby as the housing association’s president at the group’s Nov 16 annual general meeting.
“I’m super excited to be WERA president. I think Brent had done some wonderful things for WERA and I look forward to continuing on,” Ackermann says. “I identify as lesbian and it’s always been men as president,” she adds.
Nov. 16, 2010 – Christine Ackermann was elected president at tonight’s WERA’s Annual General Meeting. Christine has been a director of WERA since Jan 2009 and a member since April 2008. She is the first female and first gay president of WERA.
WERA extends a heartfelt thanks to Brent Granby for his passion, dedication, and service to the West End Community over the last four years as president.
“It’s been an exciting time to be the spokesperson for WERA. I think we accomplished a lot. There are still many challenges to be faced and I’m happy that Christine Ackermann is taking over. I have a lot of confidence in her ability to be spokesperson and to lead the group. I look forward to continuing on as director and supporting Christine in her new role,” says Brent.
WERA also gives thanks to outgoing director, Jonathan Chapnick, and welcomes new director, Aman Bains.
A complete list of the current WERA board can be found here.
by Shauna Lewis from XTRA WEST
Half the members of the newly created West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee are gay, Xtra has learned.
City councillor and committee co-chair Tim Stevenson says the city received nearly 80 applications from interested community members. Twelve were selected.
The gay committee members are: Jim Deva, co-owner of Little Sister’s bookstore; Tiko Kerr, artist; Christine Ackermann, director of the West End Residents’ Association; Michelle Fortin, director of Witara Downtown Eastside outreach program and co-organizer of the Vancouver Dyke March; Dean Malone, CEO of Plum Living; and Robert Hines, organizer of the Green Party of Canada.
Also on the committee are: Tony Clark, Marlann Cooper, Lena Hozaima, Peter Jackman, Cherie Payne and Carol Reardon. Continue reading →