Vancouver Critical Mass

Mostly event announcements, news, and bicycle related activist opinions...
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Yes, we ride the last Friday of every month!

4.6.19

Big June Ride!!! Critical Mass Vancouver (28 June, 2019)


🚲 June is bike month! Let's ride! 🚲
Celebrated around the world, Critical Mass is a grassroots reclamation of public space that occurs on the last Friday of every month. The ride is a celebration that allows cyclists and all other non-polluting forms of transportation to move safely and comfortably through city streets in a car-free space.  The tradition of Critical Mass was recently revitalized to remind us that car-culture is not the way forward for a healthy and liveable future. Riders are invited to show Vancouver, both Council and citizens, a better way to get around: one that more equitable, efficient, fun, and healthy.

Deck your wheels with bells and lights, colour, flowers, music and whatever freakiness you can pull together! Instruments, boom boxes, noise makers, loudspeakers and confident voices are welcome! 🚴🚴 Refresh your memory, etiquette and jargon by reviewing the Critical Mass glossary. 🚴🚴 Critical Mass is a leaderless collective phenomenon that is defined by the spirit of freedom, love and solidarity, while expressing awareness of public safety and climate justice, the vitality of healthy communities and the desire for a liveable future. Critical Mass is an alcohol/ drug free event and is inclusive to all self-propelled beings.


Event Details:
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery (facing Georgia St.) 
When: Meet between 5-5:30, ready to ride at 6pm.
Why: Whatever moves you! (Click here for a brief history of CM).
How:
The ride stays together for safety and fun. If you are at the front of the ride, you are an informal leader. Stop if you are approaching a red light, but continue as a group if the lights change red while passing through an intersection. Always stay together with fellow cyclists. Communicate with each other and with everyone else: pedestrians and car-drivers probably wish they were riding, too.

Participants at the front will often need to peel off to block motorized traffic from entering the Mass. That's called "corking". Corkers keep the ride safe and allow the Mass to pass through intersections where the lights have turned red. Thank them for corking!

Never cork alone. Join lone corkers, and for intersections there should be six or more corkers. And remember, do not cork oncoming traffic in opposing lanes.

If you're at the front, please don't speed or take narrow roads or paths. It stretches the ride out and makes life harder for corkers, riders, and those waiting for the Mass to pass. Be aware of the ride's slower participants, and keep a slower pace. If the Mass has thinned out or has broken into more than one group, which happens following hills or where the street has becomes more lanes, the front should wait at green lights for the group to "mass up".

Don't stay on any given street for very long, so that public transit can pass. And always let emergency vehicles through. Please don't ride on sidewalks or in opposing traffic lanes. Be courteous and respectful to everyone you encounter; make it the best day ever!

Who decides where we go?

You do! Some rides have a destination that may be suggested at the start of the ride, but the route is always decided by the riders in the front. If you have an idea where the ride should go, move to the front and participate with others in a group decision. Remember to make it fun and interesting, and that Critical Mass has no leaders.

A special note to those at the front: It becomes unsafe for those in the rear if the Mass strrrreeeetches out, there are big gaps, or the body of the Mass looses its tail. If the front can no longer see the rear, or the Mass has just passed through a "choke point" -- stop at an intersection where there's room for the entire Mass to completely bunch up again (and where the front of the ride can see the rear again).

Questions? Contact Stina.

25.5.19

Summer of Velolove 2019 dates

The tradition of Critical Mass was recently revitalized in Vancouver to remind us that car-culture is not the way forward for a healthy and liveable future.

Much of the bike infrastructure we enjoy today was established through the Critical Mass community many moons ago, which we have celebrated and used on smaller rides. Now, however, as the building boom in City and Metro Vancouver begins its physical transformation of the region's form and function, we need to step up to ensure the future is bike-ready. There has never been a more important moment at which to promote alternatives to car culture (and the associated industries and markets); to uphold our rights to clean air and quiet; and to defend civic space for joyful expressions of creative democracy!

Summer is a beautiful time for Critical Mass, so mark your calendar for the 2019 dates: 
May 31st, June 28th (big June ride!), July 26th, and August 30th
 There are heaps of other bicycle events going on, too, including several Car-Free Days, Velopalooza (June 14-30th), etc!

As a leaderless force of bicycle culture, Critical Mass may express any of the following:
  • demand/ ensure that the future of Vancouver is enriched by a world-class system of public transit and cycling infrastructure;
  • demand/ ensure that cyclists are better protected from cars;
  • demand/ ensure improved air quality in our city

The 'concept' of Critical Mass also aligns with the notion of "we the many" and the 3.5% rule to political change.

Critical Mass is a leaderless collective phenomenon that is defined by the spirit of freedom, love and solidarity, while expressing awareness of public safety and climate justice, and is an expression of healthy communities and a liveable future. Critical Mass is an alcohol/ drug free event and is inclusive to all self-propelled beings.

21.2.19

Critical Mass revitalised, and feisty as ever!

Critical Mass revitalised, and feisty as ever!


 


On Friday Feb. 22nd, join fellow bicyclists and other self-propelled folk for a ride that celebrates the vision of a healthy and abundant tomorrow. This month's ride is special, as it coincides with the NEB Day of Action (*). Since that rally will be winding down soon after our ride starts, we'll make that our first point of call, whether as a ride-by or a stop-over. As a Critical Mass, we can then carry the torch of awareness and solidarity onwards!  Wear as many lights as you can, and bring noise-makers!  

As per always, we'll meet at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the Georgia Street side between 5:30 and 6:00pm. At 6pm, we roll! The ride is on rain, shine, or snow. Costumes and decorated bicycles, trailers, signs, flags, gettoblasters, sound systems, drums, and wildly modified bicycles are all highly encouraged. Invite your friends, colleagues, and family! Spread the word!



The ride will end at the Brickhouse (730 Main St at Adanac). Feel free to join us there (8:00pm) even if you can't make the ride. 

(*) NEB Decision Day of Action: No Trudeau Pipeline Expansion!FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22 (4:30-6:30) 
Meet outside the Vancouver Office of the 'National Energy Board' (800 Burrard St. @ Robson St.) at 4:30 pm, then march to the CBC Building (700 Hamilton @ Georgia) for the rally program at 5pm.
United for People and Planet! No Trudeau Pipeline Expansion! Please pass this message on to others!  
If you can go to the 4:30pm event, please go! Bring your bike and join the critical mass after the rally ends.
Also a link to a facebook Group

2.11.16

Wallonia fights for us against CETA

Message from Leadnow.ca:

Have you been following the story about Wallonia, the region of Belgium that’s refused to sign CETA, a toxic trade deal that has many of the worst parts of the Canada-China FIPA and the TPP? [1]

Wallonia stood with millions of us - across Canada and Europe - to delay a CETA, a deal that could allow banned chemicals into our food and allow big business to sue our government in tribunals if they think our laws affect their expected profits.[2]

When negotiations resumed Thursday, Wallonia was under HUGE pressure to crack, and reading the headlines, you might think they finally gave in. But they didn’t. [3]
In fact, they reaffirmed that Belgium won’t ratify CETA as it stands, and made a compromise deal to have the European Court of Justice decide whether it’s legal to have a special court where foreign investors can sue our governments.[4] CETA affects us all and Wallonia deserves a HUGE show of support from people across Canada. 
That’s why we’re partnering up with 38 Degrees, our people-powered sister organization in the UK, to send the Walloons a big message, showing them they’re not alone against CETA. CETA can still be defeated by Wallonia and other Parliaments across Europe, and it’ll be a huge boost for them to know the people across Canada support them.
Can you sign the thank you letter to Wallonia? Click here to add your name:
Here’s what the thank you message says (it will be translated into French):
We want to say a big thank you to the citizens of Wallonia for having blocked the worst parts of CETA - the dangerous Canada-EU trade deal. Millions of people all across Canada and Europe support what you're doing.
If we reach 30,000 signatures by the end of the day, we’ll deliver the message straight to the Embassy, and place thank you messages in Wallonia’s biggest newspaper. Earlier this week, news broke that Canadian academics were urging Belgium to stop CETA and it made major news across the country.[3] Now, let’s show them that we still have their backs.
CETA contains many of the worst bits of its dangerous cousin, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If ratified, the deal will trigger job losses, suppress wages, and handcuff our democracy by giving multinational corporations special rights to sue Canada in international tribunals if our policies get in the way of their profits.[5]
Here’s what Paul Magnette, premier of Belgium’s Walloon region, had to say about Thursday’s compromise: 
‘Thank you for your messages of support… it was because of you that I was able to resist pressure and ultimatums, and today we can say the fight was worth it. There will never be secret arbitration in this deal. All social and environmental standards and public services will be protected.’ [6]
Civil society support for the Walloons is working, and the fight is far from over! Blocking CETA is not just a win for our environment, democracy, and communities across Europe and Canada -- it’s a momentum builder. It’s one giant domino crashing down that we can use to topple the next: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The powerful corporate lobbies that are driving these kinds of dangerous, costly and lopsided deals are finally losing control. While the battles against CETA and the TPP aren’t over, people-power is winning, and we owe the Walloons a thank you! 
We can, and will, stop CETA. Can you take a moment to thank the one government brave enough to stand up to the corporate Goliaths? They need our support to stay strong. Click here to add your name to the thank you card.

We're in this together,

Amara and Brittany, on behalf of the Leadnow team

Sources:
[1] BBC News: Belgium Walloons block key EU Ceta trade deal with Canada
[2] Canadian academics’ Open Letter to the Parliament of Wallonia and Belgian voters on CETA and its foreign investor protection system
[3] Belgians agree to resolve impasse, but CETA far from finalized
[4] Investor rights to be judged by highest court in Europe as part of Belgian CETA deal
[5] CETA Without Blinders: How Cutting ‘Trade Costs and More’ Will Cause Unemployment, Inequality and Welfare Losses
[6] Paul Magnette facebook video

Leadnow.ca is an independent campaigning community that brings people together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good. You can follow us on TwitterFacebook and Google+.

20.10.16

Fwd: [mcbride-annex-pac] Fwd: Rally tomorrow to support our VSB trustees


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: McBride Annex Pac
Date: Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 10:24 PM
Subject: [mcbride-annex-pac] Fwd: Rally tomorrow to support our VSB trustees


Dear Parents -

For those who are interested, please see the message below about a rally taking place tomorrow (THURSDAY) evening to support the VSB trustees and advocate for public education. 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mable Elmore, MLA <mable.elmore.mla@leg.bc.ca>
Date: October 19, 2016 at 6:42:39 PM PDT
Subject: Rally tomorrow to support our VSB trustees
Reply-To: Mable Elmore, MLA <mable.elmore.mla@leg.bc.ca>

Public education rally tomorrow
View this email in your browser
Hi -

Last Monday, the provincial government committed a shameful act that clearly put the interests of our students last.

Hours before Vancouver School Board Trustees were set to pass a balanced budget – Education Minister Mike Bernier fired them for failing to pass a balanced budget last June.
Now more than ever, it is important for all of us to come together to let the provincial government know that what they did is unacceptable.  That the chronic underfunding of public education is unacceptable.  And that closing any of our schools is unacceptable. 
Opposition Leader John Horgan, my colleagues and myself believe that stable and adequate funding for public education is needed.

Please join me at a rally tomorrow to support our fired VSB trustees who are advocating for public education. 

Rally to support our trustees
Thur Oct 20th
5:30pm
VSB front lawn
1580 W. Broadway (at Fir)
Vancouver


Mable Elmore, MLA
Vancouver-Kensington
mableelmore.ca




14.10.16

Fw: Consultations on National Security and Public Safety


Hello,

 

Thank you for writing in to my office to express your concern about Bill C-51.

 

I am writing today to inform you that the Standing Committee on National Security and Public Safety will be studying Canada's National Security Framework, and is traveling as part of this study to gather feedback from Canadians across the country.

 

Next week committee members will be consulting Canadians on what changes they would like to see made within this Framework, including changes to the legislation brought in by Bill C-51.

 

The consultations are open to the public, and I encourage you to attend if you have the opportunity.

 

The consultation in Vancouver is:

 

Monday, October 17

Coast Coal Harbour Hotel

1180 West Hastings Street

Room: Coal Harbour Room A

 

Witness Panels will take place from 2pm – 4pm, and the open mic feedback portion is from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.

 

For more information, please visit:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=e&Mode=1&Parl=0&Ses=0&DocId=8486784

 

Sincerely,

 

Don Davies, MP

Member of Parliament Vancouver Kingsway | Député Vancouver Kingsway

Critic for Health | Porte-parole du NPD en matière de santé

New Democratic Party | Nouveau Parti Démocratique 

______________________________________________________


T. 613.943.0267 
 T.604.775.6263

ndp.ca | npd.ca

dondavies.ca

 

24.8.16

Keep historic Prince of Wales bridge open

Hey,

I just signed the petition "City of Ottawa: Keep the Prince of Wales bridge open" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 1,500 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

www.change.org/.../city-of-ottawa-keep-the-prince-of-wales-bridge-open

Thanks!
russell
-------------

Keep historic Prince of Wales bridge open

Aileen Duncan Canada
The Prince of Wales bridge is a landmark of the nation's capital. It offers spectacular views of Ottawa, and connects us to the rivers that helped found this city. Recently, city officials announced they will spend $250,000 to bar access to the site by building gates at the entrances of the bridge.
As we approach Ottawa 2017 celebrations, we cannot allow this landmark of the city to be closed to public access.

Instead, policy makers should:
  1. Divert the $250,000 to safety upgrades on the bridge. These could include railings, replacing missing rail ties, an emergency access phone, and soft lighting. 
  2. Continue conversations regarding cost-sharing with the City of Gatineau and the National Capital Commission. 
  3. Commit to funding this site for a cycling pathway in the medium term.
  4. Estimate the costs of expanding the LRT to Gatineau via this bridge as part of Phase 2 or 3.
By the numbers:
  • Gates barring access to the Prince of Wales bridge are estimated to cost $250,000. 
  • A cycling and pedestrian path on the site is estimated to cost $10.5 million. 
  • In the 2016 City of Ottawa Budget, $2.7 million was committed on the condition that the City of Gatineau and the NCC agreed to share the costs of the project. They have not yet committed to funding the infrastructure project. 
  • An estimated 77,912 people commute between Ottawa and Gatineau for work, and this is expected to increase. 
More information: 
  • The Prince of Wales bridge has historic value and is recognized as a Capital Gem
  • Development of this site is included in the pathway network of the Ottawa Cycling Plan
  • The NCC support the creation of a multi-use path across the bridge as part of their 50-year Plan for the Nation's Capital.
  • The City of Ottawa has expressed an intention to fund the project, but the NCC and Ville de Gatineau will also need to contribute for this to become a reality. 
This petition will be delivered to:
  • City of Ottawa
  • Ville de Gatineau
  • National Capital Commission

19.8.16

Bike Dance Flash Mob wants you! Sat. Aug. 20th, 4pm

Dear Critical Mass Vancouver:

UpCYCLEd Stories,
a uniquely Vancouver bike-inspired community musical film project, is in its final phase. For one of the closing scenes in the movie, project lead Sarah Van Borek is facilitating a BIKE DANCE FLASH MOB and all are invited!

When: this Saturday, August 20th, 4pm
Where: The Beaumont Stage (Main & Broadway), as part of the first annual Vancouver Mural Festival

Community members are invited to come on their bikes and learn a short choreography then dance in the street (on their bikes) with the rest of the community and be filmed in one of the final scenes of the UpCYCLEd Stories movie!

UpCYCLEd Stories will have a tent in front of Our Community Bikes 12-4pm where participants can practice the choreography with others before the flash mob.

The bike dance choreography is available online if participants want to practice in advance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zhynnMS6RI

The dance features the song "On My Bike" by Vancouver-based worldbeat dance band, Roots Roundup. The dance is called "drivetrain" because this is the part of the bike that makes everything move. The dance is inspired by bike safety tips so please be sure to wear your bike helmet! Please bring your friends, family and neighbours - all are welcome!

*Note: Participants are welcome to join even without bikes*

Help us get the word out by sharing the facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/668986836601027/

For more info about UpCYCLEd Stories:
Hope you can join us for a worldbeat street dance party on bikes!

Best,
Sarah

Sarah Van Borek
UpCYCLEd Stories
Artist in Community
Mount Pleasant Community Centre
1 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, V5T 3H7
C: 604.723.8429
reduce | reuse | RECREATE!

12.4.16

Speak out against the TPP, keep Canada Sovereign

After 5 long years of secret negotiations, the public is finally being asked to weigh in on the TPP, and major in-person consultations are coming to your city!
The TPP is a dangerous trade and investment deal that will have lasting impacts on our democracy, economy, health, and environment. To stop it we need to take advantage of every opportunity to raise our concerns with it.
The Parliamentary Trade Committee will be visiting select cities to get public feedback on the TPP. They’ll be reporting to Parliament about they heard and making a recommendation to government on whether or not they should pass the TPP. This is a major opportunity to have our voices heard, and our best chance yet to stop the TPP.
Upcoming consultations will be held in
  • Vancouver (April 18)
  • Calgary (April 19)
  • Saskatoon (April 20)
  • Winnipeg (April 21)
If hundreds of us sign up to speak out against the TPP at the hearings, we can show the government how strong public opposition truly is. This will make it impossible for them to approve the deal if they’re going to keep their promise to listen to the public on it.
We can’t miss this opportunity. Register to appear before the Committee today. If you’ve never done something like this before, that’s no problem! After you register, we’ll send you a support kit with details on how the process will unfold, and information on how we’ll help you prepare.
Sources:
House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade to Hold Hearings in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=e&Mode=1&Parl=0&Ses=0&DocId=8161270

http://www.leadnow.ca/tpp-hearings/

http://canadians.org/blog/council-canadians-co-sponsors-jumbotron-outside-tpp-consultation-vancouver

Stop the TPP

Teach-in: Sat April 16th
Federal Gov't Public Hearing on whether to approve TPP:
Monday April 18th
(Details below)


Our Common Struggle, Making the Links.

Teach in on International Instruments of Corporate Power: TPP, CETA, FIPAs & NAFTA.
Saturday, April 16th

SFU Center for Dialogue, Room 320

520 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Coast Salish Territories



https://goo.gl/RP9xcy

Governments around the world are working hard to secure and expand the rights and powers of multinational corporations. Their most significant efforts involve the negotiation and ratification of international trade, investment and property rights agreements. Canada is currently engaged with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving 12 pacific rim states and counting, 29 existing Foreign Investment Promotion & Protection Agreements (FIPAs) with 7 being negotiated and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The negative effects of these agreements are far reaching and opposition to their imposition has  historically been seen as a collective responsibility of various social movements. This one day teach in aims to highlight the various ways in which the expansion of corporate rights impacts communities: corporate bailouts at the expense of social services, promoting the plunder of indigenous lands, undermining action on climate change, exploitation of workers, deterioration of people’s health, threatening food security, displacement of communities, privatization of public resources, limiting internet freedoms and much more.

The day will be provide a panel discussion, keynote presentations and caucus times for people to discuss, learn and plan together.

When
    Saturday, 16 April 2016 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM (PDT)
Where
    Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue - 580 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1L6, Canada