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!


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


Wallonia fights for us against CETA

Message from

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

[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 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+.


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 <>
Date: October 19, 2016 at 6:42:39 PM PDT
Subject: Rally tomorrow to support our VSB trustees
Reply-To: Mable Elmore, MLA <>

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
VSB front lawn
1580 W. Broadway (at Fir)

Mable Elmore, MLA


Fw: Consultations on National Security and Public Safety



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:




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 |



Keep historic Prince of Wales bridge open


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:


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


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:

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:

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


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!


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.
House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade to Hold Hearings in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

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

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.

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


Fwd: PRESS RELEASE: Local Non-Profit Bares All To Raise Funds In New Clothing Donation Campaign


March 29, 2016




Burnaby, BC — People are used to the idea of donating their unwanted clothing and household items, but a local NPO is encouraging them to even donate the clothes off their back in their latest video campaign. posAbilities, an organization focused on improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities, has begun uploading a series of videos with naked TV/YouTube personality Josh Rimer. The local actor bared all for the campaign in hopes of getting people interested in making donations to their Clothes Drop program.


"posAbilities is a great organization that really makes a difference to the lives of the people they serve" says Rimer, who has collaborated with posAbilities on videos in the past. "We wanted to do something fun and a bit shocking that would get people to pay attention and think about donating their used clothing."


The initial idea first came through a Simon Fraser University co-op student who brought it forward as a possible way to get interest in their new clothing drive initiative. "The idea seemed a bit outrageous, but we wanted to catch the interest of business owners and the general public" says Jennifer Oliver, Manager of Innovation at posAbilities.


"We'd like to get everyone thinking of us when doing their spring cleaning, downsizing, and decluttering. The videos are fun and a taste of the ease that you'll experience working with posAbilities – we're helping people and the planet."   


The first video was uploaded this morning and features Rimer running around an office without any clothes on, pleading with a few unsuspecting employees to donate theirs. A second video set in a multi-unit residence will be uploaded tomorrow, followed by a third one in a laundromat the next day. The series will finish with a general information video about the program on Friday, where Rimer will finally be fully clothed.


See the first video, and the following ones as they are uploaded, at .




Media Contacts:


Media Contacts:


Subject Expert                                               

Jennifer Oliver,                                               

Manager of Innovation                                




Alternate Spokesperson

Monique Nelson,

Director of Community Engagement

phone: 604-369-4073



About posAbilities

At posAbilities we assist children, youth and adults with disabilities to lead meaningful and healthy lives. We work with families and community partners to deliver a full range of services that grow with the individual, including behaviour consultation, community inclusion, employment and home living. We are actively engaged in creating art, theatre productions and digital media, continuously aspiring to challenge perceptions of ability and to reduce the stigma that is often associated with persons who have developmental disabilities. For more information, please visit:


Monique Nelson,

Director of Community Engagement, posAbilities

• community inclusion • employment • home living • behaviour consultation
t. 778.945.3367 | c. 604.369.4073


Fwd: TPP signed but we’re still winning

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brittany Smith -
Date: Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 10:07 AM
Subject: TPP signed but we're still winning

Under pressure from pro-TPP forces around the world, Canada has just signed this dangerous and outdated legacy of the Harper era.

But don't despair! Signing just unlocks the final stage of the process and it is not legally binding. Parliament still has to vote to ratify the TPP into law. 

Trade Minister Freeland has promised to hold public consultations and a full debate before the TPP is voted on in Parliament.

These consultations will give us a window - time and space to build powerful opposition and stop the TPP. So the real fight against the TPP is just beginning - and you've already kicked off this campaign with a bang. 

On Monday, your donations put a powerful ad in the Hill Times, asking PM Trudeau and Minister Freeland to follow through on their promise and listen to the public before making a decision on the TPP. 

On Wednesday, your donations let us work with our allies in New Zealand to show your opposition to the deal in Downtown Auckland, where the deal was signed. We projected messages from the Leadnow community onto buildings outside of Minister Freeland's hotel, and held anti-TPP banners at a massive rally outside of the signing ceremony.

Pro-TPP forces wanted the signing ceremony to be a triumph of the corporate agenda, but your actions helped to turn it into a show of people-powered strength. All the smiles and news stories couldn't drown out the voices calling the TPP what it really is - a giant corporate power grab. 

We also ran a public opinion poll on the TPP in Canada. It confirmed that most Canadians are unfamiliar with the deal -- and the more they learn about it, the more likely they are to oppose it.1

People in many other countries have already heard more about the deal, and opposition is growing and global. Activists and community groups are being joined by business leaders, academics, scientists, doctors, lawyers, faith groups and even the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights.2

So friends, signing is just the beginning of the final fight against the TPP. As the global corporate lobby is celebrating, a growing groundswell of opposition from communities in Canada and around the world are speaking out against it. 

Trade Minister Freeland is already hearing from tens of thousands of people across the country - nearly 20,000 from the Leadnow community alone in the last two weeks - and we need to keep raising the alarm and building momentum to stop the TPP.

Want to take action now? Please forward this email to a friend and ask them to join you by sending a message into Minister Freeland's consultation process that says "no" to the TPP:

Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.

And, thanks for all you do.
Brittany, on behalf of the team


National Opinion poll on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
For Canadian innovators will the TPP mean protection or colonialism




Please support the community! We're funded by people like you, and our small, dedicated team and growing community make sure your donation goes a long way. Every dollar helps. You can donate online at is an independent campaigning community that brings Canadians together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.