June 26, 2017

Vancouver's grocery store liquor policy not restrictive enough, addictions ex...

The City of Vancouver has made changes to its liquor policy - including allowing for a store-in-store model for grocery store liquor sales - but one addictions expert says the changes make alcohol-use too permissive and put vulnerable people at risk.

The city chose the store-in-store model - where grocers can create a separated liquor area with its own cashier - precisely because it was more restrictive than simply allowing liquor to be stocked on shelves.



June 26, 2017

Liquor policy review: Vancouver council allows grocery stores to sell booze -...


As part of a suite of changes to its liquor policy, Vancouver city council is allowing grocery stores to sell wine, beer and liquor.

The sale of booze inside grocery stores will be done through the "store-within-a-store" model that will require a separate checkout.


Read more... 

June 22, 2017

BC Liberal throne speech rings hollow to British Columbia voters - BCGEU

By releasing major elements of their final throne speech before presenting it in the legislature, the B.C. Liberal government has signalled a cynical about-face on major policy issues that rings hollow to B.C. voters, says the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union.

"For the past 16 years, the B.C. Liberal government has ignored the needs of B.C.'s most vulnerable citizens and working families, while enriching the lives of their wealthy sponsors" says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "Now, on the brink of losing power in a minority government, they tell us they've suddenly seen the light? 

"British Columbians see this speech for what it is – a cynical public relations exercise by a political party trying desperately to cling to power at any cost. This apparent last-minute conversion on key political issues puts the lie to their entire record as government.

"The B.C. Liberal government has stubbornly refused to raise welfare rates for the past decade," says Smith. "They have repeatedly refused to regulate the influence of big money in politics. And they have consistently refused to provide options for B.C. families searching for quality affordable child care. The BCGEU has repeatedly flagged these issues in our budget submissions to government, only to be ignored.

"This government's policies, for over a decade and a half, have consistently worsened income equality and affordability for the majority of B.C. citizens. And now they are telling us that they will fix everything they've broken?

"Sixty per cent of British Columbians voted for change. The time has come for the B.C. Liberal party to recognize that they do not have the confidence of the House and let the NDP/Green majority assume the role of government."


For more information, contact Chris Bradshaw, 604-369-8411 or 604-291-9611


June 21, 2017

BCGEU Celebrates National Aboriginal Day - BCGEU

This year is a special year for the BCGEU as we celebrate National Aboriginal Day.

We're so incredibly proud of the great strides that BCGEU members – both new and experienced – have taken over the past year to strengthen relationships with our allies in Aboriginal communities around the province.

In just the last twelve months, we've welcomed employees at Fraser Valley Aboriginal Child and Family Services (Xyolhemeylh) in to our union; we have continued our support for the inquiry into the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls and applied to participate in the inquiry; we have instituted the acknowledgement of traditional territories at all local meetings and events; we have strengthened partnerships with a number of Aboriginal organizations and initiatives; and members have invited each other to participate in Truth and Reconciliation workshops at our union halls.

And last weekend, the BCGEU equity and human rights committee renewed its commitment to issues relating to Indigenous peoples with the election of new Indigenous representatives who will guide the work of union over the next three years. 

This year we are celebrating National Aboriginal Day as a proud sponsor of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Center's pancake breakfast serving 500 people in our community and the afternoon festival at Trout Lake (John Hendry Park) in Vancouver. We invite all members to join us in Vancouver or at any of the many events happening around B.C. – click here for a list.

We would also like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to artist Simone Diamond of the Quw'utsun (Cowichan) Tribes, the designer of the artwork on our new Aboriginal solidarity poster – a version of which appears below.

We look forward to another year of building stronger relationships and power for our friends and allies with our Indigenous members and communities.

June 20, 2017

Celebrate National Aboriginal with the BCGEU at Trout Lake - BCGEU

The BCGEU is proud to celebrate National Aboriginal Day with our members and community allies across the province.

The day's celebrations begin with breakfast at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society and will be followed by the march to Trout Lake for the opening of the afternoon festival.

The BCGEU is a proud sponsor of the morning breakfast and encourages members to join us in volunteering at the event.


Pancake Breakfast

When:  Wednesday, June 21 at 9am

Where: Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Center

              1607 East Hastings

              Vancouver, BC

National Aboriginal Day Celebration

When:   Wednesday, June 21 at 12:00pm-10:00pm

Where:  Trout Lake Park

              3360 Victoria Drive

              Vancouver, BC


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June 19, 2017

New team elected to lead BCGEU to 2020 - BCGEU

Delegates at the 2017 BCGEU Constitutional Convention have elected our new leadership team. As expected, Stephanie Smith was acclaimed as BCGEU president.

This will be her second term as president after serving one term as treasurer between 2011 and 2014. Smith is the union's first elected woman president.

Paul Finch was also acclaimed for a second term as treasurer.

Elected or re-elected to the executive vice president positions were: Sussanne Skidmore, and newcomers Kari Michaels, Doug Kinna and James Coccola. There was a total of 467 voting delegates.

Twelve candidates put their names forward for the positions of president, treasurer and executive vice president.


June 15, 2017

Response to media statement by executive director with the Forensic Psychiatr...

In response to a media release the BCGEU issued yesterday – Chronic failure by PHSA to protect staff at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH) leads to another assault on health care worker – we were disappointed that Angela Draude, provincial executive director with the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission, said she "hasn't personally heard a request for protective equipment from the BCGEU" in an interview with CKNW News.

"We would like to clarify that the BCGEU raised the issue of body armour in a meeting with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and also argued against the decision to remove blocking pads for our members to use when approaching a violent client" says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "The fact that Ms. Draude was apparently not made aware of these issues speaks to the lack of oversight necessary to take protective steps."

Draude also stated that workers receive extensive violence prevention training but unfortunately this training falls far short of what is required for the FPH environment. In fact, the training Draude referred to is provided to all members of the PHSA in their various work environments such as the BC Cancer Agency, BC Children's Hospital and the BC Women's Hospital. Members at FPH were promised additional training suitable to the patients they serve by their employer, however this training has not been provided.


On behalf of BCGEU members at FPH, Smith will again be calling on the PHSA at their open board meeting on June 29th in Vancouver to provide improved onsite safety measures at the hospital, including suitable resources and protections for staff.

To read the media release mentioned above, click here: Chronic failure by PHSA to protect staff at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH) leads to another assault on health care worker


Local 467/MoveUP

June 14, 2017

Chronic failure by PHSA to protect staff at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital lea...

A violent incident at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH) in Coquitlam put another staff member in harm's way yesterday afternoon because of the ongoing failure of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) to adequately resource and protect workers at the facility.


Following his release from long-time seclusion, a patient assaulted a staff member whose colleagues were unable to immediately restrain the patient because access was blocked by locked doors – prolonging the assault. The severity of the injury prompted the submission of a report to the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB).


The Forensic Psychiatric Hospital houses up to 190 patients who have been deemed either unfit to serve trial or criminally not responsible for their crimes due to mental illness. Yet despite the often precarious state of many patients, neither health care workers nor security officers are provided with the resources or protections necessary to manage frequent violent outbursts.


"For months we have been urging the PHSA to provide suitable protections for staff on par with similar hospitals across Canada such as body armour, blocking pads, and meal pass-through doors for those in seclusion" says BC Government & Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) president Stephanie Smith. "It is unacceptable to continue allowing health care workers to be exposed to potentially violent patients without such protections."


The BCGEU's 50th Constitutional Convention is currently underway in Vancouver where issues of occupational health and safety, including violence in the workplace, will be reviewed. Smith is also scheduled to attend the next PHSA board meeting to speak on behalf of members in calling for improved onsite safety measures at the hospital.


FPH has been issued 54 Workers' Compensation Board safety orders and 102 WCB inspection reports have been filed in the last five years, mostly resulting from the employer's failure to protect workers from violence. A $171,000 fine was issued by the WCB in the fall of 2016 for extremely dangerous conditions at the facility, yet the violence continues.


The BCGEU represents over 270 members at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, including 130 health care workers, 15 forensic security officers (FSO), 25 dietary staff, 7 social workers and 27 administrative staff.


The next PHSA board meeting will be held June 29, 2017, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in Vancouver.



For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications | e: | c: 604-719-4713

June 07, 2017

National Aboriginal Day - June 21st - BCGEU

The BCGEU Area 01

Cross Component Committee

 Invites all BCGEU members and their families to participate in the

 National Aboriginal Day - June 21st


A number of events are being hosted in Victoria commencing June 10th.

Members are encouraged to review, and in some cases register to attend.


June 10th – Victoria Native Friendship Centre Library

& The Greater Victoria Public Library - Mungo Martin House at the Royal British Columbia Museum for 60 to 65 people – and lunch and 3 hour program.

Experiential workshop to gain deeper insight into the impact of residential schools and explore how each of us can help revive the values that guided Indigenous villages for generations. Contact Barbara Strachan, NVFC Library Volunteer @ 250-384-3211 Ext 2292 for more details



June 16th to June 18th – Aboriginal Cultural Festival 2017 – Royal BC Museum, Victoria in Partnership with Aboriginal Tourism BC - 675 Belleville St commencing at 10:30 am on June 16th with a ceremonial welcome canoe paddle to Victoria's Inner Harbour and a parade of Nations. Events happen outside the Royal Museum.


This year's program features more than 100 performers from across BC and around the world. Champion hoop dancer Alex Wells and Maori performing arts group He Waka Kotuna. Smudge ceremony with Frank Antoine, Indigenous Arts Marketplace, educational tour centered on the history of totems. Fry-bread, BBQ salmon, West Coast Clam Chowder from the Songhees Sea-food & stream food truck.


June 21st – Victoria Native Friendship Health Fair, 231 Regina Ave – 10 am – 4pm


Artist's market, drumming and dancing, traditional crafts for the family, traditional games, information booths, bouncy castle, face painting, photo booth, relay race, human foosball, balloon artist and fish Pond. Saanich Police presents ACE the dog and Bike Patrol, lunch will be provided. Contact Kim Rumley for more information: (250-384-3211)


June 21st – Royal Roads University – The Blue Heron House – commences at 10:00 am ceremony at 10:30 with Canoe challenges involving FN's. Colleges and Universities.


June 21st – West Shore Parks and Recreation – 1767 Island Highway, Lower Level near the Picnic Shelter & Playground – 3rd Annual west shore aboriginal Day Festival is a celebration for everyone on the West Shore. Traditional signing, drumming, dancing, Indigenous foods and fun activities. For more info call 250-391-9924


In solidarity

Susanne Francoeur,


Area 01 Cross Component Chairperson



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