Renfrew-Collingwood Community News April 2020

Page 1

April 2020


Dear Neighbours A special message from

B.C. Minister of Health, Adrian Dix Dear Neighbours, I hope this finds you well! As we face new challenges in 2020, tolerance and understanding are especially crucial during these times of uncertainty. I am grateful for your trust and patience as we work together to navigate these challenges and identify our next steps. Information on Coronavirus More information including official statements on B.C.’s COVID-19 response and provincial support services can be found here: covid19. For non-medical inquiries, please call 1-888 COVID19 (1-888-268-4319). Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30am – 8:00pm Pacific Standard Time. You can also text a new help line for assistance at 604-6300300 or download the “BC COVID-19 Support” App through your app store. For latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CD-

Along with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Renfrew-Collingwood’s Adrian Dix is leading the province in our fight against Covid 19. Collage by Paul Reid

Eating In in RC: Masala Meats Page 3

Importance of bioswales

Page 4

Collingwood Tax Clinic Page 11

Continued on page 2


April 2020


Adrian Dix: Continued from page 1 CofBC or visit their website: http:// Regarding closure of facilities and emergency orders, please visit the City of Vancouver’s website or call 3-1-1 for more information: https:// Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should complete the online self-assessment tool to determine if you need further assessment or testing before calling 8-1-1 for medical-related questions:

workers from every sector and community who are working collaboratively to ensure that we are taking the appropriate steps forward. The Public Health Agency of Canada has also set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 or visit: public-health/services/diseases/ coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html.

Our community office is located at 5022 Joyce Street. While our office will be limiting in-person meetings as part of managing the COVID-19 virus, we will continue to provide services for constituents via phone and email. We’d be happy to schedule an in-person meeting for The most important measures you a later date. Please do not hesitate to reach out by leaving us a voicecan take to prevent respiratory illnesses including COVID-19 are mail at 604-660-0314 or we are best reached via email at adrian. cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your face; covering your nose We greatly appreciate your underand mouth when you cough or standing, patience, and cooperasneeze; disposing tissues aption! We wish you and your loved propriately; maintaining 2 metres away from others; staying home if ones well. you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19; and forgo usual greetings Sincerely, like handshakes and hugs. I am Adrian Dix, deeply grateful to all our health MLA Vancouver-Kingsway service providers and frontline This has been a paid advertisement by Adrian Dix, MLA for Vancouver/Kingsway

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April 2020


Eating In in RC: Masala Meats Meat Market and Convenience Store by Paul Reid

4409 Boundary Road (Boundary & 29th Avenue) Phone: 604-423-2662 Open: Monday to Sunday, 11am - 8 pm Coincidentally, after 20 years of my Eating Out in RC column here, RCC News Editor, Julie Cheng, suggested that I do an Eating In column to highlight her new local find: Masala Meats Meat Market and Convenience Store . That was in early February, before our old pal COVID-19 was even on the radar. Now of course, you can’t really be eating out anywhere. So, here, for the time being, welcome to Eating IN in RC, featuring Masala Meats. So, it was in February when I was able to take Julie up on her recommendation, visiting Masala Meats, located over on Boundary at 29th, at the north end of Joyce Street.

This is what Julie created wit the help of Masala Meats: Ginger masala boneless chicken breast with homemade curry chickpeas. Photo by Julie Cheng

Here I met proprietor, Daman Sharma. I found out that Masala Meats is his first meat shop, and that he has been open here in Renfrew-Collingwood since January. He is doing his best to offer a wide selection of quality chicken, beef and lamb products, both non marinated and marinated in a variety of gourmet sauces. Chicken wings, breasts and kababs; barbecue beef steaks, beef ribs and beef kababs; barbecue lamb chops and lamb kababs in your favourite sauces: Jaipuri Teekha Masala; Butter Chicken; Tandoori Masala, Ginger Masala, Tandoori…. is your mouth watering yet? For my meat selection, I settled on 2 pounds of chicken wings: Lemon Ginger and Ginger Masala (both medium spiciness). I will be back to try the Jaipuri Teekha Masala Wings (hot). I also checked out the wide variety of goods that Daman has in his convenience store section. Here one can find a wide variety of Indian grocery and daily use items. In the frozen section, I found a package of cassava fries; these should go nice with my wings, I thought.

Under one roof, Masala Meats offers a full meat market; indian groceries & convenience items and friendly, knowledgeable service. Photos courtesy of Masala Meats

Noticed in Renfrew-Collingwood

Taking it home, I cooked the chicken wings (350 degrees C for 30 minutes), flipping them half way through. The cassava fries went in the oven as well for 15 minutes. Voila – a gourmet feast of wings and fries that was both affordable and easy. The wings were of course fresh, not frozen, and yet I would say more affordable than the frozen. The sauces that Masala Meats marinates them in are really gourmet! You must taste for yourself. The cassava fries were an excellent addition as well. So why RC would we not all head over to Masala Meats this instant to try all of this goodness that they have to offer? I recently spoke with Daman. He would like to let the community know that his store is open and that bonus meat kababs are being added to every purchase. So run, don’t walk, to see Daman over at Masala Meats and convenience store. Still, let’s not forget our favourite local restaurants that have been hit so hard by all of this. Many, although closed, are still offering delivery and take out.

– Karen Vanon


April 2020


The importance of bioswales

COMMUNITY NEWS The mission of this non-profit publication is to provide the residents, businesses and organizations of Renfrew/Collingwood with a medium for community communication.

by Deanna Cheng

Contributors: Adrian Dix, Ann Wong, Bill

In anticipation of Still Moon Arts Society’s upcoming bioswale project, a student from Simon Fraser University (SFU) recently addressed the topic of green infrastructure at a public event at Slocan Hall.

We want to hear from you!

The presentation, hosted by Still Creek Streamkeepers, was an opportunity to educate RenfrewCollingwood residents about healthy ecosystems, specifically in relation to Still Creek.

Paul Reid: staff writer and layout coordinator Lisa Symons: sales and distribution coordinator Julie Cheng: editorial coordinator Gates, Deanna Cheng, Emily Hoang, Jenny Shen, John Mendoza, Julie Cheng, Kacia Tolsma, Kirsten Mendonca, Lawrence Yuen, Marco Jiehao Su, Monica Cervantes, Paul Reid, Qwisun Yoon-Potkins, Sonny Won Nguyen, Tony Wanless, Winnie Chen

Yes, You! Send comments, community events, press releases by regular post, fax or e-mail. Suggestions for improving the paper are welcome. We welcome appropriate, unsolicited editorial submissions if accompanied by the author’s real name, address and telephone number. The author should retain the original as we cannot return submissions without prior agreement nor does submission guarantee publication. We reserve the right to make editorial changes.

The Renfrew/Collingwood Community News does not necessarily support the views of its contributors.

Next submission deadline: Apr 10 The Renfrew-Collingwood Community News is an initiative of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH).

Yo u C a n F i n d t h e RC Community News @ Libraries, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Renfrew Park Community Centre, The Italian Cultural Centre, Collingwood Policing Office, other organizations, religious institutions, schools, laundromats, Starbucks, Rona, Superstore, Canadian Tire, Walmart, London Drugs and Safeway coffee shops, restaurants, markets, corner stores, other businesses, and coffee tables all over Renfrew-Collingwood.

Contact the RCCNews Phone: 604-435-0323 extension 261 Fax: 604-451-1191 Editorial: Advertising: Phone Lisa Symons at 604.435.0323 email: Renfrew/Collingwood Community News Collingwood Neighbourhood House 5288 Joyce Street Vancouver, BC V5R 6C9

According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, a bioswale is a vegetated, shallow, landscaped depression designed to capture, treat and infiltrate stormwater runoff as it moves downstream. It’s the most effective type of green infrastructure in slowing down runoff and cleaning water while recharging the groundwater table. Bioswales are site specific, explained Kacia Tolsma, a resource and environmental management student from SFU. “They’re also designed to manage more water than a rain garden might so that’s why you’re going to have a big long one on the side of the road,” she said. “It might be more ideal than a residential rain garden that doesn’t need to process as much water.” In addition, bioswales can be found in parking lots and some have a meandering design flow within them. Above ground, a rain garden and bioswale look similar with lots of foliage, shrubs and trees. The difference is that a bioswale also runs underground and is a bit invisible to the public, explained Tolsma. A rain garden generally has native plants and trees growing on a slope with the purpose of temporarily retaining rainwater whereas a bioswale has layers of specific soils on top of a drainage system. A US Composting Council reference guide said engineered soils

are manufactured from a mixture of sand, silt, clay and organic matter and, in a bioretention basin, compost is often used as the source of organic matter in the engineered soil. Tolsma said these engineered soils are helpful in filtering and naturally breaking down pollutants. Research has shown stormwater filtered through soil bioretention systems and bioswales would help protect the salmon and their prey from Example of a rain garden. Photo courtesy of Kacia Tolsma toxic impacts of urban that the location of the bioswale hasn’t runoff. been determined She added in an email that the bioswale could be somewhere The organic contaminants that the that it can be a reminder of the lost researchers were finding, such as herbicides, pesticides, resins and alcohols, creek, a demonstration space and an on-going educational area. Its existence was especially poisonous to fish, Tolswould, hopefully, encourage commuma said. nity members to develop their own rain garden and bioswales. “They also found that the effects were mostly felt in the first flush of the Quoting a city report, she said, “Further, biodiversity can be increased due to the increase in native plants and the increase in available habitat.”

“Fish were dying within a few hours of exposure to polluted stormwater.”

storm.” This first flush killed most or all of the fish in the study, she said, because the contaminant concentrations were 20 times higher than the following storm runoff. Tolsma said the most poignant part of the two papers she read was that fish were dying within a few hours of exposure to polluted stormwater.

One audience member brought up concerns about the toxicity levels of a bioswale on the road. “There’s lots of different ways those pollutants get broken down,” said Tolsma. “As long as you have a healthy, thriving bioswale, I don’t see it would be an issue.” She has also read other studies that said, even in 20 years, that hasn’t been an issue.

Another audience member brought up the importance of signage and comThis highlights the importance of a bio- munity education. As one who manages park spaces, she said signage is always swale because Still Creek in the Renan afterthought because they are alfrew-Collingwood area runs through the Renfrew Ravine, and the Still Moon ready trying to do everything else. Arts Society has worked hard within the last decade to welcome back chum “We had massive pollinator pasture failures because the park board didn’t salmon to it. get signage up and people just saw it as kind of an untended area. There was Emma Warner-Chee, environmental stewardship coordinator at Still Moon a sense that this East Van park is just being ignored.” She said if the signs had Arts Society, said at the presentation


been in at the start, it would have been a complete game changer. Another audience member agreed, saying she’s a visual artist but signage is the last thing she works on. “It’s kind of the make or break of a project – community buy-in, community support and understanding what’s happening.” Tolsma did touch upon the importance of community support with green infrastructure during her presentation. “When you’re engaging with communities more, you can really establish the maintenance, the growth and the stewardship, because it’s part of the community. It’s a fabric people want to take ownership for.” Warner-Chee said the Still Creek Streamkeepers is currently working on funding and will keep the public updated. The project is estimated to finish in December 2021. For updates about the bioswale progress or to volunteer with the Still Creek Streamkeepers, contact


April 2020

Read On!

A news section for Renfrew-Collingwood learners

Forest bathing for better living 

Read On!

has a web page. You can:

by Tony Wanless

 Read the articles People who live in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood are lucky because a method of achieving mental peace is right in their neighbourhood. The Renfrew Ravine is also another place you can soothe your soul by forest bathing. It is a practice that Photo by Julie Cheng began in Japan and is known as ShinrinRocu or the “art of forest bathing” in English.

http://renfrewcollingwood read-on/

Reading levels on this page Level 1

Level 2


Level 3


That is a name given to a simple practice of spending time in forests or stands of trees, parks and other areas where plants produce oxygen. Oxygen, in turn, is needed by most humans to live, since it is what we breathe, and increases energy, creativity, concentration and memory. In Japan, people forest bathe to refresh their thinking, improve their health, treat ills and “soothe their souls,” which simply means to make them happier. In Vancouver there are many stands of oxygen-producing plants in gardens and lawns, shrubs, trees and other “green” areas. But Renfrew-Collingwood is luckier than most because it is very near a genuine forest in Central Park, just a short walk away.

Still Creek Streamkeepers host a monthly community presentation about green initiatives, climate change and environmental issues. Kacia Tolsma (right), a masters student at SFU resource and environmental management program and an intern at the Adaptation to Climate Change Team, gave a presentation on green infrastructure with a focus on bioswales. She is not part of Still Moon Arts Society’s upcoming bioswale project. Emma Warner-Chee (left) is Still Moon Arts Society’s environmental stewardship coordinator. Photo by

Deanna Cheng

Walk through Central Park’s towering trees, many bushes and grassy areas and you will notice that it seems cooler than in the streets. That is because, as you breathe, you are absorbing the life-giving oxygen all around you. In fact, you are forest bathing. Enjoy it because most cities do not so easily provide the opportunity.

method peace practice Japan forest


bathing oxygen breathe energy creativity

concentration memory refresh genuine cooler

achieving: successfully bring about or reach (a desired objective, level, or result) by effort, skill or courage. absorbing: take in or soak up (energy or a liquid or other substance) by chemical or physical action. soothe: gently calm (a person or their feelings); relieve or ease (pain).


April 2020


The Seniors Connection Finding my place at Collingwood Neighbourhood House by Monica Cervantes

In early 2019, I began the search for a practicum placement that was needed for me to complete my bachelor of social work. I knew from the start that I wanted to do my practicum at Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH). I started corresponding with Jenny, the coordinator of the Seniors Wellness Program, and the rest was history! Since September 2019, I have been fortunate enough to serve as a social work practicum student at CNH. On Thursdays, I support CNH’s seniors programs such as the coffee social and karaoke. I also work to bridge service gaps to better assist the seniors of CNH. Enjoying the sights of Bowen Island with some of CNH’s seniors. Photo by Jenny Shen Along with the previous seniors program assistant, I implemented and now program has allowed me to see compassion, On Saturdays, I provide information and referral facilitate the tech support program, which allows empathy and community-building in action. seniors to drop in and have their tech-related ques- services to the attendees of CNH’s Morning Star Breakfast Program. This program provides showtions answered. I have also stepped up to provide ers and breakfast to individuals who are tentatively My biggest takeaway from my practicum information and referral services to seniors on experience is that everyone has a place at housed or homeless. Saturday mornings, which allows me to support CNH. I am constantly amazed at how staff, seniors with completing applications for various volunteers and attendees of CNH work Like my work with the seniors, I look for areas programs, finding housing and researching availtogether so seamlessly. I am also grateful for where I could be of service. This led me to my role able resources. of providing information and referral services to the the relationships that I have built and for the experiences that I have shared with so clients who attend the breakfast program. I have During my time working with the seniors at CNH, many individuals at CNH. helped clients to obtain items for their new homes I have witnessed the value of community, learned and to find programs focused on improving their about the issues that seniors face today and built Monica Cervantes is a practicum student at health and well-being. Providing this service and relationships that I am sure will span beyond my Collingwood Neighbourhood House until the working with the staff and volunteers of this practicum hours. end of April 2020.


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e! pices & Mor n s, Herbs , S ea B r, ou s Fl nt , iin s, Ingredie • Bulk Gra for Bakin g • On e Stop ion s pt O ee Fr n eats • Glute Gras s Fe d M & d te a ic ed -M ces on oi N rgani c Ch • Organi c, duce wit h O uty Section • Fres h Pro ea B d n a h Healt of Chees e • Natura l g e Selection u H a & i el • In Store D

At the senior’s coffee social playing the On the Move board game. Photo by Kirsten Mendonca

1595 Kingsway, Vancouver, B.C. • 604-872-3019 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 8am - 9pm


April 2020


Tax planning for 2020 by Ann Wong We are now living in unprecedented times. Since the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus COVID-19 a pandemic, we have witnessed the stock market fluctuate where the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and S&P 500 halted trading more than once. Many people have been affected by the virus and the federal and provincial governments are pitching in to help us. For those of you who are fortunate not to have caught this bug, you are still feeling the side effects with public facilities like community centres, pools, libraries, theatres, restaurants and schools closing. Although there are many disruptions and inconveniences, there are still some rules that we need to follow. Usually for most individuals, April 30 is the last day to file your personal taxes for 2019. The federal gov-

ernment has pushed this deadline back to June 1, 2020 in response to COVID-19. Use this as a time to plan ahead for your 2020 tax year. Here are some figures you should keep in mind:

Tax free savings account (TFSA) contribution limit – The 2020 contribution limit is $6,000. If you have never opened a TFSA account, you now have accrued a $69,500 room. Keep in mind that any contributions to a TFSA account Registered retirement savis not tax deductible. The benefit is ings plan (RRSP) contribution that any withdrawals, typically from limit – The 2020 contribution is growth in the portfolio, is not tax18% of your earned income up to the able. maximum of $27,230. Take a look at your 2018 Notice of Assessment Old Age Security (OAS) claw(NOA) and see if there is any contri- back – If you are a senior age 65 or bution room left over from previous older, you may want to be mindful years. If you are the higher earning of your annual income. For worldspouse and there is a significant dif- wide income more than $79,054, ference in income, consider making that will affect the OAS benefit for a spousal RRSP contribution. In the next year. You may have to pay this case, you make the contribuback a portion of your OAS bention (deduction in your name) and efit above that amount. For every your spouse gets the tax deferred $1 that you earn above $79,054, investment in their name. There are 15 cents (15%) will be reduced in special rules that apply if the invest- benefits. If your income is $128,137, ment is held less than three years. all OAS benefit will be returned to

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Keep in mind that the recent market volatility may have impacted your portfolio. There are many numbers involved when working with your finances. Set up some time to talk to your financial and tax professionals to determine what is best for your scenario. Ann Wong has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. She holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Financial Management Advisor (FMA) designations and is also a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI). Email: hello@

RENFREW PARK COMMUNITY COMPLEX 2929 East 22nd Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5M 2Y3

Complex Office: 604 257-8388 ext 1 Fax: 604 257-8392 Website: or

Jointly operated by Renfrew Park Community Association and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

Easter Weekend Hours of Operation Fri Sat Sun Mon

Apr 10 Apr 11 Apr 12 Apr 13

Pool 1-5pm 8:30am-4pm 1-5pm 1-5pm

Fitness Ctr 1-5pm 9:30am-4pm 1-5pm 1-5pm

Centre Area Closed 9am-5pm 10:30am-5:30pm Closed

Easter Eggstravaganza Sat, Apr 11 12:00pm-3:00pm

Join us for face paint, crafts, games and a concession! Register for an egg hunt time slot at the centre Or online at Tickets are limited, so register early! $5/Entry & Hunt $2/Entry Only Hunt times: 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:30pm

Wibit Inflatable Day in the pool

Saturday, April 11th from 2:00pm–4:00pm

Come and join in the fun! *Regular admission rates apply

Spring has SPRUNG! Luncheon (55+yrs)

Menu: Miso Honey Salmon, Herbed Potatoes, Green Salad, Peach Shortcake 265546 Wed Apr 15 12:00-2:30pm $9.52/person Prices do not include tax, if applicable.

Earth Day: Neighbourhood Cleanup Party (All Ages)

Spring Highlights Gymnastics (1-4yrs)

Celebrate Earth Day. Join us in taking action to help protect and restore our planet, starting with a Neighbourhood Clean Up Party in the Renfrew Ravine and Renfrew Park Community Park. Clean up equipment will be provided. Sat Apr 18 Free 274945 2:00-4:00pm

Bear Feet Gymnastics This class will provide you and your child the opportunity to explore a wide variety of activities that focus on fostering appropriate physical development. Parent participation is required. Wed Apr 8-Jun 17 $110/11 sess Baby Bears




Bear Cubs







Parent and Child Mandarin Lessons (1-3yrs)

MandoKids Chinese Learning Centre We’ll introduce speaking and listening skills through a play-based learning curriculum, including singing, storytelling, arts and crafts, and other fun exercises in Mandarin! (Parent/guardian participation is mandatory). Visit for more information. No session Apr 11, May 16 273255 Sat Apr 4-Jun 6 9:45-10:30am $96/8 sess 273256 Sat Apr 4-Jun 6 10:45-11:30am $96/8 sess

Happy Crafters (55+yrs)

Barbara Larman For beginners to experienced crafters. We will introduce a new project every three weeks or bring a project from home. Projects may include card making, needle crafts, quilting, scrapbooking, etc. Some supplies will be provided. No session Apr 13, May 18 265573 Mon Apr 6-Jun 22 1:00-3:00pm $10/10 sess

Hula Dance for Health (55+yrs)

Marji Wallace The exercises and gentle moves of Hula dance can improve strength, flexibility, balance and coordination, even while seated. Exercise both the mind and body! 265340 Thu Apr 16-Jun 25 10:00-11:00am $22/11 sess

Renfrew Licensed Preschool 2020-2021

Preschool Open House

Tue, April 21st (4-8pm)

This is the time to come and check out our preschool facility and speak to our ECE certified teachers. Bring your child and your questions. Activities will be set up for children. Vacancy information will be available on April 21st, 2020.

Preschool Registration Sun, April 26th (10am-2pm)  Priority registration is given to siblings and those currently in the program.  We will start handing out registration forms at 10am if you are accepted into the class.  The licensed preschool runs from September-June.  For more information come to our Open House.

*At time of printing, Renfrew Park Community Centre has been closed due to COVID-19. For up-to-date information about recreation facilities and services, please visit:


April 2020


Don Davies MP Vancouver Kingsway

KEEPING CONNECTED: SERVING YOU DURING COVID-19 Dear Constituents, I hope you are doing well at this difficult time. Although we are all practicing social distancing to help combat the spread of COVID-19, I and my team are working hard to remain accessible to you. Our goal is to keep constituents and staff safe, while continuing to provide the important services that community members depend on. Our office will remain open, but we will be conducting business by phone and online communication until further notice. An old fashioned fair with multicultural flair!

For more information about how to protect yourself and financial supports available please visit: Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have. Community Office 2951 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5J4 604-775-6263 |

An old fashioned fair with multicultural flair!

Postponed until August 2020 Postponed until August 2020

More information & updates will be provided at

Gaston Park - Vancouver, BC

Enjoy art, music, games, food, talent shows & The International Market.

Pancake Breakfast Thank you to our sponsors:

Postponed until August 2020

More information & updates will be provided at

Celebration Day CollingwoodDays

For info contact Collingwood BIA (604) 639-4403



April 2020


Odd Fellows Low Rental Housing Society is pleased to announce the availability of 44 affordable housing units in the newly built development at 3595 Kingsway

• 44 units are available to qualified applicants 55+ years of age or older • 9 1-bedroom and 35 bachelor suites available • Hot water and heating included • Walking distance to Joyce & Patterson SkyTrain stations • Nearby parks and trails

MOVE IN SPRING 2020 Register now at or call 604-568-6895




April 2020

Message from RCC News staff writer, Paul Reid Greetings Collingwood. Wow! What happened? As the RCC News staff writer, I have been thinking about what I could write about COVID-19. As an optimist, I began thinking about what good, if any, could perhaps come from this. I thought about how maybe this will show the world how we can come together and how once this was past us, we could use our new found knowledge to work against other global foes such as climate change. That’s aboui as far as I got before I came across this story (right) by Bill Gates. And I thought, “Why re-invent the wheel.” Plus, Gates has put a lot more thought (brainy thought at that) into the matter it seems, with 14 positive ways that this virus is affecting us. So, thank you Mr. Gates! And how about our local MLA, Adrian Dix. B.C. can thank our community for voting him in each year. He, alongside provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has become a real leader for the province in these strange days. Thank you Adrian! Thank you to all of our advertisers for your continual support in these tough times! Thank you Renfrew-Collingwood for supporting local businesses. Thank you to my fellow RCC News team for getting this issue out and about. There were doubts but if you’re seeing this...we pulled through. Until we all pull through, together, take care RC.

Postponed until further notice


What is the Corona/ COVID-19 virus really teaching us? by Bill Gates I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or being bad. As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the Corona/ COVID-19 virus is really doing to us: 1) It is reminding us that we Bill Gates and friend. Photo and story from Gates Notes, The Blog of Bill Gates: are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occucycle which will continue until pation, financial situation or how 7) It is reminding us that our true famous we are. This disease treats work is not our job, that is what we we finally learn the lesson we are us all equally, perhaps we should to. do, not what we were created to do. meant to. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks. Our true work is to look after each 12) It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us other, to protect each other and to that we need to look at the rate 2) It is reminding us that we are be of benefit to one another. of deforestation just as urgently all connected and something that as we look at the speed at which affects one person has an effect on 8) It is reminding us to keep our toilet rolls are disappearing off of another. It is reminding us that the egos in check. It is reminding us shelves. We are sick because our false borders that we have put up that no matter how great we think have little value as this virus does we are or how great others think we home is sick. not need a passport. It is remindare, a virus can bring our world to a 13) It is reminding us that after ing us, by oppressing us for a short standstill. every difficulty, there is always time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression. 9) It is reminding us that the power ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. of freewill is in our hands. We can 3) It is reminding us of how prechoose to cooperate and help each We do not need to panic; this too cious our health is and how we other, to share, to give, to help and shall pass. have moved to neglect it through to support each other or we can 14) Whereas many see the Coeating nutrient poor manufactured choose to be selfish, to hoard, to food and drinking water that is look after only our self. Indeed, it is rona/ COVID-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a contaminated with chemicals upon difficulties that bring out our true *great corrector* chemicals. If we don’t look after our colors. health, we will, of course, get sick. It is sent to remind us of the im10) It is reminding us that we can 4) It is reminding us of the shortbe patient, or we can panic. We can portant lessons that we seem to ness of life and of what is most imeither understand that this type of have forgotten and it is up to us portant for us to do, which is to help situation has happened many times if we will learn them or not. each other, especially those who are before in history and old or sick. Our purpose is not to will pass, or we can buy toilet rolls. panic and see it as the end of the world 5) It is reminding us of how mateand, consequently, rialistic our society has become and cause ourselves how, when in times of difficulty, we more harm than remember that it’s the essentials good. that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we 11) It is remindsometimes unnecessarily give value ing us that this can to. either be an end or a new beginning. 6) It is reminding us of how impor- This can be a time tant our family and home life is and of reflection and how much we have neglected this. It understanding, is forcing us back into our houses so where we learn from we can rebuild them into our home our mistakes, or it and to strengthen our family unit. can be the start of a



April 2020

The Collingwood Tax Clinic by Paul Reid

Three Links expanding infection control measures With significant public concerns regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on frail seniors and health-care workers, the

For now, The Collingwood Tax Clinic has suspended operations due to COVID-19 until all is well again.

Three Links Care Centre has implemented a series of measures to protect the health and safety of residents, staff, contractors and volunteers. Three Links is already on high alert for influenza and gastral intestinal illness. CEO David Hurford said, “Our infection control measures to prevent the spread of influenza have served us well as we try to prepare for COVID 19.”

Much of it will also depend on volunteer availability as many were forced to drop out due to the outbreak. This pinched many clinics – forcing them to close down this year.

While Three Links does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 as this article was prepared, the care team and support-services staff implemented a safety protocol in early March. These included: • Posters at all care centre entrances and elevators with information about the restrictions

Lawrence Yuen has Coordinators of the volunteer-led Renfrew-Collingwood lead the program at Income Tax Service. (l to r) Scott, Lawrence, Thomas, CNH for the past 17 Derrick and Hansen. Photo by Julie Cheng years. He has been with the program very experienced and well seasoned.” since it began in “We draw these volunteers from across Collingwood over 20 years ago. “The the Lower Mainland. Most come from good news for taxpayers is that the our community but a large percentage Canada Revenue Agency pushed back come from outside. The volunteers are the filing deadline to June 1 and any amounts owing will not have to be paid retirees, professional accountants, IT professionals, accounting and adminisuntil August 31. Folks that have selftrative assistants, CRA employees, and employment income must file by June accounting students.” 15. This deadline did not change,” explained Lawrence. Each year, about 40 to 50 volunteers “But for folks that need to file to obtain process close to 4,000 returns over 120 hours of operations. To date, the clinic federal and provincial benefits, they has prepared approximately 30,000 should file as soon possible to not lose returns over the years. “We thank them access to those benefits in July. Unall each and every year for coming out fortunately, those that are looking for to do what seemingly is just completing assistance this year will need to wait a a boring piece paper, but the social and little longer.” economic impact of programs like ours is not to be underestimated,” says Yuen. Today, “the clinic” is known as the Renfrew-Collingwood (Volunteer) The program returns millions of dolIncome Tax Service and is part of a lars in the form of childcare and rental larger program under the auspices of subsidies, old age security, Canada penthe CRA called the Community Volsions, social and disability assistance unteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). and GST tax credit each year. Each Spring, the CVITP trains volunteers across Canada to participate in Lawrence would like to thank “a very assisting individuals complete their taxes at local community organizations great of team of volunteer assistant coordinators that I work with each year: right across the country. CVITP has Derrick Chiang, Thomas Tsang, Hanbeen around since 1971 and last year, sen Wong, and Scott Wu as well as the about 4,000 participated and commembers of the CNH front desk team: pleted nearly 800,000 returns across Jenny, Teresa, Nelly, Candice, Satomi, the country. Nikki and David, who diligently book all the thousands of appointments each With its origins in our community year.” stretching back over 20 years, the program has had over 120 volunteers For the latest info about the Collingwood partake. Lawrence says, “They are Tax Clinic, visit:

• Suspending outdoor bus trips, volunteer visits and care home tours • Phone calls to families and loved ones explaining the measures and asking them not visit during this time unless absolutely necessary • Providing loved ones with direct phone lines and Facetime access to residents • Staff screened before each shift and asked those not feeling well to go home • Expanded seven-day reception coverage to include evenings • Enhanced cleaning procedures with bleach wipes applied to commonly touched areas at least twice a day On March 21, Vancouver’s medical health officer issued an order requiring all care homes to implement a series of steps, most of which Three Links had already been adopting and communicating. Regardless, Three Links announced temporary measures in response to the order that took effect on March 23, which included: • No staff can work at any other health-care facility in the region • All team members are having their temperature checked before, during and at the end of each shift • Team members are bringing clothing and shoes they plan to wear at work in a bag and change on site. No jewelry is allowed below the elbows • Everyone must use hand sanitizer before touching any surfaces All notices have been posted at During the crisis, Three Links has also been holding regular staff meetings, providing infection control training and participating in daily briefings with partners at Vancouver Coastal Health, Safe Care BC and BC Care Providers Association, which have been coordinating a sector wide response with the provincial and federal health ministries.


April 2020

Windermere students Get R.E.A.L. by Qwisun Yoon-Potkins


Poetry in Transit offers a mental oasis by John Mendoza Another day, another lively commute. It’s mid-afternoon, and I am travelling eastbound on the 99 Express bus to Broadway/Commercial Drive Station. The bus is full of weary commuters of all ages and backgrounds attentive to their smartphones. Crowded conditions where the commuter expectation is standing room only, and if you are lucky, a seat. As someone who uses doesn’t use my smartphone much, I often look around my immediate surroundings for diversion.

Get R.E.A.L. art installation at the Contemporary Art Gallery, June 2019. Photo by Four Eyes Portraits.

Previously referred to as

Windermere high school’s Boys Group and Girls Group, Get R.E.A.L. (Resilient, Engaged, Active Leaders) is a weekly after-school program that focuses on strengthening protective factors in high-school aged youth such as resilience, community and school connectedness, and active leadership. Since 2016, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Remediation Grant Program has provided funding to support the Windermere Secondary’s Get R.E.A.L. program to build confidence in students, facilitate positive peer and mentor relationships, and share valuable knowledge and resources from community organizations within the Vancouver area. The program aims to foster these skills through supporting a strong sense of belonging and engagement within the school and community, as well as encouraging healthy decision making and lifestyle choices. This year, Get R.E.A.L. has shifted from the typical “boys group/girls group” model to a non-gender binary structure in order to reduce barriers to participation, as well as to promote a more inclusive space within the school.

Students of all genders are welcome in all Get R.E.A.L. programs. To educate students about autonomy and help practice this skill, students are encouraged to participate in the programming, meaning that they determine everything from the topics to the snacks to the fieldtrips, within reason. Some of the topics that students chose this year are kindness and solidarity, consent, healthy relationships, body image, safe partying, career planning and toxic masculinity. Each year, the students also participate in a year-end culminating community service or art installation project, which they collaboratively choose and develop under the guidance of the Get R.E.A.L. staff and our community partners, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, the Contemporary Art Gallery and the Vancouver Police Department. The students come from a variety of backgrounds, each with their own unique story. The group has a different meaning for everyone, but the overall goal is for students to be able to say, “I belong here.” One participant described the program as being “the sun in the middle of a gloomy day,”

while another said it is a “good way to make new friends and take your mind off the stress of school.” “Get R.E.A.L. are loving and inclusive friends,” said one of the Grade 9 students. “We’re close enough to be a family.” Ultimately, Get R.E.A.L. is a space in which youth can explore topics that aren’t always covered in class and engage in ways of learning that differ from the typical classroom setting. It gives participants the chance to take ownership over their learning and delve into what they are passionate about. “It is a wonderful, accepting and inclusive group,” one student said. “We learn new and important things like how to manage mental health and avoid giving in to peer pressure. I have been very lucky to be a part of such an amazing group.” Qwisun Yoon-Potkins currently works with the Windermere Community Schools Team in her second year as programmer. In 2018, she graduated with distinction from the University of Victoria with an honours degree in sociology and a diploma in social justice. Her goal is to continue working with and educating youth on important social issues, and to provide students with access to opportunities and tools to reach their full capacity.

A casual glance up yields some promise. Amid the commercial propaganda is a mental oasis: it is a Poetry in Transit advertisement featuring the creative writing of a British Columbia poet. The Poetry in Transit project is one that may be familiar to commuters who live in the Transit-rich neighbourhood of Renfrew-Collingwood. According to the Read Local BC website (, the program was started in 1996 and features “the work of BC-authored and Canadian-published poets” on plasticized car cards usually on display inside buses and Skytrain cars. Usually, the poetry is mixed in with the usual advertisements on buses, and the effect of seeing one occasionally offers an unexpected escape from the everyday. The experience of discovering a Poetry in Transit card offers a meaningful opportunity for the average transit commuter. It’s a diversion for both the transit user and the transit company. For the transit user, the routine of the everyday can be interrupted with the creative musings of a poet, ranging from entertainment to deep thoughts. For the transit company, it’s a way of activating a commercial space or even a blank space where a writer can cultivate and build a new audience. Sure, there’s the potential that the transit system is helping to build a local literary culture for writers. Engaged transit users may go so far as to seek out the written work of these featured authors from their local libraries or bookstores. However, for the average commuter in the moment, there’s the opportunity to move from routine to disruption, and in that moment, to learn about life from another person’s perspective. If travel is supposed to broaden the mind, certainly Translink and Poetry in Transit work in tandem to achieve that goal. John Mendoza is a long-time contributor to the RenfrewCollingwood Community News.



April 2020

Invasive knotweed forum Plans for managing this invasive plant in Renfrew Ravine Monday, April 27 – Knotweed Forum Speakers: Tasha Murray (Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver), Natasha Murphy (MSci, Ecological Restoration), others TBA Location: Slocan Hall (2750 E 29th Ave) Time: 7:00 to 8:30 pm Knotweed is a plant that is considered invasive and grows in disturbed natural areas as well as on private property. It is very difficult to remove as it has an extensive root system and can quickly regenerate.

Order in and pick up your eats Japanese knotweed is thriving in the Renfrew Ravine. Find out what can be done to manage this invasive plant. Source:

Phone: 604-873-1010

Hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 10pm, Sun: 8am -9pm

2066 Kingsway

Please visit for This forum explores different management strategies for pri- more info and registration links. Check vate property, as well as plans for management in Renfrew for updates on whether this event will be moved online or Ravine in a panel with local experts. postponed due to COVID-19.

Haiku from the Creative Writing Class at CNH April is cherry blossom season, and the Creative Writing Class at Collingwood Neighbourhood House celebrates by writing Haiku – short poems based on a Japanese tradition. Bunny I am cute and soft Hop not too high all day long Have big floppy ears. By Sonny Won Nguyen, age 9 Grade 4, John Norquay Elementary Dinner My parents cook food Food that I don’t like eating And I stay hungry. By Winnie Chen, age 10 Grade 5, Wilfred Grenfell Elementary Snow I am white and cold I fall from the puffy clouds Children play with me. By Marco Jiehao Su, age 9 Grade 4, Wilfred Grenfell Elementary Pandas We are black and white Eating bamboo day and night Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing By Emily Hoang, age 10 Grade 4, John Norquay Elementary The Creative Writing Class at Collingwood Neighbourhood House is every Friday evening. The instructor, Rania Hatzioannou has been teaching this program for 17 years.

Now offering Contactless Delivery. Order and Pay Online. Order Delivery Or Carry Out

Phone: 604-437-1717

Website: #300-3320 Kingsway, Vancouver

• 4:10 to 6 pm for ages 8, 9 and 10 • 6:10 to 8 pm for ages 11, 12 and 13 Students explore creative writing through grammar, fiction, non-fiction, letters, poetry and puzzles. Next session starts in May; register early as classes fill up well in advance. 604-435-0323

Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11AM-10:45PM Friday-Saturday: 11AM - 11:45PM


April 2020


Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH)


Joyce Location: 5288 Joyce St. ; Tel: 604-435-0323 / Annex Location: 3690 Vanness Ave. ; Tel: 604-428-9142 / Visit:

‘Thankful for their support’: CNH volunteers honoured By Kayla Isomura

As over 12 million people across Canada are celebrated this month for their commitment to volunteering, Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) looks forward to recognizing just 900 of them.

Collingwood Neighbourhood House invites you to lunch every Tuesday and Thursday. Full meal prices are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for students and $3.25 for children under 12. Items can be purchased a la carte or “to go.” *Joyce location

April lunch menu * Late notice. The Community Lunch at CNH is likely cancelled through April due to COVID-19. Please contact CNH or visit their website for updates.

On April 19, National Volunteer Week takes place. This year’s theme is to “applaud this country’s volunteers.” At CNH, volunteers are applauded for their dedication and generosity. After all, it’s these qualities that make them so invaluable, said Yndira Arteaga, Volunteer Coordinator at CNH.


Yndira Arteaga, Volunteer Coordinator at CNH. Photo by Kayla Isomura

As a non-profit organization, CNH relies on their assistance when it comes to programs, events, and more. For weekly programs alone, the organization relies on the support of 400-500 volunteers. Tasks vary from organizing binders to cooking meals, and the ages and experiences of these community members vary, too. Approximately 40% of CNH volunteers are seniors, while 25-30% are youth. The rest fall in between. While many students or recent graduates volunteer for career and education experience, newcomers will often volunteer to improve communication and English language skills, said Arteaga. For others, volunteering is about social interaction and making friends. For example, an individual who immigrated to Canada from the Middle East over a year ago only spoke a few words in English. Insistent on helping out at CNH, the individual now speaks English fluently. “It’s really great to see people that get their skills and improvements, and we are part of their development,” Arteaga said. Although a staff member at CNH now, Arteaga was first introduced to the organization as a volunteer. For 10 months, she volunteered once a week in the administration office.

It’s an experience Arteaga reflects on positively, as her employment at the time offered the knowledge and skills she needed to complete her tasks at CNH. In early 2017, a position for a casual office assistant became available and she applied. Arteaga has been working as a staff member at CNH ever since. Today, she wears “different hats” at the organization. In addition to her role as Volunteer Coordinator, Arteaga continues to work as an Office Assistant and as a Program Assistant for LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada). The largest difference between volunteering and working in a paid position is the responsibilities, she explained. Although the roles are different, they are both equally respected. “Donating time is very valuable,” said Arteaga. “[Volunteers] are not paid, but they’re recognized and we really are thankful for their support.” Each year, CNH hosts a volunteer recognition event in April. “That’s a way for us to stop and say thank you to them.” For information about volunteering at CNH, visit: cnh. or call: 604-435-0323.

This page is sponsored by Collingwood Neighbourhood House

Thurs 9 Baked cod fish with quinoa Salad Coconut macaroon Tues 14 Tomato soup Roasted beef or veggie sandwich Salad Walnut cookies Thurs 16 Chicken with cheese ravioli on pesto sauce Salad Pecan tart Tues 21 Minestrone soup Crab salmon or veggie cakes Salad Date bar Thurs 23 Shepherd pie / veggie option Salad Vanilla pudding Tues 28 Butternut squash soup Meat or mushroom onion pie Salad Lemon cake Thurs 30 Hamburger or veggie burger Salad Marble brownie



April 2020

March2020 2020 April Ñ COVID 19 We are in uncharted times and we thank everyone for doing their part to keep COVID 19 from spreading. Take care of each other and check in with those who are vulnerable via a phone call or video chat. Most of our businesses are closed to abide to the Provincial and the City of Vancouver state of emergency declarations. The city now has more authority in certain situations, including the ability to force restaurants defying the advice of public officials to close. The priority is for all citizens to be safe and healthy and not spread the virus any further. We are all paying attention the constant updates giving by the Federal, Provincial and City of Vancouver. The governments have many tools to help our small businesses, their staff and landlords. The Collingwood BIA would like to thank the residents who support our businesses and will continue when they reopen. Please be kind and show compassion to everyone in these stressful times.

Upcoming Events All events have been postponed or cancelled. Follow us on Facebook to get updates. Collingwood Days Festival We are working hard to reschedule for August.


Ñ COVID 19 Resource Links: IMPORTANT RESOURCES to keep up to date COVID-19 Economic Information ¥

Small Business BC


Government of Canada Plans for Businesses and Individuals


Government of BC Plans - to date

COVID-19 Health Information ¥

Government of Canada - Health


Healthlink BC


BC Centre for Disease Control


Self Monitoring - Self Isolation - Isolation

Monitoring the Impact on Small Business BC Chamber of Commerce and Small Business BC have teamed up to learn the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. Please fill out their survey yourself and encourage your commercial neighbours to do the same.


Note from the Board: We are in unprecedented times and we need more than ever to work together to keep everyone safe. Thank you for cooperating with the guidelines put out by all levels of government. We will get through this and we will be stronger. We will have lots to celebrate. How to Reach Us: @shopcollingwoodvancouver @shopcollingwood @shopcollingwood #300 Ð 3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC T: 604.639.4403 E:


April 2020