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“Orange” you glad I didn’t start with depressing statistics about Violence against Women?

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Ribbons, safety pins, pink shirt day; for a nation that attempts to be color blind when it comes to people, we are color-obsessed when it comes to the causes we claim to support.

Bringing “awareness” to a situation by using color has become so prevalent that in order for me to express how I feel about pipelines (black), breast cancer (pink), heart disease (red), the military (yellow), Epilepsy (lavender), child abuse, (light blue) I would have to look like a rainbow. But then, I support LBGTQ rights too so…

And now orange.

The United Nations called for an “Orange your Neighbourhood” from November 25th to December 10th.

As a world movement this has become the beacon color of hope and rallying cry for women around the world. The Empire State Building is bathed in orange as is the UN Tower in New York. The idea is for everyone to decorate with or wear the color orange to symbolize hope for a future free from violence against woman and girls.

“We need this eye-catching colour everywhere, so that the message is loud and clear: we all need to work together to stop violence against women and girls right now.” Says UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Miambo-Ngcuka. “That includes men and boys standing up for what’s right and working with us and the women’s movement to tackle gender inequality. We have to end this universal violation of human rights.”

Does wearing a pin or a color really help a cause?

The blogger, Angry Hijabi, doesn’t think so. She expressed that wearing a safety pins is meaningless and another symbol of white privilege.

She has a point, in that we are lulled into the idea that if we wear a pin or “like” something on Facebook that somehow we are supporting and contributing to a cause. We forget that simply wearing a color isn’t enough. Liking something on Facebook doesn’t actually feed a hungry child or protect a woman from being abused.

So why do we bother wearing a colored pin?

One of the things about wearing a color like orange or decorating with orange is that people will notice and ask. It opens up the conversation about something that is normally never spoken about, especially in some cultures.

If 1-4 women is experiencing or has experienced violence, then that means that someone you work with, someone at the gym, someone at your church or temple or mosque is a victim and is listening to this conversation. She now knows she has an ally in you.

Relational violence crosses all economic and social barriers. Some of the strongest, more powerful women you know are being beaten behind closed doors.

The Abuser will convince her that her situation is normal. That she deserved it. That she is his property and that society understands that he can do whatever he wants with his own property. That no one will believe her or help her.

When she sees everyone wearing orange, she then knows that her experience is not normal or socially acceptable. Wearing orange tells her who her allies are and who might be a safe person to talk to.

She is also dealing with the shame of the situation and often will not talk to anyone about it, but someone close to her knows or suspects.

So many times, after a tragedy strikes, someone will say that they noticed something was not right, but they didn’t know what to do about it.

Someone, maybe you, sees the abuse or suspects there is abuse, but what do you do. If you see something that doesn’t look right, don’t be afraid to get involved. We are each other’s keepers. You may save a life.

There is a lot of help out there for anyone experiencing relationship violence or anyone witnessing or suspecting relationship abuse, but you need to know who to call for help.

If you don’t know what to do, go here

http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/NEVR/Community%20Champions%20Toolkit.pdf

This toolkit will tell you who you can call and what the results of your call will be. Please share the toolkit so it can get into the hands of someone who needs it to save a life.

I believe that wearing Orange and Oranging your neighbourhood is a great idea. It opens up a conversation that needs to be had. It exposes violence both in relationships against men or women; it exposes violence against women as a weapon of war; it forces us to look in horror at the statistical numbers and become motivated to get involved.

Until the world, the entire world, stops seeing women as objects which can be owned; until the world, both men and women stop seeing themselves as deserving of less than total respect and body autonomy, these degrading, violent acts will continue.

Talking about it on every level, needs to start now.   From holding magazines, advertisers and the media accountable for their portrayal of women, to supporting organizations that empower women, to holding people accountable for their words, to teaching young girls about their rights and responsibilities with regards to their own bodies, we need to keep talking, keep listening, keep yelling, keep voting, keep reminding people that – her body, her rules – is a real thing. It is a basic human right and governments can’t legislate it away, doctors can’t decide on her behalf, husbands, brothers and fathers can’t remove her rights in the name of family honor, religious belief or cultural expectations.

Trapping women in poverty, lack of education and control over her own destiny is robbing the world of brilliant minds, music, art, opinions and ideas. When half of the population is considered less-than – it is time at a minimum – to start wearing orange.

Respect for women is where the solution starts and we are all responsible for how that respect is given, shown, demanded and enforced.

But wearing a color isn’t enough. Problems don’t go away by pinning colored ribbons, they go away when enough people get mad enough and motivated enough to donate time and money and leadership to find a solution and work towards it.

If you are really against violence in vulnerable populations, then support the local women’s shelters or food banks with time, money, bake cookies, donate toys.

Liking on Facebook is never enough. Wearing a pin or decorating with orange will never be enough. You have to actually DO something about it.

You have the power to change this. You have the responsibility for your daughter’s sake, to change this. You have the ability to open this conversation.

Call an organization that is spearheading this change and ask them what they need most. Ask guests at your Christmas party to bring items for donation to a woman’s shelter; sort through your closet and give some clothes or kids toys; buy one gift for a woman at a shelter; make cookies; write a letter of encouragement for a worker or a woman in need. Write to your government. Support women who are fighting to make their own choices regarding clothes, reproduction or education.

Everybody can do something.

You can share this post and comment below on what you did today to support women suffering from violence around the world.

Can’t think of anything, contact me, I will give a hundred ideas, some will take seconds to do, some will take hours, some will be free, some will take money. All will make a real contribution to a change in these horrific statistics.

For organizations in Surrey that you can support

click on any of these links:

United Way – Surrey – Family Support

http://www.uwlm.ca/?gclid=CIXgjt3f2NACFUWRfgodKwYKzg

DIVERSEcity – Refugees and New Canadians

http://www.dcrs.ca/get-involved/how-we-are-supporting-refugees-and-what-you-can-do-to-help/

Nevr Campaign to end Violence in Relationships

http://www.kpu.ca/nevr

Like us on Facebook at NEVR – Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships

Crisis Centre for Women in Surrey

www.surreywomenscentre.ca

Victim Services – City of Surrey

http://www.surrey.ca/community/12411.aspx

Sources – Family Support Services

http://www.sourcesbc.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=178&Itemid=98

Woman’s support services

http://www.atira.bc.ca/volunteer-opportunities-0

Options – Housing for Vulnerable populations

http://www.options.bc.ca

Domestic Abuse Support Services

http://domesticabuseservices.ca

For international support opportunities, click on these links

UN Call for and end to Violence

http://endviolence.un.org/situation.shtml

Education

http://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/network-areas/sexual-violence

War Violence against women

http://fileserver.wave-network.org/fempowermagazine/Fempower_Magazine_26.pdf

US based support group for women internationally

https://www.usaid.gov…

Start by rocking some orange and then sharing this post so we can begin to talk about what else we can do to stop violence against our most vulnerable population.

 

Shara Nixon loves to hear and repeat the stories of people’s lives and cultural viewpoints. She enjoys deep conversations and people who hold strong viewpoints. In her day job she is a social worker for business owners, helping them meet their goals. As an insomniac, she writes at night to clear her head. She is punctuationally challenged and uses too many !!!. She also believes in creative spelling as an art form. Her super-power is in connecting like-minded people and communicating with an intent to learn instead of respond. She writes about relationships, business savvy, online dating, finance and general things that piss her off. Shara believes that key to peace is education and connection!!!

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UBC is building a new three-acre campus near Surrey Memorial Hospital

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Surrey Memorial Hospital via BC Gov Photos

The University of British Columbia (UBC) has acquired a $70-million property close to Surrey Memorial Hospital for a new three-acre campus.

The new Surrey UBC campus will sit at the intersection of King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway, a 135,000-square-foot plot of land which is currently the Grace Hanin Community Church. This is an ideal location for the post-secondary institution given it is close to SkyTrain and Surrey Memorial Hospital.

UBC has a very strong representation of the Fraser Valley. There are nearly 3,500 students, 750 faculty and staff, and thousands of alumni who live in Surrey.

In addition, with a strong grip on health education, more than 4,900 health student and medical resident rotations take place in hospitals, primary care settings and clinics across the Fraser Valley.

“This is an excellent investment by UBC and will help thousands of students from Surrey and south of the Fraser get access to valuable post-secondary education in an accessible and transit-friendly location,” says Randeep Sarai, MP for Surrey Centre.

UBC’s strategic plan includes developing its presence regionally as well as improving access to post-secondary education in the Fraser region.

“We look forward to working with the City of Surrey, Fraser Health, First Nations Health Authority and regional partners to uncover the many exciting possibilities that this new project holds for the Surrey community and Fraser Valley, as well as UBC students, faculty and staff,” says Santa J. Ono, UBC President and Vice-Chancellor.

Consultations with UBC and the Surrey and Fraser Valley communities will begin next year.

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Surrey City Centre SkyTrain Extension Delayed

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king george skytrain
Image via @jmv / Flickr

If you weren’t aware, there is an extension planned for the Expo line SkyTrain along Fraser Highway from King George Station in Surrey City Centre to Langley Centre.

This expansion would be 16 kilometres in length. It was originally planned to be completed in 2025, however residents will have to wait longer — three full years in fact — as the extension is now expected to be completed in 2028.

Why The Delay?

TransLink planned to complete the first 7 km of the expansion from funding that has now been cancelled. This $1.6 billion of funding was needed to reach the 2025 completion date. Additionally, the original date was pending a business case approval that was scheduled for the summer of 2020. Since neither happened, procurement of a contractor did not occur.

A contractor should have been procured by early 2021 to start construction early 2022. Hence the delays.

To give some scope, the entire project is estimated to be a $3.96 billion cost. Earlier this summer, the federal government announced $1.3 billion to help move the project along. This funding has not yet been formalized. The remaining $2.65 billion would be committed by the provincial government and TransLink.

Worth The Wait?

By 2028, the Expo and Millennium lines will grow to a combined fleet size of 427 cars. Specifically there will be 30 additional cars to serve the Surrey-Langley Extension.

The Surrey City Centre to Langley SkyTrain extension will increase the size of the network by 24%, it will be growing from 66 km to 82 km. This will add 8 new stations into the network from Surrey to Langley.

This means that, when open, there will be a capacity of 6,800 passengers per hour per direction. It also allows for room for growth, so the system can grow with the population and need. When the expansion is complete, its capacity will be more than 10 times the existing bus services along Fraser Highway.

Commuting time will also be cut down. The new travel time of the extended Expo line is expected to be 25 minutes faster than the existing buses. It will also serve those coming into Surrey. With no transfers, getting from Waterfront station in downtown to 166 Street Station in Fleetwood will take under an hour.

The Future is Bright

Once complete the extension will allow for easier access into Surrey Centre and Langley. Ridership is expected to grow in the area, even suggesting that there may be 62,000 daily passengers by the year 2035.

Needless to say, Surrey Centre in coming years will be getting more traffic without the traffic congestion.

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Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ Top 10 “Least-Wanted Valentines” For 2021

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ACTUALLY, IT’S NOT SO GREAT BEING “WANTED” ON VALENTINE’S DAY

HERE ARE METRO VANCOUVER CRIME STOPPERS’ TOP 10 “LEAST-WANTED VALENTINES” FOR 2021

Rewards up to $100,000 are offered for some of BC’s most wanted fugitives

VANCOUVER, B.C.: From the files at Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, here’s our annual list of the top 10 “most wanted” criminals and suspects who remain on the lam this Valentine’s Day. They could be far away, or in your neighbourhood.

(See below list of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ 10 Least Wanted Valentines. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of these individuals is asked to please contact Crime Stoppers anonymously. Your anonymity is guaranteed by the Supreme Court of Canada. You’ll never be questioned or called to testify.)

Tips to Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and charge of any wanted criminal can lead to a reward of up to $5,000. For three of this year’s most wanted, Crime Stoppers has partnered with the national BOLO (Be On the Look Out) Program to make available extra large rewards of $50,000 to $100,000.

“Some of these fugitives have been missing a year or even longer, and with four million pairs of eyes around the province, someone should eventually spot one of them,” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.

“Tips work. We received more than 5,000 anonymous tips in 2020 leading to 72 arrests and 135 charges laid. 21 off those arrests came from tips specifically about gang or illegal gun activity.”

Conor D’MONTE | WANTED FOR MURDER

$100,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 43 , Height: 6’1” (185cm) , Weight: 201lbs (91kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Marks: Asian characters tattoo on right shoulder, “Conrock” tattoo on left shoulder, tiger & dragon tattoo on left upper back, left eye piercing

John Norman MACKENZIE | WANTED FOR BEING UNLAWFULLY AT LARGE

$50,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 60 , Height: 5’9” (175cm) , Weight: 196lbs (89kg) , Hair: Gray/Brown , Eyes: Blue

Cong DINH | WANTED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

$50,000 reward offered by Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and BOLO Program

AGE: 34 , Height: 5’6” (168cm) , Weight: 132lbs (60kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Ryan EASTON | WANTED FOR ASSAULT, POSSESSION OF A WEAPON FOR DANGEROUS PURPOSE, BREACH OF RELEASE ORDER

AGE: 44 , Height: 5’44” (180cm) , Weight: 175lbs (79kg) , Hair: Brown-Gray , Eyes: Brown

Naseem MOHAMMED | WANTED FOR BEING UNLAWFULLY AT LARGE, RESISTING/OBSTRUCTING POLICE/BREACH OF RELEASE ORDER, DRIVING WHILE PROHIBITED

AGE: 22 , Height: 5’5” (165cm) , Weight: 122lbs (55kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Jeremy David MORGAN | WANTED FOR ROBBERY, USE OF AN IMITATION FIREARM TO COMMIT A CRIME, POSSESSION OF A LOADED RESTRICTED FIREARM, BREACH OF PROBATION.

AGE: 33 , Height: 6’1” (185cm) , Weight: 170lbs (77kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Blue

Roderick MUCHIKEKWANAPE | WANTED FOR FIRST DEGREE MURDER

AGE: 42 , Height: 6’0” (182cm) , Weight: 217lbs (98kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Skyrose JAWBONE | WANTED FOR ROBBERY, UTTER THREAT TO CAUSE DEATH/HARM, FAIL TO COMPLY WITH PROBATION ORDER.

AGE: 39 , Height: 5’11” (180cm) , Weight: 230lbs (104kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Brown

Tattoos: Upper back – middle: lotus flower and left leg: rose

Trevor SMITHEN | WANTED FOR FORCIBLE  CONFINEMENT AND ASSAULT CAUSING BODILY HARM

AGE: 37 , Height: 5’11” (180cm) , Weight: 181lbs (82kg) , Hair: Black , Eyes: Brown

Tattoos: Right Forearm – T.R.U.M (truly real unique man), Left Forearm – 4 1 5, Right Upper Arm – Drama faces, M.O.B – Hated by Many, Loved by Few

Jordan WEIBE | WANTED FOR BREAK AND ENTER, COMMIT INDICTABLE OFFENCE AND FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH PROBATION.

AGE: 32 , Height: 5’10” (177cm) , Weight: 150lbs (68kg) , Hair: Brown , Eyes: Hazel

About Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society and registered charity that offers rewards for anonymous tip information about criminal activity and provides it to investigators in the communities of Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Anonymous tips may be provided though Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” app for Apple and Android phones, calling Crime Stoppers at 1-855-448-8477 (new number) or 1-800-222- 8477, online at solvecrime.ca, or by following the link on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page.

Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers accepts tips in 115 different languages and will pay a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a criminal, recovery of stolen property, seizure of illegal drugs or guns or denial of a fraudulent insurance claim.

Tipsters stay anonymous by using code numbers to check back later and collect their rewards. Find MVCS on Twitter: @solvecrime.

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La Niña Could Mean A Dangerous Winter For Drivers, Here’s How To Reduce The Risk

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Plan ahead for safe driving in winter conditions

In many parts of the province, drivers are beginning to experience winter conditions and snowfall on the roads. With the forecast of La Niña, a climate phenomenon that results in abnormally cooler temperatures, B.C. is set to experience a colder and wetter winter than previous years.

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is urging motorists, workers and employers to prepare for winter driving conditions with its annual Shift into Winter campaign.

All B.C. drivers—and employers with workers who drive for business purposes – need to prepare for the winter months ahead. Winter driving conditions can be dangerous across the province – from rain and fog, to snow and ice. Even the most experienced drivers are challenged by cold temperatures, slippery roads, and reduced visibility.

In B.C., the average number of crashes where someone is killed or injured due to ‘driving too fast for the conditions’ more than doubles from fall to early winter—on average from 99 in September to 220 in December. Further, 28 percent of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time-loss claims occur in November, December, and January.

The Shift into Winter website provides information for drivers on how best to prepare for winter driving as well as information for employers around planning, implementing, and monitoring a winter driving safety program. Employers and supervisors can access an online course and use resources provided in the employer toolkit – which includes a sample winter driving safety policy, recommended procedures, and customizable templates. In addition, an online quiz tests drivers’ and employers’ knowledge.

The Alliance encourages drivers and employers to adhere to these tips to stay safe on the road this winter:

  • Plan ahead and check the current road and weather conditions on DriveBC.ca.
  • Install a set of four matched winter tires with the 3-peaked mountain/snowflake symbol.
  • Give your vehicle a pre-season maintenance check-up.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.
  • Slow down – the posted speed limit is the maximum speed under ideal driving conditions. Reduce your speed below the speed limit and drive with extra care.
  • Maintain a safe following distance – look ahead and keep at least four seconds of distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Invest in winter driving training – learn how to brake safely, get out of a skid, and become familiar with how your vehicle handles in winter weather.
  • Register and attend a free webinar to learn about practical B.C. driving tips.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees who drive for work, regardless of whether they drive a company-owned or personal vehicle. ShiftIntoWinter.ca provides information and resources that can help reduce the risks employees face when driving during winter.

Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC | “Most employers in B.C. have workers that drive for work—whether full time like truck or taxi drivers, or as part of their job like sales people, community health nurses, or trades workers. Employers should start preparing now by accessing resources through the Shift into Winter website to ensure their workers have the information and tools they need to drive safely this winter.”

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Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED – MUGSHOTS”

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Crime Stoppers “MOST WANTED” is a weekly fan out service based on information provided by police investigators who need public assistance in making our communities safer by identifying individuals involved in committing crimes.

If you have any information regarding the individuals listed here, please contact Crime Stoppers anonymously. You could be eligible for a reward of up to $2000 upon arrest and charge. You will never be asked your name or have to appear in court.

Subject: 1

Name: JOHNSTON, Brock Daniel
Age: 40
Height: 5’10” (170 cm)
Weight: 160lbs (72 kg)
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Blue
Wanted: *Canada Wide * Bank Robbery and Sex Assault .
Tattoos: *Right upper arm “cat”,* Chest “Death before “Dishonor”
Warrant in Effect: June 17th, 2020
Jurisdiction: Vancouver Parole

Subject: 2

Name: MACLEOD, Christopher
Age: 34
Height: 5’10″ (177 cm)
Weight: 1681bs (76 kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Wanted: *Canada Wide* Break Enter and Commit – Theft Under (x17), Break Enter with Intent (x3), and Mischief in Relation to Property
Tattoos: *Left Hand – “FUCK IT WERE 10, CM”, On fingers, Cross, Diamond, Chest – RT Side – Devils Head, LT Side – “MOM” Right Upper Arm – Grim Reaper/Skulls
Warrant in Effect: June 17, 2020
Jurisdiction: Vancouver Parole

Subject: 3

Name: SERSON, Stuart
Age: 39
Height: 5’6” (170 cm)
Weight: 176lbs (80 kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Wanted: *Canada Wide*.Robbery – Use Firearm All Others, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – Under, Fail To Comply with Probation Order, Mischief in Relation to Other Property,
Tattoos: *RIGHTER UPPER ARM “Warrier” Tribal art, LEFT SHOULDER- “Scarface” ,- NECK- Chinese symbol “81”, LEFT FOREARM- Dragan
Warrant in Effect: June 17th, 2020
Jurisdiction: New West Parole

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