VWCA March Board Meeting Minutes

March 29, 2022, 7:30 P.M. Held virtually and in person 

With humility and gratitude, we acknowledge that the land on which we gather as guests is the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Lekwungen, also known today as the Songhees and Esquimalt nations.

Attendance: Joshua Cain, Kent Verge, Mike Medland, Dar Purewall, Amanda Allan, Patti Parkhouse, Reinhard Trautmann, Michael Hill

Regrets: James Aitken, Justine Semmens, Sharmarke Dubow

  1.   Call to Order

Called to order at 7:30 pm    

  1.   Adoption of agenda

Motion:Moved by Mike Medland that the agenda be adopted.Carried. 

  1.   January 25, 2022 Board meeting minutes

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that the January 25th, 2021 VWCA Board Meeting Minutes be approved. Carried. 

  1. Election Confirmation 

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that the Victoria West Community Association Board of Directors nominated and elected to the offices set forth below to serve until their respective successors are chosen and qualify: Justine Semmens (President), Mike Medland (Treasurer), Dar Purewall (Secretary).Carried. 

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that the Victoria West Community Association Board of Directors appoints the following committee chairs: Patti Parkhouse (Food Security Collective), Kent Verge (Governance), James Aitken(Land Use), Amanda Allan(Transportation). Carried. 

Introductions of board and staff members

  1. City of Victoria Reports:
  2. A. Sharmarke Dubow (Councilor Liaison, City of Victoria):
  3. B. Michael Hill (Community Development Coordinator, City of Victoria): 
  • Sister city relationship with Russian city, Khabarovsk, has been suspended due to the Ukraine Crisis. If anyone is interested in more context, council meetings listed online have good debates around the topic 
  • Catherine street supportive housing will be in place later in April. BC housing will be advising the community when they get a fixed date. 
  • Chinese-Canadian museum in Fan Tan Alley. Staffed with volunteers. Open Friday to Sunday. 
  • The city has created a neighbourhood led action plan guide for neighbourhood associations if they want to start an action plan. The city’s role is really just to establish this, they aren’t funding it. 
  • Contributing to reconciliation – council has approved a motion for taxpayers to voluntarily pay an additional amount with their taxes to go towards the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations as a reconciliation contribution
  • Base and coordinator grant report was submitted. The city provides a modest amount of funding as a base grant for neighbourhood associations. Half of neighbourhood associations don’t have community associations. Their base grant has been doubled. Intention is to provide funding for community outreach. This is coming this year. 
  • Community virtuals – the last one is on April 20th and noon and is about traffic calming in neighbourhoods. Free online event. 


Q: Any update on neighbours day?

A: No. Was proposed for the first Sunday in May. Neighborday is when people go out and do something to connect with their neighbours. It doesn’t have much momentum. 

Q: Is there a guaranteed 5 year approval for reconciliation? Could a new council squash this? 

A: A new council could squash this if they chose to. 

  1.   Executive reports:
  • President – Justine Semmens 
  • Absent 
  • Secretary – Dar Purewall

Discussion:  Applicants for VWCA membership for the month of February and March include Charlie Brenchley (Central Spur Rd), Michaella Shannon (Donald St), Jacqollyne Keath (Russel St), Jeff Pivnick (Songhees Rd), Jayne Thirsk (Songhees Rd), Stephanie Baragon (Henry St), Blair Ross (Kimta Rd), Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi (Broughton St), ACEH (Catherine St)

  • Michaella Shannon will be a friend of the association. Her address is not in Vic West. 
  • ACEH is a business

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that the following applicants for VWCA membership be approved and received into the membership roll. Carried. 

  • Executive Director – Jaymie Humber: report attached
  • Operating agreement still on report – waiting to hear from city
  • Human resources is looking for ECE’s and ECEA’s. Struggling to keep daycare open. Everything is good until May under the current plan. Looking at benefit and retention programs. Need to attract and retain good staff. Whole team going through a first aid course
  • Hannah and Donna are now part of the VWCA team 
  • Centre manager is leaving – roll has been filled
  • Julie Bull leaving
  • Kindergym has started
  • Speaker series every month starting this week
  • Garage sale June 4,2022
  • Vic west fest June 25, 2022
  • Anything for the newsletter to go to Kyla Pedlow
  • One washroom has been dealt with in terms of the mold. Other one still needs work. 
  • Water fountain is waiting on a mouth piece. City is 6 to 8 months behind on matters such as these
  • Water testing is complete. The centre passed
  • Wishlist for new items including flooring, paint, washer and dryer. Working on finding sponsors to help with new items. Not coming from the city. 
  • Out of school care program is full for september, daycare is full
  • Numbers are low for the preschool program. 


Q: Who do we send changes to the website to? 

A: Kyla Pedlow

Q: What happened with Sherk street? 

A: Original grant applied for with the province. School board changed a lot of elements (ex. could kick the association out with a 30 day notice, the association couldn’t use it for anything else in terms of rentals.) There were a number of legal issues. Association was told not to sign as it wouldn’t benefit them. Manner in which aspects of negotiations were changed was so significant there wasn’t a likelihood that it would ever generate any positive revenue for the association. Didn’t think that the association would be able to break even in the long term. Would need this to produce positive revenue so that the association can engage in the community. School board will likely have to radically change how the approach to the contract if they want the space to be used. The contract from the school was not consistent in many regards. People from the school who were originally working on the agreement, are no longer there which also makes things challenging. Would be happy to negotiate in the future, but this agreement wasn’t going to work. 

Q: Were there any costs to the association because of this? 

A: There were some expenses, but they could be used in the existing childcare program. Some legal costs were costs that are not refundable. 

  • Treasurer – Mike Medland: report attached 
  • Financial report for the first quarter (January) operating well
  • November – December programming started
  • New programming in January
  • Centre is currently operating with a surplus
  • Overall association also has a surplus – not unusual as there are usually not many expenses during the winter months. 
  • Very healthy cash balance situation and reserve funds

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that the VWCA board receives the financial statements period ending January 2022.Carried. 

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that the VWCA board amends the 2021-2022 Provisional Budget to increase the Payroll budget by $5,000 to move health benefits to 100% employer paid effective May 1, 2022; and further increase the budget by $5,000 to provide education support for employees of the VWCA. Carried. 


Q: What does educational support mean? 

A: Examples include, professional development courses, upping qualifications, paying for courses. Staff would need to sign to say that they would stay on with the association for a period of time. 

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that the VWCA board amends 2021-2022 Provisional Budget to provide for a contracted janitorial service in the amount of $26,000 and a reduction in the payroll budget of $22,000. Carried. 


Q: What is the current janitorial system? 

A: The association did have an in-house janitor. He would quit and then show up for work. Easier to contract people for a full time position. 

Q: Are there conditions on the contract? 

A: Yes. Examples: environmentally friendly, non scent

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that the executive reports be received. Carried. 

  1.   Director and Committee Reports:
  • Governance: 
  • Review subcommittee met a few weeks ago
  • If there is anyone who like to be involved, please get in touch
  • Transportation: 
  • Food Security: Report attached. 
  • 4 members in the committee 
  • New members will be approved in the April meeting along with all other committee members.  
  • Bamfield commons and orchards – parties have started up again. Louise is the project coordinator. 
  • There is a tour and work party with the Pacific Rim College students on April 10 
  • Vic west elementary school garden – VWCA is a community partner. 
  • Planted fruit trees
  • Demonstration Boulevard Gardens. Signs have been installed on Raynor and Edward street. There is a QR code that opens to a website with instructions and materials. Video will be posted on website 

Motion: Moved by Patti Parkhouse that VWCA board approves hosting of corn roast September 18. food collective plan to host a corn roast in 2022. Carried. 


Q: Is there a way to get on a mailing list to be part of a work party? 

A: Currently, there is not an mailing list. 

Q: What about the fruit trees from last year? 

A: The community association hosted 7 activity grants for residents to plant fruit trees on their property. Food security collective helped coordinate this. 85 fruit trees planted in private properties. 

  • Land Use
  • Directors at large:

Motion: Moved by Mike Medland that committee and project reports be received. Carried

  1.   Announcements/ Questions: 
  • What is the board’s policy on accepting private invitations from developers?(Developer from Bayview had offered lunch to members of the board.) 
  • The land use committee is on its own in how it responds to development proposals. If the community associations as a board want to weigh in, the benefits that a developer has provided to the association will not be given special consideration. The association has standards of conduct. 
  • Would rather see the full board meet, instead of individuals. The developers initially wanted to invite everyone for lunch, but didn’t have enough materials ( plates, cutlery etc) to do so. 
  • Association will try to arrange something and see if people can attend. Developers are re-engaging with the community and thought they would start with the association. 
  • From directors of the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness…
  •  Setting up working groups on development. 
  • Occupancy date likely won’t be until the end of October. 

Q: Will there be gardens outside the front of the building? 

A: Likely, yes. Still working with the developer. Looking for native plants and volunteer interest. Thought was that the developers would do 70% of the landscaping work and volunteers for the rest.

Q: Who are the clients?

A: Indigenous street community. Anyone who is First Nations,Metis or Inuit. Culturally supportive housing for people who need additional support. Offering cultural support by individual transformation. Land based healing and harm reduction measures can offer transformational change. Demographic is quite variable. Fundamental pillar is a desire to connect with culture and decolonized harm reduction. Offering a managed alcohol program. Top floor will be tailored to the individuals engaging with this. BC housing and VIHA putting more funding. Also will be an indigenous detox program. 

Q: Is it only for women? 

A: No, it is co-ed. Information on BC housings website. 

Q: How long do residents stay within the unit? 

A: Average stay was 140 days in the other house that they have for women. Not everyone moved on to independent housing. Some move in a direction free of substances. Have an island wide mandate in terms of the nations are concerned. 

Q: Are clients from first nations communities all over the province? 

A: Yes, any one living off reserve and registered with BC housing can be housed here. Generally, clients are just from the island. 

  1.   Adjournment

Motion:Moved by Mike Medland that the meeting be adjourned at 8:55pm. Carried. 

author: Coordinator


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