A new year brings a fresh start and renewed vigour to the fight for justice and human rights. Pivot is looking forward to continuing its advocacy and empowering the communities we serve; but in 2018, we're also individually committed to specific goals that will help uplift those struggling with addiction, homelessness, discrimination, and violence. Please join us in our fight for equality and commit to positive social change.
Darcie Bennett, Director of Strategy
"My social justice goal for 2018 is to see BC’s Human Rights Code amended to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on social condition. Social condition refers to the position you occupy in society by virtue of your income level, source of income, housing status, or your level of education. Deep poverty and homelessness are real and specific sources of disadvantage in virtually all aspects of life. Discrimination based on social condition exacerbates inherent harms by intensifying social isolation, by making it more difficult for people to make use of public space, and by putting up barriers to low-income housing and supportive services aimed at people living in poverty.
You can help make a difference by reaching out to your elected representative to make sure they know that British Columbians want our laws to protect people from discrimination based on social condition. You can also stand up for human rights everyday by naming discrimination when you see it in your community."
DJ Larkin, Legal Director
"In 2018, BC has an incredible opportunity to create inclusive and healthy communities. Part of that means ensuring that shelter, housing, and healthcare services are available to everyone in the province. My wish for 2018 is to create a movement of people saying, “Yes in My Backyard” and refusing to see projects halted by fear and discrimination.
You can be a key part of that. Attend your local city council meetings to support shelter, housing, and healthcare services for marginalized members of your community, write to your Member of Legislative Assembly to ask for more services for people in need in your neighbourhood, and listen to people experiencing homelessness, poverty, and addiction. They are the experts in what will make a positive difference in their lives."
Using the law as a catalyst for positive social change, Pivot Legal Society works to improve the lives of marginalized communities.
Caitlin Shane, Community Engagement Lawyer
"'Illicit drug overdoses' did not kill 1,208 people in British Columbia this year; bad drug policy did. Under prohibition, drug production, consumption, and availability have all consistently risen, as have drug-related health problems and fatalities. Despite these findings and a federal commitment to treating drug use as a public health issue, Canada’s war on drugs still escalates. This year, I will continue to call on the federal government to commit to a plan for legalizing and regulating illicit drugs. This is the only way that we can begin to tackle the toxic drug supply.
In the interim, we can encourage local police departments and the RCMP to adopt policies of non-enforcement for drug possession. For starters, you can join in the 2nd annual National Day of Action on February 20th to demand better drug policy alongside cities across Canada. Stay tuned for details about Vancouver’s event or contact [email protected] to see how you can help."
We hope that the resolutions above will inspire you to take action in your community in a way that is meaningful to you. Whether you’re writing to your elected officials or marching in solidarity at the National Day of Action, your participation and your voice are key to advancing these issues. You can also play an important role by making a gift to Pivot Legal Society today to ensure that we can continue to fight in the courtrooms for justice, equality, and social change.