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BURNABY—The campaign to raise awareness of the importance of community-based social services is being supported by municipal councils across B.C. To date, 30 city councils have passed resolutions declaring March as Community Social Services Awareness Month.

Councils have recognized that community social services “help improve the quality of life for everyone” and that “greater recognition and understanding of the critical role these services play in our communities is needed to ensure their continued availability and improvement.”

Councils passing the Community Social Services Awareness Month motion include Burnaby, Central Saanich, City of North Vancouver, Colwood, Duncan, Kamloops, Kelowna, Oak Bay, Parksville, Penticton, Pitt Meadows, Port Alberni, Port Moody, Prince George, Richmond, Saanich, Surrey, Terrace, Vancouver, Victoria, View Royal, Village of Belcarra, Williams Lake, Campbell River, Trail, Squamish, Cranbrook, Powell River, Ladysmith, and Mission.

Related events include “The Value of Community Social Services” public forums in Kamloops on March 19, and in Prince George on March 24 (both from 7-9 pm). The public is also invited to join in a five kilometre “Walk Celebrating Community Social Services” in Victoria, starting from Centennial Square at 11:30 am on March 28. In the Lower Mainland, workers are also planning to set up display tables at local malls to raise awareness.

In Vernon, CUPE’s local at the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society has invited social service organizations and other sectors, including the school district, health care organizations and civic employees, to participate in a food drive for their Food Bank. The Local plans to deliver food and money to the food bank on the last day of Community Social Services Awareness month - March 31.

In Terrace, over 300 people visited an informational mall display hosted by community social services worker Dorothy Bartsoff, on March 7. Community social services members also held a public forum on child care in Squamish on March 11.

Please see the www.CommunitySocialServicesMatter.ca website for more information. The Community Social Services Matter campaign is supported by the 15,000 workers who are part of the Community Social Services Bargaining Association.

Contact:  Roseanne Moran, Communications representative 604.291.1940