— Oliver Community League Update —

Soft Landings for New Canadians

How can your community league better serve refugees and other newcomers?

Imagine you are a newcomer to Canada (perhaps you are) and have found an apartment in Oliver. It’s not the least expensive you could find, but it’s in a nice building surrounded by big trees, shopping, transit and a nearby park for your children. You’re settling into life in Canada and are finding your way to nearby shops, but you require more support to really feel comfortable. Where do you go?

LogoRecently, a couple from India found themselves at our community hall in search of help with settling into their new Canadian lives. Residing in Oliver, they were at a loss with finding a library. And the settlement services seemed to be bus rides away.

Right now, anyone in Oliver who wants these kinds of social supports will likely need to leave Oliver to find them. The nearest library is Stanley Milner. Many settlement services are located in the Downtown, Boyle Street and Alberta Avenue areas. Oliver is home to some 19,000 people—new-comers to Canada, students, seniors, families, lower-income persons, wealthy persons, homeless persons, etc. We are a small city within a city. Yet, we have very few social services located within the neighbourhood.

Oliver Community League is committed to seeing this improve in the coming years. As we look for a second garden space, we are also looking at the entire community of Oliver and the needs of its residents. Is Oliver Park an ideal location for a new hall/library/meeting space? Will the Oliver Park arena remain as is or become a modern facility with social resources housed within, like a library, performing arts space, a social worker, etc.? There’s lots to look at, examine, question and plan in the coming few years.

If social advocacy is of interest to you, consider running for a position on the board of directors of OCL. The Annual General Meeting is Wed., April 20 at 7 pm. Nominations are ongoing and there are a number of open positions. Anyone who is interested can inquire further at info@olivercommunity.com.

Knowing that garden spaces in Oliver are so limited, our Peace Garden Park director, Justin Keats, is hosting two balcony gardening sessions on April 10, starting at 3 pm at the hall. Come learn how to turn your balcony into an oasis.

As always, the Oliver Community League encourages residents to get an OCL membership, get involved and help shape our community. Happy Spring, everyone!

OCL board of directors: Lisa Brown (President); Danny Hoyt (VP); Simon Yackuli (Secretary); Leah Hilsenteger (Treasurer); Curtis Boehm; Jarrett Campbell; James Eastham; Justin Keats; Luwam Kiflemariam; Rowan Kunitz; Dustin Martin; Marija Petrovic; Erin Wright; Hossein Zahiri.

Email OCL or visit its website for more information.