First Call Monthly Updates

December Monthly Update

Welcome to our monthly update about First Call’s advocacy work and key developments in child and youth policy in BC.

Highlights this month include:

Read on to learn more!

Yours for children and youth,

Adrienne, Helesia, Dylan, Emily and Halena



A reminder that our annual First Call Fundraising Gala is upcoming on Thursday, February 28, 2019. The gala is an occasion to celebrate our child and youth advocacy as well as to raise much-needed funds to ensure we can continue to put BC’s children and youth first.

This year, attendees will enjoy words from Michael Redhead Champagne, accomplished speaker and award-winning community organizer, public speaker, and proud member of Shamattawa First Nation.

We have some amazing silent auction items lined up this year, including:

  • Two tickets for Bard on the Beach

  • One night stay with breakfast for two at Harrison Hot Springs Resort

  • One-year family membership at Museum of Anthropology

  • One night accommodation for two at any Prestige Hotel location

  • Stay and Play package at St. Eugene Golf

  • 4 admission tickets to the Vancouver Art Gallery

  • Gift card and gift package for Storm Crow Tavern

We look forward to seeing you there! Here is the link to register or find out more about the Gala on our website. You are encouraged to email Emily Chan, Event Organizer, at with any questions or if you’d like her to send you an invoice for your organization to purchase a table.



We are now settled into our new temporary workplace at Main and Cordova. We are working on the second floor with the other co-working spaces for the next little while until the third floor offices are ready. Our email addresses and phone numbers remain the same, and our new mailing address is 302-312 Main Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 2T2, but the entrance is around the corner on Cordova.






On December 27, 2018, the Globe and Mail published an article about Fostering Change’s Policy Solutions Day written by Nancy Macdonald. The article was featured on the front page of the national edition, and in a two-page spread on the centerfold. It featured the voices of many youth participants from the Policy Solutions Day, highlighting the passion and deep concerns the youth shared with decision-makers throughout the day.

Nancy concludes the article with a quote: “’I’m exhausted,’ said Ms. Fernandez, leaning back in her seat. ‘But I feel empowered − like I don’t have to let the system define who I become.’”

Read the full Globe and Mail article here.


In December, the District of Central Saanich became a certified Living Wage Employer, making them the seventh local government in BC to become certified. The Living Wage for Families Campaign looks forward to bringing more municipalities on board in 2019, along with the help of their labour and community allies.

In the first part of 2019, the Campaign will be working on calculating new living wage rates along with their partners from across the province. This also means that they’ll take a hiatus from reviewing employer applications until after the 2019 calculations are released at the end of April.



The Living Wage for Families Campaign is excited to welcome their new Research Coordinator for their participatory action research project, Leila Trickey. She is a passionate social justice advocate committed to anti-oppressive and intersectional research methodologies and community practice.

In her position as Research Coordinator with the Living Wage for Families Campaign, Leila will be managing the three-year participatory action research project focused on the impact of low wages for individuals and families. This project will build capacity for policy advocacy among individuals impacted by low wage work and will provide policymakers and employers with a better understanding of possible policy responses and the importance of paying living wages.

Leila continues to work toward reducing inequities through disaster preparedness, food justice initiatives, community organizing and storytelling. Her time outside of work is lovingly spent with her toddler Sahel.

You can contact Leila with any questions at



In December, Halena Seiferling, the Living Wage for Families Campaign Organizer, attend the City of Vancouver Planning Commission’s City For All Summit. Later that month, she attended the District of Central Saanich Council Meeting to speak to Council about the living wage and present Mayor Ryan Windsor with their Living Wage Employer certification.

First Call welcomed representatives from the Office of the Ombudsperson as the presenters at our December Coalition Meeting. We are grateful that Sara Darling and Zoë Macmillan took time to attend our meeting and share information about the Office.



West Coast LEAF: CEDAW Report Card 2018
Star Metro Vancouver: B.C.’s top billionaires’ average wealth dwarfs that of median Vancouverite by a factor of almost 6,000
The Tyee: Our Katie Hyslop’s a “Champion” for Kids
CFAX 1070: Central Saanich certified as Living Wage Employer
Saanich News: District of Central Saanich pays a living wage
Times Colonist: Central Saanich first to be ‘living-wage’ certified in capital region
Globe and Mail: 19 and cut off: B.C. foster youth plead for change to system