Advisory Committees: Renewed Call for Applications

The Squamish Nation continues to accept applications from members to join one of our volunteer Council Advisory Committees for a two-year term.

These Advisory Committees provide a unique and valuable opportunity for interested members to learn more about Squamish Nation governance, and to provide important feedback that will help to guide decisions that affect our community. There will be two Council members present at meetings to act as liaisons between Council and the Advisory Committee.

We are currently accepting applications for the following Advisory Committees:
• Housing Advisory Committee: 2 Seats Available
• Elders Advisory Committee: 5 Seats Available (members over the age of 55)
• Youth Advisory Committee: 10 Seats Available (members under the age of 25)
• Budget & Finance Advisory Committee: 10 Seats Available

All meetings will take place virtually. Please note, if you have already applied for the Youth or Budget & Finance Advisory Committees, you do not need to apply again, as the selection process is ongoing.

To learn more about the Advisory Committees and apply visit: www.squamish.net/advisory-committees

If you have any questions or require support completing an online application:
Email: council_applications@squamish.net
Phone: 604-982-8645

Elders can request assistance with completing the online application from the Elders Coordinators: Lucie Neliba at 604-987-4646 and Justine Jordan at 604-848-5190.

Addressing CN Rail impacts to the Squamish Nation – next steps

For the signed update letter from Council Co-Chairs, please click here

Following up on our communication from February, we want to update membership on the status of activities with regard to CN Rail and the impact of its operations on the Eslhá7an and X̱wemelch’stn communities.

Despite our continuing good-faith efforts over years to engage with CN to find solutions to these impacts, CN has not been responsive. These disruptions have reached the level where they have undermined the health and well-being of many in our community. As we have said before, this is unacceptable.

This is why we have made the decision to hire lawyer Robert Janes, QC, to help us to address these issues through the legal system. Mr. Janes has been a litigator for over twenty years and has extensive experience in assisting First Nations needing sound strategic and legal advice, including in the area of rights and title.

Last week, Mr. Janes sent a letter to Sean Finn, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer with CN Rail, on behalf of the Squamish Nation. In this letter, Mr. Janes made it clear what is needed from CN, in both the short- and long-term, to meaningfully address the impacts of their operations on our people and communities.

In the short-term, we are demanding that night operations stop, and that CN move their staging areas away from our communities to help reduce noise and air-quality impacts. In the long-term, we are demanding solutions that could include, for example, putting up effective barriers to block sound, burying rail operations underground or moving operations permanently to a different location.

CN has 45 days to respond to this request with a detailed plan for how it will address these concerns and on what timeline. If they do not respond with a detailed plan within 45 days, we will have no choice but to pursue legal action against CN. In the meantime, we continue to work with elected representatives from the federal, provincial and municipal governments to support us in these efforts.

As always, we will continue to keep you informed of our progress and results as we move forward in this process.

Online Job Fair- April 20

Attend an online Job Fair hosted by the Squamish Nation Stitsma Career Centre.

Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm

CLICK HERE to view the Job Fair Poster

Opportunities available for the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project and the Broadway Subway Project include: carpenters, labourers, operators, safety staff, ironworkers, welders, and electricians.

To Join the Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/95608095965?pwd=RERCRjVING03UnpVOXhYOFR1SkVXZz09

Meeting ID: 95608095965
Passcode: 663833

For inquiries following the job fair, email: barb_vincent@squamish.net

NVSD Letter to Students & Parents

Letter to students and parents from the North Vancouver School District:

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff,

Earlier this week Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry amended the existing provincial public health orders. The strengthened orders and guidelines are in effect through April 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Since that announcement, the Ministry of Education and BC Centre for Disease Control have been working on updating their respective K-12 health and safety guidelines (see the Resources section at the end of the letter below), specifically focusing on mask wearing:

Effective immediately, all K-12 staff and all students in grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear non-medical masks in all indoor areas, including when they are at their work stations/desks, both within and outside of their learning group.

In a grade 3/4 combined class, the mask requirement applies to all students (including those in grade 3).

CLICK HERE to read the full NVSD letter

TAXES AND BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS

Understanding Your Taxes and Benefits

This will be a tax season like no other, which is why we’re pleased to see that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has set up a webpage to provide information: https://tinyurl.com/wbscj5zw

This site will:
• Help members to understand the benefits and credits to which they are entitled;
• Offer guidance on how to access these benefits and credits; and
• Clarify the taxability of those benefits related to Canada’s COVID-19 response, for those with tax exempt income.

As a reminder, members must follow the same tax rules as any other resident in Canada, unless all or part of their income is eligible for the tax exemption under section 87 of the Indian Act. Members also have access to the same benefits and credits as other Canadians as long as they file a tax return. If individuals don’t file a tax return, they will not get certain benefits and credits.

Besides providing information for those with income exempt under the Indian Act, the webpage also includes answers to specific COVID-19-related tax questions about exempt income. Sections of the page include:

• Getting benefits and credits
• Get help doing your tax return
• If your circumstances change
• If you receive a letter from the CRA
• Documents to confirm your details
• If you received COVID-19-related benefits (CERB, CRB, CRSB, CRCB or CESB)

Personal Income Tax Service – Elders & Members on Income Assistance

The Nation is continuing to work with PwC to assist Elders and members on Income Assistance to complete income tax returns.

Elders and members on Income Assistance, if you had your return prepared in a prior year by PwC you do not need sign up again. PwC will have sent a consent letter, either by email or mail, to have your return prepared again this year.

If you haven’t signed up previously the preferred option is to fill out the intake form at www.squamish.net/taxreturnsupport.

We’re conscious that not all members will have reliable access to Wi-Fi or a computer, sign up sheets are available at the main office. Otherwise reach out to any of the following:

• Please call Lori Cummings at PwC at 604 495 8966 ext. 4465
• For members in and around North Vancouver they can sign up with Monica Jacobs or Lucie Neliba.
• For those in the Squamish Valley they can sign up with Patricia Brown.

PwC sends a courier Wednesdays and Fridays to pick up signed forms so they can be processed.

Get Your Taxes Done at a Free Tax Clinic

If you are not covered by the Nation’s personal income tax service you may be eligible for help at a free tax clinic run by the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. Tax clinic volunteers complete tax and benefit returns for members who have a modest income and a simple tax situation. To find the full list of eligibility criteria, see About free tax clinics: https://tinyurl.com/y2ajdsb4

There are different types of free tax clinics.

Walk-in
Show up during advertised hours and a volunteer will do your tax return for you on a first-come, first-served basis.

Drop-off and pick-up
Show up during advertised hours and drop off your documents. A volunteer will do your return, and you will pick it up at a later time.

By appointment:
•In-person: Make an appointment and a volunteer will do your tax return at that time following local public health advice and measures.
• Virtual: Make an appointment and a volunteer will do your tax return by videoconference, by email, or by phone.

Find a free tax clinic in the CVITP clinic directory: https://tinyurl.com/2rw8ymuf

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320 Seymour Blvd, North Vancouver, BC, V7L 4J5