Madam Speaker, today we celebrate Dining Out for Life, which benefits people living with HIV-AIDS in British Columbia. The event is B.C.'s largest fundraiser by restaurants, raising over $3 million in the last 16 years.
Today over 250 restaurants from Whistler to White Rock and across the Fraser Valley will contribute 25% of their sales to people living with HIV-AIDS. This event is a great example of the generosity of Vancouverites, B.C.'s restaurants, and sponsors like B.C.'s own Sumac Ridge winery in coming together for a great cause.
The Gastown and Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver has the largest HIV infection rate in North America, with 30% of the local population affected. There are currently over 6,000 Vancouver residents living with HIV-AIDS.
The proceeds from Dining Out for Life go to support A Loving Spoonful and Friends for Life, two organizations that are making a difference in the lives of those with HIV-AIDS. A Loving Spoonful has provided over 100,000 meals to the most needy, and Friends for Life is a wellness centre where people come together for compassion and support. This year—