One-year halt ordered for Simcoe County dump site

Simcoe County councillors voted in favor os a 1-year moratorium on the development of the Site 41 landfill in Tiny Township, northwest of Barrie, Ontario. Activits in opposition of the development feared that it would contaminate an underground reservoir that provides drinking water. Tiny Township mayor Peggy Breckenridge says the next step will be to completely cease the development of Site 41. Read the full story in The Star.

Top UN climate scientist backs ambitious CO2 cuts

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) personally endorses ambitious goals to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations to below 350 parts per million (ppm). The IPCC originally reported in 2007 that woldwide CO2 concentrations must be kept below 450 ppm to prevent critical global temperature rise, however a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that concentrations must be cut even more. Read the full story here.

Wind turbines to generate some 200 jobs in Windsor

EarthTronics Inc., an American developer of small wind turbines, is expected to announce next month that it will begin manufacturing its products in Windsor, Ontario. Windsor has the highest unemployment rate in the country as a result of Ontario’s declining auto sector, and an established EarthTronics plant could generate up to 200 new jobs. Read the full story in The Toronto Star.

Housing Policies Could Help Prevent AIDS, Says Study

A recently published study in the Harm Reduction Journal finds that injection drug users rank security issues, such as housing and physical safety, above concerns about catching diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Activists suggest that housing is a key issue in preventing AIDS infection, and emphasize the need for secure, barrier-free housing for street-involved populations. Read the full story in The Tyee.

Comox Valley Is Launching Its Own Currency

Comox Valley is launching its own currency, called ‘Community Way Dollars’, to strengthen and unite the local community in the wake of a strained economy. Community Way Dollars operate similar to an open money concept, where people contribute federal dollars to community organization and businesses, and receive the equivalent amount of community money in exchange. Community organizers are exploring the idea for the Downtown Eastside. Read the full story in The Tyee.

Campbell’s BC tax shift to impact family finances

Premier Campbell admits that harmonized sales tax (HST) shifts $1.9 billion per year in tax from businesses to B.C. families. He claims that HST will boost business investment, and garners support from a case study the Maritime provinces, where the adoption of HST had positive economic impacts. The study does however have several significant flaws, which Campbell blatantly ignores. Read the full story in The Tyee.

Toolkit to help small and mid-sized communities plan sustainable transportation

The Fraser Basin Council’s Transportation Demand Management toolkit offers advice on how to expand sustainble transportation options and reduce vehicle use in small to mid-size communities. It includes 10 case studies that show how bicycle programs, intercommunity transit, carpooling, car-sharing and parking strategies are successfully implemented in communities in B.C. Find the full toolkit here.

Digging for victory: Britain’s food revolution

The U.K. has committed to a massive increase in domestic food production to feed growing populations, and intends to play a full part in meeting the U.N. target of raising food production by 70% by 2050. This new commitment to self-sufficiency raises questions from environmental groups, who fear that unsustainable rates of agricultural intensification will harm wildlife and deplete natural resources. Read the full story in The Independent.  

Canada: Site 41 Approval ‘Hypocritical’

The province of Ontario made its final approval for the Site 41 landfill only one day after passing the Clean Water Act, which some see as hypocritical. Landfills are notorious polluters, and have the pose potential risks to the surrounding environment and water systems. Proponents of the Site 41 plan maintain that this landfill operation is necessary due to declining capacities at nearby landfills, and will ensure that residential waste is kept within the North Simcoe jurisdiction. Read the full story at The Polaris Institute.

“Buy American” bogeyman: Instead of fretting about US purchasing policies, we should focus on stimulating Canada’s economy

Blair Redlin of the Canadian Centre for Policy Altnernatives (CCPA) argues that the biggest threat to the Canadian economy and job market is apparently the U.S. government’s “Buy American” provisions. Stephen Harper is telling Canadians that in order to entice the U.S. to give up these provisions and maintain trade agreements, Canadian municipalies and provincial governments should voluntarily restrict their ability to purchase local goods or services. Read the full story at the CCPA website.

Portland’s Bicycle Brilliance

Portland, Oregon is an urban cyclist utopia. Smart city planning, some of the strictest land-use laws in North America and consultation with cycling groups now allow almost 30% of residents to claim cycling as their primary or secondary mode of transportation. Vancouver has the potential to become a world class bike city, however it first needs better infrastructure that emphasizes “low stress” bikeways and caters to cyclist safety. Read the full story in The Tyee.