Halt For-Profit Clinics: UBCM Resolution

Delegates to the upcoming annual meeting of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) will discuss a resolution to declare a moratorium on any further development of for-profit medical service clinics in BC. Vancouver is in the midst of a healthcare crisis, with large homeless and low-income populations. UBCM members and medical professionals argue that for-profit clinics will not help the situation, and may exacerbate it by luring physicians out of the public system. Read the full story in The Tyee.

BC Arts Cuts ‘Devastating’ Says Tory Minister

The BC Liberals decision to cut arts funding is devastating to cultural sector, and longstanding organizations are at risk of folding because of 90% cuts to their provincial funding. Political figures, such as Heritage Minister James Moore, argue that arts funding is an essential component of an economic stimulus program during the recession, and that there is a strong fiscal argument for supporting the arts. Read the full story in The Tyee.

Looking for ways out of a fine mess: UBCM Resolutions for 2009

As the economic recession strains budgets, cities in B.C. are looking for ways to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bylaw fines. At the UBCM’s annual convention the community of Courtney will be proposing that fines be applied to property taxes. This strategy would be difficult to implement in Vancouver, where half of residents are renters, and other strategies must be sought. Read about more strategies and find about the UBCM’s resolutions for 2009 at the Globe and Mail.

New Light on Copenhagen Climate Talks

As of Sept.1, the European Union stopped manufacturing and importing incandescent lightbulbs and will turn to more energy-efficient bulbs. This move precedes the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen in December, which will significantly impact the success or failure of producing a binding global plan of action for the climate change crisis. Meanwhile in the U.S., wealthy oil, gas and coal industries are successfully weakening and derailing national climate change action. Read the full story in Truthdig.

Ten Ways to Make BC a Model for Urban Farming

The latest idea in urban agriculture is vertical farming, where high-rise buildings are used to grow crops without natural ecological processes. This idea is met with harsh criticism however, and professionals maintain that best approach to urban agriculture is to use natural ecosystem processes on a local scale. Find tips for urban farming and the full story in The Tyee.