Whistler’s BioBlitz Uncovers Several New Species

Whistler’s annual BioBlitz invites local and non-local scientists to participate in a species treasure hunt. Scientists snap photos and collect samples of species found in the Whistler Resort area. This year’s event resulted in a collection of over 700 plant and animal species and 100 of them are thought to be new. Read more in Pique Newsmagazines

CCPA’s Open Letter to Tony Clement Re: Changes to Census Collection

A recent Canwest article reported that the federal government plans to restrict the upcoming census. Armine Yalnizyan, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), opposes this decision. Read his letter to the Honorable Tony Clement, the Minister Responsible for Statistics Canada, and and Munir Sheikh, Chief Statistician at Statistics Canada.

Tyee Reports Uncomfortable Facts About the Tar Sands

The Tyee reports that the Federal Government has killed a report examining the environmental impacts of Alberta’s Tar Sands. According to the evidence presented by several reputable scientists, the industry is rapidly poisoning and depleting the Province’s water supply. Read the full story in The Tyee

Metro Vancouver Debates Waste Incineration

Metro Vancouver’s proposed solid waste management plan is drawing fire over its waste incineration component. The region plans to increase recycling from 50% to 70% and burn the remaining 30%. While burning garbage could potentially provide energy and heat to nearby neighbourhoods, critics warn that incineration creates toxic air pollution, releasing "emissions of mercury, lead and cadmium into the atmosphere". Several municipalities are opposing the plan, while others are requesting more detailed information before proceeding. Read the full story in the Georgia Straight.

Green Builders Consider the Benefits of Green Roofs, White Roofs

Green builders are currently examining the environmental benefits of different roofing systems, focusing much of their research on white roofs and green roofs. While green roofs are expensive, test sites in New York City have shown that green roofs are very effective at reducing the urban heat island effect, absorbing stormwater and keeping buildings cool in summer and warm in winter. Read more here.

Former Vancouver Mayor Recieves City’s Highest Honour

On July 6th, former Vancouver Mayor, Art Phillips received the Freedom of the City Award. Under Mayor Phillips, the City of Vancouver adopted socially and environmentally progressive policies that laid out the foundation for what is today one of the most livable cities in the world. Mayor Phillips and his party rejected the plan to build a freeway into downtown, saved Strathcona, Vancouver’s most significant cultural and architectual neighbourhood, and created South False Creek, an area of abundant parkland and mixed income housing, featuring the largest piece of the city’s co-op housing stock. Read the full story in the Vancouver Sun

Federal Government Cutting Back Mandatory Census Collection

The Federal Government is cutting back on the collection of statistical information from Canadians. The Conservatives reason that much of the information collected is an intrusion on personal privacy. However, community groups, and those who conduct research and develop policy say that this move will seriously harm the quality of their work. Census information is widely used to establish the need for schools, hospitals and transit in communities. Read the full story in The Globe and Mail.