A New Coalition—Business and Education Leaders, and the Mayor Make the Case for More Education Funding

Surrey business leaders, education leaders and Mayor Diane Watts have joined together to appeal for more education funding. Surrey has the largest public-school district in the province and the local board of trade has argued that education is a cornerstone of a stable economy.The Surrey board of trade recently released a paper titled Education Today, Productivity Tomorrow.

Read Janet Steffenhagen’s article in the Vancouver Sun.

United Nations Report Documents the Economic Benefits of Nature Conservation

The report, titled “Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature,” is written by Pavan Sukhdev, a banker who heads the UN’s green economy initiative, and describes the global tendency to take advantage of nature’s free services without applying economic value to them. The report points out that deforestation costs millions of dollars in flooding, greenhouse gas emissions, and water purification- more money than it provides to the world’s economy. Canada does a poor job of acknowledging the economic realities of environmental degradation and ranks 29th out of 33 countries in “creating economic incentives to reduce pollution and conserve nature.”

More Communities to Adopt Living Wage

Esquimalt is very likely to pass living wage legislation in the very near future. Although some Victoria-area politicians are nervous about the idea, it seems most agree a living wage is essential for working families to make ends meet. The school district of Qualicum has just recently passed a motion to support the living wage and will be working to actively increase the number of families earning a living wage. Read the full story in The Tyee

New Solutions: Hub Schools

Faced with declining enrollment, many schools are taking on a dual role, acting as a school by day and a community hub by night. Schools throughout the Metro Vancouver region are now offering ESL classes, art and sports programs plus community services. Read the full story in The Tyee