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Canada releases emissions report

Environment Canada has just released an Executive Summary of the 1990-2009 National Inventory Report, the Canadian Government’s 2011 Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Find the report here. 

BC School Boards receive fresh blow from the Ministry of Education

Last Friday the Ministry of Education informed school boards that they are now responsible for paying property insurance premiums. This carves a significant amount of money out of already stretched school board budgets. Vancouver’s school board will have to pay the highest premiums at $291,285.27, amounting to significant cuts to school programs and staff. Read more in The Tyee. 

Students support a policy to create safety and respect for LGBTQs

The Burnaby school district has drafted a policy, No. 5.45, to support students and employees who are (or are assumed to be) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit or queer (LGBTQ). While the policy is being met with protest from some parents and church groups, students are overwhelmingly in favour of the policy.

Read more in the  Burnaby Now.

Read the draft policy here. 

Serrania del Darien Rainforest in Columbia to be protected through carbon credits

The Acandi peoples of Columbia are about to become the first community in Columbia to manage and care for forests through conservation offsets. With the help of Anthropologist, Brodie Ferguson, they expect to be certified under the “Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Alliance’s REDD standard, a voluntary market scheme to reduce planet-warming emissions from deforestation while protecting threatened ecosystems and the local communities that inhabit them .” Read more here. 

Cameroon creates network of councils to combat climate change

The Cameroon Councils Against Climate Change Network are working together to combat climate change. Loss of agricultural land to reoccurring droughts has taken its toll on many Cameroon communities and a top-down government approach failed to address the different realities each community faced. This new network “will enable local councils to exchange ideas and experiences but provide them the clout to spur government into making decisions on climate change that adequately address local needs.”

Read more at Alertnet.

City of Surrey uses multiple approaches to combat crime

During the past four years the city of Surrey has greatly reduced criminal activity by employing a variety of strategies: increasing police presence at hotspots for crime, creating more affordable housing, neighbourhood beautification and increasing community and school programs for youth. Surrey’s innovative crime reduction program is the result of “community partnerships, innovative programs and public involvement.”

Read more on the city’s website.



Poverty is taking its toll on the economy

The Globe and Mail has published an excellent article on Canada’s rising income gap and the its toll on families, communities and the economy as a whole. The OECD has warned that Canada faces runaway poverty if the income gap is not addressed through progressive taxation. Economists across the country are now suggesting that low income Canadians need tax-breaks and livable incomes and the result of this re-distribution of wealth will be a “trickle up.” Read article here.

The CCPA(Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) has an ongoing project titled “Growing Gap.” Visit here to find out more.

Vancouver approves on-line voting

Vancouver city council has approved a motion to introduce on-line voting in time for the upcoming municipal election in the fall. The motion was introduced by councillor Andrea Reimer who stated, “There are risks to online voting, but there are also huge risks to having so few people participating in the political process, and particularly the act of voting, and Vancouver came down so low in voter turnout, I think it’s incumbent on us to figure out how to deal with it.”

Read article in the Georgia Straight. 

Province-wide cosmetic pesticide ban may come to BC

Several municipalities across BC already have cosmetic pesticide bans, but now there is a move to extend the ban province-wide. NDP leader Adrian Dix proposed the ban last week, and in a rare moment of agreement, it looks as though the Liberals are on side. Read more at the CBC.

To find out more about pesticide bylaws and bans, visit Pesticide Free BC. 

Toronto launches Bixi borrow a bike program

The popular Bixi borrow a bike program is now up and running in Toronto. There are now 1000 bikes available for rental in the downtown core. A Bixi pass can be purchased for $95/year or $4/month. Trips are limited to 30 minutes or less.
Bixi is currently available in Montreal, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, London, England and Melbourne, Australia. The company is currently putting together a proposal for Vancouver.

Read more in The Record.