Coalition of BC mayors call for marijuana legalization

Sighting safety concerns and unregulated access, eight BC mayors are calling for the legalization and regulation of marijuana. They have named their coalition, Stop the Violence, and are urging senior governments to legalize marijuana in an effort to decrease crime and gang activity. 

“This is not a partisan issue,” Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson said in a news release. “Wide-spread access to marijuana for our youth, grow ops that provide funds for organized crime, and significant costs to taxpayers for enforcement are all compelling reasons to re-examine our failed approach to prohibition.”

Read more in The Vancouver Sun.

Parksville/Qualicum- first district to pass a living wage policy

School District 69 (Parksville/Qualicum) unanimously passed a living wage policy on April 25th, 2012. It is the first school board in Canada to have such a policy.

‘THAT the Board of Education of School District 69 (Qualicum) establish and implement a Living Wage Policy that is tied to the hourly rate established annually using the Living Wage for Families calculation methodology; and, THAT the Living Wage Policy will apply to all School District employees (full-time, part-time and casual) and all service providers and contractor staff.’’

Read more a t A Living Wage for Families.

2012 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver calculated at $19.14/hour

The 2012 living wage calculation for Metro Vancouver has risen to $19.14/hour. This represents a 33% increase over the 2011 living wage of $18.81/hour. The increase was driven by a number of factors that changes over the course of a year, including: shelter costs rose by $76/month, childcare fees rose by $33/month and MSP premiums are increasing by 6%/year.

Read more at A Living Wage for Families.

Download Working for a Living Wage 2012: Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver at the CCPA ( Centre for Canadian Policy Alternatives ) website.

Toronto’s chief medical officer recommends lowering speed limits to save lives

Toronto’s speed limits are well above the national average and the city has a high rate of pedestrian deaths and injuries (In 2010, 20 pedestrians were killed and 2,050 were injured). A reduction in speed limits to 30km/hour on residential streets and 40k/hour on all other streets could save lives, says Toronto’s chief medical officer, Dr. David McKeown. His report, Road to Health: Improving Walking and Cycling in Toronto cites evidence that shows pedestrians are less likely to be killed for very 10km reduction below 60k/h. Read more in the Toronto Star.


Download report Road to Health: Improving Walking and Cycling in Toronto.

City of Surrey tracks progress towards Sustainability

The City of Surrey is launching a dashboard that allows the community to track the City’s progress towards sustainability. Some of the indicators tracked include:

  • proximity of homes to amenities like schools and parks
  • median income for immigrants
  • amount of farmland in food production
  • daily household water consumption

Read more at the city’s website.

Nova Scotia teachers rally against cuts

Last Friday, teachers in Nova Scotia rallied in front of 18 MLA offices to protest provincial cuts to education. The government insists the cuts are a necessary part of declining enrollment, but teachers are claiming cuts to funding mean larger class sizes and poorer quality education. Read more at the CBC.

Students from public schools do better in university math and physics

A study published in the International Journal of Science Education provides good news for parents with children in public schools; students from public schools outperform in the fields of math and physics at university. Furthermore, students from East Vancouver outperformed students from Westside schools. Read more in the Vancouver Sun. 

Find study here.

Leduc’s downtown master plan chooses patios over parking

Restaurants and cafés in Leduc Alberta will now be able to convert parking spots to outdoor patios. The city has put aside $5000 for patio planters and is hoping the move will make the town livelier in the summertime. Several Edmonton councillors are hoping to pass a similar policy. Read more in The Edmonton Journal.