CCPA-NS releases first ever Alternative Municipal Budget

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS) releases its first ever Alternative Municipal Budget for the HRM today during the election campaign and well in advance of the normal budget cycle.  The Alternative Budget contains 65 action items and their estimated costs. It includes strategic investments in community centres and recreation programs, in early learning, in food security, in library materials, as well as in public and active transportation. It outlines provisions to ensure everyone benefits from the anticipated economic growth resulting from the ship-building contract.

“This document gives our current Council, Council hopefuls and the community, fuel to spark real conversations about the services we need, and what we can afford,” says CCPA-NS Director, Christine Saulnier.  Read more at CCPA-NS.

Shark fin ban mulled by Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby

The sale of shark fin may soon be banned in Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby as the three cities work together on a bylaw to have the Chinese delicacy removed from restaurant menus. Vancouver City Councilor Kerry Jang says it’s important the three cities put in a ban at the same time saying, “We wanted to make sure that if we banned it in Vancouver, for example, then people just didn’t go to Richmond, or if Richmond banned it, they would just come back to Vancouver.”  Read more at the CBC.

Applications are now being accepted for Next Up: A Leadership Program for Young People Committed to Social and Environmental Justice

Applications are now being accepted for Next Up
A Leadership Program for Young People Committed to Social and Environmental Justice
Columbia Institute is a national partner for the  Next Up Leadership program for young social change activists between the ages of 18 and 32.  The program is offered in four cities across three provinces;  Next Up BC in Vancouver, Next Up Edmonton, Next Up Calgary and Next Up Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
In each province, young people will be selected for an intense seven-month program.  Participants will develop life-long relationships, explore different leadership styles, meet leading change-makers, learn new leadership and organizing skills and learn about  current social justice issues.  The program runs between October 2012 and May 2013.
Apply for Next Up Saskatchewan and  Next Up British Columbia by Friday September 14th

Apply for Next Up Edmonton and Next Up Calgary by Friday September 21st
Application forms and more information can be found at:

How one BC municipality is getting people to actually read public notices

Inspired by Toronto civic activist Dave Meslin’s TED Talk The Antidote to Apathy, Pemberton villager staffers set out to dramatically redesigned its public notices covering development applications, zoning and Official Community Plan amendments so residents can more easily understand them, and respond.  “We’ve received a lot of feedback from different community groups with compliments saying how they feel that we’re doing a better job,” said Mayor Jordan Sturdy. “You don’t often get that!”  Read more at The National Post.