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A new study has found that air pollution from fossil fuels was responsible for more than 8.7 million deaths globally in 2018. This death toll exceeds the combined total of people who die globally each year from smoking tobacco plus those who die of malaria. The study was published in the journal Environmental Research earlier this month. We talk wi…
 
Vancouver City Council approved rezoning applications for two new housing projects spearheaded by local Indigenous societies, despite neighbourhood opposition. Council also looked at how they could support reconciliation, bring in paid sick leave and protect West End residents from homophobic street preachers. All this, and more, in today’s City Be…
 
Ben Parfitt says the BC government doesn’t have a good handle on how much water the major industries in the province use. He argues that we need to get that information before we can implement effective policies to encourage conservation and sound management of our water. Ben Parfitt is a resource policy analyst with the Canadian Centre for Policy …
 
The BC government says that fracking and the natural gas industry will not only be economically beneficial for the province but also consistent with the province’s climate action plan. Peter McCartney disagrees. McCartney is climate campaigner for the Wilderness Committee and author of the just released report Planet on Fire: Let’s End Fracking in …
 
Following the unanimous passage of an NDP motion, the Canadian government has designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity. The move came swiftly on the heels the Trump-led white nationalist insurrection at the US Capitol. While this might seem like a big win, many progressive and anti-racist organizations are asking if putting white supremacist…
 
Hassan Diab’s ordeal began over 12 years ago when France requested his extradition in relation to the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980. Hassan was extradited to France in 2014 where he spent 3 years in solitary confinement. Finally French authorities dropped all charges against Hassan Diab, citing lack of evidence, and Diab returned to Canada. …
 
A new program recently introduced by the Vancouver Police Department authorizes officers to remove people if they have allegedly violated the provincial Trespass Act. The VPD’s Trespass Prevention Program allows them to do this even if there wasn’t a call to 911. We talk with Meenakshi Mannoe, criminalization and policing campaigner at Pivot Legal …
 
The Saudi-led bombing and blockade of Yemen has led to the death of 250,000 people and created the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. On Jan 25, people around the world protested against their governments’ support for the war. In Canada, peace and labour activists blocked trucks at Paddock Transport International, a Hamilton company involved…
 
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are large investment companies that own, and in most cases operate, rental apartment buildings. Housing activists say REITs result in the loss of affordable rental units and drive gentrification, in order to make the highest profit for their investors. On February 9, Vancouver city councillor Jean Swanson is br…
 
Canadian supermarkets throw out tons of unsold food every day. A common misunderstanding is that this food is rotten and useless. The truth is that most food thrown out is edible. Greenpeace is calling on supermarkets to reform their practices. They would like to see the big chains commit to a zero edible food waste target. We talk with Ann Foo, a …
 
Canadian history, as many of us learned it in high school, leaves out or distorts the histories of many Canadians who do not fit into the prescribed narrative of this country. Students are often left questioning how they can study a past that does not reflect their present. A new book, Transforming the Canadian History Classroom: Imagining a New "W…
 
The 4,300 unionized employees who work at the publicly-owned Hastings Park at the Pacific National Exhibition have been left out of Canada's economic recovery plan and are subsequently out of work. Vancouver City Council finally paid some attention to this issue last week. Also, in this week’s City Beat report, Ian Mass talks about housing for rent…
 
As the world struggles with the second wave of the pandemic and vaccines are being rolled out, we are starting to hear calls for an app that could store a record of a Covid-19 vaccination. Françoise Baylis is a philosopher with a special interest in medical ethics. She tells us some of her concerns with how a vaccination record for Covid-19 could b…
 
In 2017 the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons started an international movement to develop a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. On January 22, the treaty was endorsed by 122 countries at the United Nations. Canada was not a signatory but there is a petition to Parliament to change that. Dr. Nancy Covington is with the Can…
 
On Jan 18, Nunavut Independent Television made history when it launched Canada’s first all-Inuit Inuktut TV channel. Uvagut TV is the first Indigenous–language channel in Canada. Lucy Tulugarjuk is chair and executive director of Nunavut Independent Television. She’s also director of the Inuit-language children’s film, Tia and Piujuq. Lucy Tulugarj…
 
There are a complex web of laws and jurisdictional issues that affect our coasts and oceans. The question is how we can use these laws to better protect our water and marine life. West Coast Environmental Law has put together a guide to these marine protection laws. We speak with lawyer Stephanie Hewson about that guide.…
 
The Vancouver School Boards owns billions of dollars worth of property around Vancouver, including the land that the Kingsgate Mall is located on. Some VSB trustees are considering selling off land to private developers to meet funding priorities. OneCity school board trustee Jennifer Reddy is opposed to what she calls the privatization of public l…
 
As the climate emergency advances, we need to push for a just transition for everyone. Workers in extractive industries, and the communities that depend on them, deserve solid plans to address the negative effects of the fossil fuel wind-down. Marc Lee and Seth Klein take a look at possible models in a recent post on the CCPA blog, policynote.ca. W…
 
Six years ago, the BC Civil Liberties Association made a complaint against the RCMP after it discovered that it spied on the activities of people opposed to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project. The final report of the Complaints Commission for the RCMP came out in mid-December. We talk with Jessica Magonet of the BCCLA about what the repor…
 
The MST Corporation is a partnership between the Musqueam Indian Band and the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nation and it’s the developer of a big parcel of land in the Cambie corridor. Ian Mass joins us in a new edition of City Beat to tell us more about MST and to discuss other civic issues from land acknowledgements in Surrey to inappropriate twee…
 
The global pandemic has deepened the divide between the wealthy and those struggling to make ends meet. This crisis of inequality has fostered new calls for a wealth tax. Two Ontario doctors say that healing economic inequity will lead to better health for everyone. Drs. Danyaal Raza and Edward Xie published the recent commentary, Let’s turn wealth…
 
The National Trust manages historic properties and areas of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In September, the Trust commissioned a report on connections between their properties and colonialism, including links with historic slavery. The report attracted the attention of a group of Conservative MPs who are attempting to discredi…
 
British Columbia's energy minister says he has received a report on the status of the Site C dam project and will present its findings to cabinet soon. Bruce Ralston says the report by former deputy finance minister Peter Milburn is "helpful," but he wouldn't discuss its findings until they are reviewed by the cabinet and Premier John Horgan. We ta…
 
The newly released book Great Anarchists aims to bring radical ideas to a wider, non-academic audience. The book presents a series of vignettes on ten individuals who helped to lay the foundations of the anarchist tradition. We speak with co-author Ruth Kinna of Loughborough University in the UK.By Redeye Collective
 
As B.C. expands the safe supply program for illicit drugs, researchers are calling on the province to do the same for people living with severe alcohol dependencies. BC currently has five of Canada’s managed alcohol programs – known as MAPs. We speak with Meaghan Brown is a PhD candidate at the UVic school of nursing and collaborator on the Canadia…
 
The tragic deaths of thousands of seniors in care homes has highlighted the critical need for federal standards in the provision of long-term care. The pandemic has exposed a fragmented and under-resourced system that is heavily reliant on for-profit delivery. A new discussion paper released in November proposes foundational principles for continui…
 
The vaccine rollout in Canada has given us the sense that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But the pandemic continues to rage, and the picture for poorer countries that aren’t first up for vaccine distribution is much bleaker. Jason Nickerson is humanitarian affairs advisor for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in Ottawa. He …
 
In September, the Canadian government signalled its intention to develop nuclear power as part of its investment in clean technology companies. One aspect of the plan could see small modular reactors placed in remote communities currently powered by diesel. We discuss this new strategy with Susan O’Donnell of the Coalition for Responsible Energy De…
 
A new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives takes a look at the economic performance of coal mines located in mountain caribou habitat in northeastern British Columbia, where mining has been identified as a key driver of caribou extirpation. Economist Robyn Allan is co-author of the report, Who Benefits From Caribou Decline?…
 
As countries are rolling out plans to distribute new vaccines for Covid-19, Canada has to depend on foreign corporations to produce and obtain vaccines. But that has not always been the case - Canada used to have significant capacity to develop and produce important vaccines and drugs. Health policy researcher Colleen Fuller explains how Canada los…
 
On November 18, the federal Conservatives convinced the NDP, Greens and the Bloc to support a motion declaring that the People’s Republic of China is threatening Canada’s national interest and its values, and Parliament needs to do something decisive about it. To talk about the significance of this resolution, we're joined by John Price, professor …
 
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink for Peace condemns the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and says it’s aimed at derailing future efforts at diplomacy with Iran. She points out that, with Iran scheduled to have elections in June, incoming president Joe Biden has just four months to bring the United States back into the 2015 n…
 
A group of dedicated volunteers has just launched a new podcast about the arts and mental health. When the team, led by music producer Earle Peach, got together a year ago to start planning, they had no idea how timely a mental health podcast would be in 2020. The first two episodes are up on their podcast. We speak with the host of the Art Heals P…
 
The BC NDP say that its CleanBC plan will put the province on the path to a cleaner, better future. However, this climate strategy seems at odds with the decision by the NDP government to continue to provide subsidies to oil and gas companies in the form of tax breaks, royalty reductions and investments of public money. We talk with Kai Nagata, ene…
 
Over 16,000 petitions were delivered to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino’s office in November calling for changes to student work permit rules before Dec 31d. Covid-19 related job losses have meant that hundreds of thousands of former international students may be unable to qualify for permanent resident status. And the deadline for renewal of …
 
In November, the federal government tabled legislation that makes net-zero emissions by 2050 a legally-binding target. While this is being seen as a positive first step, Canada has missed every single emission-reduction target it has ever set. Anna Johnston of West Coast Environment Law says that changes are needed for the law to show true climate …
 
Canada Energy Regulator just came out with its latest long-term energy outlook. The analysis in the report shows that with even modest new climate policies, there’s no need to build the Trans Mountain and Keystone XL pipelines, undermining Prime Minister Trudeau’s position that the expansion of oil production is consistent with Canada’s climate pol…
 
At a time when the Vancouver Police department is under pressure from a broad range of activist groups and the City of Vancouver to end street checks, it has formed a new neighbourhood response team in the downtown core that could lead to an expansion of this type of police activity. We talk with Meghan McDermott of the BC Civil Liberties Associati…
 
Discover Canada is the official study guide for people who are preparing to take the Canadian citizenship test. But its portrayal of Canada is far from accurate, according to five women faculty members at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. We speak with Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Professor of Critical Development Studies and Global Health at the Uni…
 
Vancouver City Council just spent two weeks discussing the climate emergency plan they asked staff to develop last year. They heard from 75 speakers both for and against the actions recommended in the plan – and ended up passing all 37 recommendations. Ian Mass joins us on our City Beat feature with more details about the climate plan and several o…
 
A long tradition of the amateur detective exists in the mystery genre. The latest sleuth is Annick Boudreau, a clinical psychologist created by a Vancouver comedian, playwright, and novelist who based the character of Annick Boudreau, in part, on his own therapist. We speak with Charles Demers about the book, Primary Obsessions.…
 
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is reported to be the largest private foundation in the world holding almost $47 billion in assets. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Foundation has risen to a position of even greater prominence. However as a private institution, the Gates Foundation’s interests and investments remain largely hidden from public …
 
Justin Trudeau once claimed that Canada had no colonial past. A new book just out from Fernwood Press would disagree. Canada In the World looks closely at Canadian foreign policy and finds a consistent pattern of colonial conquest and capital accumulation. We speak with the book’s author, Tyler Shipley, professor of society, culture, and commerce a…
 
The Canadian government has announced that the final provisions of the Secure Air Travel Regulations are now in force. These new regulations modify Canada’s No Fly List regime but, according to the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, they do not address the basic problems that plague the system and continue to result in the undermining …
 
More than 150 residents of long-term care and assisted living homes have lost their lives to Covid-19. However, tens of thousands more have been deeply impacted by the loss of connection to family and loved ones. Seniors Advocate Isobel MacKenzie says there have been more calls, letters and emails on the issue of visit restrictions than any other s…
 
On October 7, a huge crowd of people gathered outside a court building in Athens. They were waiting to hear the verdict in the trial of 68 members of the far-right organization Golden Dawn. The hearing was the biggest trial of fascists since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg after WWII. The crowd in Athens erupted with joy when news emerged that the jud…
 
The Fraser estuary is one of the largest estuaries on the Pacific coast of North America. It is the rearing grounds for Canada’s most productive salmon runs and connects a food web that links fish, birds and marine mammals across thousands of kilometres of the North Pacific Ocean. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is proposing another massive con…
 
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