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NSCAD University in Halifax is going to set up an institute to study Canadian slavery. The initiative will be spearheaded by Dr. Charmaine Nelson, who was the first Black tenured professor of art history in Canada. The Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery will be a hub for the study of the art, visual cultures, and histories of Canadian slav…
 
In a new book just published by UBC Press, editors Miu Chung Yan and Sean Lauer document how the neighbourhood house model, a century-old type of community organization, can help overcome isolation in urban neighbourhoods by creating welcoming places, drawing on a five-year study to document and contextualize the neighbourhood house network in Vanc…
 
In February, Dr Peter Victor gave the 2021 Gideon Rosenbluth Memorial Lecture. Peter Victor is a Professor Emeritus at York University and was Gideon Rosenbluth's graduate student at UBC in the late sixties. More than 30 years later, they co-authored a research paper called Saving the Environment: How Canada Can Abolish Poverty and Unemployment Eve…
 
In mid-April, Germany’s highest court ruled that a rent cap imposed by the Berlin state government is illegal. German federal court overturned the law, saying lawmakers in the state had no right to instigate it. We speak about rent control and the Berlin rent cap with Alexander Vasudevan, associate professor in human geography and fellow at Christ …
 
In 2017, El Salvador became the first country in the world to pass a comprehensive law banning on metals mining nationwide. The vote was the result of a 12-year struggle by small farmers and their allies to protect the waters of the Lempa River from the impact of gold mining. Robin Broad and John Cavanagh tell this incredible story in their new boo…
 
A group of Xinka people in Guatemala opposes the development of the Escobal mine, owned by Vancouver based Pan American Silver. Members of the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa, and Jutiapa have been shot at and received death threats in response to requests for a consultative process, a request which has been upheld in court. Jen Moore is …
 
Over-representation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system is an ongoing crisis in Canada. In B.C., the First Nations Justice Council is implementing a strategy to bring down the number of people who become involved with the criminal justice system. Mitch Walker is with the First Nations Justice Council and he joins us today to talk a…
 
On April 23, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the existence of the Sinixt people in south-eastern BC, 65 years after they were declared extinct by the federal government. The ruling is the end of a long legal battle for the Sinixt and for Richard Desautel of Washington State who, in 2010, shot and killed an elk in the traditional territory of…
 
128 speakers have signed up this week to talk to Vancouver city council about upzoning and densifying much of Vancouver for social housing. Council was also considering support for prioritizing Commercial Drive as a pedestrian-first street, patents on Covid-19 vaccines, accessible washrooms at Skytrain stations and an apology for a decision made 10…
 
Later this month the city of Vancouver will submit its application to Health Canada for permission to decriminalize simple possession of illicit drugs. The application defined a threshold limit for possession without consulting with drug users. They say this limit is far too low. Caitlin Shane is a staff lawyer with the Pivot Legal Society, working…
 
The scale of the Israeli attack on Gaza is the most intense since the 7-week Israeli war on Gaza in 2014. To find out more about the reasons behind the current escalation, we speak with Yara Shoufani. She is a Palestinian organizer with the Palestinian Youth Movement (Toronto Chapter). Yara Shoufani has a masters in Political Science with research …
 
On April 27, the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Health Coalition held an online day of action calling on the federal government to create national standards for long-term care in Canada, instead of handing the job off to an accreditation industry with no power to enforce standards. In this podcast, we hear from John Cartwright, Pam Beattie a…
 
In April, over 100 Canadians staged a hunger strike to raise awareness of the federal government’s plan to purchase 88 new advanced fighter jets for a total cost of over $76 billion. Dr. Brendan Martin is a member of the Vancouver chapter of the organization, World BEYOND War. He finished a two-week fast on April 23 as part of the No New Fighter Je…
 
The 2021 Federal Budget promised to support people living in Indigenous communities, and allocate over $18 billion over the next five years to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities. Riley Yesno says as “historic and unprecedented” as this Budget may be, that does not mean it is sufficient. Riley Yesno is a queer Anishinaabe write…
 
In July 2020, Vancouver City Council passed a motion to decriminalize poverty. Council heard about a variety of impacts, including the intersecting impacts of poverty, gender, and racism on interactions with police. A report on the implementation of this task came to Council last week and Ian Mass, our City Beat reporter, joins us to tell us about …
 
On April 26, the Vancouver School Board voted to end its school liaison officer program. Meenakshi Mannoe is Criminalization & Policing Campaigner at Pivot Legal Society and was involved in the fight to remove police from school. She joins us to talk about her concerns with the motion the Vancouver School Board passed and what’s next for the campai…
 
All Mountain caribou in Canada are at risk of extinction, and none more so than the southern Mountain Caribou of BC and Alberta. Herds have been in decline for over three decades. In March, the federal government rejected an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act to protect the threatened caribou. We speak with Charlotte Dawe, Conservation a…
 
Holborn Properties bought 224 Little Mountain social housing units in 2007 with a promise to rebuild. Fourteen years later, the lot still sits empty. Activists are fighting to see the sales agreement that the BC Liberal government signed with Holborn. A government arbitrator ordered BC Housing to release the contract but Holborn continues to fight …
 
Yellow Objects is part digital experience and part theatrical installation. The work is inspired by the democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019 and created by Derek Chan, co-artistic director of Rice & Beans Theatre. Derek Chan grew up in Hong Kong and is a playwright, director, performer and translator. We speak with him about how the work came ab…
 
Someone Like Me, premiering at Toronto’s Hot Docs this month, documents what happens when a group of strangers from Vancouver’s queer community sponsor Drake, a gay asylum seeker from Uganda. With the help of Rainbow Refugee, they embark on a year-long quest for personal freedom. We speak with filmmakers Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams.…
 
The 360 Riot Walk is a multilingual interactive tour which invites participants to trace a layered history of labour politics, anti-Asian racism, and community resistance in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The tour has 13 stops between Gassy Jack and Oppenheimer Park. We speak with artist Henry Tsang, creator of the 360 Riot Walk.…
 
The Canadian and Ontario governments recently announced they are giving $470 million to Sonofi Pasteur, a French vaccine maker, to build a new plant to manufacture vaccines for influenza. In December we talked with Colleen Fuller about how the Mulroney government sold off Canada’s Connaught Labs and their research and production capacity. We’ve con…
 
It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically reduced transit ridership, and that rebuilding rider confidence will be challenging. Councillor Jean Swanson has a motion before Vancouver City Council specifically focused on preserving bus ridership, which makes up over 60% of transit trips in Metro Vancouver. Redeye collective member and Cit…
 
A year into the pandemic, it’s clear that any recovery plan has to include public investment in child care. The Canadian child care sector was fragmented and under-funded before the pandemic and it’s just gotten worse. A new study by David Macdonald and Martha Friendly of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives surveyed child care providers in …
 
The ride-hailing giant Uber recently announced its answer to complaints about lack of benefits and labour protections for its workers when it unveiled its Flexible Work+ plan last. Uber is asking provincial governments to amend labour legislation to allow gig workers to accumulate benefit funds that they could spend on things like health insurance …
 
The upcoming provincial and federal budgets are being called the most important in a generation with the opportunity of addressing long standing systemic inequality and injustices. Alex Hemingway is an economist and public finance policy analyst at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC Office. He joins us to talk about what British Columbi…
 
On April 1. BC Supreme Court granted an injunction to logging company Teal-Jones Group to remove Fairy Creek/Ada’itsx forest defenders. This clears the path for the destruction of one of the last intact old-growth areas on Vancouver Island, on the territory of the Pacheedaht First Nations. We speak with two people from the Sierra Club, senior fores…
 
According to a recent study, more than one and a half million child laborers were working in cocoa growing areas of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in 2019. In a landmark human rights case, eight young men from Mali are bringing a class action suit against big chocolate companies. They managed to escape after being trafficked as children and forced to harv…
 
According to a recent study, outbreaks of infectious diseases are more likely in areas that have been stripped of their forest cover or land that is used for monoculture plantations. The study, published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, suggests epidemics are likely to increase as biodiversity declines. We speak with Claire Lajaunie, researcher …
 
Vancouver City Council is at risk of slipping into divisive politics which will hinder a solution for South False Creek residents who fear eviction from their homes. Plus the push to host the 2030 Olympics, plans for the post Covid economic recovery and policy overload for City staff. We talk with our City Beat reporter, Ian Mass.…
 
Music streaming services like Spotify are great for people who love to listen to music but have robbed musicians of much of their income. Musicians say the paltry payout rates are unfair and make it hard to make a living through their work. The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) launched a campaign called Justice at Spotify last fall, and…
 
If you were asked to name the countries that have produced vaccines against Covid-19, you probably wouldn’t think of Cuba. Yet Cuba is currently the only Latin American country developing Covid-19 vaccine candidates. The Soberana 1 and 2 vaccines have shown strong immune response against the virus during clinical studies. Conner Gorry is Senior Edi…
 
In March, Vancouver City Council unanimously passed a motion to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNDRIP, in Vancouver. To find out what this means for the three host nations, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-waututh, urban Indigenous people and the City of Vancouver, we speak with Alexander Dirksen, co-vice chair of t…
 
Statistics show that the lower your income, the less likely you are to have employer-paid sick days. Given that the jobs where women workers predominate don’t pay well, it’s clear that the introduction of paid sick leave would increase gender equality across the board. This March, the BC Employment Standards Coalition is calling on the provincial g…
 
Nearly 6,000 workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama are sending in their ballots in a certification drive that will make history if it succeeds. Ballots must reach the National Labor Relations Board regional office in Alabama by March 29 to be counted. Jonathan Rosenblum is the author of Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, …
 
Activists across Canada say that it’s long past time that the federal government addressed environmental racism in this country. Nova Scotia MP Lenore Zann has brought forward a private member’s bill to develop a strategy to combat this form of structural racism. Bill C-230 is going to second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday March 23. Dr.…
 
Phase 3 of the vaccine rollout in British Columbia is expected to start in April and includes everyone over 60. But neither the province nor the feds have prioritized disabled individuals and their essential caregivers in its vaccine distribution plan. In contrast to other countries which clearly indicate that people with certain types of disabilit…
 
Most of us can’t go to Tofino yet this year, with public health restrictions on non-essential travel. But if you’ve been longing to connect with the spirit of wild West Coast experiences, you can connect through film this weekend, March 12-14. The first-ever Tofino Adventure Film Festival is hosted by the folks at Clayoquot Action. We spoke today w…
 
While President Biden has made positive moves on the domestic front, activists are sounding the alarm about the direction of his foreign policy with the naming of Senator Robert Menendez to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Menendez has repeatedly attacked the United Nations and the International Court of Justice and supported unconditi…
 
The federal government’s new Bill 22 repeals some of the offences that currently carry mandatory minimums, but it leaves quite a number still in place. Meghan McDermott says that any imposition of sentencing requirements on judges leads to problems with systemic racism within the justice system. Meghan McDermott is with the BC Civil Liberties Assoc…
 
Migrant rights advocates estimate that 1.6M people in Canada don't have permanent resident status and at least 500,000 people are undocumented. Both groups could have problems getting the vaccine. Last week, the Migrant Rights Network sent a letter signed by more than 250 organizations calling on the prime ministers and provincial and territorial l…
 
Six months after mass worldwide protests in support of racial justice, support continues to grow for a divestment from policing and prisons. Choosing Real Safety was collaboratively developed and authored by the Abolition Coalition and its allies. Over 250 organizations and over 3,000 individuals have signed on to support the declaration. We speak …
 
A letter signed by Naomi Klein, David Suzuki and Noam Chomsky, as well as a hundred other academics, activists and artists was delivered to Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau’s office on Feb 25. It called on the federal government to stop propping up a repressive and corrupt dictatorship in Haiti, pointing out that for the past two years, Haitia…
 
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 …
 
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