July 21, 2014

First Nations issue eviction notice to Vancouver park

Oppenheimer Park

CBC: “A standoff is brewing between the City of Vancouver and a group of protesters camped out in a Downtown Eastside park — but in a twist, the city itself has been handed an eviction notice. On Sunday, just over a dozen tents stood at Oppenheimer Park. Those living in them tell CBC News they’re homeless with nowhere else to live.”

“Now, some members of a local First Nation have stepped forward to challenge the city’s right to issue the eviction orders — and issued an eviction notice of their own.”

June 26, 2014

Supreme Court rules for Tsilhqot’in First Nation in landmark land decision

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CBC: “The Supreme Court of Canada has granted declaration of aboriginal title to more than 1,700 square kilometres of land in British Columbia to the Tsilhqot’in First Nation, the first time the court has made such a ruling regarding aboriginal land.”

“The unanimous 8-0 decision released Thursday resolves many important legal questions, such as how to determine aboriginal title and whether provincial laws apply to those lands. It will apply wherever there are outstanding land claims. The decision, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, also has implications for future economic or resource development on First Nations lands.”

June 26, 2014

Education minister says no summer school is “unfortunate”

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As the ongoing battle between the Liberal government and the BC Teachers’ Federation continues into a new school term, Education Minister Peter Fassbender says the cancellation of more classes is “unfortunate.”

“It is unfortunate that the BCTF leadership decided to strike summer school,” Fassbender said. “Their decision today will impact thousands of students and it will do little to bring the parties closer to agreement. While the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) has an application before the Labour Relations Board to deem some aspects of summer school an essential service, this would only partially mitigate the impacts from the BCTF’s strike.”

“Apart from this unfortunate development, we heard nothing new from the BCTF leadership,” Fassbender added.

June 5, 2014

Poll finds BC opposition to Trans Mountain pipeline grows

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Insights West: “More British Columbians are against the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline than at the start of 2014, a new Insights West poll has found. In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 49% of residents (+6 since January) are opposed to the proposed expansion, while 42% (-6) are in favour of it.”

“There is a significant shift in the way British Columbians are analyzing this project,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “Opposition among women has increased markedly, and men are not as supportive as they were a few months ago.”

May 16, 2014

BC legislature officially apologizes for historical wrongdoing to Chinese Canadians

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BC Newsroom: “[The] House unanimously passed the apology motion for historical wrongs against British Columbia’s Chinese Canadian community. As part of the formal apology, government released a consultation summary entitled ‘Chinese Historical Wrongs Consultation Final Report and Recommendations.’ The final report lays the foundation for ongoing educational and legacy initiatives, and reflects the broad consensus of participants. Government has accepted all of the report’s recommendations.”

“We can’t undo the actions of the past – but we can acknowledge them, apologize, and learn from them,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Today, we rightly recognize and celebrate cultural diversity – and that’s why all sides of the legislature were able to come together to offer our deepest regrets to members of the Chinese community for historic wrongs.”

May 14, 2014

BC unhappy with Liberal policies on agriculture, education

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An Insights West / Business Vancouver poll has found British Columbians have soured on several Liberal party policies one year after their surprising victory.

“Christy Clark’s government continues to garner good numbers on safety, economy and energy,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “However, the drop in education is noteworthy, particularly when coupled with the scanty endorsement of the way the current administration is dealing with teachers.”


May 6, 2014

Former COPE executive now running for Vancouver city council with OneCity

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Vancouver Courier:RJ Aquino, a former member of COPE’s executive, announced Monday he’ll run for council under a new political party — OneCity. Aquino split with COPE a year ago over concerns about the party’s direction.”

“Aquino is one of several prominent COPE supporters who’ve parted ways with the left-leaning party, including Vancouver school trustee Allan Wong — its only elected politician, who switched to Vision Vancouver. OneCity plans to focus on issues ranging from development and transit to social inequality and childcare.”

May 6, 2014

Stz’uminus First Nation bans all non-native vessels from territorial waters

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Cowichan News Leader Pictorial: “The Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation has pledged to prohibit boat traffic in a large chunk of coastal Cowichan waters. The area affected includes everything north of Maple Bay, from Sansum Narrows right up to Dodds Narrows south of Nanaimo. It is not clear at this time what steps the band may take in an attempt to enforce its declaration.”

“Until further notice, Stz’uminus First Nation will prohibit access to its core territory in the Salish Sea by all vessels, including but not limited to, commercial fishing vessels, Fisheries and Oceans Canada vessels, and any non-Native civilians and government officials,” John Elliott, chief of the Ladysmith-area band said in a statement.

May 4, 2014

John Horgan takes the reins of BC’s NDP

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Global News: “John Horgan was inaugurated as the new leader of the B.C. NDP party Sunday in Vancouver. The 54-year-old Juan de Fuca MLA became the party’s 16th leader at the official meeting at the Renaissance Hotel.”

“In the last NDP leadership race, Horgan lost out to Adrian Dix, who stepped down after losing to the BC Liberals in last year’s provincial election. He decided to run again, but this time his win was assured after leadership opponent Mike Farnworth stepped aside in the race.”

April 28, 2014

Poll: Surrey voters ready for change as Watts retires

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An Insights West poll has found that Surrey is ready for change as Mayor Dianne Watts announces her plans to retire.

In a survey taken before Watts made her retirement public, two thirds of residents (68%) say they are ready for either a significant change or a small change in their municipal leaders; only 20% would like to see no change at all.

According to Insights West, half of residents (49%) regard crime as the most important issue facing the city, followed by transportation (22%), health care (7%) and education (6%)