Good News, Bad News for Vancouver and Canada

March 21, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

First, the Good News : )

  • Vancouver looks to laneway housing to increase affordability:

    The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in October 2008, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, was $880.

    In October, Vancouver city council asked staff to research allowing laneway homes to be built in all areas of Vancouver zoned “single family residential”. That’s most of the south and east of the city. Coun. Raymond Louie told the Straight they’re hoping to have bylaws in place by July.

  • New B.C. law banning smoking in a vehicle with a child to take effect next month:

    “Any level of second-hand smoke has harmful effects on a child’s health, so it’s important that we protect vulnerable children who are confined in a vehicle,” Healthy Living and Sport Minister Mary Polak said in a statement.

    “By making vehicles smoke-free for children under 16, we can help them get the best and healthiest start in life.”

  • Police propose change to drug strategy:

    The plan calls for seizing narcotics, but not prosecuting low-level offenders in Downtown Eastside

then, the Bad News : (

  • Conservative MP to speak at Gun Event which is raffling off a semiautomatic handgun:

    The MP is Garry Breitkreuz from Saskatchewan. The event is the Canadian Shooting Sports Association’s (CSSA) annual general meeting and dinner on April 18 in Mississauga.

  • Minister of Immigration blames the Immigrants:

    So you see, if you’re an immigrant to Canada and you’re having a tough time, it’s really your fault, not the government’s. Min. Kenney seemed oblivious to the acute xenophobia towards these immigrants, and denied that there have been calls to bar certain groups from entry to Canada. He thought the British and Australian immigration models (and responses) was something we should emulate.

  • What Will Canada Do About the 0.7% Target as Growth in Subsaharan Africa Slows?:

    The often lauded but sometimes laughable (and, it seems, largely forgotten) 0.7% promise was first proposed in 1970, and later reaffirmed at the 1992 United Nationals Conference on Environment and Development in Rio De Janeiro, and then again in 2002 at the UN International Conference on Financing for Development. This promise is also central to the Millennium Development Goals. So far, only five countries have reached this target, with six others pledging to do so by 2015. Canada does not make either of these lists.

  • B.C. Green party wants pot decriminalized, Tasers prohibited:

    When I first read that headline, I thought “Well that’s interesting, replacing one kind of prohibition with another”. But actually, the Green Party plan doesn’t call for the prohibition of all tasers everywhere, just “prohibiting a newly established provincial police force from using Tasers”.

    Which is good, because I really wish that one of the officers had a taser when …

  • Police kill knife-wielding man in Vancouver:

    The incident started at about 10:30 a.m. Friday, when police got a call about two men breaking into cars on Granville Street. A few blocks away, at Homer St. near Dunsmuir St., they caught up with two men who they believed were the suspects. Two officers approached, with guns drawn.

    The man who was shot had an X-acto knife, which he waved at the officers.

    Vancouver Police Const. Jana McGuinness said the man did not comply with orders to drop the knife.

    More than 50 people witnessed the shooting. Some say there was no need for police to pull the trigger.

    I don’t want to make light of this man’s killing, but bringing a knife to a gun fight is a really bad idea. As for the witnesses who say that the shooting was unnecessary, I don’t know, maybe it was. But really, if someone was waving a knife at you and you had a weapon what would you do? My alleged point to all this is that tasers are not always bad and in this case they could have saved a man’s life.

    However, I have a feeling that I’m going to have to defend that position more and more since ….

  • Harper slashes RCMP watchdog funding:

    and just because the sun is too cheerful right now, I’ll end with another bit of depressing RCMP news ….

  • RCMP run out the clock on Sexual Harassment Inquiry:

    *sigh* that’s rather sad; I think I’ll go outside and cheer myself up with some hacky-sack before the sun goes down.

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