Good News / Bad News for British Columbia

April 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

TransLink raises property taxes to fund 2009 budget:

Despite premier’s promise, lobbyists’ law won’t be fixed before election:

“Attorney general says public doesn’t care about issue”

April 11- Stand for green ways, halt fossil foolish mistakes:

“A reminder that on April 11 we can band together and demand a halt to Gateway, a fossil foolish mistake, and call for a transit metropolis instead.”

B.C. liquor prices have gone up:

“B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch introduces a higher minimum price for liquor: an additional $1 for 750-millitre bottles. Thankfully, the price hikes apply only to hard-alcohol sales and will not affect beer and wine.”

B.C. MP to ask the government to decriminalize marijuana:

Keith Martin, Liberal MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, wants the government to recommend fines instead of criminal charges for anyone caught by police with fewer than 30 grams of marijuana or two marijuana plants.

Decriminalizing simple possession will sever ties between casual drug users and organized crime, Martin said in an interview Wednesday. “If a person is growing a couple of their own plants, they won’t have to go out and purchase it from illegal sources, which are usually linked to crime gangs and illegal grow-ops.”

He pointed to the bloody gang wars in the Lower Mainland as an example of the “abysmal failure” of the war on drugs.

Shelters cut street disorder by 30 per cent, says VPD:

“[VPD] have noticed in parts of Vancouver like the Downtown Eastside and downtown areas is that the amount of homeless people in trouble have dropped remarkably,” said Kerry Jang, a Vancouver councilor who helped the VPD compile the research.

“What this says is the provision of housing and the provision of a safe place to go is clearly the solution,” said Jang.

“We tried the law and order approach where we gave people tickets and all that kind of jazz, but it hasn’t really worked. It reduces street disorder but it doesn’t address the problem.”

The Coming Co-op Crunch:

Many BC co-ops were built in the ’70s with funding from federal government programs. These programs continued through the ’80s and early ’90s. “The result was an affordable, diverse and community-based housing stock; there are now approximately 2,000 non-profit housing co-ops currently across the country. In British Columbia, 260 co-ops provide approximately 14,500 homes for mid- and low-income families.

But in the next 10 years, nearly half of the government operating agreements will expire, leaving many co-ops to effectively fend for themselves.”

Braidwood Inquiry : Blaming the victim:

Stating their purpose was to “explain Dziekanski’s behavior at the airport”, lawyers for Constables Bill Bentley and Kwesi Millington began with questions about whether Dziekanski drank or had a history of violence but then went on to ask whether his relationship with his ex-girlfriend was toxic and hey, how about that time he was busted for theft as a juvenile?
Iwona Kosowska, Dziekanski’s friend of 20 years, was having none of it :

“You guys made the mistake and now you want to turn everything around. For me, my friend just got killed in front of my eyes.”

Province reveals Great Bear Rainforest protection plan:

The provincial government today announced details of the North and Central Coast land management plan, the culmination of nearly a decade of collaboration by government, First Nations, industry and environmental groups.

It takes an ecosystem-based approach to land management in a region that is home to the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest intact temperature rainforest in the world, and an important carbon sink.

Parking on Vancouver streets to get pricier:

“Parking is expected to increase by one dollar per hour in the Kerrisdale, Kitsilano and Commercial Drive neighbourhoods, and parking violation fines will increase by $10.

The city also plans to turn free parking spots on Broadway and around West Point Grey into metered parking, all in a bid by the city to generate an extra $2 million in parking revenue each year.”

Judge rules UBC parking tickets invalid:

“University must pay back fines from more than $4 million in tickets after class-action suit”

The Dalai Lama headlines peace summit in Vancouver:

“The Dalai Lama will headline a “spiritual dream team” of Nobel Peace Prize laureates and international activists at a peace summit this September in Vancouver.”

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