Arbor Day, Burrard Bike Lane; Pesticide Bans; Van Green Plan, Green Events, Endangered Species, and High Speed Rail

May 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Posted in environment, Politics | Leave a comment

British Columbia Burrard Bridge bike lanes to return:

“Controversial lane closures that pitted cyclists against motorists — and delayed commutes by about 15 minutes — a decade ago will return to Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge this summer”.

British Columbia Metro Vancouver makes plans to save at-risk plant and animal species:

“There are 112 species of animals and plants now at risk in Metro Vancouver, and regional district planners are putting together an ecological health plan framework to save them from disappearing”.

British Columbia Vancouver to move aggressively on its green plan:

Robertson said what the team came up with isn’t “pie in the sky,” but rather action plans the city can take and advocate.

“It’s a blueprint for how we make Vancouver into a hub for green jobs, for sustainable industry, and to capitalize on what is now globally a seismic shift toward a green economy,”

British Columbia Oregon Vancouver keen for high-speed rail link to Oregon:roller coaster

There are some stumbling blocks. The U.S. cities have the backing of their federal government but the same commitment doesn’t extend north of the border.

“We’ve got work to do here to get Ottawa and Victoria on board and fully supporting a high-speed rail link to Vancouver,” said Robertson.

Canada Do we do Arbor Day in Canada? From Wikipedia:

United States: The national holiday is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April; it is a civic holiday in Nebraska and was founded by Julius Sterling Morton. Each state celebrates its own state holiday. The customary observance is to plant a tree. On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.

It appears that, no, we don’t officially celebrate Arbor Day in Canada, however we do have Maple Leaf Day:maple leaf day 2008

In Canada, Maple Leaf Day falls on the last Wednesday in September during National Forest Week. Some provinces celebrate their own Arbor Day:

  • Ontario has Arbor Week from the last Friday in April to the first Sunday in May.
  • Nova Scotia celebrates Arbor Day on the Thursday during National Forest Week, which is the first full week in May.

Surrey will be celebrating the 4th Annual Maple Leaf Day in September 2009

British Columbia Eco-Event Roundup: As usual, Miss 604 has the lowdown on what’s happenin’ around Vancouver. This time she provides “dirt” on tree planting and other local green events:

  • Arbour Day in Surrey is May 2, 2009. There will be a tree planting event at Hjorth Road Park along with family-oriented games and activities.
  • The 21st Annual Rhododendron Festival takes place May 3rd at Deer Lake Park & Shadbolt Centre in Burnaby. Free Admission, open from 9:30am until 4:00pm.
  • Mow Down Air Pollution – April 23rd to May3rd, 2009 with the Clean Air Foundation. Mow Down Pollution encourages people to replace their old two- and four-stroke mowers and trimmers with cleaner alternatives. This program runs at Home Depot locations across the country and to date, it has retired nearly 18,000 lawn mowers and has reduced 406 tonnes of greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions.
  • EPIC Sustainable Living Expo – May 8th to May 10th at the new Vancouver Convention Centre. Last year I covered the event as a part of the Happy Frog blogging team and it was good times (I recommend the organic beer).
  • Bike to Work Week – May 11th to May 17th. For the third annual event, the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition announced that this year’s campaign is taking place in over 20 communities around the province simultaneously. Workplaces can register to see who can gather up the highest number of kilometers cycled throughout the week.

Ontario DOW Launches NAFTA Challenge to Pesticide Ban:lawn sign says I Love My Family More Than My Lawn

Our duly elected representatives are following the will of the vast majority of people in [Ontario] who support a cosmetic pesticide ban. This sort of preventative policy was even upheld by Canada’s Supreme Court, which ruled that governments have the right to act proactively so as to minimize potential health risks.

The idea that a corporation can challenge such regulations just because it’s bad for their business is precisely the sort of outrage that makes some people dislike things like corporations and free trade agreements. You might just as well have American gun manufacturers complain that our gun control laws are depriving them of profit for no good reason. After all, guns don’t kill people…

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