Jim Green a well known social activist and former Vancouver city councillor has passed away after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. Mr. Green helped create several successful enterprises and projects in the downtown eastside, including a housing co-op, a community bank, the Woodwards development and the Portland hotel society.
There is a move afoot to have several First Nations languages, those covering large territories and populations, to be recognized under the Official Languages Act. Official recognition would likely result in additional long-term funding to incorporate indigenous languages into school curriculum.
A report published by the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates, titled "Canada Must Do Better," is being submitted to the United Nations. The United Nations will consider the report in evaluating Canada's compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The statistics included in the report paint a dire picture. Higher infant mortality rates, poorer nutritional status, higher rates of diabetes and chronic disease are just some of the problems the report identifies.
The City of Edmonton is partnering with REACH, a community-based organization focused on safety, to reduce violent crime. The focus will be on providing 24/7 social services to at risk populations, including multi-cultural, aboriginal, and homeless populations.
B.C. labour movement campaigner Holly Page is in Wisconsin supporting U.S. public sector workers who had their collective bargaining rights stripped by Republican governor Scott Walker's controversial "budget repair" bill. Similar legislation is being proposed in other states, and Page worries that it may extend into Canada. Read the full story in The Tyee.
Edmonton School Board will soon be adopting a policy on discrimination based on sexual discrimination, "to ensure all schools prevent harassment and discrimination of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Transgendered and Queer (LGBTQ) students and staff." Edmonton is the first Alberta school board to pass such a motion. The motion was introduced by trustee Christopher Spencer, and passed by a large margin of 8-1.
Sixty-five years after the United Nations officially recognized March 8 as International Women's Day, gender equality still remains a work in progress. Women are disproportionately represented as victims of violence, and comprise the majority of the world's poor. Gender discrimination is also apparent in workplaces across the globe, including Canada where the gender inequality gap has increased since the 1980s. Read the full story in the Vancouver Sun.
Surrey and Osoyoos BC are among 7 Canadian cities taking part in the "Join Me on the Bridge" campaign calling for an end to violence against women in war torn countries.
A parkade rooftop in the Downtown Eastside is about to become the city's first urban rooftop farm. Food grown at the farm will be sold to local residents and distributed to local inner-city agencies and kitchens. The managers of the project expect to hire 25 part-time workers from the community. Read the full story in the Vancouver Sun.
The federal government is cutting funding to Industry Canada's "Community Access Program", which helps hundreds of community groups and hospitals provide free internet access. Rural areas will be the most affected by new funding criteria, and some argue a divide will be created between rural and urban communities across the country. Read the full story in The Globe and Mail.