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Left Coast Events - Lower Mainland - Dec 28th 05 PDF Print E-mail
PEJ Events
Thursday, 29 December 2005 08:32
 Left Coast Events - Lower Mainland - Dec 28th 05

3. Bolivia - Prospects after the Evo Morales Victory - Jan 2nd
4. Investing in Health Radio Forum - tuesdays
5. Grassroots Women Open House - Jan 8th
6. Looking for Accomodation in Vancouver Jan 13th
7. Certificate Program for CED Professionals - Jan/Feb
8. Taking the Fear out of ABA - May 13th
9. 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm in Vancouver, Canada, April 30th - May 4th, 2006
10. Transition from MCFD to CLBC - Jan 21st
11. River Rock Show Theatre - various
12. The Coalition of Progressive Electors Newsletter
13. Union of BC Indian Chiefs
14. A Cycling Perspective

contributions, considerations, concerns:

* From: Indigenous Permanent Forum

The Secretariat of the UN Permanente Forum on Indigenous Issues received
this important information for distribution.

AD HOC OPEN ENDED INTERSESSIONAL WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8 J AND RELATED PROVISIONS OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Fourth meeting 23?*?27 January 2006, Granada, Spain AND AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING Fourth meeting 30 January?*?3 February 2006, Granada, Spain. Please contact the Secretariat f the CBD for more information: john.scott (at) biodiv.org

* From: alumnews (at) uvic.ca

Shakespeare's life, work and times are now more readily accessible on the Web than ever before on the enhanced version of the Internet Shakespeare Editions, led by English Prof. Michael Best

* From: "Food News"

The sixth WTO ministerial has ended, a "success" for avoiding stalemate, but a failure in the view of many with few significant gains for developing countries, particularly in agriculture. This timely report reviews projections made by the World Bank of benefits from global
trade liberalization. As the Bank's analytical tools become more refined, projections of benefits from global trade, especially for the South, have fallen drastically. Gains to in the South fall disproportionately to a handful of countries and when stats are further disaggregated, welfare gains amount to a pittance. However, the costs of trade liberalization including decreased policy autonomy, do not yet appear as a variable in World Bank modelling.

* From: "Johannes DeViet"

Please visit our Web site: http://www.gamblingwatch.ca

* From: Dan Tkachuk

The new Solidarity Caucus web site -- www.solidaritycaucus.org -- is up and running. Special thanks to Megan at the resist.ca collective, whose work made it possible.

* From: angela bischoff

Excerpt from Elizabeth May's Montreal Climate Change Conference blog:

* From: mariebeaulieu (at) 3web.com

Knowing how interested you are in Falun Gong issues and the Free China movement,
I have taken the liberty of sending you my new blog. Please feel free to share
with others including your media, etc.


* apparently google no longer searches 'blogs' (online journals, usually produced by lower income activist types) unless they're specially coded so google will find them in their new search methodology. some say it's not all that difficult to learn how to construct a blog so it's listed like websites are, and i've heard there's background information on that at http://news.stepforth.com/blog/index.php. search engines like www.bloogz.com will produce results specifically from blogs. and you might also choose to support a different and less corporate web search engine than google - askjeeves.com is fairly reliable.

* From: david


* From: "working TV"

Maude Barlow: "Too Close for Comfort" - The Thursday November 10, 2005 launch of Maude Barlow's new book, "Too Close for Comfort: Canada's Future within Fortress North America", taped at the Maritime Labour Centre in Vancouver, the 4th of an 18 city book tour.

* want to help a binner? please put your 'refundable' blue box items in a bag separate from your other recyclables. binners are folk who earn money by retrieving and returning refundable bottles and cans - sometimes from blue boxes. and sometimes they're arrested for reaching into blue boxes.

* From: telquaa (at) hotmail.com

To read up-to-date coverage of politics, business, sport and entertainment news throughout Africa, visit:

* From: Geneva Hagen

Rumsfeld ... [announced that] ... we've been using the wrong term entirely
to describe the Iraqis killing our troops over there.... They are not
"insurgents," they are "Enemies of the Legally Elected Iraqi Government," or
EOLEIGs. (Guess we know now why Donald never made it as a corporate jingle
writer.) http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/29101/ This would be a good time for anti-war activists to stop calling them "insurgents" and start calling them "the resistance," to emphasize that Iraq([search]) is an illegally occupied country. The "Iraqi terrorists" involved in the big prison break a few weeks ago turned out to be actually British spies - which opens the door to all sorts of interesting speculation! (I think it was HardNewsNow.com that carried a link to that story.)

* From: Karin Scarth

Here is the December edition of Tapestry. Happy holidays!

* From: "SunWolf"

For those considering the flu shot, here is a humorous way of looking at the list of ingredients in the vaccine:

* From: Geneva Hagen

Campaign 2000 launched their Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada yesterday. You can view the English Press Release: First Ministers told to take action to lower shameful poverty rates at

and the Report Card: Decision Time for Canada: Let?s Make Poverty History 2005 Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada at

The French versions are here: http://action.web.ca/home/c2000/alerts.shtml?x=83190 and the report card: http://www.campaign2000.ca/fr/rap/index.html

* From: kelly

Environmental Warfare and Climate Change - The World's climate can be modified by a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons by Michel Chossudovsky

* From: foodnews

www.foodnews.ca - Evidence is growing to support the notion that our environments, including the air we breathe and food and water we ingest, not only have health implications for ourselves, but the ways our environments affect our bodies can be passed on through generations. This article describes in terms accessible to lay people how our genes interact with our environments to produce health consequences. To participate in discussion on this or any other posting, please click on "comment" following the posting at www.foodnews.ca.

* From: "Care2 E-Card Updates"

Send a fun and festive e-card to your friends and family, and then take one minute today to help us save the Endangered Species Act from extinction in Congress! http://care2.com

* From: Sid Chow Tan

Thanks to Gabriel, it appears to be another bad news day for the Liberals on redress. I also heard the Montreal incident (non-existent group in AIP?) is reported in Sing Tao again today. Enjoy and take care.

Go to www.headtaxredress.org to sign the on-line petition

* From: "telquaa,Helen Michell"

Factory emissions disproportionately place minorities and the poor at risk, an AP analysis of an EPA database found.

Killer whales have overtaken polar bears to top a chart of the most polluted mammals in the Arctic.

From: Caspar Davis

This story destroys the argument that the "Patriot" Act is aimed at
Al Qaida-style terrorists.



Commemorating the 47th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution
& the 12th Anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising

A night of Dancing, Music, Food and Celebration!

New Years Eve
DEC 31st

3283 Main St (@ 17th Ave)
Doors at 8:30pm
Program at 9:30pm

$5-10 Sliding Scale
(No one will be turned away for lack of funds)

Organized by
www.vancubasolidarity.com | 778-882-5223 | cubacommunities (at) yahoo.ca
& LA SURDA LATIN AMERICAN COLLECTIVE: lasurda (at) resist.ca

* * * * *
* * * * *
Conmemoraci?n del 47avo Aniversario de la Revoluci?n Cubana
y del 12avo Aniversario del Alzamiento Zapatista

?Una Noche de Baile, M?sica, Comida y Celebraci?n!

Noche de V?spera de A?o Nuevo

3283 Main St (@ 17th Ave)
Puertas abren a las 8:30pm
Programa a las 9:30pm

Costo de entrada a escala:
$5 a $10 (nadie ser? -no admitido- por falta de recursos)

Organizado por:
www.vancubasolidarity.com | 778-882-5223 | cubacommunities (at) yahoo.ca

From: LaSurda



8811 River Road

"Saturday Night Fever" featuring live disco music by The Travoltas
"Dance, Dance, Dance!?? This Disco filled night includes a 5 star buffet, Champagne at Midnight, and party favors for all. Boogie until the wee hours of the New Year at the River Rock Show Theatre,?the owners of the World's Largest Mirror Ball.

Tickets: $199.50 per pair or $112.50 for single tickets + services fees Doors at 7PM
Dinner served between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM

Dal Richards and his Orchestra

"Enjoy the big band sounds of Dal Richards with a buffet, Champagne at midnight, and party favors for all at Tug's Sports Bar in the River Rock Casino Resort."

PRICE: $179.50 per pair or $99.50 for single tickets + service fees Doors at 7PM
Dinner served between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM


Lu Lu?s Lounge:

Bring in the New Year with Vancouver?s own Songstress Kim Kuzma. The two time winner of the West Coast Music Award can be described as sometimes a little bluesy, sometimes a little jazz and always full of soul.

Showtime: 8:00 PM ? 2:00 AM Free admission

New Years Eve at Boulevard Casino

2080 United Boulevard Coquitlam
Chantel's Lounge

Powder Blues

For over two decades Powder Blues has been one of Canada?s leading blues groups that incorporates some of the most vibrant elements of Swing, Rock and Roll and Rhythm and Blues into a readily identifiable sound they can truly call their own.

Showtime: 8:00 PM ? 2:00 AM Free admission

Free Admission

From: "Kelly Phelan"

editor's note: i'm not a big fan of casinos, and that's an understatement, but i'll pass their musical event information along - unless lots of people really object.


3. Bolivia - Prospects after the Evo Morales Victory.

A talk by Jeff Webber

Monday, January 2nd
7:00 pm
65 W.Cordova, Vancouver

On Dec 18, Evo Morales the leader of the MAS (Movement Towards Socialism) was elected President of Bolivia with just over 50 perecent of the popular vote. The decisive election of an indigenous person as President has raised the popular movement's hopes for radical change.

Will Morales, who moderated his discourse duting the election, fulfill popular hopes?

The popular movement which helped drive two Bolivian Presidents from office was centred in El Alto (a largely indigenous community of 700,000, adjacent to La Paz). It continues to demand the convening of a constituent assembly to create new forms of government to serve Bolivia's poor and indigneous majority and the nationalization of gas resources to
benefit the people

Jeff lived for a year in Bolivia researching and working with popular movement in El Alto and returned to Toronto this past September.

Jeff writes frequently on Bolivia for New Socialist and other publications, including ZNet.

From: Ken


4. Investing in Health Radio Forum

CFRO Radio 102.7 FM
Tuesdays, 1:00-2:00 pm

A forum by and for health care workers
and everyone concerned about the future
of health care and other social programs.
Call-in number: 604 684 7561
(this program can also be accessed on internet or cable)

(To contact Investing in Health other days of the week, please leave a message at 604 515 6694 or write us by email).

From: Phil Lyons


5. Grassroots Women Open House

Please join Grassroots Women for an

Sunday, January 8, 2006, 1:00-5:00pm
At our office: #304 - 207 West Hastings Street

Delicious food, displays, and a great chance to become a member of Grassroots Women.
Everyone is welcome!
Call or email us for more details: 604.682.4451

Grassroots Women
#304 - 207 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1H7

From: "Grassroots Women"


6. Looking for Accomodation in Vancouver Jan 13th

Hi Janine

I know that you're stationed in Victoria and I meant to visit you as well as a good friend there. Unfortunately she's left.

I'll be flying via Vancouver to Asia and will be making a short stop there on Jan 13. My friends in Vcr have left and I wonder if you know of anyone who is willing to put me up. The person can view it as an exchange of accommodation in Edmonton where I live. Or, in Singapore where I'll be for a month or so. Unfortunately I couldn't change or cancel the flight. If there's cheap way, I'm also prepared to pay.

I hope you don't mind me asking you as someone from the activist field. I need not explain that I live on a very tight budget. Thanks. If you don't have time to bother about this, it's also okay.

Regards and all good wishes for the season.

Ahmui M/s

From: ahmui cheong


7. Certificate Program for CED Professionals

There are several courses coming up this fall in Simon Fraser University's
Certificate Program for CED Professionals. The program is a great way to
acquire or add to your knowledge and skills about sustainable community
development. Our instructors are practitioners with many years of experience
and a special knack for sharing their expertise.

You can take courses in Vancouver at SFU's downtown Harbour Centre campus,
in Castlegar and Kimberley or in Massett on Haida Gwaii. All the information
about courses, schedules and instructors is on our website:
http://www.sfu.cs/cscd/ced or contact Program Director Melanie Conn
mconn (at) sfu.ca or phone 604-736-0935.

Begin 2006 by signing up for a course in Simon Fraser University's
non-credit Certificate Program for CED Professionals! Information about the
program and courses is at http://www.sfu.ca/cscd/ced or contact Melanie Conn
mconn (at) sfu.ca or (phone) 604-736-0935.

Before the merry season completely takes over, this is a good time to think
about registering for winter courses in Simon Fraser University's non-credit
Certificate for CED Professionals in Vancouver at Harbour Centre; Castlegar
and Kimberley; and on Haida Gwaii.

Community Participation in CED on January 20-21 at Harbour Centre.
Instructor Jan Taylor brings a wealth of experience to the topic which is so
critical for effective CED. See more on the course at:

Local Development & the Global Economy on February 24-25 at Harbour Centre.
Explore the challenges of globalization and the opportunities for
sustainable CED with instructor Melanie Conn. See
http://www.sfu.ca/cscd/ced/localdev.htm for more information.

Co-op Models for CED in Castlegar on January 26-27. Contact Anni Holtby for
more information amholtby (at) selkirk.ca or check out the Kootenays brochure at

Sustainable Development and CED in Kimberley on February 10-11. Contact
Carrie Schafer for more information cschafer (at) cotr.bc.ca or check out the
Kootenays brochure at http://www.sfu.ca/cscd/ced/ebroch2005koot.pdf

Local Development, the Global Economy & the Role of Co-operatives on Feb
8-10 in Massett on Haida Gwaii. Contact Danielle Myles for more information:
dmyles (at) island.net

And I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Melanie Conn
Certificate for CED Professionals
Simon Fraser University
Centre for Sustainable Community Development
Ph: 604-736-0935
Fax: 604-737-4901
Email: mconn (at) sfu.ca

From: "Ellie Parks"


8. Taking the Fear out of ABA

- Lovaas, Verbal Behaviour and More -

Presented by Suzanne Jacobsen, Ed.D., BCBA

January 14, 2006 - Abbotsford
January 28, 2006 ? Victoria
April 1, 2006 ? Fort St. John
May 13, 2006 - Vancouver

Are you confused as to why ABA treatment is the core of the government funded autism treatment programs? Have you been disturbed by the negative image of traditional ABA as harsh and dogmatic? Would you like to better understand what modern ABA includes and how this approach can help your child or the children you work with? Would you like to go beyond the dogma and hear about what research tells us about why properly designed ABA programs work and why it is necessary to individualize ABA programs for each child?

Would you like to see some wonderful videos featuring children having fun as they learn to build their communication and social skills?

Come and join ACT and Dr. Suzanne Jacobsen for a fascinating workshop featuring some fabulous kids. Dr. Jacobsen is well known to parents and professionals across BC for her exceptional range of experience as a diagnostician, educator, psychologist and behaviour consultant.

See the attached registration form or download from www.actbc.ca. For more information or to register call ACT at 604-205-5467 or toll free at 1-866-939-5188. We are able to accept Mastercard or Visa. Parents may use up to 20% of their MCFD autism funding for training opportunities. ACT is a not-for-profit that prioritizes giving parents the information they need to run strong treatment programs for their children. Early Bird Registration costs: $65 for parents; $90 for professionals.

From: "Moms on the Move"


9. 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm in Vancouver, Canada, April 30th - May 4th, 2006

Welcome to the last update of 2005 regarding the 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm in Vancouver, Canada, April 30th - May 4th, 2006.


In January there will be just four months left before the conference opens. Please be sure to take advantage of the reduced registration rate prior to January 30, 2006. Registrations after January 30th will be at the regular rate. Register on-line at



Vancouver, Canada is a very popular place to visit so we encourage you to book your hotel as early as possible. There are two conference host hotels, the Hyatt Regency Vancouver and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Special rates for conference attendees are available through on-line bookings at:



The Executive Program Committee met earlier this month to review all of the abstracts and are excited to make the 2006 conference programme available on-line at the end of January, 2006. We expected about 800 abstracts but received over 1300! This response will allow for a rich, varied and quality programme with many voices being heard.

Some of the planned sessions include:

? Not So Fast: Youth on Speed

? Voices >From the Global Frontier

? Concurrent Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in Youth

? Drug User Activism in East Europe and Central Asia

? Intoxication Ideas: HR Potpourri

? Reaching Those Behind Bars

? Breaking the Cycle: Marginalized Women and Harm Reduction

Additional confirmed Plenary Speakers include:

Jonathon Cohen, Human Rights Watch, USA

Mauro Guarinieri, Chair, Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS

David Soares, Albany District Attorney, New York, USA

Check our website regularly for program updates, including registration and abstract information and any new developments in our Whats New section: http://www.harmreduction2006.ca

Have a wonderful holiday season,

Patricia Spittal and Sue Currie
Conference Co-Chairs

From: "Harm Reduction 2006"


10. Transition from MCFD to CLBC

The Family Advisory Committee of the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living asked us to pass this on:

On January 21, 2006, from 10am to Noon, Doug Woollard from CLBC will be updating the community on the Transition from MCFD to CLBC.


With Doug Woollard, Vice President of Community Planning & Development

Are you wondering how the transition from MCFD to CLBC is going?
How are services for you or your family member being affected by the transition?
Will my current social worker change?
Is Individualized Funding coming?
When are Community Councils going to be up and running?

From the Communications Committee of the Coalition:
Have a festive Holiday Season and remember January 12, 2006 is our next Coalition Meeting

11:30am for a light lunch - meeting from Noon to 2pm

From: "Coalition News"


11. River Rock Show Theatre

Artist: James Brown

?The amazing 'Godfather of Soul' brings his dynamic showmanship to the River Rock Show Theatre An opportunity to see James Brown, one of the most influential singers, songwriters and producers in music history, at one of the most intimate theatre settings" ?

?Date: January 13th and 14th - 8PM

?PRICE?$79.50 + service fees ? BOTH SHOWS SOLD OUT!



Artist: Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick has, over an illustrious four-decade career, established her as an international musical legend. She brings her soulful sound To the River Rock Show Theatre.

Date: January 20th - 8PM

PRICE : $49.50 + service fees SOLD OUT!

Artist: Norm Macdonald
This Saturday Night Live alumna, who has starred in almost all of the aturday night live spin off movies, and recent sit com star, brings his hilarious stand up act to The River Rock Show Theatre

Date: January 21st - 8PM

PRICE : $43.50+ service fees


Artist: Belly Dance Super Stars

?"Experience the sensual art of the belly dance as some the worlds best and beautiful display their talents at the River Rock Show Theatre."
?Date: January 27th and 28th - 8PM
?PRICE $32.50 + service fees


Artist: Everlasting Golden Hits
Featuring Sandra Lang and Elisa Chan ?
Date: January 31st - 8PM
Prices Start at $88.00+ service fees
?Artist: Dwight Yoakam

"Dwight Yoakam, who has sold more than 23 million albums worldwide and won? two Grammy's? will bring his unique mix of traditional country and just the right amount of rock and roll to The River Rock Show Theatre"
Date: February 15th - 8PM
PRICE: $69.50 + service fees - SOLD OUT!


Artist: Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel's career has encompassed virtually every area of entertainment?including television, film and stage. He brings his hilarious stand up?routine to the River Rock Show Theatre for two nights this February"
Date: February 17th and 18th - 8PM
PRICE $59.50 + service fees


Artist: Tom Cochrane
Defiantly one of Canada?s most successful rock performers, Tom Cochrane will appear at The River Rock Show Theatre to perform all his classic hits.
Date: February 25- 8PM
PRICE $42.50 + service fees

Artist: Colin James
This is Colin's first tour in support of his new album ?Limelight?, which has enjoyed across the board critical acclaim since its release in September. You will also get a chance to hear his classic blues rock influenced songs that have made him a success all across Canada and the US
Date: March 4 -8pm
PRICE $34.75 + service fees

Please be advised TUESDAY NIGHT BOOGIE NIGHTS show is cancelled until further notice.

From: "Kelly Phelan"


12. The Coalition of Progressive Electors Newsletter, December 21th, 2005

Email:cope (at) cope.bc.ca

Holiday Greetings from COPE

Best wishes to all COPE volunteers and supporters for a peaceful and restful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year!!

COPE offices will close at noon on Friday, December 23 and re-open on Tuesday, January 03, 2006.

NPA cuts social housing in SE False Creek

Dec 20, 2005 ? Mayor Sam Sullivan and his NPA council voted today to cut social housing in the new Southeast False Creek development.

The NPA decision reverses a COPE plan for a three way split of social, middle income and market housing on the site between the Cambie Bridge and Science World.

But Sullivan and the NPA want to eliminate middle income housing and cut social housing to less than 20 percent. That would allow 80 per cent of the units to be high-end condos like those on the North Side of False Creek and Coal Harbour. And it would mean the end of SE False Creek as a model sustainable community.

Urban geographer and COPE supporter Dr John Irwin spoke at Council and urged Sullivan and the NPA to stick to the existing plan for an equal mix of social and market housing. Irwin has campaigned for more than a decade for a sustainable community at Fasle Creek that would include energy efficient buildings with green roofs, and an integrated community that promotes cycling and pedestrian transportation.

The NPA majority, however, ignored Irwin and other delegations at Council and voted to scrap the COPE plan for a sustainable SE False Creek that would have included all segments of the community, not just the NPA and their pals who can afford half-million dollar high-rise condos.

NPA Council ignores democracy as they scrap bike lanes on Burrard Street Bridge

Dec. 20, 2005 - At a rancorous six-hour special meeting of Vancouver City Council today, NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan and five NPA councillors squashed a trial plan to dedicate two lanes of the Burrard Bridge for cyclists.

More than 40 delegations, including former COPE Councillors Fred Bass and Anne Roberts as well as Heritage Vancouver, the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and a number of architects urged Council to go ahead with the bike lane trial which was to begin next April.

Only Downtown Business Association director and NPA supporter Charles Gauthier supported the NPA decision to cut the bike lanes.

At the start of the meeting and contrary to usual procedure Sullivan would not allow Councillors to question any of the delegates or city staff.

?Sullivan?s decision to not allow questions is a complete disregard for democracy,? said Roberts. ?It was just a way of getting this decision rammed through.?

Last July, all COPE and Vision Vancouver councillors as well as NPA Councillor Peter Ladner supported bike lanes as an alternative to spending up to $13 million on altering the sidewalks. Only Sullivan was opposed.

City traffic engineers reported that bike lanes on the bridge would support the city?s plan to cut greenhouse gases, improve safety and comply with existing transportation plans that put priority on cyclists and pedestrians. Engineers also said the number of cars crossing the Burrard Bridge has decreased over the past few years and that drivers can use the Granville Bridge which is below capacity.

Contact Information

The Coalition of Progressive Electors
103 ? 1001 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC
V6H 4B1
Phone: 604-288-9777
Email: cope (at) cope.bc.ca

COPE newsletters update our supporters about upcoming civic activities. To learn more about our organization, please visit the COPE web site at http://www.cope.bc.ca.

If you do not wish to receive our newsletters, please do not reply to this email. Rather, send a quick email to lists (at) cope.bc.ca with the subject line: remove.

From: "The Coalition of Progressive Electors"


13. Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Union of BC Indian Chiefs wishes you a very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes in the New Year! Please note that our offices will be closed

Monday, December 19th, 2005 -January 2nd, 2006
We will re-open Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006.

Wishing you safe and happy holidays!

The UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

From: "UBCIC Current Events"


14. A Cycling Perspective

It's no secret that the NPA is big business' minion in the City of Vancouver.

Sam Sullivan, the new NPA mayor of Vancouver, made few tangible promises during the November election campaign. One that he did make was to reverse the previous Council's visionary and wise decision to convert two of the six lanes on the Burrard Bridge into safe, physically separated, bicycle lanes for at least a 6 month trial starting in April 2006.

Looking at the numbers in the last election, Sam Sullivan "won" the mayor's seat with the support of 10% of eligible voters. That's right, one in every 10 of us voted for Sullivan and somehow (read: James Green!, citizen alienation from a system that inherently doesn't represent anyone but big business, and a big advertising budget) he now claims to be our Mayor.

The previous election saw Larry Campbell win the mayoralty with 59% of votes cast.

Can Sullivan morally or ethically undo what the previous government did, when it had the support of the majority of Vancouver citizens, given that he represents merely 10% of us?

A Brief Cycling History of the Burrard Bridge
This issue has dogged the NPA for over a decade already. Transportation activists throughout the City have been clamouring for the lowest-cost, safest-for-all option for the Burrard Street Bridge, which is simply to convert two existing vehicle lanes to cycling/rollerblading/skateboarding only lanes. The recent Council decision to do just this on a trial basis (at least 6 months followed by another 6 months) flew in the face of what the City's staff had been recommending. The engineering staff want to spend tens of millions of our tax dollars to extend the sidewalks, create spiral ramps (a la Cambie Street Bridge), and keep their high-paying jobs.

This staff odyssey began in 1994 when the City's engineering department presented seven different options, four of which were almost anti- gravitational and extremely expensive. The sidewalk extension option was estimated to cost $6-8 million (as compared to $15 million now), while the option to simply remove two lanes was priced by City staff to be $5 million! After two years of public input, Council reduced the options to just two: the sidewalk extension or removing only one lane on the bridge.

A trial run of the one lane removal option was then set for June of 1996.

Now check this out: NO advance publicity was provided to motorists or cyclists before the trial and when the lane was actually closed, there were no warning signs except at the bridge itself. Monday morning motorists felt like a rug had been pulled out from under them, while commuting cyclists and walkers were surprised to find a safe way across the bridge. One thing the bridge signage did provide was a phone number to call and leave your comments about the trial. Needless to say, the motorists caught in this setup let the NPA mayor know of their road rage, loud and clear. And suddenly, a multi-week trial was abruptly cancelled at the end of the first week by the NPA Mayor and Council.

Despite this negligence by City staff, by week's end the number of phone calls in support of the lane conversion equalled those that were against it. More importantly, the number of cyclists using the bridge increased dramatically (39%) while the car traffic literally disappeared. Why? Because when a safe and convenient space to cycle or walk is provided, many motorists leave their cars at home.

Creating a City Safe for All
The 1997 Transportation Plan was passed by an NPA City Council after a rare, City-wide, thorough public consultation process. It clearly states that pedestrians are our highest Transportation priority in the City, followed by cyclists, transit users, goods and services, and lastly, the private automobile. Unfortunately, the spirit, if not the letter, of this Plan is violated virtually everyday by our City's transportation-related staff.

The Burrard Bridge trial could finally be the start of a honest implementation of this Plan, where instead of spending our meagre cycling budget on signs, decals, paint, lights that never change, and staff salaries, we reallocate our existing resources (both asphalt and taxes) to create safe and accessible spaces for all levels of walkers, cyclists, wheelchair users, stroller pushers, skaters, bladers, et cetera.

The Burrard Bridge trial also allows for the creation of a Bus only or HOV lane on the bridge, which would finally provide guaranteed space for those that use transit. Instead of continuing to encourage people to be our lowest transportation priority (over 85% of the traffic on the Burrard Bridge is single occupant motorists or SOVs), these measures support our Transportation Plan's goal of providing for the folks that need and deserve our support: self-propelled people of all types and abilities as well as public transit takers.

Many others have repeatedly pointed out that the brown haze saturating our City and the Lower Mainland is not going to magically disappear. It's also no secret that there is room to spare on the Granville Street Bridge (this will be the focus of the next conversion of bridge space to safe, cycling space).

If our governments and its bureaucrats won't respect the wishes of its citizenry (you know, the folks that fund the salaries of both the politicians and the staff), then it won't long until the day comes when these structures make themselves completely redundant.

Already, many cyclists take the lane on Burrard Bridge (and all the others) because it simply makes sense to do so. There is no risk of accidentally being pushed into traffic but an unsuspecting pedestrian, and you can take advantage of the hill you just climbed by doubling or tripling the speed limit imposed on the sidewalks.

Extending the sidewalks will not solve this issue. Cyclists will continue to take the lane, whether individually or in Critical Mass, not just because we paid more than our fair share for it, but because we deserve appropriate space and we will lead the way to a sustainable future for everyone.


If you are expecting a baby soon...
...read Ina May Gaskin's insightful book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, packed full of birth stories and her experience delivering over 2000 babies.
...consider Natural Infact Hygiene (aka Elimination Communication)
and reduce the expense of diapers (and much more)...check out
http://www.diaperless.org and http://www.natural-wisdom.com

Did you know that in Scandinavia...
--> there are laws protecting children from all forms of spanking and
bullying, even from parents

--> these laws do not imprison or punish parents but instead raise
awareness (http://www.empathicparenting.org)

--> the elderly are able to remain at home thanks to programs that
provide free meals, free transportation, and free care

From: "Dave Olsen"



concentration of power is not a feminist principle.
Victoria Street Newz - http://streetnewz.communitypipe.org


"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

-- Nietzsche


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Coast Salish Territory

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Last Updated on Thursday, 29 December 2005 08:32

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