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A progressive take on current events. Produced by an independent media collective at Vancouver Cooperative Radio.
718 Episodes
More than 30 Palestinian trade unions have issued a united call to stop arming Israel. This call comes in light of Israel’s intensified assault on Palestinians over the past weeks, and particularly the unfolding genocide in Gaza. Activists in Canada have responded by blockading weapons facilities in Ontario and Quebec and informing Canadians about the flow of weapons from Canada to Israel. We talk with Rachel Small, an organizer with World Beyond War.
As the climate emergency deepens, we hear repeatedly that the solution involves sacrifice. Fossil fuels, travel, meat - all things we need to give up to preserve the planet for human habitation. However, trio of academics say that effective climate action requires us to stop viewing our efforts as a sacrifice. We speak with Daniel Steel, associate professor in the School of Population and Public Health at University of British Columbia.
On City Beat with Ian Mass this week, a draft of Vancouver’s 2024 budget with a recommended property tax increase of 7.6%, a motion supporting the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, plans for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and more.
The Gaza Strip is now a graveyard for thousands of children. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, says that more children have now been killed in Gaza than all other conflicts since 2019. Despite the fact that the vast majority of Gaza’s population are refugees, they are not included in the United Nations international refugee protection regime. Today we speak with Dr. Maissaa Almustafa, Lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on the forcibly displaced and the politics of marginalization that govern their lives in the Middle East and in diaspora.
Temporary Modular Housing currently provides over 750 units of shelter-rate housing across Vancouver. OneCity councillor Christine Boyle brought forward a motion in July to renew or extend the leases for all these sites. Mayor Sim and his ABC party majority unanimously voted against that motion - and the dismantling or demolition of these units is now underway. We speak with Nathan Crompton, a member of the editorial collective for the Mainlander and an organizer with Our Homes Can’t Wait.
This week, the BC Health Coalition is in Vancouver talking about the urgent need for reform and innovation in public health care. Meanwhile the Canadian Medical Association is sponsoring a cross-country conversation about the role of private – read for-profit – health care. We talk with Dr. Saad Ahmed of Canadian Doctors for Medicare about the truth behind the myths of privatization and what it would mean for health care in Canada.
Affordable housing is on the agenda this week at Vancouver City Council. Council will hear about four different initiatives designed to make housing cheaper and also more equitable, including a bold proposal to increase density in the city’s richest neighbourhood. Ian Mass joins us with his City Beat report.
Over a quarter of a million Canadian workers now participate to varying degrees in app-based gig work. Most of these are ride hail and food delivery workers. The BC government is planning on updating regulations that affect these workers. The Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives-BC made a submission to the government, aimed at extending protections and benefits that other workers receive. We speak with Véronique Sioufi, CCPA Researcher for Racial & Socio-economic Equity.
As the bombardment of Gaza continues, thousands of Canadians are calling for a ceasefire. These protests are being met with a concerted international effort to suppress rallies and speeches that express solidarity with Palestinians. On November 5, the co-organizer of a large rally in Calgary was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace. We speak about the case with Muhannad Ayyash, sociology professor at Mount Royal University and policy analyst at Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network.
From sexual harassment to online bullying and threats of violence, women politicians face far more challenges in public life than their male counterparts. A new research project took a close look at what women, gender minorities and racialized politicians face when they get elected to councils in BC and Alberta. We talk with Nadine Nakagawa, city councillor in New Westminster and one of the lead researchers in the project.
In Vancouver, single room occupancy hotels are often a last resort before homelessness, but rising rents mean that many low-income residents lose their housing each year. City of Vancouver vacancy control bylaws designed to protect SROs were quashed by the BC Supreme Court in 2022. On Nov 7, that ruling is being challenged in the BC Court of Appeal. We speak about the case with Wendy Pedersen, director of the Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative.
In the lead-up to last year’s municipal election, Women Transforming Cities launched the Hot Pink Paper Campaign with eight policy asks based on months of community input from women and gender-diverse residents. A year later, we talk with Clara Prager about how council is doing on fulfilling their campaign commitments to create a more equitable city for all.
As attacks continue on Palestinian people in Gaza, Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism is on the rise. This hatred of Muslim people is fomented by a concerted propaganda campaign and by the repetition of false news stories and misinformation. To help us understand what is happening, and the impact on Muslim people here in Canada and elsewhere, we’re joined by Dr. Jasmin Zine, professor in sociology and religion and culture at Wilfrid Laurier university.
Mayor Ken Sim has targeted OneCity councillor Christine Boyle with two code-of-conduct complaints and investigations in the last six months. Ian Mass talks about these complaints. Also in today’s City Beat report, Ian discussed the campaign to rebuild the Britannia Community Centre complex, Vancouver’s 2023 homeless count and a whole lot more.
On Oct 26, BC brought in new legislation to help municipalities regulate short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb. The mayors of cities as diverse as Victoria, Kelowna and Tofino were enthusiastic about the move. Thorben Wieditz is with the organization Fairbnb. He says this kind of regulation is an essential first step in ending ghost hotels. I spoke with him a few days before David Eby’s announcement.
Despite record high drug-poisoning deaths in Yaletown, the city of Vancouver is closing an overdose prevention site on Seymour Street. So far, there is no guarantee that another site will be opened to replace it. Vince Tao is a community organizer with VANDU, the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. He joins us to talk about what led to the decision to close the site.
Whether you’ve been in the fight against climate change for decades, or are a newcomer, the struggle can feel overwhelming in so many ways. Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua have produced a new book to support and energize us – it’s called Not Too Late. Rebecca Solnit is in Vancouver for the Writers Fest this month. We speak with her about hope, possibility and the book.
A recent ruling by the Ontario Superior Court marks an important acknowledgment in the ongoing battle against systemic Islamophobia. In September, Justice Markus Koehnen recognized that the Muslim Association of Canada faced differential and biased treatment faced during a Canada Revenue Agency audit. However the judge stopped short of intervening in the federal examination. We speak with Nabil Sultan, Communications and Community Engagement Director at the Muslim Association of Canada.
Jérémie Harris is a former physicist, an AI safety expert and a startup founder. He’s the author of “Quantum Physics Made Me Do It: A Simple Guide to the Fundamental Nature of Everything” and he will be a featured speaker at the Vancouver Writers Fest this year. We spoke with him about his new book and about the threats posed by the unregulated growth of AI.
Following a brutal attack on Israeli citizens by Hamas for forces, Israel has retaliated with a total siege of Gaza and a bombing campaign of Gaza and the occupied West Bank, targeting both civilians and militant actors, and killing and wounding thousands of Palestinians. Leaders in the Trudeau government have expressed full support for Israel and remained silent on the devastating airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which make no distinction between civilians and combatants. We spoke on October 11 with Thomas Woodley, President of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
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