Everywhere and nowhere
Posted April 5, 2017
What role do indigenous peoples play in Canada's environmental history?
As sesquicentennial events take place around the country in 2017, Canadians have been struggling with how best to approach this milestone. One major concern being raised is that the outpouring of patriotism and celebrations risks ignoring the ghosts of our past, papering over the problems of today and sidelining the narratives of marginalized people.
This is particularly true when it comes to the country’s indigenous population.
Small but admirable attempts to decolonize our collective history have emerged in places like Vancouver, which has branded its anniversary events “150+” as an acknowledgement of the time before settler contact. Visitors have flooded in to see Cree artist Kent Monkman’s art series “Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience” as it travels across the country. The exhibit showcases a collection of his paintings, which use the aesthetics of traditional Western neo-classicism to challenge the Euro-centric narrative of Canada’s colonial past and to confront the impact of this colonial story on Canada’s indigenous peoples.Continue Reading...
Dissent in the ranks
Posted April 3, 2017
Conservative MP and federal leadership candidate Michael Chong wants to tell you about his ambitious carbon tax proposal.
During the 2008 federal election campaign, then-prime minister Stephen Harper took particular delight in lampooning Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s green shift plan as a tax on everything. Complete opposition to all forms of carbon taxation continues to be the national Conservative party’s preferred strategy almost a decade later, despite professed support for lowering Canada’s emissions 30 per cent by 2030.
Economists broadly agree that carbon pricing is the preferred method for reducing emissions with the lowest economic cost, but resistance to the idea at the federal level has led to the territory being seceded to the governing Liberal party. As Republicans learned repeatedly during the Obama era, while failing to engage constructively on controversial issues can be a political winner it often leads to “worse” policy outcomes (from a conservative perspective).Continue Reading...
Posted March 15, 2017
New report calls for radical overhaul of London congestion charge
London should replace its existing inner city congestion charge with a broader pay-per-mile system, according to a report submitted by the London Assembly transport committee in January.
The city first introduced a fee to enter the Congestion Charge zone in 2003 under then-mayor Ken Livingstone, a ground-breaking model that has been replicated in other cities like Stockholm and Milan. Originally priced at £5, the fee is applied to all vehicles entering central London between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Daily charges have since increased to £11.50, although a western expansion of the congestion zone was eliminated in 2011. All revenue is collected by Transport for London, the transportation body responsible for Greater London.Continue Reading...
Posted January 16, 2017
Xi comes to Davos
Among the diplomats, corporate titans, politicians and celebrities circulating at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year will be a fresh face: Chinese President Xi Jinping.
It is no accident that 2017 marks the first year that a Chinese president attends the Davos conference. U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is promising a less activist role for America on the global stage, one that includes curtailing the nation’s recent leadership in combating climate change both at home and abroad.Continue Reading...
The life and death of the single-family home
Posted January 4, 2017
How Vancouver learned to love density – and which battles still lie ahead.
Held up as a model for sustainable living, Vancouver has charted a different path from most other North American cities over the past five decades. A blend of purposeful and accidental choices has turned the city into one of the densest places to live, where a majority of residents reside in either townhouses or condos.
This has occurred despite one regulatory relic that Vancouver has been loath to change: RS zoning, which is single-family residential zoning for detached homes. With detached housing only available to current owners or millionaires, these regulations have created a great house reserve that occupies more than three-quarters of Vancouver’s residential land base.Continue Reading...