This week the Provincial government and Metro Vancouver mayors said they’re out of ideas on how to expand the transit system. That’s a huge problem because the biggest thing that we can do locally to fight climate change is switch from private cars to public transit.
The best way to cause that shift is to put a transit pass in everyone’s hand, and make it affordable. But recent moves toward fare increases and fare gates mean that we’re actually increasing emissions.
Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Metro Vancouver. Of the just over 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gases that we emitted into the atmosphere in 2010, a majority (53% or 5.5 million tonnes) was caused by vehicles. 
In turn, almost all vehicular emissions were caused by passenger cars and other personal vehicles (about 4 million tonnes) or commercial vehicles (over 1 million tonnes).
TransLink estimates that switching from car to transit will reduce a person’s CO2 emissions over four-fold (from 224 grams of greenhouse gases per km travelled to only 50 grams). Indeed the reduction may be even more significant. Although 16% of commuters take public transit, they contribute only about 1% of vehicular emissions (0.07 out of the 5.5 million tonnes).
Season 1, Episode 13
Victoria vs. Vancouver: Poverty, Gentrification and the War on Drugs
Click HERE to listen
Co-hosts: Tristan Markle and Nathan Crompton
On this episode of Mainlander Radio:
Poverty, gentrification, and the war on drugs affect the city of Vancouver, but they are also big issues in BC’s capital city Victoria. Today we’ll be talking to activists from Victoria about how these issues affect their city; they’ll also offer their perspective on Vancouver’s situation and ways that activists in BC’s two largest cities can work together. Guests: Seb Bonet (Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group / Radical Health Alliance), Kim Hothead (Ctte to End Homelessness / co-founder of the Victoria Drug User’s Union) and Carol Romanow (Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society).
Season 1, Episode 12
“If capitalism doesn’t work, what does?” – highlights from the annual World Peace Forum teach-in in Vancouver
Click HERE to listen
Co-hosts: Daniel Tseghay and Tristan Markle
On this episode of Mainlander Radio we talked to:
Roger Rashi, a founding member of Québec solidaire, about building an anticapitalist political party;
Tom Walker, an instructor in Labour and the Environment at SFU, about de-growth and the commons;
Tamara Herman, an organizer with the Carnegie Community Action Project and a member of the Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan.
* Photo credit: David Vaisbord, The Little Mountain Project *
An updated Little Mountain Policy is coming to Vancouver City Council today, June 27 2012. The most notable issue is that the developer, Holborn, is now openly challenging the cornerstone of the project: that the proceeds of the land sale should fund the 224 ‘replacement’ social housing units onsite.
In 2007, the City and the Province agreed that ‘replacement’ social units — to house the 600 people dislocated by the Little Mountain demolition — would be funded from the sale of the land to a developer. The language in the agreement was unambiguous: “Whether the Site is rezoned or not, BC Housing will replace the existing 224 units of social housing on site … BC Housing will invest all of the net proceeds from the sale of the Site (after the existing social housing is replaced on site) into the development of social housing throughout the province. Half the net proceeds (after the existing social housing is replaced) will be invested in the City of Vancouver.” (For an analysis of the offsite housing, please see the article Myth of the 14 Sites by Nathan Crompton).
After signing this clear agreement, the Province then chose Holborn Properties Ltd. as the project’s developer. These two parties entered into a separate agreement involving sale of the land to Holborn. However, the terms of the agreement, including the dollar value of the land sale, have been kept from the public.