Vancouver’s bike share system may negatively impact bike rental shops

Bike share systems are popular in other large cities like this one, as pat of the NYC Bike Share Program. Photo by: Craig Ruttle

The City of Vancouver’s bike share system program has its wheels in motion to launch this summer, but some bike rental shops have concerns about how it will affect their businesses.

The program which plans to roll out in June, will start with 100 stations and 1,000 bikes and will add another 50 stations and 500 bikes by the end of the year, has been a project eight years in the making.

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Melanie Mark’s NDP MLA victory a positive step moving forward for indigenous people

The New Democratic Party coasted to a landslide of a victory in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant’s byelection on Tuesday night, making its candidate, Melanie Mark, the first aboriginal woman elected to the B.C. legislature.

Melanie Mark, NDP MLA for Vancouver Mount Pleasant is the first aboriginal woman elected to the B.C. Legislature. Photo by: Gerry Kahrmann , PNG

Melanie Mark, NDP MLA for Vancouver Mount Pleasant is the first aboriginal woman elected to the B.C. Legislature. Photo by: Gerry Kahrmann , PNG

Mark easily won with 5,353 votes, worth 60 per cent of the voting, while Green Party candidate Pete Fry finished second, with 2,325 votes, worth 26 per cent.

Mark, who is part Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree, and Ojibway, grew up in social housing in East Vancouver and has many roots attached to it and the Mount Pleasant neighbourhoods with a history of being an activist, youth worker, volunteer and coordinator.

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Fatalities related to occupational diseases rising in construction industry

Deaths while on the job in the construction industry has decreased over the last ten years, but work safety officials are saying these numbers are expected to increase due to a rise in occupational diseases.

According to WorkSafeBC, there were a total of 29 reported deaths in 2015, and over half of the 337 fatalities reported since 2006 through 2015 have allegedly been related to workplace health hazards.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material. Image: google

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material. Photo: Google image search.

Brett Mineer, government and media relations with WorkSafeBC, said fatalities will rise because most exposure to asbestos occurred more than 15 years ago when its dangers weren’t known.

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New street vending restrictions in the Downtown Eastside will negatively affect vendors’ livelihoods

Street vendors around East Hastings are desperate to continue selling because it’s the only solution they have to make ends meet with a lack of affordable housing in an area being rapidly gentrified, according to advocates.

The city’s decision to force the sellers to move to the new sites and impose restrictions on how often they can sell is devastating, says Maria Wallstam from the Carnegie Community Action Plan Project.

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Foreign investors should be taxed for empty Metro Vancouver homes, say some

An affordable housing shortage in Metro Vancouver has sparked discussions that it could

Photo by: Caelie Frampton | Wikimedia Creative Commons

Photo by: Caelie Frampton | Wikimedia Creative Commons

be alleviated if the empty homes owned by foreign investors were taxed, said West Vancouver mayor, Michael Smith.

According to Metro Vancouver‘s Regional Affordable Housing Strategy, low and low to-moderate income renters earn less than $50,000 per year. The report suggests higher levels of government should intervene for housing to become accessible for people that fall under that category.  Continue reading

Some East Van shops not as lucky in moving forward in medical marijuana application process

Photo: Getty Images - So far, 11 out of the 176 applications for medical marijuana dispensaries have been approved by the city.

Photo: Getty Images – So far, 11 out of the 176 applications for medical marijuana dispensaries have been approved by the city.

The City of Vancouver recently sent out letters 11 out of 176 medical marijuana dispensary applications advising them they can move forward in the application process, yet some businesses with two locations are only allowed to move forward with one development permit review.

The approved businesses meeting the zoning requirements will get to move forward with with development for a permit review, which includes the opportunity for public input. One East Vancouver business with two locations, however, will only get to move forward in the application process with one of its shops.

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Chasing Murals: an artist’s transition from animator to concept artist

There’s a good chance Ilya Viryachev wouldn’t be the artist he’s progressively become if his family hadn’t migrated to Vancouver, B.C. when he was 14.

With the completion of his most recent outdoor mural at Main and 16th behind Caffe Rustico, approval for another mural to go at Main and 8th, and an art show next month, he’s come along way from his life back in Kazakhstan.

Hailing from Almaty, Kazakhstan, what Viryachev describes as a “second world country,”  he said most jobs there fall under the trades and that getting work in the arts is more difficult. Although Viryachev’s interest in art began at an early age with the help of his mother who took him to art classes, the dream of fully pursuing his passion was put on hold until the move to Canada.

His eyes widen and his smile stretches from ear-to-ear as he reminisces his journey. “It’s pretty awesome I have the opportunity to do this here,” he says.

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