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CPP News Service
An agreement was reached earlier this month between the parks board,
city council, TransLink, and the community, regarding construction of a
public walkway in the Eburne lands, located west of the Arthur Lang
A victory for local residents, the agreement follows six months of
negotiations and community pressure to improve the local environment
and livability in Vancouver's park deficient neighbourhood of Marpole.
The walkway will allow pedestrian and bicycle access to the Fraser
River, landscaped with native plants without any concrete barrier to
The COPE parks board, city, TransLink, and community have also
committed to a further visioning process, with $1million being devoted
to further park acquisition in the south Vancouver area.
Construction of the walkway will begin following consideration at a
development permit board hearing scheduled for May 25.
“COPE parks commissioners congratulate Marpole residents for the hard
work raising awareness about the need for green space in their
community, effectively coming to the table to represent their
interests,” says Park Board member Heather Deal. “We will continue
supporting processes that involve working with community in finding
solutions to help build a better Vancouver.”
Ecologists to Challenge SE2 NAFTA Appeal
CPP News Service
Two BC environmental organizations are going to court to support a
National Energy Board ruling that blocked the construction of a power
plant near Abbotsford.
The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation and the David Suzuki
Foundation will jointly oppose Sumas Energy 2’s appeal on the grounds
that the proposed power plant poses unacceptable environmental and
health risks for the Fraser Valley. The groups are being represented by
Sierra Legal Defense Fund lawyer Tim Howard.
”Most people in BC agree this is the wrong power plant in the wrong
location,” said SPEC coordinator Ivan Bulic. “In its appeal SE2 is now
claiming that NAFTA overrides the power of the NEB, a Canadian agency,
to protect the health and environment of British Columbia residents.”
Earlier this month, SE 2 announced it would appeal the National Energy
Board’s decision to deny the U.S. power company’s application to build
a power line to the company’s proposed power plant in Sumas,
Washington. The National Energy Board rejected SE2’s plan because it is
too environmentally risky.
Thousands of Fraser Valley and Whatcom County residents opposed the
gas-fired power plant, which they say will dump up to three tons of
hazardous pollutants a day into the Lower Fraser Valley air shed.
”The National Energy Board decision was a good one,” said Morag Carter,
director of the Suzuki Foundation’s climate change program. “The ruling
protected human health and the environment. Using NAFTA as a backdoor
method to overturn the will of the National Energy Board reeks of
Also opposed to SE2’s appeal motion are the Province of BC, the GVRD,
BC Agriculture Minister John van Dongen, the City of Abbotsford,
Conservative MP Chuck Strahl and the Sto:lo First Nation.
”The Sumas 2 appeal does not serve the interest of Canadians,” said
Sierra Legal lawyer Tim Howard. “If SE2 wins its appeal, it will
seriously erode Canadian control over Canadian resources and laws.”
West Vancouver Signs on
to Pesticide Restrictions
CPP News Service
The West Vancouver District has become the latest lower mainland city
to restrict chemical pesticides. Its council unanimously passed a
motion to prepare a by-law restricting the use of non-essential
cosmetic pesticides on all lawns, gardens and public parks. At
their April 26 meeting, Councillors directed staff to prepare a draft
by-law for consideration by May 10.
West Vancouver will become the fourth GVRD municipality that either has
or is preparing a by-law to restrict the use of hazardous,
non-essential pesticides. Vancouver, Port Moody and New Westminster
have already approved education and information programs followed with
by-laws that become fully effective in 2006.
”The residents of West Vancouver are taking the lead in protecting
their health,” said SPEC Coordinator Ivan Bulic. “Council responded to
the moving and impassioned appeals from many local residents for a
At the April 26 Council Meeting, a SPEC delegation asked Council to
implement a pesticide control by-law. Liz Noble of Citizens Concerned
about Pesticides submitted a 1000-name petition calling for a by-law.
Another resident gave a moving account of how inadvertent pesticide
exposure left her young son suffering from serious health problems.
Some 66 municipalities across Canada already have or are in the process
of implementing by-laws to control cosmetic pesticides. The need for
controls was reinforced by an April 24 study by the Ontario Coalition
of Family Physicians that recommended that people reduce their exposure
to pesticides wherever possible.
The Ontario study shows consistent links to serious illnesses such as
cancer, reproductive problems and neurological diseases, among others.
The study also shows that children are particularly vulnerable to