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Posts Tagged "give"

8Jul

Uber in B.C.? Regulations give ride-hailing service the green light

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The B.C. government says the Passenger Transportation Board will start accepting applications as of Sept. 3 in order to have the service in place this fall.

ICBC says it will offer a blanket, per kilometer insurance product and will only apply when a driver is offering the service. All other regulations will come into force on Sept. 16, which means ride-hailing is a go once the PTB approves applications.

PTB will need to consider appropriate operating areas, fleet sizes, and rates.

Other regulations announced via a government release include requiring drivers to have criminal and driver record checks. Those operating illegal services could be fined up to $100,000 a day. A 30-cent “per-trip” fee is also being added to help fund programs to increase accessibility.

The regulations released today come after a number of studies and consultations into the issue of ride-hailing.

Earlier this year, a legislature committee issued recommendations including there be no boundaries or limits on how many ride-hailing vehicles are allowed on the road. The committee also suggested the minimum cost for ride-hailing needs to be more than the cost of taking transit.

Another recommendation – that drivers be required to hold a Class 5 license was previously rejected by the minister.

In June, a report from B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board found there was a “public need and desire for ride hailing.”

In 2017, the NDP government commissioned Dan Hara to speak to the taxi industry and stakeholders about how to move forward.

Parties have fielded the issue as a political hot potato for years. The Liberals, in power for 16 years failed to introduce regulations and the NDP broke a promise to bring in ride sharing by the end of 2017. Observers and critics accuse politicians to bowing to the taxi lobby and refusing to alienate voters in key battlegrounds like Surrey.

An overview of the regulations provided by the government follows. Viewing this on our mobile beta site? Tap here for a compatible version.


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9Jun

Not ‘just a suggestion’: MMIWG report calls to give Indigenous people rights most Canadians enjoy already | CBC News

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In the wake of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Firls’ final report, attention is now turning toward whether its 231 recommendations will be acted upon.

On Monday, the national inquiry held its closing ceremony in Gatineau, Que., where it delivered its final report to government. The inquiry detailed what it found to be the root causes of the disproportionate amount of violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls and made 231 “Calls for Justice” to address them. 

The inquiry’s commissioners have said the calls for justice are not merely recommendations but legal imperatives based in “international and domestic human and Indigenous rights laws, including the Charter, the Constitution and the Honour of the Crown.”

During a news conference after the inquiry’s closing ceremony, commissioner Qajaq Robinson elaborated on what it means to describe the calls for justice as legal imperatives.

“If we’re talking to access to health — for example the calls for justice that there be holistic, wraparound health services in all communities and isolated communities — that isn’t just a suggestion. It’s because the people in those communities have a right to health, have a right to those services,” she said.

“You legally have to do it. It’s not like we’re asking you to come up with a new framework to understand what you have to do. You signed it already; you’re just not implementing it.”

Commissioner Michèle Audette said the rights the inquiry is talking about seem to be respected in southern Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, holds a copy of the report presented to him by commissioners Marion Buller, centre, Michèle Audette, third from right, Brian Eyolfson, second from right, and Qajaq Robinson at the closing ceremony for the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Gatineau, Que., on June 3. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

“But when you live in my North… far, far away, there’s no protection, no services, no accessibility. And it’s still called Canada,” she said. 

While the commissioners say the calls are rooted in existing legal commitments, the final report also states that “Governments are not required to implement these recommendations.”

‘These truths are piling up’

Like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 report, the national inquiry’s report acknowledges it will take all Canadians to assert their political pressure on institutions and governments to ensure substantive changes come about.

Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations and Family Caring Society, has been at the forefront of pushing government for equity for First Nations children in Canada.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal sided with the society and Assembly of First Nations in a 2016 ruling, finding that Canada discriminates against First Nations children on reserves by failing to provide them with the same level of child welfare services that exist elsewhere in Canada.

Three years later, and more than a decade since the initial complaint was filed, the case is still not resolved. There have been seven non-compliance orders issued by the tribunal since its ruling.

Blackstock says, looking at the calls put forward by the national inquiry, the most important impact the final report can have is to change the collective Canadian consciousness. In her view, governments don’t make change, they respond to change.

Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in 2016. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

“All of these reports and all these truths are piling up in a way that makes it more and more difficult for people normalize the discrimination and to turn away from it,” she said.

She said key indicators that change is happening will be a shift in public attitude. She said the public should also be looking for on-the-ground, immediate investments in things like safe shelter space for women fleeing violence.

Blackstock said the calls for justice might not be legally binding, but are certainly morally binding. Still, she said it will likely take litigation to achieve the level of substantive reform for which the inquiry is calling.

Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan said Ottawa is already taking action on the report through its national action plan to invest in housing and education on reserves and safety on the Highway of Tears.

The prime minister has also promised that the federal government will come up with a national action plan for implementing the inquiry’s recommendations, which itself is among the 231 calls for justice in the final report. The government says this action plan will be developed in partnership with survivors, family members as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments and organizations. 

When asked if the recommendations of the inquiry are legally binding, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs wrote in an emailed statement that “the final report offered recommendations to inform concrete action,” and referred to the inquiry’s terms of reference which include making recommendations to remove “systemic causes of violence and to increase the safety of Indigenous women and girls.” 


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19Dec

Pushing for greener policies? Then give up free parking passes, Victoria city councillor urges colleagues

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Victoria city councillors need to put their green policy talk into practice and give up their free city parking passes, says Coun. Jeff Young.

Young is proposing changes to the parking privileges currently offered to Capital Regional District representatives, arguing that actions speak louder than words.  

“I’ve just been getting a little tired of what seems to me to be slightly sanctimonious or even hypocritical motions by the council, for example, decrying investment in fossil fuel firms,”  Young said.

“We do use automobiles. We need fuel, and for us to say we want to blame the fossil fuel companies for producing fuels seems seems a little odd.”

He pointed to the push to reduce emissions and resistance to projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and number of tankers in B.C. waters as examples of simply talking the talk.

“If we are going to keep making these pronouncements, we should look look at to our own home first,” Young told Gregor Craigie, the host of CBC’s On The Island.

“When we say we don’t want to invest funds in fossil fuel companies, are we really saying we want them to stop producing gasoline?”

Not everyone can cycle to work, argues Coun.Charlayne Thornton-Joe. Others have proposed offering bus passes or other remuneration if the parking passes are removed. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Concerns about accessibility

Young occasionally drives to work, himself, rather than cycling, he admits, and knows first-hand that having free parking at work is an incentive to hop in the car.

But not all members of council are able to cycle to work, countered Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe. Some may have health issues or drop children off at school along the way or have meetings in several different locations around the city.

“As councillors, we need to walk the talk,” she agreed. “But one of the things we have to make sure of is that … council is accessible to all.”

The parking permits are also part of a larger remuneration package for staff, which is why some councillors have proposed changing the parking passes for bus passes or higher wages instead, Thornton-Joe said.

She said she’s open to the idea but would need more information on how the changes would play out.

“Each and every one of us have different needs,” she said.

“[We need] a little bit more information on what does that entail.”

Council has requested a staff report on the financial implications of eliminating parking passes as part of a review of council remuneration

“I have no problem looking at the the reports,” she said.

“Councillor Young brings up larger issues of how councillors conduct themselves, the motions they bring forward and [whether they are] practicing that.”


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29Jun

Government of Canada announces funding agreement to give British Columbians the tools they need to find and keep good jobs

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By investing directly in Canada’s greatest asset — its resilient, hardworking people — the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that the economic growth Canada creates is the kind of growth that works for everyone.

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with over $2.5 billion over six years to invest in their workers. These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $250 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 84,000 more British Columbians will benefit over the six-year period.

Speaking at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, Sajjan said these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in British Columbia, including assessments, skills training, work placements, job search assistance, upgrading, certification and employment supports.

Through these new agreements, the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs than before — including people from groups typically under-represented in the workforce, such as people with disabilities, women and Indigenous peoples.

As innovation and technology continue to change how people live and work, British Columbians, and all Canadians, are met with new challenges and new opportunities. This government investment in jobs and skills training will help British Columbians prepare for the good, well-paying jobs that will be created by British Columbia’s growing economy. Everybody deserves the opportunity to benefit from an innovation-driven economy — and that means ensuring that both employed and unemployed people have opportunities to acquire the skills they will need for the jobs of today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.

The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years, British Columbia will receive approximately $844 million — more than $211 million through the WDA, and close to $633 million through the LMDA.

Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and British Columbia will be able to measure how these programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups, like Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and women. The Government of Canada will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and can be continually improved.

The WDA will help British Columbia deliver training and services, such as:

  • Bridges for Women in Victoria, with a goal of helping women impacted by violence or abuse break the cycle of abuse and trauma through education and employment training.
  • Blade Runners, a program that helps at-risk youth obtain and sustain full-time employment with life skills and job readiness training, job placement and monitoring, and ongoing support.
  • Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training that assists Indigenous peoples explore and develop trades specific skills in urban areas and in home communities.

Funding under the LMDA will allow British Columbia to help more people and more employers meet their needs through:

  • 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province that offer training and employment supports to people who are unemployed or underemployed. Supports include job-search resources, employment planning, skills training and work experience placements.
  • Customized assistive supports and employment training, offered through WorkBC centres, that help people with disabilities re-enter the workforce.
  • The Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program that helps people get back into the workforce, through projects that offer skills training and work experience.
  • The Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI), in which single parents on income or disability assistance can get the supports they need to re-enter the workforce.

Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through investments like the provincial agreements announced today, the middle class can be strengthened, and help more of the people working so hard to join it.

Quotes:

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour —

“I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today’s agreements with British Columbia, we’re ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger, and our workers and their families thrive.”

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, federal Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South —

“To drive the kind of economic growth that is inclusive, we need to invest in people. Our government committed to do just that, and we are delivering with $250 million more in funding to help 84,000 more people get the skills they need to succeed in today’s changing economy.”

Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction —

“The new Labour Market Development Agreement expands eligibility to people who are underemployed — someone in a job with unpredictable hours, little long-term security, or that doesn’t match their skills. By increasing employment opportunities and earnings potential, we can help lift more people out of poverty and build a better B.C. for everyone.”

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training —

“Our government is investing in people so they can get skills and retraining employers are looking for, with a specific focus on under-represented and vulnerable groups. The Workforce Development Agreement also means we can better respond to the skills training needs of communities and employers with more flexible and timely programming. We want everyone to be able to participate in and prosper from B.C.’s strong, sustainable economy.”

Quick Facts:

  • Until recently, the Government of Canada transferred nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Through Budget 2017, the federal government is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017-18 to 2022-23:
    • $900 million over a period of six years (in addition to the $722 million provided annually) in new WDAs that consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired in March 2017); and
    • $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories.
  • In total, from 2017-18 to 2022-23, the Government of Canada will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
  • Through these agreements, provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.
  • The LMDAs and WDAs include a commitment to strong performance measurement. Canada and British Columbia will work together to measure how programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups, like Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and women. Canada and British Columbia will report to Canadians on the impacts of these programs to support continuous improvement.

Learn More:

Workforce Development Agreements: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/workforce-development-agreements.html

Labour Market Development Agreement: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/lmda.html


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