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Coalition aims to curb child labour in British Columbia

Image: Povnet.org

When Jeni Mathers tells people that children as young as 12 are working on British Columbia's construction sites and factory floors, she gets some extreme reactions. "A lot of people are in denial about it. When we talk to them they're shocked, they're embarrassed, they say, 'That can't possibly be.'"

Mathers is one of several members of the B.C. Employment Standards Coalition who have been visiting community events across the province, raising awareness for what they, and many others, see as a huge problem. In B.C., any child under 15 can hold almost any job with little more regulation than a parent's permission note. These young workers are inexperienced, poorly protected and being injured on a regular basis.

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Vancouver Mayor and City Council make waves with opposition to Kinder Morgan pipeline

Kinder Morgan's plans would see close to one oil tanker a day passing through the narrows of Vancouver's harbour. (Photo: http://www.bcwaters.org/)
This week Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted to oppose Kinder Morgan's pipeline and oil tanker plans for this narrow harbour.

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January 19, 2015 |
Tsal'alh has joined the 15 Blue Communities in Canada and three international Blue Communities, in Switzerland and Brazil, that are taking action to ensure the human right to water is respected.

Protester fails in court challenge to Kinder Morgan legal attack

Photo: flickr/Mark Klotz

A failed two-day court challenge to an anti-democratic, corporate legal attack is the latest chapter in the 2014 Battle of Burnaby Mountain over the Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline expansion project.

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled January 14 that stifling Alan Dutton's right to protest was not the primary purpose of a multi-million-dollar civil suit and, therefore, his application for a summary dismissal of the case was denied. In an unexpected additional blow, he was ordered to pay the company's costs for the action.

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January 14, 2015 |
The B.C. provincial government needs to implement the Auditor General's recommendations to improve B.C. prisons and make communities safer.

Meet Irene Lanzinger, new President of the BC Federation of Labour

The first woman and first teacher to lead the BC Federation of Labour talks about politics, teaching and next steps for the labour movement.

Related rabble.ca story:

Meet Irene Lanzinger, new President of the BC Federation of Labour

Photo: BC Federation of Labour

After a close race for the top seat of B.C.'s half a million-strong union federation, Irene Lanzinger was elected President of the BC Federation of Labour in November, 2014.

Lanzinger is the first woman and the first teacher to assume the position. She began her teaching career in 1978 as a secondary science and math teacher in Abbotsford and was a long-time union activist with the B.C. Teachers' Federation (BCTF).

As president of the BC Federation, Lanzinger says she will carry forward the vision of labour solidarity promoted by her predecessor, Jim Sinclair. She is adamant that the Federation represents both unionized and non-unionized workers in British Columbia. The following interview has been edited and condensed.

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December 17, 2014 |
The lack of oversight and proper planning in the existing system puts children at risk of abuse from unsuitable caregivers and of being placed in unsuitable accommodation.
December 17, 2014 |
Site C Dam not clean, not green, not economical and not in the public interest.
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