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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.

Related rabble.ca story:

How are Canada's municipalities fighting resource extraction?

Photo: flickr/Toshiyuki IMAI

Canadians are concerned about the impact of resource extraction on land and the irreversible destruction of precious ecosystems. Rural towns across the country are dealing with these issues of land use. 

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From Exxon Valdez to Kinder Morgan: Pipelines won't pay for oil spills

Photo: flickr/ARLIS Reference

"Once the oil leaves the dock, Kinder Morgan holds no obligation or responsibility, even ten metres out -- that's the carrier's liability."

At the last two information events in Chilliwack, Kinder Morgan brought a large team of professionals and specialized aids to cover an exhaustive range of issues. Resembling a Royal Commission, everything concerning the proposed pipeline was in the tow of a Subject Matter Expert and neatly secured in a rolling briefcase. The first audience was the full Board of the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) and the second, an invited group of government regulatory officials, community leaders and representatives of major environmental organizations. Audiences with a formidable amount of assembled oversight.

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| September 11, 2014

To B.C. parents during the teachers' strike

Photo: flickr/Jayel Aheram
Read this informative open letter to the parents of B.C. during the ongoing teachers dispute.

Related rabble.ca story:

Open letter: To the parents of B.C. on the ongoing teachers dispute

Photo: flickr/Jayel Aheram

This letter was sent to Laila Yuile by a parent in Surrey, B.C., who has been very involved in the school system for a long time, with hopes that it will assist other parents in understanding part of what's going on right now in the teachers dispute.

As a parent of children who have been in the school system since the late 1990s I have a unique perspective on the current negotiations. I was in the system when class size and composition were in the teachers' contract and quite frankly when the system worked. Here is a little history that many parents don't know.

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September 3, 2014 |
B.C. teachers are taking job action. They want progress on class size and composition for our kids and a fair deal.

Dear Christy Clark: Let's chat about what taxpayers can afford

Photo: flickr/Tomash Devenishek

Dear Christy,

I'm sorry that you did not take my advice in my last letter when I suggested that you should get teachers back into classrooms as soon as possible. I'm sure your government would have much more support right now if you had taken my advice but I understand that sometimes the right message just comes at the wrong time.

Now, I'm writing to you about what you've said in response to the breakdown in talks to end the teachers' strike. You said that you want a negotiated deal that taxpayers can afford. This has left me with a lot of questions.

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