Communities around UBC rally against Skytrain

On June 22 the Business and Residents Association for Sustainable Transportation Alternatives (BARSTA) met to discuss alternatives to a proposed Skytrain line that would extend to UBC.

“In my view we have two alternative futures,” Jan Pierce, Chair of the West Kitsilano Residents Association, told The Ubyssey. “One looks to retain much of our existing housing, green space, heritage, and have change happen in a more gradual way that fits with our neighbourhoods.”

Merchants, city planners, and academics presented to a crowd of 150 in opposition to a Skytrain. Vancouver transportation is administered by Translink, which is currently studying various options for the 12km route from Commercial Drive to the UBC campus.

Ken Hardie, Translink’s Director of Communication, denies Translink has decided upon constructing a Skytrain. “We are looking at a variety of options,” he told The Province.

Translink last constructed a Skytrain from the airport to the downtown core in preparation for the Olympics. Using a dig-and-cover construction technique, the line limited parking and pedestrian access to local businesses.

Source: The Ubyssey

Unpaid McGill security staff walk off job

After being unpaid for five weeks, McGill security guards walked off the job on Friday, May 7. Their employer, The Bureau Canadien D’Investigation et D’Ajustement (BCIA) entered bankruptcy protection on Thursday April 29, citing debts of over $20 million.

The McGill Daily reports that 80 of 100 McGill agents saw their cheques bounce on Friday, May 23 and again on May 4 and May 7. A guard who spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity said that workers began to not attend work on the 7th.

“None of the patrollers showed up today [Friday, May 7]…. They told us there would be cheques at noon today, then 2:00, then later this afternoon…”

Members of Security Services management were used to replace missing guards. VCIA has been contracted by McGill since 2004 with their contract renewed last year to until 2012. McGill cancelled their contract with BCIA the week of May 10.

Source: The McGill Daily

Parliament lights up

The National Capital Commission has developed a $2.66 Million sound and light show on Parliament Hill. The show, entitled Mosaika, is the fifth Parliamentary light show but the first to include HD video and surround sound.

With nine projectors, 200 moving and static lights, and bold animation, the bilingual half-hour presentation is projected onto Centre Block showcases Canada’s land, achievements, and values.

“Mosaika aims to instill strong feelings of pride in our country and capital … [it] is a celebration of Canada,” said Guy Laflamme, NCC vice-president of national programming, marketing and communications at the show’s pre-launch event on June 8.

The show is interactive, inviting Canadians nation-wide to create videos and messages that can be selected to be included in the pre-show.

The show will run at sundown from July to September through 2014.

Source: The Fulcrum