• Ban polystyrene foam (styrofoam) in Montreal
    Polystyrene foam, more commonly known as Styrofoam, is a non-biodegradable, petroleum-based material containing styrene, a cancer-suspect compound (according to the Environmental Protection Agency [https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/styrene.pdf], the International Agency for Research on Cancer [http://www.inchem.org/documents/iarc/vol82/82-07.html], and the American National Toxicology Program [https://web.archive.org/web/20110612085554/http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/materials/styrenefs.pdf]), and benzene, a confirmed carcinogen (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/benzene.pdf). Most Montreal fruiteries and grocery stores make regular use of polystyrene cartons to package fresh, bulk fruits and vegetables. Polystyrene is also used by some restaurants and cafés to serve food and drinks. And of course, polystyrene is a common material used in shipping (foam inserts, packing peanuts, egg cartons) and in construction as insulation. There are many reasons to object to the use of polystyrene packaging: 1. When used to package certain food products (hot food and beverages, alcohol, foods containing beta-carotene) it has been suggested that some of the toxins in polystyrene (styrene and benzene) are more likely to leach into your food. One study even showed that styrene can leach directly into ambient-temperature water (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17915704). The American Food and Drug Administration, however, insists that polystyrene is a safe and stable food container, although small amounts of styrene may remain in the plastic post-production (https://www.plasticfoodservicefacts.com/foodservice-safety/fda-safety-of-polystyrene-foodservice-products/). In short, this is a controversial point — but regardless of where you stand on this point, there are many other reasons to ban the use of polystyrene. 2. As a petroleum product, polystyrene is unsustainable. A Worldwatch report from 2016 estimates that 8% of petroleum consumed globally goes towards making plastics: 4% in the plastics themselves, and another 4% to power the production process (http://www.worldwatch.org/global-plastic-production-rises-recycling-lags-0). 3. Polystyrene is resistant to photolysis and takes hundreds of years to decompose. Because of its ubiquitous use and the degree to which it is difficult, expensive, and dangerous to recycle, polystyrene plastics make up an enormous portion of landfill waste and marine debris (see, e.g., http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-polystyrene-bans-20160713-snap-story.html). Even if marine debris is not technically toxic, it is still a colossal problem. A recent report stated that "global annual plastic consumption has now reached over 320 million tonnes with more plastic produced in the last decade than ever before," and that the world's largest marine garbage pile, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is growing more quickly than ever (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22939-w). 4. Although the plastic is relatively stable, and there is no current consensus on whether it leaches toxic compounds into water systems, it is established that polystyrene (a) act as a sponge for chemical pollutants in the water (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X09002690), and (b) physically break down into small pellets that are very difficult to clean up, and are subsequently consumed by marine life and birds. This leads both to choking and digestive system blockages and to poisoning of the organisms that consume the pollutant-soaked pellets. This is not only ethically wrong in terms of our relations to the non-human world, but it comes full circle, contributing to the poisoning of the food and water sources we rely on. 5. Even before it makes it to the grocery store, the landfill, or the ocean, polystyrene is putting people at risk. A study conducted in 2016 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26574575) reported excess numbers of deaths associated with lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among workers who are chronically exposed to styrene compounds. (See also: https://web.archive.org/web/20110617160927/http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov:80/ntp/roc/twelfth/profiles/Styrene.pdf.) 6. Polystyrene is very difficult to recycle in part because its basic ingredients, styrene and benzene, are toxic (http://mercergroup.com/what-we-recycle/). Ecocentre LaSalle does have a polystyrene recycling program, but you must have the means to bring it there yourself (http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=9217,103627572&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL). For now, this is an absolutely necessary project to have. It is, however, inaccessible to many if not most Montrealers, requires too many resources, puts more people in contact with toxins, and would be unnecessary if polystyrene — which causes harm even before it is thrown away — were no longer allowed in the city. 7. Canada says it wants to be a leader in reducing plastic waste (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-g7-plastics-push-1.4566732), but we're way behind. Many cities in the United States, including major cities such as New York and Los Angeles, have already banned the use of polystyrene products (https://groundswell.org/map-which-cities-have-banned-plastic-foam/). There has recently been recognition in Montreal of the harm that non-recyclable plastic shopping bags cause the environment and ourselves. There is momentum in this city that we can use to push farther. If we are truly committed to the reduction of plastic waste, it needs to be extended to other dangerous, one-use plastic products — and what better place to begin than polystyrene.
    78 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Kay Rollans
  • Raise Disability Rates And End Clawbacks In British Columbia
    The disabled have been neglected for far to long here in BC and have suffered terrible cruelty by those who should be protecting and encouraging them. Every month those on assistance face the issue of what is a priority, be it enough food for the month or paying for a need they can't afford doing all with the funds they receive, this is just wrong. So many on assistance suffer from mental health issues such as depression or PTSD after years of abuse both physical and mental and yet they struggle to face their days and those challenges in them with very little support from government, media bodies, human rights tribunals and even the courts. There is lots of talk of poverty reduction but very little in the way of walk in regard to it. The cost of doing nothing out ways the cost of doing something, let us bring change for a better BC that includes all it's citizens.
    11 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Dan de Lench
  • Protect Chinatown from real estate speculation. Demand a public hearing now!
    Vancouver City Council delayed their decision to refer the new Chinatown zoning policies to public hearing by three weeks and will be reconsidering the referral on June 5. If the new policies do not get referred to public hearing, this means they will die on the vine and Chinatown will be continue to be open season for real estate developers and speculators. A newly formed group call "Chinatown Voices" made up of developers and property owners, like 105 Keefer's Beedie, are trying to derail the public hearing process and stop the necessary zoning protections for Chinatown. They already managed to get City Council to delay the referral for public hearing by three weeks. We can't let them win again. --- Why are the new zoning policies important? The new Chinatown zoning policies contains new policies that will potentially help alleviate the intense real estate pressures and protect the historic built character of the neighbourhood. If some of these measures to do not get put in place as soon as possible, the door is wide open for more proposals similar to the 105 Keefer rezoning and make it impossible for us to move forward with a UNESCO bid to designate Chinatown as a World Heritage Site. Major policy improvements include: - Rescinding of rezoning policy that allowed for higher heights (so we don't get another 105 Keefer proposal) - Restoration of the historic heights of the neighbourhood - Addition of density, site width, and retail width limits that were never in place before Full report here: http://council.vancouver.ca/20180515/documents/p8.pdf Although the zoning policies can have even stronger protections that what the City has currently proposed, we need to first get the new policies to public hearing to stop more 105 Keefer's from getting into the City development application process as soon as possible. --- How can you help? 1. Sign this petition to urge City Council to refer the new Chinatown zoning policies to public hearing. 2. Share it with you friends and family to sign. The more people, the more pressure. We need to outnumber the "Chinatown Voices" group. 3. Subscribe to the #SaveChinatownYVR mailing list to keep updated on the next steps of this campaign: http://www.savechinatownheritage.org/join-mailing-list We can do this!
    31 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Save Chinatown YVR
  • Call on Trudeau to condemn the massacre in Gaza
    This year marks the 70th anniversary of the expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians during the creation of Israel. [3] Around 70% of Gaza's population of two million are descendants of Palestinians who became refugees in 1948. [4] Gaza has been referred by human rights organizations as the world's largest open air prison. They have lived under a 50 year occupation and a decade long land, sea and air blockade that prevents anyone from leaving. [5] This is why many Gazans are protesting. Since March 30, the Israeli army has killed over a 100 people and injured more than 12,000. [6] These demonstrations are peaceful and pose no threat to Israel's security. Sources: [1-3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/may/15/gaza-israel-nakba-day-protests-as-palestinians-bury-those-killed-in-embassy-unrest-live-updates [2] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/14/palestinians-killed-israeli-troops-gaza-protests-ahead-us-embassy/ [4] https://www.nrc.no/news/2018/april/gaza-the-worlds-largest-open-air-prison/ [5-6] https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/world-palestinians-mourn-killing-loved-180516114817349.html
    9 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Daniel Tetrault
  • Loblaws: Pay your workers a living wage
    Loblaw Companies Ltd owns hundreds of grocery stores across the country: their stores include Loblaws Market, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Shoppers Drugmart, Loblaws Market, Joe Fresh and more. Last year Loblaws enjoyed $11 Billion in revenue and gave $19 Million to their shareholders in the last quarter alone. [1] In 2016 CEO Galen Weston took home $7.5 Million. [2] It takes Galen Weston just one day to earn the annual salary of a starting cashier at one if his stores, while the the people who work for Loblaws are struggling to make ends meet making minimum wage, and are often only given part time work. [3] Vancity Investment Management Ltd. submitted a shareholder proposal at Loblaw’s annual general meeting of shareholders on Thursday asking them to review the feasibility, cost and benefits of implementing a living wage policy for their employees -- but CEO Galen Weston and Loblaw’s board of directors told shareholders to vote against it and the proposal was rejected. [4] Loblaws touts their high level of social responsibility with their President's Choice Children's Charity that gives "support to children with disabilities [and ensures] hungry tummies are filled with nutritious food" but their own employees' children are suffering. [5] Loblaws should be a leader. Canadians should not stand for this and protest with their dollars until they turn their greedy ship around. Sign the petition now if you think Loblaws should pay the people who work for them a living wage. Sources: [1]https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/loblaw-reports-2017-fourth-quarter-and-fiscal-year-ended-december-30-2017-results1-674813803.html [2]https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2018/01/Climbing%20Up%20and%20Kicking%20Down.pdf) [3]https://ca.indeed.com/cmp/Loblaw/jobs/Cashier-59274c43308a7674?vjs=3 [4]https://www.thestar.com/business/2018/05/03/loblaw-shareholders-reject-proposal-on-living-wage-for-employees.html [5] http://www.presidentschoice.ca/en_CA/community/pccc/do-it-all-again.html
    15,639 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by Erin Kastner
  • Humber: Don't expel students for needing a payment plan
    Humber College rejected my proposal to use a payment plan to allow me to pay for my tuition in monthly installments, instead of in a one lump sum. This is because of a rule they have just put in place which allows them to expel anyone who can’t pay outright. In 2017, Humber posted a net revenue of $23 million. [1] They can afford to allow students struggling financially, in an economy set up for them to fail, to use a payment plan to finish their accreditation. The semester ends this month. We need to seize this moment while students are still in school to add pressure to the college to reverse this unfair rule. Will you add your name to demand Humber reverse unfair rules allowing them to expel students who need payment extensions? College is a place where people go to make their lives better, so they can compete in an ever-more demanding workforce. But rising costs of living and tuition are squeezing students out. Humber is a leading Canadian college, and they should be setting an example by helping to solve these problems, not making them worse. They have more than enough money to support students who need it. Will you add your name now so we can turn up the heat to reverse these unfair rules before the semester ends this month? Source: [1] https://humber.ca/about-humber/corporate-info/publications/files/humber-annual-report-16-17.pdf
    251 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Madalene Arias
  • Save the Cobalt
    It is a cultural icon of this city that is being destroyed by rampant gentrification and the lack of any will by the city to stop it.
    6 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Alex Jastrzembska
  • Canadians Call for Official Recognition of the Roma Genocide
    Canada has still not officially recognized the Genocide of Roma and Sinti (‘Porrajmos’) which occurred during Nazi occupation of Europe in World War II. In addition to committing genocide against the Jews, the Nazis committed genocide against the Roma and Sinti. On August 2nd 1944, the remaining 2897 Roma and Sinti men, women, elderly and children imprisoned in the Zigeunerlager (“Gypsy Camp”) were murdered in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. According to the most recent estimates, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Roma and Sinti were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. For this reason, the international Roma community has designated August 2 as the day to commemorate the Roma and Sinti Porrajmos. Despite this history, the Porrajmos, which is often referred to as the “Forgotten Holocaust”, remains widely unrecognized by governments around the world. After the war, scant political and academic attention was paid to the fate suffered by the Roma and Sinti. During the Nuremberg trials, there was seldom mention of the mass murders of Roma and Sinti, and Roma witnesses were not invited to testify. Only in April 2015 did the European Parliament finally adopt a resolution recognizing the historical fact of the Porrajmos. The resolution declared “that a European day should be dedicated to commemorating the victims of the genocide of the Roma during World War II”. It states, furthermore, “the need to combat Antigypsyism at every level and by every means, and stresses that this phenomenon is an especially persistent, violent, recurrent and commonplace form of racism”. Romanipe invites the Canadian government to follow the example of the European Parliament and to formally recognise the Porrajmos. This recognition would grant legal and moral legitimacy to the Roma and Sinti, allowing them to be rightfully integrated into the history of the Holocaust and included in all official ceremonies, commemorations and events that honour the victims of World War II. Our inability to recognise the Roma Genocide continues to normalize hate and discrimination against these peoples today. In 2016, a monument dedicated to the Roma and Sinti victims was tragically vandalized in Berlin. Events like these signal the need to change perceptions and attitudes toward Roma and Sinti, in order to build a culture of understanding and acceptance rather than one of hate. In his note left in the book of remembrance at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in 2017, Justin Trudeau mentioned the importance of remembering this painful part of our history, and our commitment to never again allow such darkness to prevail. The lack of indignation at the recent killings of Roma by far-right extremists speaks to the very real dangers and consequences of forgetting the past. This is why we ask the Canadian government to respect its commitment to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and its aim of recognizing the Genocide of the Roma. . Officially recognising August 2 as the day of memory dedicated to the Porrajmos ensures that the right to remembrance of Roma communities is respected and that the untold stories of Roma and Sinti victims and survivors are honoured. Such recognition also serves to delegitimize current hate and violence, and acknowledges the fact that Roma and Sinti communities still suffer from discrimination and persecution. Will you write to the Prime Minister to support this initiative?
    206 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Quintin Bart
  • Canadian Tire: Stop selling products made by guns manufacturer Vista Outdoor
    Vista Outdoor is a United States based corporation that owns Savage Arms - one of the largest producers of semi-automatic weapons in the country. [1] They're heavily involved in the gun lobby, and have ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA). [2] Canadian Tire is currently supporting Vista Outdoors by stocking products from their other brands like -- Raskullz, Bushnell, Weaver, Simmons, Tasco, Butler Creek. [3] In light of the ongoing mass shootings south of the border, many companies are withdrawing their support from manufacturers of assault type weapons. Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) has just stopped orders for all products from Vista. [4] We call on Canadian Tire to follow suit. Sources: [1] https://www.outsideonline.com/2282941/should-our-morals-determine-our-gear-purchases [2] https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/fully-loaded-ten-biggest-gun-manufacturers-america/ [3] https://vistaoutdoor.com/brands/ [4] http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/mec-vista-outdoor-1.4557071
    2,038 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Jim Mason
  • Reform Canadian Peremptory Challenges in Jury Selection
    On February 9, 2018, an all-white jury found Gerald Stanley, a white man, not guilty of murder in the shooting of Colten Boushie, a 22 year old Indigenous man. In Canada, lawyers are able to challenge potential jury members without having to explain their reasoning (aka peremptory challenges). As we have just seen in the trail of Gerald Stanley for the murder of Colten Bousie. The jury was entirely white, after the defense challenged every person who appeared to be Indigenous. The under-representation of Indigenous people in Canada is yet another example of system racism. We need to urge for a reform of the system that allows lawyers to racially profile during jury selection. If Canadians are hopeful for reconciliation, this is an important step that must be taken.
    26 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Melissa Lepp
  • I demand justice for Colten Boushie NOW
    Colten Boushie was a 22-year-old from Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. In August 2016, Colten was shot in the back of the head and killed by Gerald Stanley. On Friday, an all-white jury found that the accused -- Gerald Stanley -- was acquitted of all charges. The administration of justice in this case, from beginning to end, reeks of racism. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs are calling for an immediate appeal of the verdict and an inquiry into this "gross miscarriage of justice”. A massive petition will show federal and provincial Justice Ministers that there is cross-country support for these demands. Sign the petition calling for an immediate appeal and inquiry.. Please also consider donating to the Boushie/Baptiste family, to support them in their time of morning and healing and on their journey for justice: https://www.gofundme.com/justice4colten Here’s a recap of what happened: Gerald Stanley, a white man from North Battleford SK, shot Colten Boushie, a young Indigenous man, in the head. The RCMP responded to Boushie’s death by storming his family’s home with guns drawn, searching Boushie’s house without a warrant and accused his mom of drinking. When the case went to court, Indigenous people were systematically excluded from the jury. Those left with the power to decide Stanley’s fate would be all white. Despite expert evidence and testimony that the gun didn’t fire accidently, Stanley was fully acquitted of any responsibility — even manslaughter — for Boushie’s death. This verdict is a striking example of how racism still persists in Canada’s justice system. There needs to be an immediate appeal and special inquiry into the administration of justice in this case immediately. The Minister of Justice in Saskatchewan has power to launch an inquiry and call for an immediate appeal of the verdict. Justice Minister Jody-Wilson Raybould, who has spoken out about the verdict, has the political weight to make it happen. Sources: Stanley says he shot Boushie in head: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/colten-boushie/article32451940/ Federal Minister speaks out: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/we-have-to-do-better-trudeau-reacts-to-gerald-stanley-verdict-1.3798036 All-white jury: http://www.macleans.ca/news/the-gerald-stanley-verdict-is-a-blow-to-reconciliation-and-a-terrifying-one-at-that/ Indigenous leaders call for inquiry: http://www.ckom.com/2018/02/09/238156/ To support Colten's family in their time of mourning and healing, and on their journey for justice, please donate: https://www.gofundme.com/justice4colten
    18,958 of 20,000 Signatures
  • 100% Social Housing at 58 West Hastings Now!
    Downtown Eastside residents have struggled for over a decade to get the site at 58 W. Hastings for social housing for low-income community members. Led by Indigenous women community organizers, residents and supporters have marched through the streets, organized two tent cities including the 2010 Olympic tent city and 2016 tent city, guided tours with BC's new NDP Minister of Housing and Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, held countless public meetings, demonstrations, and more. About 1,200 homeless people and 3,000 SRO residents live in the Downtown Eastside with no decent housing available for them at rents they can afford. Homeless people have about half the life expectancy of other people in society. Indigenous people, women and children fleeing violence, and other marginalized communities are more likely to experience homelessness. SRO living, where residents share washrooms with everyone on their floor, is not adequate: residents do not have private kitchens, have numerous rodents and bugs, and are often subject to abusive management. SRO residents and homeless people need decent, dignified social housing they can afford. Yet the Mayor and City of Vancouver are planning to reduce the amount of social housing from the promise 100% down to 30%. The plan to build over 200 units of housing in the DTES, with only 70 of them planned to be at welfare/pension rate, is a waste of good housing and further contributes to the gentrification of the DTES. A “social mix” building which includes expensive rentals will exacerbate market pressures on the neighbourhood, create higher rents for SRO residents, and generate the displacement of even more low income people from the DTES. On August 2, 2016, Mayor Gregor Robertson signed a commitment to build 100% welfare and pension rate, community-controlled social housing at 58 W Hastings. Since then, the city has reneged on its promise. Instead of a project that would provide over 300 units to low-income people, the city is moving along with a project that could provide as few as 70 units at a time with record high homelessness. Read more about the Our Homes Can’t Wait Coalition and our community vision for housing on 58 W Hastings here: www.carnegieaction.org/ourhomescantwait/
    278 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Our Homes Can't Wait Picture