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A progressive take on current events. Produced by an independent media collective at Vancouver Cooperative Radio.

A progressive take on current events. Produced by an independent media collective at Vancouver Cooperative Radio.
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Vancouver, BC


A progressive take on current events. Produced by an independent media collective at Vancouver Cooperative Radio.






Vancouver Co-operative Radio 110 - 360 Columbia Street Vancouver, BC V6A 4J1 (604) 684-7561


City Beat checks out the fight for social housing around Metro Vancouver

From Maple Ridge at one end of the spectrum to New Westminster at the other, city councils are taking radically different approaches to solving the problems facing homeless people and low-income renters. Our City Beat reporter Ian Mass looks at how city councils around the Lower Mainland are tackling the housing file.


Safe supply of heroin essential to put an end to overdose crisis

Overdoses have claimed more than 10,000 lives in three years in Canada. Drug users and supporters have organized a National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis on April 16 to demand meaningful change in government policies to end the overdose tragedy. The day of action take place in 21 towns and cities across the country. We speak with David Mendes, organizer with the National Day of Action on the Overdose Crisis.


Family seeks justice after mentally ill man dies in an Ontario jail

Yusuf Faquiri s brother Soleiman had schizophrenia. He died in December 2016 in an Ontario prison where he was being held while he waited for a bed at the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health. Faquiri’s family have launched a $14 million lawsuit against the province of Ontario and the prison guards who they say are responsible for Soleiman’s death. Yusuf Faquiri was in Vancouver in February as part of a cross-country speaking tour. Here are some excerpts from his talk.


BC's poverty reduction strategy fails to address deep poverty

British Columbia was the only Canadian province without a poverty reduction strategy. That changed on March 18 when the BC government unveiled its new poverty reduction plan. Viveca Ellis says the new plan is a strong start but is concerned that it fails to address the needs of those living in deep poverty. Viveca Ellis is the leadership development coordinator with the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition.


Israel shoots four Palestinians during protests calling for end to siege of Gaza

On March 30, tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered in Gaza along the boundary fence with Israel on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the Great March of Return. They were also marking Land Day, the annual commemoration of Israel’s lethal suppression of protests against land confiscations in the Galilee in 1976. Yara Hawari is the Palestine Policy Fellow for Al-Shabaka. She joins us live from Palestine.


Doug Ford attacks postsecondary education with tuition fee cuts

Tuition increases have been a major theme of neoliberal governments around the world, so it was a surprise to see the Ontario Tories apparently heading in the opposite direction when they announced a ten percent cut in fees earlier this year. But the devil is in the details, according to Alan Sears. He is an activist who teaches sociology at Ryerson University and author of The Next New Left: A History of the Future.


Jason Kenney, Andrew Scheer and the far right

Following the Christchurch massacre, many Canadians are questioning the commitment of some Canadian politicians to an inclusive, multicultural society. In particular, Jason Kenney of the Alberta United Conservative Party and Andrew Scheer of the federal Conservative Party have been called out for their weak response to the Christchurch killings and the far right in Canada. Bashir Mohamed is an independent journalist based in Edmonton who has been tracking the connections between Kenney,...


The long reach of SNC-Lavalin in Canadian foreign affairs

Media coverage of the current scandal involving the engineering firm SNC-Lavalin and Justin Trudeau has focused primarily on the Prime Minister’s Office. Largely missing from any discussion are the crimes the company is accused of committing as well as the company’s long and influential relationship with Canada’s foreign policy. We speak with Yves Engler, a Montreal-based author and activist. His most recent book is Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada.


White power movement a common thread in recent terrorist attacks

Kathleen Belew says we should understand the Christchurch mosque killings, the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue and the U.S. Coast Guard officer’s plan to assassinate politicians as originating from the same source, the white power movement. Kathleen Belew is an assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago and author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America.


City Beat: Exploring the architectural style known as Vancouverism

Vancouverism describes the practice of designing higher, thinner towers to provide so-called "view corridors" while still accommodating as large a population as possible. Our City Beat reported Ian Mass attended an urban forum about Vancouverism and he joins us to share what he learned.


Interactive app revisits the events related in Joy Kogawa's 1981 novel Obasan

Acclaimed author Joy Kogawa collaborated with the Toronto tech studio Jam 3 and the NFB to tell the story of the Japanese-Canadian internment during World War II. East of the Rockies is an augmented reality experience told from the perspective of 17-year-old Yuki. Kogawa’s grandchild, Anne Canute, was creative consultant on the project and voiced the narrative in the interactive. Anne Canute joins us in studio to talk about East of the Rockies.


BC Liberal energy policy leaves Hydro customers on the hook

Starting in 2002, BC Hydro bought too much of the wrong kind of energy, paid too much for it and did this at the behest of the provincial government. John Calvert is the author of Liquid Gold, a book analyzing the BC Liberals’ private power agenda. He joins us in the episode to talk about the problems this policy has caused for BC Hydro and what it will mean for our electricity bills.


Federal pharmacare council recommends national drug agency

Canada has a universal medicare system, but there is a big gap when it comes to ensuring people can afford the medication they need. Currently, one in four households can’t afford their prescription drugs. The Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare has just issued an interim report to the federal government. Melanie Benard is with the Canadian Health Coalition. We asked her for her reaction to the report.


Developers building for-profit rentals fail to deliver on affordability

The City of Vancouver’s Rental 100 program offers substantial financial rewards for developers who build affordable rental housing. The problem is, the City’s definition of affordable puts the apartments out of the reach of anyone earning less than $80,000 a year. Sara Sagaii is with the Vancouver Tenants Union. She joins us to discuss the Rental 100 program and the measures needed to ensure real affordability.


Compassion club model could stem fentanyl overdose crisis

In the 1980s and 90s, cannabis compassion clubs provided marijuana to patients who used in for medical reasons. A recent report by the BC Centre for Substance Use recommends that the same model could be used to provide drug users with an untainted supply of heroin in a safe, medically-supervised environment. We talk with Laura Shaver, board member of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and a current heroin user.


Veteran planner reflects on how to make a city work for its residents

Nathan Edelson has been a community planner for almost 50 years, much of it in Vancouver. In this episode, he talks with our City Beat reporter Ian Mass about the future of community planning in Vancouver, including how best to intervene where the fractures and fault lines present themselves. Nathan also reflects on how best to activate neighbourhood residents and business people to build public support for progressive policymaking. Nathan Edelson will give the Jim Green Memorial Lecture...


Major protests in Haiti linked to US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela

Large demonstrations have rocked several cities in Haiti over the past few weeks as citizens rise up against the government of Jovenal Moïse. The final straw was Moïse’s vote denouncing Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro at the Organization of American States recently. Kim Ives is editor of Haïti Liberté and he speaks with us from New York.


Modular housing on Union Street first step in revitalization of Hogan's Alley

Hogan's Alley in Vancouver’s East End was home to much of the city’s Black community before it was demolished to make way for the Georgia Viaduct in the 1960s. More than 50 modular homes have been constructed on the land where Hogan’s Alley once stood to house predominantly Black and Indigenous people. Lama Mugabo is a member of the Hogan’s Alley Society. He talks about the housing project, the history of the neighbourhood and the systemic racism Black people faced then and now.


New film examines impact of the gold trade on human lives and the planet

A new documentary has its premiere this week in Vancouver. The Shadow of Gold reveals the impact of gold mining and the gold trade on our economy, environment and conflicts. We speak with Canadian producer and director Robert Lang about the effects of our obsession with this talisman of wealth and power on people from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Amazon and China.


New Senate to vote on cutting US support for Saudi war on Yemen

In Dec 2018, intense lobbying succeeded in getting the US Senate to declare that US support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen was illegal, ushered in a fragile ceasefire. However, 16 million Yemenis are still on the brink of famine. Next week, the newly-elected US Senate will vote once again on the War Powers Resolution. We speak with Hassan El-Tayyab of Just Foreign Policy about the situation in Yemen and the importance of this second vote on the resolution.