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Archive for ◊ Public Health and Safety ◊

Program to improve taxi accessibility first of its kind in Canada

At Vancouver City Hall today, Mayor Gregor Robertson, the Vancouver Taxi Association and the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities officially launched ‘Ask-Listen-Act’, a new form of enhanced taxi driver training involving seniors and people with disabilities. The program is the first of its kind in Canada.

“The launch of ‘Ask-Listen-Act’ will help make our taxi fleet more accessible and convenient for local seniors and people with disabilities,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “From our new building code to enhanced investments in pedestrian safety, the City is committed to improving accessibility for everyone. I want to thank the VTA for their leadership in creating this program, and to the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities and all of the stakeholders who were involved in its development.”

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I have been very clear that I am opposed to any expansion of gambling in the City of Vancouver. Today’s decision by the Development Permit Board ensures that the proponent will have to align operations with the concerns raised in the recent Provincial Health Officer’s Report on Gambling.

Before a relocated casino can begin construction, the proponents have to come back with a plan that addresses the health concerns raised by Dr. Perry Kendall. If they don’t, it cannot proceed.

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City Council received an update from staff today on the risks facing Vancouver from a proposal to expand the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline, dramatically increasing oil tanker traffic in and around Vancouver’s harbour and local waters. Mayor Robertson has tabled a motion for the City of Vancouver to apply to intervene in National Energy Board hearings on the proposal that are expected to begin in early 2014.

“Today we received further evidence from staff that the threat of a major oil spill in or near Vancouver’s waters poses unacceptable risks to our local economy and environment,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City of Vancouver’s intervention in the National Energy Board’s hearings will outline Vancouver’s significant concerns about a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic, and help ensure that our harbour, our local economy, and Vancouver treasures like Stanley Park are safe from the untold risks of a catastrophic oil spill.”

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Following direction from the Mayor and City Council in 2011, the City of Vancouver now has an updated and comprehensive earthquake preparedness plan.

Council received a staff report today detailing 12 primary actions and 44 supporting actions to improve Vancouver’s preparedness for a major seismic event and strengthen the City’s capacity for response and recovery.

“City Hall is working harder than ever before to prepare Vancouver for a major earthquake, with essential steps to reduce risks of damage, boost our emergency response services and improve the safety of everyone who lives and works here,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver’s effective response and recovery from an earthquake will depend hugely on residents and businesses taking their own initiative, and it’s crucial that every home and workplace in Vancouver is prepared in advance with an emergency plan and earthquake kit.”

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Photo: Mayor Robertson with Consul Jean-Christian Brilliant of the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong, laying a wreath this morning at the Cross of Sacrifice at the Sai Wan War Cemetary.

 

 

On behalf of the City of Vancouver, we extend our deepest condolences to the people of the Philippines and all those who have lost loved ones in Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda.

Many Vancouver residents have deep connections to the Philippines and to the Visayas region. To everyone impacted by the typhoon, we send our thoughts and prayers as they struggle to cope with the devastating effects of this unprecedented natural disaster.

As Typhoon Haiyan moves towards Vietnam, we hope that the people of both countries are spared from further harm and remain safe.

Those wishing to support disaster relief efforts and the humanitarian response are encouraged to contact the Canadian Red Cross at www.redcross/typhoon for more information.

- Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver