Skip to Content

Best of the Tyee

Rocky Mountaineer lockout veers off tracks

Tom Sandborn
Sep 5th, 2011

Photograph of Rocky Mountaineer picket line by Parisa Azadi for the Vancouver Observer

The labour fight at Rocky Mountaineer rail service keeps chugging into ever more twisty terrain, with no clear sight of a resolution down the track.

Just last week a Vancouver judge found Teamster Local 31 in contempt of court because of picket line activities outside the Lower Mainland operations of Rocky Mountaineer.

After Vancouver's Non-Partisan Association municipal political party chose Rocky Mountaineer boss Peter Armstrong to spearhead its fundraising, opposing councillors sent a letter to Armstrong slamming him for hiring "strikebreakers."

And now the Teamsters are pointing to the recent injury of an elderly passenger as evidence those replacements pose a safety risk for passengers -- a charge the company denies.

Strikebreakers hired on Craigslist

In defence of the CRTC

Steve Anderson
Aug 19th, 2010

CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein: positive steps

VO presents this powerful story as part of a  blog featuring our favourite picks from The Tyee. This feisty online catch has earned an international reputation for award-winning reporting and creative initiatives that have helped forge the future for journalism in North America.

I recently found my way into a media and technology industry conference where I 'accidentally' bumped into the chair of the CRTC, Konrad von Finckenstein, who was surprisingly charming. Our conversation couldn't have been more different from the experiences I've had at CRTC hearings, where commissioners bear down on you with condescending glares, like feudal lords against the backdrop of a row of flags, the CRTC logo hanging overhead in place of a medieval coat of arms.

Regs still tight on tug crew sizes, says Transport Canada

Mitchell Anderson
Jul 19th, 2010

This article is another testimony to the powerful and effective investigative journalism that the Tyee has become known for in North America. It keeps us informed, and holds government officials accountable.

Transport Canada and a representative of the tug crews it regulates disagree over whether a potentially risky practice is being allowed in the transport of oil through the Burrard Inlet.

The dispute follows a story that ran last week in The Tyee regarding the number of crew members required on tug boats escorting oil tankers through the treacherous waters of Second Narrows.

Brad MacTavish of the Canadian Marine Services Guild (CMSG), the organization that represents vessel crews and marine pilots, told The Tyee (and Vancouver City Council) that these transits were regularly occurring with only two crew members on board rather than the normal four, based on an exemption dealing with "sheltered waters."

The gulf between us

Sarika Cullis-Suzuki
Jul 8th, 2010

VO presents this powerful story as part of a weekly blog featuring the best of The Tyee. This feisty online catch has earned an international reputation for award-winning reporting and creative initiatives that have helped forget the future for journalism in North America.

 Allen Kruse was a voice on the phone, the seventh fisherman I'd talked to that day. After completing my master's degree at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre, I had accepted a contract to interview fishermen from Texas to Florida about reef fish bycatch. Some of the men were chatty, others less so. Kruse was particularly concise, our interview lasting only 14 minutes.

My interviews had begun face to face with fishermen in the Gulf. But the day I arrived in New Orleans, on April 20, the oil rig 'Deepwater Horizon,' licensed at the time to British Petroleum, exploded, killing 11; two days later, on Earth Day, as I boarded the plane from New Orleans back to Vancouver, calamity was flowing into the Gulf.

'AskAway' library service shuts down

Shannon Smart
Jul 4th, 2010

Atrium at the Vancouver Public Library in a photograph from Wikipedia's creative commons

This June 30th is the day B.C.'s libraries pull the plug on the AskAway! Program, which let patrons from all over the province ask questions of librarians online, in real time, and receive an immediate answer.

The provincial plan for libraries and literacy, set out in Gordon Campbell's 2004 strategic planning document Libraries Without Walls, was to bring the "world within the reach" of anyone with Internet access (and a card to a B.C. library).

Back then, Campbell was optimistic about the potential for digital technologies to promote reading in B.C. He described libraries as "the front lines in the effort to make British Columbia one of the most literate places in the world."

AskAway, launched in 2006, fit Campbell's stated overall goal for Libraries Without Walls, to "facilitate equitable access to information for all British Columbians."

Lonely? You're not alone

Dorothy Woodend
Jun 7th, 2010

They started out as jerks

(Editors note: VO is excited to introduce a new weekly blog featuring the best of The Tyee. A daily online magazine, The Tyee is BC's home for news, culture, and solutions. The Tyee has earned an international reputation for its award-winning reporting and its many creative initiatives for reinvigorating journalism.)

Every time I see a Sex and the City 2 poster, I feel like throwing up. It's not just the aging Barbies' dress-up routine, nor the gross, grasping, naked greed of the thing. More gewgaws, more men, more babies, more stupid shoes, more everything! The fact that the film has been almost universally condemned is actually rather heartening. I did actually try to watch it and gave up midway through in nauseated horror.

Is BC ready for smart metres?

Colleen Kimmett
May 24th, 2010

Vancouver's Pulse Energy measured electricity use at eight Olympic venues

(Editors note: VO is excited to introduce a new weekly blog featuring the best of The Tyee. A daily online magazine, The Tyee is BC's home for news, culture, and solutions. The Tyee has earned an international reputation for its award-winning reporting and its many creative initiatives for reinvigorating journalism.)

BC Hydro is preparing to roll out smart meters in every home. The tech industry is ready to jump on board, but are government and citizens prepared?

The Olympics were a key moment for David Helliwell and his start-up company, Pulse Energy. Eight venues, outfitted with Pulse energy monitoring technology, allowed visitors to view online how much energy was being used at those sites at any given time. It marked the first time that any Olympic site collected and reported energy consumption data, and it attracted a considerable amount of media attention as part of Vancouver's 'Greenest Games' billing.

Syndicate content