May 29th, 2007

Vancouver's SROs: 'Zero Vacancy'
When poverty experts warn that homeless Canadians will likely outnumber Olympic athletes in Greater Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Games, part of their calculation is based on the swelling number of regional residents living just one fumbled paycheque away from the street. From Bowen Island to Langley, there are an estimated 126,000 such people at risk of homelessness. At the deep end of that risk pool are the 5,000-plus denizens of the Downtown Eastside's notorious residency hotels, also known as SROs. After quietly sheltering British Columbia's shabbiest population for decades, investors have begun acquiring these historic Victorian abodes for redevelopment.

Dump may blow in wind; Barrie council eyeing wind turbine for landfill
There could soon be something else in the air at Barrie's dump. City councillors decided last night to study electricity generating by wind at the Sandy Hollow landfill site, by installing a meteorological tower with wind monitoring equipment. Wind power is a clean, renewable resource and turbines reduce the need for electricity generated by fossil fuels, which most experts say contribute to global warming. "I think this is a spectacular opportunity for the city of Barrie to get into a new source of power," said Coun. Jeff Lehman. Barry Thompson, the city's energy and environmental officer, says the potential for this technology is impressive.