Uber may be coming to Vancouver, after all

Photo credit: Mark Warner | Flickr

Photo credit: Mark Warner | Flickr

It looks like there’s a glimmer of hope for Uber in Vancouver.

The ride-sharing company, which has been forcefully rebuffed in its previous attempts to operate in Vancouver, may be getting a reprieve. In a dramatic about-face, provincial Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced this week that ride-sharing in B.C. may soon be a reality, according to reports in the Vancouver Sun.

“… it’s a matter of when, not if, ridesharing will be prevalent in B.C.,” Stone said. “I think there’s a growing recognition (of) the issues of convenience, of choice, of competition, which British Columbians are increasingly expecting.”

While no official timeline has been set, Uber’s prospects in Vancouver have never looked better.  Continue reading:
Uber may be coming to Vancouver, after all

Vancouver schools to begin teaching computer coding as part of official curriculum

Photo credit: KAB2013 | Wikipedia

Photo credit: KAB2013 | Wikipedia

Goodbye reading, writing and arithmetic. Hello reading, writing and algorithms.

The British Columbia government has just announced groundbreaking plans to integrate computer coding into the school curriculum. Starting in kindergarten, children will learn the foundational skills to solve coding problems, while high school students will eventually be able to specialize in specific types of coding.

Behind the change is a push to capitalize on the province’s newest job wave: technology. The tech sector currently employs an estimated 86,000 people, more than forestry, mining and oil and gas together, according to the Globe and Mail. And tech is one of the few industries that’s rapidly expanding. Continue reading:
Vancouver schools to begin teaching computer coding as part of official curriculum

Vancouver-Area University offers Full-Time Program in Endangered Aboriginal Language

The Skwomesh language as seen on signs along the Sea to Sky Highway

The Skwomesh language as seen on signs along the Sea to Sky Highway

Only seven people on the entire planet can still fluently speak Skwomesh, the language of the Squamish peoples, whose traditional territory covers large parts of Metro Vancouver. But a new program at one of the city’s top universities is aiming to change all of that.

Starting in September, Simon Fraser University will offer a groundbreaking full-time immersion program in Skwx̱wú7mesh sníchim, or the Skwomesh language. Students will study seven hours a day, five days a week, in a unique effort to bring the language back from the brink of extinction.  Continue reading:
Vancouver-Area University offers Full-Time Program in Endangered Aboriginal Language

No more sweaty rides: Vancouver buses to get air conditioning

Photo credit: ArielKettle | Wikipedia

Photo credit: ArielKettle | Wikipedia

Soon enough, those sweltering rides on Vancouver’s 99 B-Line may be a thing of the past.

TransLink has announced that 21 new articulated buses (the ones with the hinge in the middle) will be added to its fleet in coming months. And, for the first time, they’ll all have air conditioning.

But there’s more good news. Going forward, all new buses purchased by the agency will have air conditioning. TransLink says this the decision was made to improve the “comfort and safety of both passengers and drivers” during the warmer months, according to Vancity Buzz.

The change may also reflect Vancouver’s ever hotter summers. The city experienced its hottest summer on record in 2014, a trend expected to continue into the future. For sweltering riders, air conditioning has become less a luxury than a necessity on long cross-city trips.  Continue reading:
No more sweaty rides: Vancouver buses to get air conditioning

Vancouver’s First Cat Cafe is Running Low on Cats

Mittens, a cat recently adopted from Catfe. Image sourced from catfe.ca

Mittens, a cat recently adopted from Catfe. Image sourced from catfe.ca

Vancouver’s first cat cafe is finding it hard to keep felines in stock.

Catfé, located inside Vancouver’s International Village mall in Chinatown, officially opened its doors on Dec. 14. The unique business, modelled after pioneering “cat cafes” in Taiwan and Asia, is part cafe and part foster home for cats. Patrons can order a latte, then head into the special cat lounge for some quality time with cats available for adoption from the BC SPCA.

After years of anticipation and lots of legal and logistical hurdles, Catfé is off to a roaring start. “Purristas” at the cafe serve up coffee and treats. Meanwhile, “cat whisperers” lead guests into the adjoining cat lounge, which can accommodate up to 16 visitors at a time and is often booked solid. Continue reading:
Vancouver’s First Cat Cafe is Running Low on Cats