Morning Headlines: April 30, 2019

Laurie Tritschler / April 30, 2019

Vancouver’s small businesses say the welcome the lighter tax burden.
(Vancouver City Council Archive / blog.placespeak.com)

Vancouver Council puts 2% of city businesses’ property taxes onto homeowners

City Council approved the measure Monday night.

Vancouver homeowners will see a 1% increase in property taxes as of May 1st, with the remaining 1% of small business taxes transferred over three years.

The vote passed 6-5, with the NPA’s Sarah Kirby-Yung emphasizing in a tweet this morning the measure barely succeeded. Meanwhile, councilors Hardwick, Swanson, Boyle, and De Genova voted with Mayor Kennedy Stewart voted against the shift.

(Twitter / @sarahkirby_yung)

Vancouver School Board to phase out French-immersion at city elementary

VSB trustees voted Monday night to phase-out Henry Hudson Elementary’s French-immersion program. The program will end after this year’s kindergarten class graduates from the program eight years from now.

The VSB has said the school is at capacity and that available classroom space must be prioritized in favor of English-language instruction according to the School Act of B.C. However, parents at Henry Hudson were not impressed at last night’s crowded meeting. Many showed up wearing bright red shirts and bearing placards displaying their support for the program. “VIVE Henry Hudson!”, read one sign.

Adrian Keogh is the VSB’s director of instruction. He maintains the school board added 100 classroom seats for students of French-immersion programs in B.C this year and that the VSB tried to make more space at Henry Hudson by converting a staff room and computer lab into classrooms.

The VSB claims it’s phasing out French-immersion at Henry Hudson Elementary to accommodate English-language instruction.
(Vancouver Archives)

Venezuela teeters on verge of military coup as opposition-leader Guaido calls for President Maduro’s ouster

President Nicolás Maduro’s embattled regime could give way to a putsch by opposition forces under Juan Guaidó, recognized by many countries as Venezuela’s interim-President.
(pixabay.com)

Rival demonstrations in favor of both men who would be Venezuela’s president are underway in the capital city, Caracas. Juan Gauidó declared himself interim-president after fraught elections which elected Nicolás Maduro last January.

Guaidó called on the country’s military to force Maduro’s ouster, but the army’s top brass seem to have remained loyal to the sitting President. Observers report open ructions between Guadidó’s civilian supporters and armed Venezuelan troops in Caracas. It remains to be seen Maduro’s regime will put down the coup, though Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino confirms some within the military have gone over to the opposition side.