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Build an Affordable High-Speed Gondola to Connect SFU Campus to the Skytrain Now.
Simon Fraser University and the UniverCity Community on Burnaby Mountain need a rapid transit link. It's time to build an inexpensive but high speed gondola to connect the campus to the Skytrain network. Burnaby mountain has a growing population quickly approaching 50,000 people between students, faculty, staff, and residents. Currently the trip from the Skytrain takes almost 20 minutes by diesel bus vs 6 minutes via Gondola (exclusive of wait times). Given the current interest by the Canadian Federal Government to invest in infrastructure, the new BC government committing to increase their share of transit funding and the massive budget surpluses posted by the City of Burnaby, we call Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Horgan, and Mayor Corrigan to commit to building this key infrastructure project at minimal cost. Not only will a gondola reduce travel time to SFU, it will increase the reliability of transport and it will also reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, helping us meet our Paris Accord targets. Furthermore, it will have the knock-on effect of allowing Translink to redeploy buses to other under-serviced parts of Metro Vancouver thus further improving service in the region. The time is now. Background: -Currently there are 25,000 daily bus trips to and from Burnaby Mountain and demand is expected to grow by 60 per cent in the next 20 years. -A gondola was first proposed in 2007 and a feasibility study was completed in 2009. The study indicated positive financial, social, recreational and environmental benefits from the project. -A gondola on Burnaby Mountain is projected to reduce GHG emission by 1,870 tonnes per year with the reduction of over 50,000 hours of bus operation. With the projected increase in transit ridership, it is possible for these GHG savings to double by the time SFU and UniverCity realize full growth." The UniverCity Development is almost complete (projected population of 10,000 by 2030) and the student population of SFU has grown from 17,000 in 2007 to 35,000 -The current Diesel Buses are often overcrowded and display "SORRY BUS FULL" as they cruise past passengers without stopping. Bus service is also frequently interrupted in inclement weather as the articulating buses cannot make the assent in snowy or icy conditions. -A rapid link would also help reduce the thousands of trips by private vehicle by students, staff and residents. -SFU president Andrew Petter has come out in support of the project “The business case developed for TransLink shows the aerial link to be an efficient and reliable alternative to conventional buses, with the economic and social benefits far outweighing the costs.” -The Canadian Federal Government have promised to spend $187-billion on infrastructure over 12 years. -In their first budget, the new BC government promised to increase the provincial share of funding for public transportation improvements to 40 per cent. -In 2012, a business case estimated that the capital cost for the gondola project would be $120 million, with annual operating costs of $3 to $3.5 million. -According to Michael McDaniel an advocate for Gondolas in the US "Running subway lines under a city can cost about $400 million per mile. Light rails systems run about $36 million per mile. But the aerial ropeways required to run gondolas cost just $3 million to $12 million to install per mile." -According to an article by Jeremy Deutsch in Burnaby NOW the "Burnaby Mayors’ Council decided not to commit to a new, fixed rapid transit connection to SFU", this despite a $188 Million budget surplus in 2016 and a total accumulated surplus 3.8 Billion in city coffers. -None of the main university campuses in Vancouver (UBC, SFU and BCIT) are serviced by Skytrain, whereas all the major universities in Montreal and Toronto have their own Metro or Subway stops. (Université de Montreal, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), McGill University, Concordia University, University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University, Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD)) http://univercity.ca/upload/GONDOLA_FEASIBILITY_STUDY_FINAL_EMAILABLE%20042209.pdf https://604now.com/gondola-burnaby-mountain-sfu/ http://www.burnabynow.com/news/gondola-plan-revived-by-sfu-prez-1.2280864 http://www.burnabynow.com/news/city-ends-2016-with-188m-surplus-1.18463773 https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-urges-municipal-leaders-to-see-infrastructure-bank-as-voluntary/article35190741/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com& https://globalnews.ca/news/3734843/b-c-budget-ndp-releases-first-budget-update/ https://www.marketplace.org/2013/01/18/business/new-public-transport-idea-austin-texas-has-high-hopes http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sfu-aerial-gondola-proposal-moves-forward-1.969322
Petition to President of India, Government of India, Consulate General Of India Vancouver
EXPRESS SOLIDARITY WITH THE PROFESSORS AND STUDENTS UNDER ATTACK IN INDIA
Far-Right Radical Organizations are attacking Students and Professors in India Far-right Hindu political groups have been emboldened, with vigilante groups taking the law into their own hands ever since Narendra Modi came to power in India. Systematic attacks by radical Hindu mobs on secular writers, progressive thinkers, filmmakers, and intellectuals have increased in India. Modi has kept quiet on this rising intolerance, which has further encouraged the violent mobs. Now, such violence has entered India's well-known universities too. Hindu radical nationalist organizations backed by India's current ruling party are attacking students and professors more and more brazenly. Professors and students are being beaten, attacked, and threatened. Lately, they have also started attacking public gatherings including seminars, documentary screenings, and lectures. This has created an environment of terror among the professors who can't even take their classes comfortably. It is recognized all over the World that a ‘University’ must have full freedom for the pursuit of knowledge. Yet, inquiry, challenge, and discussion, the processes that are vital to any intellectual pursuit, are systematically threatened by violent attacks and various other means in India today. “There is a new climate of fear in India — about speaking freely on some subjects. Universities are imposing prohibitory rules on teachers and students so that they can't express themselves on some subjects.” - Amartya Sen, Economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize. To read his interview on rising intolerance, click here. “Free speech in Indian universities under threat” - Amnesty International India, an NGO focused on Human Rights. To read more click here. Why should Vancouver Academic Community care about it? The radical religious fundamentalist organizations are already active in UBC and SFU’s partner universities. This group is growing and spreading into India's top academic institutions, which are potential partners of Canadian Universities in future. By signing this petition, we not only show solidarity with our Indian fellows but we are also ensuring the safety of the students and faculty. How can we make a change? We are privileged, being a part of the great institutions of Vancouver, which are well known at international level. Due to this, it is quite possible that the government of India will pay attention to this petition, and thus ensure the safety of students and faculty in India and also maintain the democratic values like academic freedom, freedom of speech in Indian Universities. We, members of the academic community in Vancouver, British Columbia deplore these attacks on the freedom of the academic space in India. Many of us are engaged in studies related to India, have direct connections with Indian universities, and are engaged in academic exchange programs. We express our solidarity with students and faculty at Indian universities and demand that the Government of India takes necessary measures to end the current violence and suppression of freedom of inquiry and discussion in the universities. Following is the list of attacks by far-right radical nationalist groups on scholars, professors, and students: Scholars we lost January 2016: On January 17, Lower caste scholar Rohith Vemula, 26-year-old Ph.D. student belonging to lower socioeconomic strata (a Dalit) of society, was found hanging in his hostel room at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, after he was suspended from student’s hostel. He was a member of the Ambedkar Student Association (ASA) and active in supporting social justice causes. Radical far-right group, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (known as ABVP), attacked the screening of film Muzzaffarnagar Baaqui Hai, which is on the violence against Muslims in UP that left many dead and thousands displaced in 2013. Rohith along with others marched against the ABVP’s attack. Some false charges by ABVP and pressure from the union ministers of Labour and Human Resource Development in the BJP (ruling political party in India) government led the Vice Chancellor of the university to expel Rohith and four other members who participated in the protest from the university. University administration also evicted them from the hostel and banned them from the use of campus facilities. Rohith also lost his research stipend. In protest, the expelled students and their supporters slept in the open outside the gates of the university and went on a hunger strike. Rohith managed to get into a friend’s room in the hostel and hanged himself, leaving a suicide note expressing his ambition to be a writer and his profound alienation in a society that had lost all authenticity. To read more click here. August 2015: M.M Kalburgi, a progressive thinker, and also a former vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, Karnataka, India was assassinated. To read more click here. August 2006: On August 27, Prof. H.S Sabharwal died after being beaten by hoodlums allegedly belonging to the BJP’s (current ruling party of India), student wing. To read more click here. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), SFU’s partner for the exchange program. Oct 2016: Najeeb Ahmed, a student, has been missing since Oct 15, 2016, after he had an altercation with a member of ABVP, the student wing of Prime Minister Modi’s Political party. To read more click here. Feb 2016: JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and other students were arrested on charges of sedition, on the basis of a doctored video for organizing an event on Capital Punishment. To read more click here. March 2017: March 13, JNU scholar, Muthukrishnan (known as Krish Rajini), 27 years old, an M.Phil student, a Dalit, committed suicide. Part of his last Facebook post says, “When equality is denied everything is denied”, and criticizes JNU’s admission policies. To read more click here. University of Delhi (DU), UBC’s partner for Exchange Program February 2017: On February 21, a seminar on “Cultures of Protest” at DU’s Ramjas College was violently attacked. To read more click here. February 2017: On February 22, the students and the professors of Delhi University were attacked, English Professor Prasanta Chakravarty was severely injured. To read more click here. To read his blog on this incident, click here. February 2017: A 20-year-old, first-year female student, Gurmehar Kaur, received threats of death, and rape, after she started a campaign against these violent attacks, on social media. To read more click here. Jai Narayan Vyas University (JNVU), Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. February 2017: Rajshree Ranawat, an associate professor of English at JNVU, was suspended by the university’s syndicate on February 16, for organizing a seminar on ‘History Reconstrued through Literature: Nation, Identity, Culture’. It affiliates for inviting Nivediata Menon, a feminist writer and a professor of political thought at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The university administration filed a police complaint against Professor Menon for “anti-national” comments at the seminar and suspended Professor Ranawat. To read Ranawat’s point of view, click here.