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Politics, Re-Spun: It’s Time for a National Housing Strategy

One of the big bads from the 1980s is starting to emerge again in Alberta. Jingle mail — the act of walking away from an underwater mortgage by mailing your keys back to the bank — is a peculiarity of the Alberta residential market and an act of desperation. However, a combination of high debt … Continue reading It’s Time for a National Housing Strategy

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Left Over: Who Defines “Affordable?”

Vancouver mayor offers $250M of city land for social housing Gregor Robertson is asking the federal government give $500M in return for affordable housing projects CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2016 8:11 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 02, 2016 9:29 … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: Who Defines “Affordable?”

Left Over: No Seniors Need Apply……


Senior struggles to find affordable housing in Vancouver It’s a story too common among seniors, says executive director of the Seniors Services Society

By The Early Edition, CBC News Posted: Oct 15, 2015 2:48 PM PT Last Updated: Oct 16, 2015 6:49 AM PT

I could see this coming before I retired, so as soon as the less than golden handshake happened I left the area..didn’t really want to, but..glad now. I feel for this guy..remember when $700 was a couple of mortgage payments? And so it goes, in Vancouver, the developer’s heaven, where nouveau (Read more…)

Left Over: No Seniors Need Apply……


Senior struggles to find affordable housing in Vancouver It’s a story too common among seniors, says executive director of the Seniors Services Society

By The Early Edition, CBC News Posted: Oct 15, 2015 2:48 PM PT Last Updated: Oct 16, 2015 6:49 AM PT

I could see this coming before I retired, so as soon as the less than golden handshake happened I left the area..didn’t really want to, but..glad now. I feel for this guy..remember when $700 was a couple of mortgage payments? And so it goes, in Vancouver, the developer’s heaven, where nouveau (Read more…)

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Non-conformist jugglers, Mrs. Pirandello, and intense performance art

The New Conformity, from Vancouver circus troupe Cause & Effect, is on its most immediate level a direct commentary on contemporary corporate culture.

The performers, clad in identical grey suits, use juggling and physical comedy to tell the story of one man’s rebellion against imposed monotony, which begins with the revelation that he is wearing a bright red boutonnière under his jacket. As the show progresses, he gradually wins the other two over to his flashier, freer-thinking ways, and the performance becomes a tightly choreographed juggling extravaganza.

The juggling and physical comedy are excellent, and the performance as a (Read more…)

Left Over: Unreal Estate Prices – Just the Cost of Doing Business in Vancouver…

Vancouver real estate prices not the fault of foreign buyers, says new report B.C. Real Estate Association says densification and geography are to blame for high home prices

CBC News Posted: Jun 10, 2015 6:03 PM PT Last Updated: Jun 10, 2015 6:38 PM PT


Ah, the fox is releasing media and ‘studies’ from the floor of the grafitti-covered, leaky Vancouver hen house.. When this ‘organization’ finally stops advertising overseas and decides to accept a smaller percentage for their ‘work’ then maybe I’ll start to trust them, but right now, a real estate agent, a snake oil tout, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Why People Hate the Translink Police

Replace “driver” with Translink cop.

I had a hard time reading all the way through this article, the one about Translink cops terrorizing bus passengers on Friday night.

I also had a hard time reading about the two Translink cops found guilty of assault on Friday.

I’m sure it was just a coincidence that they both happened on Friday.

And I find it astonishing that Neil Dubord, the head of the Translink police [or his social media lackeys] would choose to follow my largely apolitical personal Twitter account [unless he also like Pink Floyd and the Baltimore Orioles].

Also (Read more…)

PostArctica: When Punk Rock Hit Vancouver

Vancouver, 1978. So I am over at Glen Ward’s place and he puts an album on for me that he had ordered from Europe and we both were killing ourselves laughing through the whole thing, shaking our heads and pumping our fists, and just so damn high on this horrible, awful, ugly “new” stuff called Punk. It was awesome, simply awesome, to hear some rock music that was positively radical!

The 70’s were already done, Disco was everywhere. The Stones took a whack at it, Bowie was trying to own it, a terribly depressing time for a young fellow who (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: In Vancouver, Canada’s first annual Charter of Rights and Freedoms march

Canada’s first annual Rights and Freedoms March, a celebration of the anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, launches in Vancouver on April 17.

The post In Vancouver, Canada’s first annual Charter of Rights and Freedoms march appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Art Threat: A Changing Chinatown

Julia Kwan’s NFB-produced Everything Will Be (Canada, 2014) examines the gentrification of Vancouver’s Chinatown as an uneasy balance of preservation, assimilation, and creative re-purposing.

A flurry of condo development encroaches on the neighbourhood’s familiar faces, such as the witty nonagenarian newsvendor and the members of the senior’s singing club. Meanwhile, younger community members inherit their family businesses and open new restaurants, galleries, and stores, anticipating the neighbourhood’s change while staying connected to its history. Although Chinatown’s future is uncertain, Kwan’s film rises to a challenge set by a chic cocktail bartender who infuses her Chinese medicine-inspired libations with chakra-sensitive sound (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Vancouver Aims to be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy

Vancouver has a new goal: be powered by only renewable energy. This announcement was made the same week that an oil spill hit the city’s shores. Indeed, the city is so sick of wasting money on carbon-based power sources that their 100% goal even includes cars, trucks, buses, etc.

This is great news for the people of Vancouver and will hopefully inspire other Canadian cities to follow.

Andrea Reimer, Vancouver’s deputy mayor told the Guardian: “There’s a compelling moral imperative but also a fantastic economic case to be a green city.” The 100% goal is likely to be set (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Disaster Tourism at the English Bay Oil Spill

By Emily Griffiths

In the wake of the oil spill a few days ago, I set out this morning with my partner to see the aftermath first hand. I really didn’t want to go, because I don’t enjoy feeling depressed or enraged, but denial isn’t a healthy choice, either.

We arrive at English Bay around noon. It’s almost as if nothing has happened. It’s like any Saturday, folks are just out here, doing their thing; people jog, walk, or cycle along the seawall, a mass of tankers blocks the horizon. We know something’s up, though, as a helicopter hovers by (Read more…)

Left Over: Toxic Spills and the Toxic Con (tsk, tsk…) Response….


James Moore fires back at ‘political jabs’ over Vancouver oil spill Industry minister criticizes rush to blame before all facts are known

CBC News Posted: Apr 10, 2015 4:33 PM PT Last Updated: Apr 10, 2015 9:42 PM PT


As horrible as this event was, it did some good here in BC..this ugliness made it clear to all the naysayers bleating about jobs that NOTHING is worth even the chance of a spill..not to mention the fact that we need our Coast Guard and emergency stations, we need our lighthouses manned, we (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.

You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the consulting workers’ co-op that is spawning this co-op. Incipe, in-CHEE-pay, is Latin for “Begin!” And you can register for the [free] meeting here. And if you want to be involved and informed, you can sign up for the e-newsletter here.

We (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Ever Wonder How the 1% Talks to Each Other? Shhh. Listen!

It’s not a secret language, it’s a style, an effervescence. A whimsicality.

It’s like how people stand when they’re shopping in Tiffany’s. You feel me?

Read on about a new luxury property on Georgia in downtown Vancouver [emphasis is mine]:

The Penthouse

Upstairs, in the 48th-floor penthouse, it is a different story again. It is a rare true penthouse, taking up the entire top floor and entirely encircling the elevator core. And, aside from one lavishly staged corner, the penthouse is currently a vast, empty, concrete shell, waiting for whoever takes it on to do with it what they will. (Read more…)

Rob Maguire: I’m teaching copywriting at UBC

This week I begin teaching a UBC Continuing Studies course on copywriting. While I’ve given plenty of workshops and conference presentations, I’m very much looking forward to working with the same group of students for a full two months.

After all, the enjoyment I get from teaching communications skills is one of the reasons I got into the consulting racket in the first place.

That said, the idea of keeping a group of keen professionals engaged and interested for a full 150 minutes each week is a touch scary, but it’s the good kind of scary that means you’re being (Read more…)

Left Over: Any Cardboard to Spare?


Affordable housing in Vancouver within reach: Michael Geller Michael Geller says innovative design and financing ideas are key to creating more affordable Vancouver homes

By Margaret Gallagher, CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2015 7:29 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 02, 2015 7:29 AM PT


Yes, let’s crowd those poor people into micro-style sardine tins, charge an arm and a leg so that they couldn’t afford to flee even if they wanted to, and call it ‘progress’.

Look around, this issue is everywhere in the world that corporate interests are paramount… In London people are protesting in the streets about (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The So-Called Transit Referendum: Don’t Be Duped!

By Emily Griffiths

The Transit referendum “Yes” campaign has been asserting itself all over Facebook, Twitter, neighbourhood news boxes, and I can’t help but ask myself, Since when is increasing a flat tax a leftist thing to do?

Oh! The word “transit” has been attached to the newest proposed consumer flat tax increase, therefore rendering it “left” and “sustainable”. Have we forgotten that the poorest members of our community are already shelling out $91-$170/ month just to be able to ride a crowded bus to work and back without risk of being detained by over zealous transit police (the only (Read more…)

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Politics, Re-Spun: Yet Another Logistical Solution to Homelessness

So, Utah has been eradicating homelessness by giving people homes. The bonus is that it’s easier and cheaper to provide social services to people when their housing needs are met.

From Amsterdam, we see yet another logistical solution for emergency housing while we have a national dialogue on a national housing plan.

A rich country like Canada should have no difficulty developing a national housing strategy that solves homelessness and unaffordable housing.

The houses will rent for 700 euros a month, or about $900. It’s a little less than someone might pay for a cramped single room in the city, (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: No thanks Uber, I’m not signing your petition

So the ride-sharing app Uber is urging Vancouverites to sign a petition on its site to put pressure on the City to allow Uber to operate. An ad for the petition invaded my Twitter feed and I decided to take a closer look. Here’s the petition with my commentary. Spoiler: no, I’m not signing.

Uber begins by laying out “the situation”:

British Columbia and Vancouver are home to the quintessential winter playground, shining examples of liveable cities, and a launching pad for countless innovators and trailblazers across many industries.

That’s why so many residents are disappointed by Vancouver’s limited transportation (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Entitlements? What About Understanding UNentitlements?

Punishing irony.

OK, I’m fine admitting it. I focus on entitlements a lot. I’m often trying to encourage people to examine our unexamined entitlements: race, age, economic class, gender, sexuality, etc.

But one way to understand entitlements is to understand how unentitlements work.

I’m guilty of overlooking this. Until today.

Read this, below, then read the rest of it. See if you don’t weep.

And ask yourself if BC Liberal MLAs can read this and understand what they don’t know about unentitlements.

This same boy, earlier in the year when the weather was just getting cold, was wearing flip flops (Read more…)

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Janet Fraser

Dear Janet Fraser, First of all, let me start by congratulating you on your school board election victory this past Saturday. I voted for you enthusiastically, as I did your running mate Mischa Oak and the rest of the Green Party team on the city council and park board slates. It is truly gratifying to see a Green set to hold the balance of power on one of Vancouver’s three elected municipal bodies. Which brings me to my main reason for writing today. School board is scheduled to select a chairperson on December 8. I don’t know what direction you (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Kirk LaPointe’s Credibility Problem: the NPA

Don’t vote for the NPA. Any of them.

LaPointe is the NPA’s mayoral candidate. The NPA stands for the Non-Partisan Association. If you actually believe the NPA has no partisan ideology, please don’t vote. For almost a decade I’ve been writing about how the brand notion of the NPA is fundamentally a lie. No one is non-partisan in the sense of not being ideological. The NPA is a right wing, neoliberal, corporate-loving, public service-hating party aligned with the likes of Reagan, Thatcher, Mulroney, Harper, Gordon Campbell, Christy Clark and everyone else who worships Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand of the market (Read more…)

Left Over: Door #1 or Door #2….

BC Ferries fare hikes may go ahead if Nanaimo-Horseshoe Bay changes can’t, warns CEO Service cuts, fare increases — or larger subsidies: BC Ferries says options limited going forward

CBC News Posted: Nov 06, 2014 10:42 AM PT Last Updated: Nov 07, 2014 7:24 AM PT

Is anyone surprised at this semi-transparent ploy? First the rumour was released that Nanaimo would be cut off from ferry service; suddenly, no, that isn’t going to happen, but…if it doesn’t happen then ferry rates will be going up, again. Now the gLibs will be blaming Islanders for the ferry rate’s an (Read more…)

Song of the Watermelon: Some Thoughts on the Vancouver Election … Plus Endorsements!

With a week and a half to go before voting day in municipalities across British Columbia, the campaign here in Vancouver seems to have devolved into a veritable hatefest against two-term mayor and eccentric juice magnate Gregor Robertson.

There is nothing surprising about that. Incumbents (a.k.a. the sinister hands currently at the controls of Big Government) typically draw vitriol like no others during election season. Yet for all the negative attention received by the mayor and his Vision Vancouver party at all-candidates meetings and in the opinion pages, for all the foaming at the mouth over towers and (Read more…)