B.C. wants more rental units; will municipalities follow through?

New zoning powers for local governments will only meaningfully affect rental vacancy rates if cities streamline approval processes

B.C. wants more rental units; will municipalities follow through?The British Columbia government recently introduced legislation aimed at housing affordability, which – among other things – would grant municipalities the power to zone for rental-only housing, ostensibly to preserve and expand the supply of rental units in the province’s tightest housing markets. With Metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate consistently below one per cent, there’s a…

Why is the anti-fish farm lobby so afraid of science?

Anti-fish farm activists ratchet up conspiracy campaign against Canadian scientists and studies

Why is the anti-fish farm lobby so afraid of science?Fearing that Canadian science will drown out their claims, the anti-fish farm lobby has embarked on a campaign to discredit upcoming studies by the government to develop better aquaculture standards. Taking the cue from Twitter-in-chief Donald Trump, who constantly tells his core supporters not to believe any official investigation about him, the activists’ campaign is…

In Florida, they’re snowbirds, in B.C., they’re speculators

Penalizing foreign homebuyers fails to address the fundamental problem: a lack of available houses

In Florida, they’re snowbirds, in B.C., they’re speculatorsBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Florida is a popular destination for retirees and vacationers. Not surprisingly, many people from colder northern states and Canada either rent or own property in Florida to escape harsh winters. In fact, temporary residents in Florida (also known as snowbirds) number more than one million by…

Insurance Corp. of B.C. faces uncertain future

Canada’s only mandatory insurance provider is digging a deep financial hole and the B.C. government is looking for answers

Insurance Corp. of B.C. faces uncertain futureIt’s no secret that the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (ICBC) is under financial distress. But should it be saved? In 2016-17, it suffered its largest loss ever – $889 million, an amount equal to 18 per cent of its total premiums. What’s worse, it’s heading for an even larger $1.3 billion loss this year,…

A twisted path brings the Cambridge Analytica scandal home to Canada

The links between Christopher Wylie, Victoria-based AggregateIQ and the Liberal Party of Canada must be probed

A twisted path brings the Cambridge Analytica scandal home to CanadaIt’s the biggest political scandal in the world. And it involves a bunch of Canadians. For some time, it’s been known that Vladimir Putin’s Russia and assorted other outlaw states, like North Korea, have been engaged in acts of cyber war against democracies around the globe. Long before special counsel Robert Mueller was hired to…

My fireplace just helped renew my faith in humanity

A household calamity, an accommodating retailer, some dirty and hard work, and a twofold payoff at the end

My fireplace just helped renew my faith in humanityThis time of year, one of my country morning rituals is cleaning last night’s ashes from the fireplace and laying the beginnings of this evening’s fire. We have what is now considered an old fireplace – it has a brick-lined fire chamber with a small rectangular ash-emptying door in the centre of the fireplace floor.…

Clearing the air: How industry should respond to public concerns

In Prince George, Canfor accepted the challenge to address pollution issues. Other businesses can and should follow suit to deal with social conflicts

Clearing the air: How industry should respond to public concernsA few years ago, I was involved with a small team of people in my community of Prince George who gathered with the sole goal of improving the air quality. I was spurred on by a letter to the newspaper by a woman unknown to me, Betty Bekkering, complaining about the local air quality. I…

Open for business? Not B.C.

B.C. government sending all the wrong signals to investors, which could lead to a rude economic awakening

Open for business? Not B.C.By Charles Lammam, Hugh MacIntyre and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute Consumer spending and a hot real estate market have helped buoy British Columbia’s economy in recent years. But they’ve also helped mask deep-rooted economic problems, including B.C.’s dismal level of business investment. Unfortunately, an onslaught of recent policies from Premier John Horgan’s government has weakened…

The folly of embracing universal daycare

Quebec’s experience with government-subsidized daycare should serve as a warning for B.C.

The folly of embracing universal daycareThe recent British Columbia provincial budget makes it clear that the government is forging ahead with plans to pursue universal government-subsidized daycare. But B.C. is not the first to go down this path and there are lessons to be learned. While the 2018 budget didn’t explicitly call for $10-a-daycare – a key plank in the NDP’s…

Vancouver stories that resonate far and wide

The coastal city is uniquely placed, by geography and patterns of global investment, to bear intelligent witness to international currents

Vancouver stories that resonate far and wideVancouver has a long history of welcoming new citizens, first at the end of steel or fresh off the boat. Five generations of Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, Filipinos and even Hawaiians have joined a broad European diaspora in building a port city on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh. All of these people…
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