Cleaning up Vancouver’s “rat’s nest of rot”

Single-family houses in the city are now deposit boxes. How did we get here and how can we restore balance?

Cleaning up Vancouver’s “rat’s nest of rot”It’s time for broad review of the dirty money games played in the casinos and on the high streets of the raincoast’s ‘capital' city. B.C. Attorney General David Eby recently reported that upwards of $2 billion in dirty money laundering has occurred in Vancouver casinos and luxury real estate over the past year. He characterized…

Innovative, sustainable custom home designs still draw clients

Kathy Yuen of Phase One Design talks about how to build an award-winning company from scratch, even during downturns

Innovative, sustainable custom home designs still draw clientsKathy Yuen is president of Phase One Design. Tell me about Phase One Design. How it got started, why, where you’re located and what you do? Yuen: Phase One Design is a residential design firm. We specialize in the architecture of luxury custom homes (not to be confused with interior design). How did it all…

How the Vancouver area can solve its funding woes

Metro Vancouver contains 21 municipalities. If they amalgamated under one government, many benefits would follow

How the Vancouver area can solve its funding woesMunicipalities are the poor step-children among Canada’s levels of government. They are creatures of the province in which they’re located, with no autonomy beyond that extended by that province. Their taxing powers are extremely limited and they rely very heavily on property taxes. The many basic services that cities provide (water and sewer, roads and…

Staying when the government tells you to move

How a decision to remain in an ancestral village helped ensure a family maintained strong ties to a culture

Staying when the government tells you to moveIn 1968, my father took me to Yuquot on Nootka Island, off the west coast of Vancouver Island, because he wanted me to see where Capt. James Cook first stepped ashore in 1778. Little did he know that because of this visit, our family was about to begin a lifelong friendship with Ray and Terry…

We’ll be warm for the winter, thanks to the Wood Camp boys

The camaraderie of splitting and stacking your winter wood with pals, and the payoff through the cold months

We’ll be warm for the winter, thanks to the Wood Camp boysDo you still burn wood in a fireplace? For most of us, fireplaces are becoming ornamental. We heat homes with natural gas flares emitted from faux metal logs, or carefully machined wood pellets bought in bags at Canadian Tire or plastic-wrapped bundles of kindling and fire logs purchased at gas stations for $9.99. The whole…

Inside ‘a tap on the back’ that ruined a 40-year policing career

B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is a watchdog that barks public interest but whose bite is about self-interest

Inside ‘a tap on the back’ that ruined a 40-year policing careerThe Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) was created to provide independent civilian oversight over municipal police forces in British Columbia. But a string of recent cases shows the OPCC is more about overreach than oversight. I know. I was one of the cases. This summer, after 40 years of unblemished service with the…

Communo builds a community of marketing professionals

Ryan Gill of Communo talks about how the collaboration model works for both clients and creative entrepreneurs

Communo builds a community of marketing professionalsRyan Gill is CEO of Communo. Calgary’s Business: What is Communo and how does it work? Gill: Communo is a community of advertising and marketing professionals who give and get work from each other via a mobile app. It’s like Tinder, but for creative professionals looking for work or agencies looking to hire contingent workers…

A tale of two cities and their wildly different spending habits

Vancouver taxes and spends far more than neighbouring Surrey. But do Vancouverites get value for their greater investment?

A tale of two cities and their wildly different spending habitsBy Josef Filipowicz and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute With three levels of government delivering a wide array of services to British Columbians – paid for by an equally wide array of taxes, fees and transfers – it can be difficult for citizens to understand and assess government taxation and spending – especially at city…

Connecting the dots in the summer of smoke

Right across Canada, dramatic signs of climate change are casting a pall on the landscape

Connecting the dots in the summer of smokeThe last five summers at Skelhp, on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, have been progressively drier. We’ve had one significant wildfire nearby, in Sechelt Inlet, which wafted ash in a big brown plume over our regional air shed. The smoke from this fire three years ago caused us to close all the windows in the July heat…

Calgary rated most livable city in Canada, 4th in world

New survey rates Calgary behind only Vienna, Melbourne and Osaka. Vancouver and Toronto also made it into the top 10

Calgary rated most livable city in Canada, 4th in worldA new report suggests that Calgary is one of the most livable cities in the world. The Global Liveability Index 2018, a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, rated Calgary fourth overall in the world – behind Vienna, which topped the ranking, followed by Melbourne and Osaka. The rest of the top 10 in descending…

International visitors drive B.C. tourism growth

Cruising along: Airport volumes are up, cruise ship traffic strong, hotel revenues on the rise, and food and drink sales growing

International visitors drive B.C. tourism growthBy Jock Finlayson and Kristine St.-Laurent Business Council of B.C. It turns out that 2017 marked a 14-year high for annual international tourism to B.C. Some 7.9 million international travellers entered the province last year, an increase of 3.5 per cent over 2016. And the data for the first quarter of 2018 look even better, setting the…

EDC’s lack of cash threatens taxpayers

The Crown corporation could be worth up to $30 billion if divested. But it could be worthless if it can’t realize its assets as cash

EDC’s lack of cash threatens taxpayersBy Ian Madsen and Alexandra Burnett Frontier Centre for Public Policy Export Development Canada (EDC) is unable to convert its reported profits into cash, posing an increasing risk to Canadian taxpayers. And it has been funding ventures that are normally considered too risky for commercial banks to handle. EDC is a federal Crown corporation that…

City hall holds the key to solving Canada’s urban housing crisis

As centres for jobs, education and innovation, municipalities play an outsized role in Canada’s continued prosperity

City hall holds the key to solving Canada’s urban housing crisisBy Kenneth P. Green and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute For mayors, councillors and city staff in Canada’s largest cities, housing affordability is – or should be – top of mind. With the cost of owning a home out of reach for many, and the ability to rent hampered by virtually non-existent vacancies in the…

Vancouver mayor’s pipe dreams and twisted perspectives

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's attacks on Trans Mountain pipeline based on falsehoods and nonsensical enviro-rhetoric

Vancouver mayor’s pipe dreams and twisted perspectivesBy Kenneth P. Green and Elmira Aliakbari The Fraser Institute Not content with his ongoing opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion at home, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is agitating against the project in the United States. “I don’t think this project will go – I really don’t – based on the resistance…

The pipeline to the future doesn’t carry the jobs of the past

The ruckus over the Kinder Morgan project is a good reminder that the economic conditions we once enjoyed are on the way out

The pipeline to the future doesn’t carry the jobs of the pastWhile the opinion writers and politicians are venting about expanding the Kinder Morgan pipeline for diluted bitumen to the West Coast, it might help to consider some history. We didn’t arrive at this shout-fest without making diverse tracks from previous experiences, and most of us are old enough to think back over a few previous…
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