Remembering the legacy of B.C. horse racing icon Richard Yates

Notes and quotes from Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver

Remembering the legacy of B.C. horse racing icon Richard YatesOwner, trainer and breeder Richard Yates was a go-to guy when it came to horse racing. Among his many achievements, he was extremely proud of the Hastings Racing Club in Vancouver that he helped form in 2015. On March 22, the racing community was hit by the sad news of Yates’s death from a massive…

B.C. won’t be able to quit fossil fuels any time soon

The results of greater energy efficiency will materialize over the long term, even if politicians seek abbreviated timelines

B.C. won’t be able to quit fossil fuels any time soonJock Finlayson and Denise Mullen Business Council of B.C. Metro Vancouver residents are rightly upset over paying the highest gasoline prices ever recorded in a North American city. Cost-of-living pressures are already significant for many households in British Columbia, making the recent jump in pump prices particularly hard to stomach. The unprecedented attention being given…

B.C. money-laundering crackdown carries hidden costs

The province needs to get its house in order. That means, among other things, good old-fashioned police work

B.C. money-laundering crackdown carries hidden costsBritish Columbia is hardly a tax haven in the mould of Panama, yet organized crime has still established a foothold for laundering,– according to some estimates, $1 billion or more a year. Until last year, despite mounting activity, the problem flew under the radar. Now several reports have made their way to the media and…

Never shirk responsibility for honest, forthright observation

The rules of writing opinion pieces haven't changed through the generations in the Robinson family

Never shirk responsibility for honest, forthright observationOne day in 2004, Doug Firby, then the editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald, took me to lunch. I was the CEO of the Glenbow Museum and I had no idea what we were going to discuss. It turned out that he invited me to write occasional “op-eds” for the paper, on culture and…

Localized and personalized: how to keep culture relevant

The world of arts and culture offers lots of examples of gross expense and imported notions of what’s important. But there are alternatives

Localized and personalized: how to keep culture relevantHow are the National Post and the Globe and Mail doing in your neighbourhood? In Powell River, the big Toronto newspapers are on their last boomer gasp at the newsstands. In their place, piles of the weekly Powell River Peak and monthly Powell River Living fly off the counters and adjacent distribution boxes. The local…

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustified

Money budgeted for an elevated greenway for walkers and bikers should go to housing the homeless or easing traffic congestion

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustifiedVancouver is a great city. For people like me who use their feet for most of their transportation, it’s wonderful. But sometimes city decision-makers go overboard. For recreation and exercise, there’s the 28-km seawall, part of which circles Stanley Park. It’s been voted the best place to run in Canada. There’s also the nine-km Arbutus…

Spring semester begins at Skelhp

Some familiar buzzes, croaks and tweets and a new cat-like cry as the turning of the seasons teaches anew

Spring semester begins at SkelhpMy British Museum 2019 Diary proclaims the vernal equinox arrived on March 20 this year, with a cryptic little note: “Spring begins.” At Skelhp, we already knew. In fact, I think spring began on Sunday, March 10, when we descended artfully on the deer-fenced garden with pruning clippers to shape some apple and cherry trees.…

We have an obligation to use our gifts for good

We’re all born with a unique and inherent capacity to do good. The trick is to put it to use

We have an obligation to use our gifts for goodAs we go through life, we’re given many pieces of advice. Those that are most truthful tend to survive the test of time, and the best advice brings enduring happiness and a sense of peace. At an orientation social before I began my first assignment as a young teacher, I sang a song for an…

Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching an idle ferry

The Canadian response to being stranded for 11 hours on a BC ferry? Free food, cheers and applause!

Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching an idle ferry“Please be advised that the next sailing from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay has been delayed by at least four hours. Those passengers wishing instead to return to Powell River, please pull over to the right-hand side as you exit the ferry, and you will be guaranteed a return trip. …” “Hmmmmm. What’s that all about?”…

A ray of hope after a brutal week

A multicultural student haka in New Zealand radiates something positive in a world that seems all too sick

A ray of hope after a brutal weekWhen you write a weekly column in the relatively unrelated realms of culture and politics, you rely on independent stimuli for the idea that eventually becomes the piece. Frankly, the idea that becomes the column doesn’t often strike until just after the previous week’s work appears online each Sunday morning. Then, as if ordained by…

Powerful anti-oil groups march into Canada’s halls of power

With Gerald Butts and others at the epicentre of power, it’s no wonder the oil industry has plummeted into purgatory

Powerful anti-oil groups march into Canada’s halls of powerCanadians watch Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election comfortable in the belief that such foreign interference couldn’t happen here. Except it did happen here. And while the Russians adamantly deny interference in American political affairs, the perpetrators of interference in the 2015 Canadian federal election not only devised and…

Suing oil companies over climate change will only hurt taxpayers

Precious little good will can come from Victoria city council's campaign, but it will certainly cost a great deal of money

Suing oil companies over climate change will only hurt taxpayersThe City of Victoria wants to round up municipalities to sue oil companies for damages from climate change. Not only is such a case virtually impossible to prove, it’s also full of rich ironies. Weather-related damages, termed “perils” in Canadian insurance plans, are more commonly called acts of God. How ironic that environmentalists envision the…

Treating taxpayers’ money with respect

We should be watching the case of B.C. clerk of the legislature Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz very carefully

Treating taxpayers’ money with respectAs the old song says, “money makes the world go round” – at least on the level of material possessions. And money falls into two categories: ours and other people’s. Of course, we’re free to do whatever we wish with our money. We can spend it extravagantly. Or we can take care of it, spending…

B.C. education system performs well while holding line on spending

B.C. financially supports parents who choose independent schools with per-student grants of up to 50%

B.C. education system performs well while holding line on spendingWhile other Canadian provinces experience decline in student performance despite increased education spending, in the opposite is true for British Columbia. The province’s kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education system is performing well while keeping spending on public education relatively low. Other provinces should look to B.C. to see that student achievement doesn’t require a large increase in spending.…

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…
1 2 3 12