Once in a blue moon: scaling B.C.’s Fisher Peak

Climbing Fisher requires no mountaineering equipment, no technical skills. But the steady steepness makes for a long, hard day

Once in a blue moon: scaling B.C.’s Fisher PeakOnce in a blue moon something improbable occurs. A goal beyond expectations and beyond the capacity of aging knees is accomplished. The view of Fisher Peak from our Kimberley, B.C., condo is mesmerizing. For years I’ve gazed across the Rocky Mountain Trench at that daunting, taunting pinnacle. Fisher dominates the skyline in this range of…

The Trans Mountain truth defies activists’ claims

For an issue that’s been so polarizing, the arguments against the pipeline expansion are surprisingly flawed

The Trans Mountain truth defies activists’ claimsNothing has been as divisive to national unity as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in the 25 years since the Quebec independence referendum. But unlike separation, this project – approved again last week by the federal government – is good for the country and will benefit all Canadians. Moving to Vancouver two years ago from…

How mismanagement of B.C. forests is hurting Canada’s economy

Recent sawmill closures have exposed a raft of problems in the industry and government failure to ensure long-term productivity

How mismanagement of B.C. forests is hurting Canada’s economyRecent sawmill closures in British Columbia have brought to light the need for renewed focus on the mismanagement of B.C. forests over the past decades and what to do about it. That mismanagement is having a significant effect on the B.C. and Canadian economies. If you live in the B.C. interior, where more than 820…

Pay teachers well and classroom results will follow

It’s no accident that Canadian schools are among the best in the world. But if we withdraw education funding, the damage will be deep

Pay teachers well and classroom results will followCanadian schools are among the best in the world, and B.C. schools are arguably the best in Canada. This is so much the case that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is studying our educational system to see how we’re achieving such exceptional results. It’s no surprise then that Canadian teachers are among…

Alberta has highest median monetary fraud rate: MNP report

Study of over 200 criminal convictions gleans critical insights about how Canadian organizations can reduce fraud

Alberta has highest median monetary fraud rate: MNP reportThe first national study of its kind, Fraud Aware 2019: National Study on Reported Fraud Cases in Canada, has found that the most convictions and the largest reported losses due to fraud were seen in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Business advisory and accounting firm MNP LLP released the results of the study on…

The Senate should do its job and respect the nation’s regions

Bill C-48 is the kind of extraordinary circumstance that requires the Senate fulfil its role as a regional counterbalance to the House

The Senate should do its job and respect the nation’s regionsThe Senate’s fundamental job is to review legislation while respecting its regions. In that sense, it is a unique part of Canadian Parliament. The Senate is a built-in safety valve to protect regional interests against the majoritarian impulses of the elected chamber. It ensures that all parts of this diverse country have a meaningful voice…

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?”…
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