ConnecTour Chronicles: One man’s gear is another man’s gold

Across from our campsite sat a gangly young man named Scott, who had been homeless for 10 years and was trying to find some normalcy

ConnecTour Chronicles: One man’s gear is another man’s goldLisa Montforton is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of community. Watch for…

Why do city planners put bicycles ahead of people?

People who don’t have yards or nearby open spaces should come before bicyclists

Why do city planners put bicycles ahead of people?Vancouver city council is considering a motion this week to turn sections of Granville Street and Commercial Drive into European-style pedestrian-friendly malls by reducing or eliminating automobile access. This is described as putting people over cars. Reducing car traffic leads to cleaner air and quieter neighbourhoods – good things. Some local businesses will benefit. But…

Alaskan campaign could kill B.C. cruise industry

The state wants non-U.S. cruise ships to be allowed to go straight from continental U.S. ports to Alaska, cutting out B.C. entirely

Alaskan campaign could kill B.C. cruise industryYou may think British Columbia has a cruise ship industry because of our great location, marvellous climate and amazing attractions, natural or otherwise. You would be wrong. We have a cruise industry here because of actions by the United States 100 years ago to put America first. The U.S. wanted to ensure that it had…

The congested logic behind congestion taxes

Vancouver is considering a tax on vehicles entering the downtown. It may well reduce pollution, but at what cost?

The congested logic behind congestion taxesOne definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Another definition might be to do something different and not expect any changes. We all have a tendency to do this. For example, we get married and wonder why we no longer have the same services we had in our…

Spotting and tackling prejudice

Move away from false statements and over-generalizations and recognize everyone as individuals

Spotting and tackling prejudiceRacism exists in Vancouver. How much, how bad and how widespread it is we can debate. That there are other places where the situation is much worse we can agree. But we still have room to improve here. In case there’s any doubt, Fairchild TV has produced two videos (here and here) documenting expressions of…

Bike riders need to learn to share the road

Just because you ride a bike, that doesn’t put you on the side of the angels or make you better than the rest of us

Bike riders need to learn to share the roadIn Vancouver, my hometown, city council is using the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfil a long-held fantasy: the elimination of cars and the end of vehicle traffic throughout the city. While the rest of us are coping with one of the worst economic crisis in Canadian history and bungling along with reduced public transit and dwindling…

Ottawa doing too little to protect Canadians

For weeks, the government told us that we’re prepared for COVID-19. Its early actions demonstrated something entirely different

Ottawa doing too little to protect CanadiansProvide a timely response. Ensure transparency. Tell the truth. These are just some of the basic tenets of crisis communications, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his crisis response team would do well to take them to heart because, so far during the COVID-19 crisis, their statements and actions have missed the mark in every…

Dissecting Canada’s NHL underachievers

We could see as many as five Canadians teams in the playoffs – but more likely we’ll see two or three at this pace

Dissecting Canada’s NHL underachieversFor fans of Canada’s seven embattled National Hockey League teams, the man from Zamboni is a suitable talisman of their frustration. As most everyone now knows, a 42-year-old Zamboni driver – a kidney-transplant Zamboni driver – stepped in for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in Toronto to defeat the listless Leafs 6-3. When both…

A Vancouver community being built on conversation not conflict

A Vancouver community being built on conversation not conflictMore often than not in Vancouver’s real estate cauldron, developers are at logger heads with local residents trying to maintain the character of their community against the onslaught of new towers and increased density. Roadside rallies, raucous public hearings and lawsuits always seem to emerge as residents realise the magnitude of proposed plans, while development…

The retirement dilemma: city mouse or country mouse?

Part 1: Defining the attributes of your successful retirement community

The retirement dilemma: city mouse or country mouse?Who says you have to go on living in the same location when you retire? The choice is yours. City or country retirement is ultimately a personal decision. But it draws significantly on your prior life, and the skills and personal attributes you can bring to the retirement community you choose. How you retire is…

Vancouver’s absurd housing market shuts out millennials

Is the affordability crisis – and the lack of government intervention – a metaphor for something much worse?

Vancouver’s absurd housing market shuts out millennialsI want to describe Vancouver’s awful housing market as a metaphor for something else. I’ll reveal the ‘something else’ later in the column. For now, let’s just stick with Vancouver, the city I grew up in. When I was a little boy, our Dunbar neighbourhood had a broad cross-section of residents. Our family’s cleaning lady…

High-speed rail case difficult to make

Governments and taxpayers need to look more closely at several factors, including transportation, impact and costs

High-speed rail case difficult to makeListen to the promoters and you would think the Vancouver-to-Seattle-to-Portland high-speed rail proposal is a great idea. For many, high-speed rail is a panacea that promises to solve all of our transportation and environmental problems. But governments and taxpayers need to look more closely at several factors, including transportation, impact and costs. High-speed rail has…

Rising from the ashes to achieve greatness

It hurts to be rejected or see a dream come to an end, but it shouldn't impact our ability to live with integrity and find success

Rising from the ashes to achieve greatnessWe all face disappointments and challenges. We don’t get picked for a team, we don’t get a promotion, we’re turned down by a potential lover or we see a dream come to an end. What’s important in life isn’t what happens to us, however. It’s how we respond. Great people aren’t without problems. They’re people…

Toronto, Vancouver downtown office vacancy lowest in North America

Toronto, Vancouver downtown office vacancy lowest in North AmericaCanada's office market posted positive absorption of nine million square feet in the 12 months ending June 30 – significantly more than the nearly six million square feet absorbed in the prior 12-month period, says Avison Young's Mid-Year 2019 Global Office Market Report released on Tuesday. The report said demand was strongest in Toronto, Montreal and…

Did Canada just dodge a war with the Philippines?

The garbage at the centre of an international dispute was to arrive in Vancouver on the weekend

Did Canada just dodge a war with the Philippines?Canadians have fought a lot of tough characters over the years. Sudanese warriors of the Mahdi, Boer guerrillas, armies of the German, Austrian and Japanese empires, Nazi SS, Red Chinese, North Koreans, Serbs, Croats and Taliban all came to rue the day they messed with the boys under the Maple Leaf banner. Heck, our navy…
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