Sunday, June 11, 2017

Meanwhile in Ottawa

In the Middle of the Road we have Justin Trudeau, who seems to be disappointing everyone except his mother.  On the far Right we have Andrew Scheer, a name and face unknown to probably 98% of Canadians, now leader of the Conservative Party.

And on the Left* there's another leadership campaign, except that probably 85% of Canadians don't know about it, in large part because the media doesn't seem all that interested.  My vote, if I were a member, would be for Chuck Angus, but that's mostly because I'm a major fan of his old band, the Grievous Angels.

Still though, I thought I'd toss up some tweets from some of  the other contenders:

Niki Ashton is probably too far left for the contemporary NDP, but hope springs eternal.
Apparently Atlantic Canada is the place to be for aspiring NDP leaders.  Just avoid Barrington Street.

I'm guessing that the "bilingual" comment is a thinly veiled reference to Kevin O'Leary?

With the next federal election coming up just another couple of years I have to wonder what the next campaign season will bring us.   Anyone care to guess?

(* The NDP of today steers clear of "controversial" positions, support Free Trade and Israel, and you would be hard pressed to find the word "union" on any of their campaign materials.  They may be "left" of the Tories and Liberals, but many people don't see them as anything but centrist.)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Branding the North Shore

You have to hand it to the City of North Vancouver - they've got their marketing on track, selling LoLo as the hip place to be, with condos, nightlife, and easy improved Seabus access to Vancouver.  In many ways the City has been pretty successful at reinventing itself.

So if Lower Lonsdale is the place for bearded, tattooed, flat white drinking  hipsters, who is the District aiming itself at?  Their web site doesn't really offer a clue, it's strictly nuts and bolts stuff.  The Official Community Plan talks about adding 40,000 more people to the North Shore, but doesn't spend a lot of time considering who those people will be.

Families? Townhouses in our strata have just passed the $1 million dollar mark, so a lot of small families will surely be priced out of Lynn Valley unless they have inherited wealth.  Seniors? A growing group all over the country, but they too are facing financial squeezes as pensions fail to keep up with rising living expenses.  Foreign investors and immigrants?  That seems to be where West Vancouver's real estate has been heading.

The question for the District of North Vancouver is probably pretty simple: do we keep trying to maintain whatever we are now (or believe that we have been in the recent past), or do we try to plan for a new type of community and population?  Do we keep believing that because the last few decades were about single family homes, that the next half century will be the same?

Or is it time for a laissez-faire approach, just hoping that everything will work itself out?

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where—" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"—so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

Friday, May 12, 2017

Chickens Redux

Get ready to flock down to the District next Tuesday evening for the Public Hearing to discuss Bylaw 8211 – Keeping of Backyard Hens.

Keeping of Domestic Hens Bylaw 8211, 2016
Purpose of Bylaw:
Bylaw 8211 proposes to regulate and allow for the keeping of backyard hens in a safe, humane, and sanitary manner that is sensitive to the needs of neighbouring properties and the environment. The bylaw will permit from two up to six hens in the District of North Vancouver in any of the Single-Family Residential Zones (RS), subject to compliance with the bylaw.

Agenda here
Public Comments here
Report to Council with more information about chicken keeping than you ever thought you would need (132 pages) here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Council Chamber, Municipal Hall
355 West Queens Road,
North Vancouver, BC

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Sacred Single Family Home


Come on down, and join the throngs of people determined to eliminate the single family home.
Then we'll destroy capitalism!

The Sacred Single Family Home: What are we trying to protect and why?

With the interconnectedness of transportation and housing costs, is the concept of the “single family home” living in an (unaffordable) nostalgic past? How can we help facilitate more affordable housing while reducing environmental impact on the North Shore?

Join panelists Michael Geller, architect and developer, Krista Tulloch, member of the District of North Vancouver Official Community Plan Implementation Committee, Cameron Maltby, specialist in custom home design, and Neal LaMontagne , City Planner and Adjunct Professor at UBC and Langara College.

Wednesday May 17

7 – 8 pm, doors open at 6:30

Lynn Valley Village Community Room -1277 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver

Metro Conversations has partnered with SFU Public Square and the North Vancouver District Public Library to take on the 'burbs of North Vancouver: what are we protecting with the single family home and why? Doors open at 6:30pm.

Register here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Single, in Single Family Homes

Wow. An amazing stat tonight from Mathew Bond:

In District of , 1780 people live alone in single family homes. 11% of single family homes. I'm unsure what to think about that . .

Obviously each home represents a specific story. My mom, now 89, sold the big old family home and bought a great, small, bungalow in Kelowna, and expects to live there til she dies. Or until the ever increasing Hydro rates finally overtake the never-increasing CPP and OAS pensions she lives on.