Monday, December 29, 2014

Whither the Conservationists/Environmentalists?

In so many environmental arenas, as David Brower (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brower) once said, every win is temporary, every loss permanent.  He was quick to remind us, knowing too well the cost of compromise: a half, of a half, of a half...a friend said.... leaves you with nothing.

http://www.wildnesswithin.com/giant2.gif 
[photo by David Brower 8/6/26]

Compromise only decides how much we are willing to lose never how much we are able to gain.  To accept compromise as legitimate strategy, David Brower argued, that as conservationists we need to be unapologetic about our goals and our beliefs, that once we trade on those, we lose not only our campaigns, but our virtue and our credibility as well. As we know, the many conservation and environmental groups on our North Shore have compromised away too much over the past ten years or more. What damage has been done cannot be undone...

Dennis Coello, author of  “The Complete Mountain Biker,” says, “In this day of man’s increasingly mechanical approach to the outdoors, when thousands experience nature not for what it is through observation but as a playground, there aren’t many places left where one is guaranteed one won’t be run over by a Jeep or snowmobile or mountain bike. Preserving those areas ­ at the cost of a disgruntled few seems worth the price.”

I wish more mountain bike organizations shared Coello’s perspective. Unfortunately most leaders for organizations like the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), along with local biking groups, such as the North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA), are among the most dedicated and aggressive mountain bikers. This group lobbies ceaselessly to open more trails on public land to mountain bike access. They will "win" again, a while conservation will lose in 2015, and beyond.

What does it mean, in the long term? Metro Vancouver no longer sees the Fromme watershed area in need of "protection" since the building of the new Capilano/Seymour filtration plant and tunnels. Are the mountain bikers actually "paving the way" for future road and housing development on Fromme?

There is also dialogue in the works between the various levels of government and the Squamish Nation over the future of Cove Forest, Blair Range, and Forest Mountain CMHC lands. You can be assured that these lands will be developed into pricey real estate, if this deal does go through. Even if it does not, we are left with damaged natural capital. What else would these forest lands be good for after the mountain bikers (pedal-powered and electric powered) have thoroughly razed the area in a few more years time, unabated?  

I, for one, will not be continuing this sad, futile fight for proper protection and management of our forests and wetlands in 2015, as the writing is clearly on the wall.  Conservation is left with nothing, while funding "washes downstream" for the mountain bikers.

If the battle for Maplewood Flats were being fought, today, it would most likely end up as a Shopping Mall and with condos all around it. The cost of compromise is clear. What we compromise, we lose. Yet, the aggressive mountain bikers have never compromised away their ideals, and refuse to compromise any of their trails ("No net trail loss") And that is going to cost us plenty, in the future. 
 
Whither the conservationists/environmentalists, today?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Heated debate at District Council meeting

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: http://www.dnv.org/upload/documents/Council_Agendas_Minutes/ca120123_files/image001.gifAgenda Item 9.6.     Bylaws 8080 and 8094: Rezoning and Housing Agreement-             

Bylaws for a 16 Unit Apartment Project at 1591 Bowser Avenue made for good theater. Some councillors say there is consensus from the electorate to have a pause on        development and some say that a pause is the wrong thing to do.

Some quotes of note from the meeting;

"We should not be advancing any development proposals until after that meeting (a phased implementation plan meeting on January 21st)." - Counc. Muri

"To make a blanket statement of, "I'm not willing to support" prior to a matter would indicate a prejudice and perhaps a closed mind". - Counc. Bassam

"I'm calling for a pause and I believe the electorate supported a pause". - Counc. Hanson

"We can't just stop in mid progress".- Counc. Hicks

"We can't just stop the boat in the middle of the ocean". - Counc. Bond

"It's not prohibition, it's phased development so her (Counc. Muri) mind is in fact open".- Counc. MacKay-Dunn

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Blog is looking for some answers

With the Federal election coming up within the next year, who are the candidates in North Vancouver? And in North Burnaby-Seymour?

Has Mike Little actually been chosen or just nominated as the Tory candidate for NB-S? (If he was it didn't get much Press). With the current controversy over Kinder Morgan's possible pipeline expansion in Burnaby Mountain in this riding, should we be asking Mr. Little's what his position is? Or for that matter any candidate who will be running there?

According to the snail mail Andrew Saxton is trying to not go away.

Who are the Liberal candidates?

Who are the NDP candidates?

North Vancouver Election Results Analysis

Back on October the 11th. under the post 'All in' an anonymous
made the prediction below about the election results.
Except for Bill Bell to replace Craig Keating in the City which was
a bit odd, the prediction was accurate. While much of the return of 
incumbents of both elections was quite predictable, what stands 
out is the election of Mathew Bond to District council. This is a
candidate who pretty much came out of nowhere, but was 
elected on his first try. So why was he elected when he wasn't
broadly known in the community? 

Will the real anonymous stand up? 
   Anonymous said...
Predictions:

DNV Council (In Order)
Robin Hicks
Roger Bassam
Doug Mackay-Dunn
Lisa Muri
Mathew Bond
Jim Hanson

CNV Mayor
Darrell Mussatto

CNV Council
Don Bell
Linda Buchanan
Pam Bookham
Bill Bell
Rod Clark
Holly Back
Saturday, October 11, 2014 2:14:00 pm

Monday, November 10, 2014

Skool Daze!

Is anyone bothering to look over the cream of the crop running for North Vancouver School Board? Nineteen people chasing after seven positions.

In the City, seven candidates for three spots; in the District twelve people are vying to fill four spaces.

There's really not much chance that I'll spend hours looking at all of these people's Facebook or web pages.  (see below) I have though seen the sudden flurry of activity on Twitter - My God! What busy beavers these people suddenly seem to have become! It's nice to know that those charged with overseeing our children's education can express themselves in 140 characters or less.

I did read the North Shore News' profiles of all nineteen people. What's actually kind of sad is that you would have to look long and hard to find any difference between them all.

Have Kids? YES!
Active in PACS? YES?
Think we should sell schools? NO! (Unless we really need to.)
Montessori, IB? YES!
Role of School Boards? Community Voice! Planning and Finances! Something about communication with the Province!
Diversity!

Since what was on the NS News site didn't tell me anything, I did visit the websites for the eighteen people who had them.

No matter what your political stripe, the recent battle between the BCTF and the Liberal government was the single biggest issue for anyone involved in education. It's staggering that only one candidate even hinted that there are problems with how the Province handles education.

If you support the way that Christy handled those negotiations I want to know. And regardless of what you think, I want to hear about how you view the relationship between the Province and local Boards.

If you, as a School Board candidate, haven't thought long and hard about this I sure as heck don't want you on the Board.

And one more thing - if you're running for School Board you should realize that spelling and grammar do count towards your final grade.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Town Centres & Density in DNV


 A town centre, ought to have a centre. Call it a public square, a ‘commons’ or a piazza. There must be a large, central publicly owned space for people to gather. This is the foundational element for successful town centres. Around that centre, density. A mix of homes, businesses, services and activities that make the central square the place you want to be. The centre must have gravitational pull. It’s a design challenge that many don’t succeed with. But around the world there are proven town centre successes. Portland is one. Copenhagen another. In the 1970s Copenhagen removed cars from the centre of town and replaced them with human feet. It was a great success. The community has considerable density – density that’s seldom higher than 5 storeys. It’s social for people, for meeting, walking, shopping, cycling, using transit, and it allows cars on its periphery – but it’s not so car dependent that a lack of one creates impediments to happy living. And it’s a safer environment for everyone, especially for children and elders.
While North Vancouver is not Copenhagen or Portland, there are design lessons and insights for our community. We have much more study and conceptual work to do if we are to create successful town centres that enrich community life. Town centres are so important to our future, our municipal government should not hand over leadership to real estate developers as they did in Lynn Valley. While developers are valuable and necessary participants in our projects, their interests are not directly aligned with community needs – as demonstrated by Vancouver’s current ‘nobody’s home/lights out’ vacant condos.
In the case of Lynn Valley Town Centre, the approach employed by Council, letting Bosa drive the bus, was stressful for the community and the outcome is mixed. After all the debate and study, transportation, traffic and transit issues were never properly addressed. We will find ourselves with more roads that could have been human spaces, more cars to congest Mountain Highway, Lynn Valley Road, Keith Road and Highway #1 entry points. And still no centre for this ‘town’.
© Len Laycock, October 2014. More at  www.lenlaycock.org

Monday, November 03, 2014

Council watchers interviewed by 24 Hour News

As part of a continuing election series investigating all the municipalities in Metro Vancouver, Lyle Craver and John Sharpe are asked about the issues in the two North Vancouver's.

                                        Articles are on pages 6 and 7.

Monday, October 27, 2014

North Shore Reunification Committee Report to Council

Link to the report:

http://www.dnv.org/upload/documents/Council_Committees/NS%20Reunification%20Cttee%20-%20Final%20Report/Final%20Report%20-%20North_Shore_Reunification_Committee.PDF

All in favour raise your hands

Everyone was in favour with a show of hands on the issue of Amalgamating the two North Vancouver's. They also seemed to agree that something had to be done about traffic congestion.  No surprises there. The first District ACM was pretty stodgy other than an attack by one of the new candidates on two incumbents regarding receiving campaign donations from developers. It was held this past Friday evening at the Lynn Valley Recreation Centre, hosted by the LVCA, and was the communities first live look at hopefuls who want to fill at least two seats in the District on Nov. 15th. Stay tuned for many more all candidate meetings in the City and District over the next three weeks. Check www.dnv.org and www.cnv.org for times, dates, and locations.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Density Does Not Equal Affordability

As we head into the municipal election, it's assumed that density will be one of the topics of discussion, as well as the overall lack of "affordable housing."

Although a suburban region like North Vancouver tends to think in terms of single family home ownership, there's a large part of the population who need rental housing.

New today at PolicyNote.ca is a very interesting analysis of why the housing market hasn't been creating rental housing, and why endless condo development doesn't lead to truly affordable housing.

Multi-unit housing construction has increasingly favoured condominiums over purpose-built rental buildings over the past decade. Although a significant share of condominiums in major cities is rented out, they typically have higher rents and represent a less stable housing supply for tenants.

Private developers have favoured condominium development over purpose-built rental buildings because of the higher returns and lower risk involved. Condominium units can be presold, whereas purpose-built rental buildings must be fully constructed before being rented out. … [as well as] preferential tax treatment of owner-occupied housing, which is not subject to tax on imputed rents or capital gains upon sale, whereas investors in rental property are taxed on rental income and 50% of capital gains at their marginal income tax rate. Increasing expectations of capital gains may have made these tax biases more important over time.

Cap U to have advance voting polls

Fantastic! Kudos to CNV council for backing the idea. It's about time. As reported by the North Shore News Cap U will have advance voting polls on Thursday, Nov. 6 from 9 AM to 2 PM for both the District and the City. Voting will take place at the Capilano Students' Union library lounge. The CSU is also organizing round table talks for students to discuss municipal issues that affect them. The CSU is also hosting two all-candidate meetings on campus on Tuesday, Nov. 4 from 11:30 to 1 PM. District candidates will meet in the First nations gathering space and the City candidates will meet in the adjacent library lounge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Invitation to All CNV and DNV Candidates


It's been tradition in one form or another on the blog over the past three municipal elections to offer all candidates the opportunity to have their voice heard. If you are interested email  discussion@northvancouverpolitics.com,  you will receive a reply inviting you to join the discussion,  which will enable you to post a main topic to which you can respond to comments, and answer questions from other bloggers.

Good luck to everyone in your campaigns for election!

DNV school trustee candidate launches campaign

Jessica Stanley is running for a school trustee seat in the District and is officially launching her campaign tonight at 211 Rondoval 8 PM to 10 PM

Friday, October 10, 2014

ALL IN!

List of CNV Candidates                               
Mayor
Darrell Mussatto
Kerry Morris
George Pringle
Councillor
Holly Back
John Harvey
Dorothy Anne Bell
Bill Bell
Pam Bookham
Linda Buchanan
Matt Clark
Rod Clark
Via Fearnley
Craig Keating
Amanda Nichol
Joe Heilman
Ron Sostad
Tony Valente
Kathy McGrenara
Iani Makris
Dave Janis
Don Bell
School Trustee
Megan Higgins
Tanya Lahulek
Bill Vasillis Papandreou
Christie Sacre
Erica Warkentin
Antje Wilson
Mary Tasi
Susan Skinner

List of DNV Candidates
Mayor
Richard Walton                                                              
Councillor
Jim Hanson
Mathew Bond
Robin Hicks
Wayne Hunter
Amelia Hill
Glenn MacKenzie
Doug MacKay-Dunn
Lisa Muri
Roger Bassam
Hazen Colbert
Linda Findlay
Kevin Macauley
Connie Deboer
Bobbi-Lynn Nestor
Heather Skuse

School Trustee
Susan Lockhart
Dave Jackson
Edward Desaulniers
Cyndi Gerlach
Franci Stratton
Shane Nelson
Jessica Stanley
Yael Drinkle
Barry Forward
Kelly Muirhead                  

Monday, September 29, 2014

District Candidate Launches Campaign

Jim Hanson is holding a launch party for his campaign for District Councillor.  It will be held on Wednesday, October 1, between 8 PM and 10 PM in the Cardinal Hall - Lynn Valley Recreation Centre 3590 Mountain Highway, North Vancouver.

Monday, September 15, 2014

With municipal elections just around the corner, what needs to be done to get people to vote?

Should there be fines for not voting? On the other hand should there be incentives for voting such as a tax credit receipt. Some say yes, but only if 'none of the above' is on the ballot. In light of this discussion on the media recently local resident Sue Cook answers the Province Newspaper's E-Street question.
 This is a difficult question to answer as it really depends on how big the municipality is.  If it is smaller community, the old fashioned knocking on door routine could work well.  Public contact is really important.  Larger municipalities becomes a problem and usually money is a major factor.  The present Mayor and Council usually have a much larger financial pool to draw from (usually anyone or any organization that wants something “special” from City Hall. I think that NO money should come from ANY special interest groups whether they be unions, developers, ethnic voters or special interest groups, nor should City Hall be used ever for present candidates such as newspaper ads etc.   Candidates should raise their own money and there should be a limit to how much they spend. City of North Vancouver has an interesting situation as the Mayor is being challenged by a person called Kerry Morris who is independently wealthy and can afford to put regular ads in the North Shore News.  He also is the only municipal candidate that I can think of who has his campaign office all set up at the bottom of Lonsdale.  Too bad all candidates cannot do the same.
—Sue  Lakes Cook

Monday, September 08, 2014

Argyle students cross picket line, visit MLA's office

Today two dozen students of Argyle Secondary crossed the teacher's picket line, staged a brief 'sit-in' and then walked to Jane Thornthwaite's constituency office. Ms. Thornthwaite met with a half dozen of the protesting students and attempted to answer their questions. They asked her what pressure she is putting on the government to get schools up and running? Jane's answer was that she fully supports the position of Premier Cristy Clark, the education minister, and the government.

Binding arbitration was offered by the BCTF as a way to get schools operating again, but it was rejected by the government this past Friday.

                                                      

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Will there be several new faces on North Vancouver School Board?

Somewhat overlooked with the election of CNV and DNV Mayors and Council, the school board election plays an important role in our community and it's being rumored that many of the incumbent school trustees will not be seeking re-election in 2014.  The only candidates/incumbents that have been said are running again in 2014 are Francis Stratton and Cyndi Gerlach. Barry Forward is rumored to be seeking a Distinct council seat and  Mike McGraw is just not running at all. It could mean as many as six of the eight seats will be up for grabs.

There has been little or no coverage in the North Shore News about the looming School Trustee vacancies probably because they are waiting for the nomination deadline on October 10th.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Some interesting observations from retiring City Councillor Guy Heywood's Blog http://www.guyheywood.ca/blog-thoughts-of-a-retiring-councillor/the-coming-dearth-of-democracy-in-north-vancouverand-some-of-the-consequences

 
While democracy may not be dead at the local level in North Vancouver, there is going to be less of it in the future. There are going to be fewer opportunities for citizens to have influence on their local governments for several reasons:

1. Longer terms. After the election in November it will be four years until the next one. So if you don't like the direction your mayor and council are going, it be an extra year before you will be able to vote them out.

2. The provincial government's failure to reform local election financing.  Developers and unions that have the greatest interest in council decisions and which are the main contributors to the campaigns of Councillors and Mayors that support their objectives, are free to continue to do so and their better financed campaigns will drown out the voices of independents and suppress serious discussion about the future of our communities.

3. Official Community Plans are pretty much finished. The District finished theirs last year and the the City is almost finished it's latest one. In the City, staff is seeking to extend the horizon of the plan to 30 years.  Most planners would prefer not to expose the land use planning process to public scrutiny any more frequently than absolutely necessary.  It could be 20 years longer until the next mandatory review of the plan and opportunity to ask planners fundamental questions about land use policy and its impact on the community.

4. Media restructuring. The ability of local media to provide coverage of local politics in smaller municipalities is already overtaxed given the revenue sources they have available to them.  The editorial and reporting capability North Vancouver Outlook was a victim of the last wave of retrenchment.  Social media (Twitter, Facebook and blogs) is growing, but it is not clear if it can fill the gap.

Adding to the challenge in North Vancouver, there is likely a majority of people who don't know if their government is the one on 14th and Lonsdale or the one at 29th and Mahon.  Is their biggest concern a shared service (police, recreation)? Or is it a duplicated one (library, fire halls)? Do they want a bike lane on the north side of parts of Keith Road or 29th Street (District) or on the south side (in the City) and who is responsible for painting the line down the middle?  I can understand why someone not directly involved in local politics loses patience and gives up.

Normal pressures of everyday life just don't leave enough time to figure out how vote or otherwise influence our complicated local government structure. Without declared parties to frame the issues and connect them to overarching ideologies and perspective, the citizen who may want to vote feels lost and, 4 times out of 5 in North Vancouver, they don't bother other to participate at all in the election of the government that arguably influences their lives the most on a day to day basis.

Mind you, it is also possible that people who are lucky enough to live in a place as fabulous as North Vancouver are predisposed to trust that the people in charge will do the right thing.

But what if those people in charge, blinded by inertia and self interest, are not doing right by the community? What if there is an unacceptable level of duplication and lack of coordination between North Vancouver’s two governments 15 blocks apart? What if this becomes painfully obvious when long term plans for land use, density and infrastructure are being developed? And what if it is getting worse the longer it is allowed to persist?

From 2005 to 2013 City and District government expenditures grew by 46% and 40/% respectively, the economy and average family incomes grew by around 8%. With requirements to fund a new sewage treatment plant, and other projects like Harry Jerome or the new $30 million waterfront attraction that Mayor Mussatto would would like to build, we can't keep sticking our collective heads in the sand.

Citizens of North Vancouver deserve to be confident that our local governments are spending our money wisely. That it is not being spent on duplicated overhead and that major projects affecting all North Vancouver are being properly managed. I am not confident at all. I believe there is a lot at stake and that we are on the wrong track.

I thought my concerns could be addressed by taking up a standing offer the Province makes for any local governments that wants to look at restructuring. This suggestion was welcomed by District Council, but met with fierce resistance at the City. Mayor Mussatto went so far as to bully the President of the Chamber of Commerce for expressing the Chamber's support for the idea of a study. The City Manager then wrote a report strongly recommending against the initiative (surprise) which resulted in the motion failing by a 4 to 3 vote at Council.

While the study is not going ahead, the ferocity of the resistance to it is very troubling. I am now more convinced that all citizens of North Vancouver would benefit from an objective look into the shape and effectiveness of our local governments. But when the chances to ask those questions are going to get fewer and farther apart I fear that it is not going to happen.  Does anyone else share my concern?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who's running in the DNV and CNV and who's not November 15th.?

With last nights regular council meeting being the last until September 8th, many people away on vacation, and that fraction (those who blog here) of the 20% percent  who vote enjoying their Summer, it has also been the trend over the past 10 years for the Blog too slow down on topics and issues. No fear! There's nothing like a good rumour or two or three to liven things up a tad! Who's heard what about who's possibly, maybe, definitely not, etc. running in this Autumns Municipal Election? Incumbent Clr. Alan Nixon has stated he is not running in the District. The best I could get from Barry Forward was a "maybe". There's word Wendy Quereshi will try again too. John Gilmour as well. In the City we have Bill and Dot Bell running and there may be a couple of seats vacant there. Also Mayor Mussatto has some competition this time around.

Bring on the Silly Season!  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Unanimous decision on Lynn Valley Mall development

 At a SPECIAL MEETING OF COUNCIL held last night in Council Chambers  'all were in favour of ' 1.1.    

                              Bylaw 8051: Rezoning Bylaw 1309 (Lynn Valley Mall),                                        
               Bylaw 8052: Phased Development Agreement (Lynn Valley Mall)
               Bylaw 8054: Affordable Housing Agreement (Lynn Valley Mall)
               Bylaw 8055: Housing Agreement (Lynn Valley Mall)

Monday, June 09, 2014

Liberals need to get in Touch with their inner Elizabeth Warren



Trudeau likes to point out that Medium wages have been stagnant for over 30 years now. This is just as true of Canada as it is of the US. However, Trudeau has failed to gain much traction for two reasons. One, the issue of fairness aside (productivity has gone up by nearly 47% since then), Trudeau never identifies why this is a pressing issue rather than an annoyance. After all, it would appear that the kids are alright. Your average worker is doing just as well as his 1980 counterpart. As a result, Trudeau’s remedies seem unconvincing and somewhat half baked. Local Liberals have fared no better. I recently attended a Liberal event in which the evening’s speaker, Kevin Evans, channeled Mr. Kijiji Jason Kenny and outlined the skills gap that he contended currently plagues Canada. The only problem is there is no evidence whatsoever that a skills gap exists. This was pointed out recently by Don Drummond and by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. You can read the later’s report here. As for the government's job vacancy numbers,

"the growth in job postings was almost entirely due to a rise in postings on the classified site Kijiji. The site allows the same job to be posted in numerous sections, which inflated the job numbers." 

The second problem is that the vacancy rate is not the only bad numbers the government has been flaunting. By scrapping the mandatory long form census and replacing it with the voluntary National Household Survey, the Conservatives have effectively cooked the books. According to census data, between 1980 and 2005 median income jumped a mere $53. However according to the most recent census in mere 5 years it jumped an impressive $6464 -- in midst of the Great Recession no less. To say this is a wildly improbable finding would be an understatement. Canada was not the one Western nation to see massive increases in the median wage when most nations were at best holding steady. Something else was afoot.

 “Brian Murphy, special advisor with Statistics Canada’s income division, cautioned not to read too much into the large jump in income from 2005. “It’s a brand new survey,” he said. “I’d be looking for these long-term trends in other data sources. It’s really important for income statistics to hold the methodology constant.” 

A note attached to the new survey warns people of the change.

 “When comparing income indicators from one source to another, users should be aware that the methodology of how the information was collected, the concepts used and response patterns can affect the comparability of income information. Given the sensitivity of most income indicators to such methodological differences, users should use caution when comparing income estimates from the NHS to other household income surveys, administrative data or 2006 or earlier censuses." 

 Still people will naturally enough want to compare the new data with the odd thinking they are making an apples to apples comparison. The Liberals need to do a far better job explaining that they are actually making an apples to oranges comparison. They could start by pointing out the huge uptake in the non response rate between 2006 and 2011. The non-response rate for the 2006 long form census was 6%. This compares to a 20% non response rate in Vancouver and Montreal and a 25% non response rate in Toronto for the NHS.

To add insult to injury, the Conservatives almost always talk about family median income instead of about median income. This matters a lot. For one, the number of women entering the workforce has risen steadily over the last couple of decades and with that household income has also risen even has median income has remained the same. There are more two income households than ever before. For another, Canadians are getting married ever later in life and as a result many more Canadian couples are into their peak earning years by the time they decide to tie the knot. This has impacted the numbers. For these and other reasons the Liberals bring the discussion back to median income.

That said, in order to really make hay, the Liberals at both a local level (nominations are coming up) and federal level need to switch from talking about the need to increase wages per say to talking about the need to reduce fixed costs for families. For it is fixed costs that are jacking up private debt levels and putting the Canadian economy at risk. Child care is one driver. In Vancouver it is $1200 a month. But most important of all is housing. In Vancouver the average home listing on MLS in 2000 was around $300,000. A decade later it was over $800,000. A modest increase in the median wage and or modest tax cuts are not going to do the trick. As RBC pointed out,

"A typical Vancouver-area home buyers would need to allocate 92% of their income to carry the costs of a two-storey home".

Liberals also needs to bring the soaring costs of post secondary education into the equation. In Ontario, for example, average fees, in current dollars, have increased from $1,464 in 1990-91 to $6,348 in 2012-13. They can do this by pointing out how the ever increasing student debt levels, coupled with sky high cost of housing will ultimately worsen the coming demographic crush. Couples, especially those living in the Lowermainland, can not afford to have too many kids full stop. However, for those that can afford them, the point at which they can afford them is getting later and later in life. Indeed, more babies in Canada are born to women over 30 than under. Incidentally, the two provinces where women wait the longest to have kids, viz., Ontario and BC, also have the most expensive real estate. In 2010, 56.2% of Ontario babies were born to women over 30 and 55.7% of BC babies were born to women over 30. The Canadian average is 51.2. The longer couples wait to have kids the smaller their window for having kids

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Here is a first...

Monday, June 02, 2014

Campaign leaflet for North Vancouver City Mayor candidate Kerry Morris...his slogan is "Bold?" "Cocky?" "Presumptuous?" or as they say in the literary class..."foreshadowing?"

Long-range view

Development on the North Shore must stop - at least temporarily. That was the thesis of Coun.Lisa Muri's impassioned speech at District of North Vancouver council Monday. Muri made many cogent points. When it comes to development, it's often true West Vancouver and the two North Vancouvers seem like triplets who each think they're an only child. While Muri has been a guardian against density in the past, she voiced her opinion during a debate about highrises in Lower Capilano - a neighbourhood specifically reserved for density in the district's unanimously approved official community plan.Just six months earlier, there was a similar scene in West Vancouver chambers, with Coun. Bill Soprovich training his zeal on a three-storey mixed use building on Clyde Avenue. Soprovich's vow came scant weeks after he backed Grosvenor's seven-storey Ambleside project - a development he'd unsuccessfully tried to shorten by 15 feet. Regardless, Soprovich's harangue was drowned out in applause. In this election year, we ask voters to consider the community they want to build - as well as the particular development they don't want built - and a plausible vision for the future.As politicians begin knocking on doors in the coming months, some may find religion late and decide opposing development is a good way to get elected. Others may advocate positions at odds with their own voting record.
But actions always speak louder than words in political chambers.
It will pay to remember that come November.

© North Shore News

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

EDITORIAL: Silly season

NORTH SHORE NEWS
MAY 16, 2014 12:00 AM

In case you can't tell, election season is upon us.

With six months until the next municipal election, candidates are
 declaring their campaigns, seeking supporters (financial and electoral)
 and council meetings are stretching on into the night so
everyone can make sure their point has been made. Repeatedly.
On the matter of campaign finance, if you're the candidate
 asking for the money, there are a few things you should know.
A look at our last election's results and campaign finance
disclosure forms will show that you probably can't get on
 council without spending a dime but you can spend in to
 the tens of thousands of dollars and still be relegated to
 watching council from the gallery.
One thing is for sure, though. If you take the money from
a union, developer or business, be prepared to hear about it.
 Be prepared to explain why it doesn't put you into a conflict
 of interest. The law is on your side but that will never be
 enough in the court of public opinion if you're voting on an
 issueyour financial backers have an interest in - and especially
 so if that issue is unpopular in segments of the community.
The sad part in this is that we must write an editorial along
 the lines of "We'd rather you not take questionable donations, 
" instead of one congratulating the province on changing the
 campaign finance laws to limit spending and restrict who can 
donate andhow much they're allowed to offer.
Despite it being one of the top wishes out of the 2013 review
of election rules, the province put ifoff until 2017.
© North Shore News
http://www.nsnews.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-silly-season-1.1063897#sthash.zYrDpA0x.dpuf