Thursday, May 31, 2018

What's A $65K Waiting List Between Friends And Influential Uncles?


The following is from Patti Bacchus' very sensible piece in the GStraight on the David Eby-attended meeting about the property surtax revolt that is going down in her very own pointy greying neighbourhood:

"...Opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson, who was present, held his own meeting at the Arbutus Club, which Eby described as a club for the “super wealthy”—the nonrefundable, nontransferable fee to get on the club’s waiting list is $65,000—was met with howls and boos of indignation..."


I wonder why it is, exactly, that the good Mr. Wilkinson hasn't taken his 'Oh woe is me and my $3 million dollar (plus) house' act out of the Arbutus Club so that he can take it on the road to play it for his supporters in the Hurtland?


Monday, May 28, 2018

The Kicker In The Kinder Morgan Surprise.



Monday 7:30pm Pacific - See Update at bottom of post

Why no details on the 'deal' that the good Mr. Morneau has forged?

Because, as per usual in these publicize all the risk-type deals, it's a double-secret probationary/I see nothing! 'commercializationers-must-be-protected-from-competitors-at-all-costs-to-the-taxpayers' thingy.


From the MoCo's breathless report of all the news that's fit to break:

...Details of the announcement were being held close on Monday because Kinder Morgan is a publicly traded company and the pipeline discussions are subject to a non-disclosure agreement...


It's like Railgate all over again...And, of course, once it goes before the courts all will be sub-judiced for the duration.
Update...Speculation from Bloomberg is that, we, the Canuckistanian people, will buy the whole damned thing...Wonder if former Bush Ranger Bobby Kinder has called his ol' buddy GW yet to give him the fantabulous news of Enronian proportions...Double sheesh!.


Friday, May 25, 2018

The Keef Report...Travel Timez.


This just in...

Global reporter is aghast (and does his best to generate faux outrage) after heavy-footed cabbie takes an entire hour to make 75 minute trip around our grey point's westernmost perimeter, over a bridge, through a tunnel, and across the hothouse tomato lands before zooming past the mall of monstrosity to the terminal that, no matter what certain fine folks would have us believe, Mr. Hahn did not build:

One can only wonder how the good Mr. Baldrey would react if he had to make such a journey while school was in.


As for cabs screaming down SW Marine while swerving in and out of the bike lane scaring the bejeebuz out of commuters who are actually helping to cut down the congestion...Well...We're pretty sure that never happens...Right?


Saturday, May 19, 2018

What Goes Around Comes Around (And Around)...


Remember that bit of perceived conflictyness scorned in the wake of calls for an inquiry into then Premier C. Clark's super-secret cash-fuelled meet-ups with big dollar donors back in 2016?

"...(Conflict Commissioner Paul Fraser told Opposition MLA David) Eby it is well past the time when the career choices of one family member should compromise the aspirations of others..."

Well, it turns out that was a bit of a reversal of the following acknowledgement of a potential for perceived conflictyness that occurred in the wake of calls for an inquiry into then GordCo, Inc. member C. Clark's cabinet comings and goings during the run-up to the BC Rail sale/not sale back in 2012:

...Last week, Mr. van Dongen questioned (Conflict Commissioner) Mr. (Paul) Fraser’s impartiality, saying there was a “reasonable apprehension of bias” because the conflict commissioner’s son is connected to Ms. Clark’s government.

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Fraser maintained that his son’s career did not inhibit his ability to handle the matter, but said the perception of bias could not be ignored...

Anyway, it is now 2018, and the following, as noted by Bob Mackin on the Twittmachine, is a bit of status-quoism that is pretty hard for me, an avowed D. Eby fan from way back, to ignore:

Need more historical context that apparently begins somewhere somewhere in that middle period between the origin days of the BC Rail deal and Mr. Dongen's call for an inquiry?... Well, there is...This.
And, yes, I do have a memory that I can't shut off regardless the current party (and/or coalition) in power.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Guns Don't Kill People...

...Doorways Do.

In the wake of the United States' 22nd mass school shooting this year...

Texas’s lieutenant governor reacted to a deadly school shooting by suggesting schools have too many doors.

“We may have to look at the design of our schools moving forward and retrofitting schools that are already built. There are too many entrances and too many exits”, Dan Patrick said during a press conference after a gunman killed at least 10 people at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas....


You read that right.

And (much) more to the point....There is this.


Playing At Being Pops.

Truth be told, I can no longer climb the fence like Willie 'Pops' Stargell did in his glory days (see above).

And, while we once played a whole lot of beach sand baseball, I have never forced my kids to make like Sister Sledge and sing 'We Are Family'.

Although I must confess that, occasionally, I do still get a hankering to re-enact scenes from our 'Busking Year'.

On that note, the geezing rockers recently took Bigger E. to a gig deep in the woods so that she could belt it out with the band.

It was a whole lot of fun....


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Profiles In Political Courage...Philip Owen.


Kirk LaPointe's pineapple upside down cake class war battle crying bit yesterday got me to thinking about what happens after local politicians bite the bullet and do the right thing, regardless the potential political consequences.

Which immediately brought to mind* all that which ultimately occurred in the wake of an act of political courage by the former mayor of Vancouver, Philip Owen...

Need more historical context?....Try this.
*Actually, this idea popped into my head after I read a comment from regular reader Lew.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Even The Winners Get Unlucky Sometimes.


From Mr. Pointy's latest rant against all things Horgan in Business In Vancouver:

...The school tax will be remembered as a class-conscious measure to vilify those who stand one day to benefit from years, even decades, of real estate asset appreciation. The homeowners are mostly longtime residents who had the foresight, but mostly the luck, to be in the right place at the right time. For that truly good fortune, the government has kicked them in the slats and mocked their protests...

Now, just so that you don't misunderstand the intention here, the following is the header over Mr. Lapointe's purplish (allnew!)NPA-type prosidy:

'Premier presiding over a corrosive new lesson in class warfare'


Who knew that progressively replacing things like a ballooning GordCo/Clarklandian regressive tax that ultimately brought in more money than all resource extraction initiatives combined would melt titanium.


Put another way by Rod Mickelburgh:

All of which just goes to show that Warren Buffett was right.


Header causing slightly fuzzy lyrically upside down earworm cake?...This!


Sunday, May 13, 2018

It's Up To Us To Ask Them To Ask...

Of course, Mr. Coleman and Ms. Polak have an absolute right to support any lawful group of their choosing.

And, to be honest, I actually admire the fact that they have the courage to declare their convictions publicly.

Of course, this means that it is up to us to ask these very same elected public officials if such demonstrable courage and conviction means that they believe that a woman should not have a right to choose.

Now...Given that the overwhelming majority of us (and that includes fiscally conservative socially liberal-types in the so-called BCL 'big tent') will never get a chance to put such a question to either Mr. Coleman or Ms. Polak, you would think that the asking of such a question is the job of our illustrious local proMedia...Thing is...If the latter group refuses to do its job what are we to do given that we can't 'throw the (latter) bums out' like we can the elected officials?...Well, I guess there are always the...Idiot Bloggers!
As for holding the South Delta Riding Association to account for its apparent convictions?....Gosh, you would think that just might be up to the good Mr. Wilkinson and all his assorted and sundry swords 'n such.


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Mr. Falcon's Cone Of Silence Finally Lifts...

...After A Mere Seven Years.

From Bethany Lindsay's recent CBC VanRE report that has gotten some local Lotuslandian play today:

...Former B.C. Liberal finance minister Kevin Falcon acknowledges there were signs of an imbalance while he was in office in 2011 and 2012.

He remembers visiting Asia to promote the province's credit rating to the world, and hearing stories about how huge sums of money were flowing out of China and into the housing markets of major cities.

"I remember saying to staff, we need to take a harder look at this," Falcon told CBC News.

"I wish in some ways I'd hung around, because I think there were some policy things that maybe we could have considered earlier."...

Nevermind the 'hanging around' bit, which didn't happen when Mr. Falcon made like a Snowman in July after he was knee-capped by the Klout Klub in a leadership race that was (much) later essentially given a clean bill of health by the Dean of the Legislative press gang.

Because, regardless...

If he really was 'concerned' Falcon could have just said something back in 2011 to help force the issue, right?

Thing is...

I can't help but cast my mind back a further five years and wonder if something like the following might have influenced the good former minister's thinking while he was in office and simultaneously workin' it, hard, for the GordCo, Inc. fundraising machine:

Forests and Range Minister Rich Coleman has long had a reputation for being one of the biggest wheels in the provincial Liberal's fundraising machine. But Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon seems to have become quite a big cog himself. Earlier this month, the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA held a fundraiser aboard Concord Pacific Group Inc. president Terry Hui's yatch The Azure - which became a front row seat at the Celebration of Light. The ticket price for those attending the August 2 event: $3,000...


The above quote comes from Sean Holman's invaluable Public Eye Online archives...At the time, I wrote about this in a somewhat larger 'big money comes to Lotusland'


Friday, May 04, 2018

Ron Gets Obvious, Courageously (Albeit A Little Late)...


I've gotta hand it to Mr. Mason of the Globe (andnolongerempire) Mail.

Because he has just written a piece in which states clearly and unequivocally that he is in favour of the slow real estate bubble popping that our current provinicial government has initiated despite the fact that it is causing him and his a little 'pain' in the form of a paper cut.

Here is his lede:

Given what houses are currently going for in my neighbourhood, it would appear I’ve lost a couple hundred thousand dollars or so in recent months. I couldn’t be happier.
After spending the past few years lamenting the affordability crisis in Metro Vancouver (and elsewhere), bemoaning the complicity of the real estate industry in it all and heaping anger and scorn at provincial and municipal governments too gutless and conflicted to do anything about the situation, I can hardly cry over the fact that I’m not as rich, on paper, as I once was. I never earned that wealth anyway.

Prices for detached homes are down across Metro Vancouver and in Toronto, too. It would seem that policies brought in by governments in both provinces aimed at cooling the market are beginning to have the desired effect. This is what people were calling for, remember? The condo market still remains relatively hot, in B.C. at least, and hopefully the province will do something about the speculating and other nefarious practices revealed to have also infested that sector of the housing market.

Unsurprisingly, we are already beginning to hear the cries of outrage from people, rich by any definition, who have been impacted by some of the tax measures the NDP government in Victoria has introduced to deal with a housing mess that developed under the previous Liberal administration. People seem to be particularly incensed with the 0.2-per-cent rate increase in the province’s school tax, applied to that portion of a property assessed above $3-million. (So, for a home valued at $3.5-million, for instance, the extra tax would amount to $1,000.)...

As for the 'albeit a little late' bit in the header, above?

Well, it turns out that this very subject is something that we've bandied about a bunch of times round here, including this post written back in the fall of 2017:

...My wife and I, despite the fact that we were a little late to the Vancouver Real Estate bubble party-party, we are very, very lucky to be a part of a group of folks, who are mostly of a certain age (or older) in Vancouver.

Because after trying like heckfire to help get two co-ops started, one of which was killed by GordCo at the last minute, we bit the bullet and bought our bungalow on the near Eastside back in 2005, which means we paid (the then crazy/astronomical amount of) $440K for it (and the 33' X 120' chunk of dirt).

That chunk of dirt (not the bungalow itself) is now 'worth' about $1.6 million on some paper ledger thingy somewhere.

Which is all fine and good if we could cash in and move away tomorrow (which we can't).

But, much more to the point, what are my bike guy and his partner, who works for the big credit union in town, going to do when they're evicted by the assembyists?

Or my kids?

Or all those teachers that we need to hire?

Or just about anyone of our fellow citizens who actually does real things in this town?



I don't want anybody who came to the party even later than us (who is not a speculator) to go seriously under water but I'm really starting to wonder if the only way we are going to hold on to our city (and, most importantly, the young people in it) is if we do some wilful bubble popping.

Of course, if we do this in any serious way that it actually makes a real difference, there is no way there won't be some short term economic pain also.

But seriously, what is the alternative?...

Not that we would ever suggest that Ron is stealing our stuff or anything.


All snarkolepsy and joking aside, kudos to Mr. Mason for taking a real stand on a thing that actually matters to British Columbians...In this case his entire piece is worth a read (and a wurlitzering)...


Thursday, May 03, 2018

Mr. Wilkinson Leaps On His Sword...


...Or Some Such Thing.

The critical passage in the good Mr. Wilkinson's letter to his followers is the following:

"...Go to David Eby's townhall - whether you have a ticket or not..."


Maybe now would be the time to revisit that matter of whose been doing all that lawyerly 'practicing' that Mr. Wilkinson brought up a couple of weeks ago.

For the record, from the British Columbia Law Society's directory (just type in name):


'Nuff said?

Tip O' The Toque to A. Reader for pointing us towards the law society's registorial pages...
And, just in case you missed it, former PostMedia BigData guy Chad Skelton has done the (pretty simple) math...
And, right on schedule...Here comes Marky Mark's reverse catapaulting of Mr. Wilkinson's sword...