You know things are bad when..
Another week, another weak attempt by the Lower Mainland mayors to pin all the region's problems on the provincial government. Fastballs of problems are flung fast and furious by the city politicians: homelessness, property taxes, TransLink.
Building energy benchmarking is a key tool for enabling informed and sound decision-making in energy management. Requiring reporting enables governments to prioritize and evaluate policies including regulation and incentives, while public disclosure enables the real estate sector to measure and value high performance buildings.
Hate to be one of those folk that B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman believes has nothing better to do than get up and whine every day, but the B.C. government's affordable housing plan announced last week falls short. Sorry, someone had to say it.
For months the government had been in denial over the issue: overblown, isolated to a few neighbourhoods, it said. Since then its approach has gone from "the market will correct itself," to a "bold action plan," to legislating a retroactive 15 per cent tax on foreign ownership.
With news last week that all but one of Metro Vancouver's mayors have given a firm thumbs down to the B.C. government's proposal for a 10-lane, three-kilometre bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel, it's a good opportunity to take a step back and give this idea more than a quick once-over.
The road pricing debate has taken two forms in the Lower Mainland, both of which should worry taxpayers. The first idea, suggested by Delta Mayor Lois Jackson and former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, is to put a $1 toll on every bridge in the region. However, the math simply doesn't work.
Forget weather, housing prices, lifestyle, green initiatives and other external factors and complaints. Yes, they are all variables but when it comes to consumer spending, there's one big variable driving the market almost to the exclusion of anything else: China and the Chinese.
Most people probably don't ever think about local industrial land. It's often tucked away in corners of communities -- out of sight, out of mind. But the fact is our industrial land supply -- or lack thereof -- is critical to the future of every person, family and community in B.C.
Former chief administrator Penny Ballem, 65, will receive $556,000 as a parting gift for the hastily arranged exit. News that undoubtedly warmed the cockles of the hearts of residents across Vancouver when they learned of it.
This referendum isn't about TransLink's internal spending habits. It's on whether we want to fund public transit to the extent that it'll positively impact our generation and generations onward.
"Living wage" for a family of four has gone up 58 cents from 2014...
According to the plan, not all residents in the region are created equal. If you're a motorist, for instance, you won't get much love.
The Vancouver Mayor's Council on Regional Transportation has an ambitious 30-year vision (starting with a 10-year plan) that would dramatically expand mass transit in Vancouver. Yet recent developments in personal transportation raise questions about long-term plans to build fixed point-to-point transit systems.
Taxes are indeed needed to fund important government services, critical both to a well-functioning economy and more generally, civilization. But there is a point when a larger, more interventionist government, combined with a heavier tax burden, can stunt economic growth and social outcomes, or achieve those outcomes only at great additional cost.
The Mayors' Council could break from past unsuccessful referenda by getting a Yes vote this spring. But they have to get to work now and most importantly, use openness to earn the voters' trust.
The Yes side may have great intellectual arguments, but the No side has one big emotional one. It's spelled T-r-a-n-s-L-i-n-k. And at the end of the day it may be the only one that counts.
Marcon will be making a substantial donation to North Shore Rescue in a new program which pairs condo buyers with charitable giving. A portion of every home sold in Marcon's latest project in Lynn Valley called Mill House will go towards a larger corporate donation to the Tim Jones Legacy Fund.
It's important to remember that the city, like the rest of us, has to pay interest on debt in addition to repaying the principal. With more money going to service past debt (interest plus principal), less is available for important municipal services such as garbage collection and policing. That means Vancouverites also "pay" for debt indirectly through reduced services.
A carbon tax increases the cost of gasoline, diesel, and natural gas -- things that both households and businesses rely on, whether to operate their cars, heat their homes, or run their operations. For perspective, B.C.'s current tax of $30 per tonne of CO2 adds roughly seven cents per litre to the cost of gasoline.