A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘british columbia

[MUSIC] Moev, “Yeah, Whatever”

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“Yeah, Whatever” is the title track off of Vancouver-based Canadian electronica group Moev‘s 1988 album “Yeah, Whatever”. Produced by the second incarnation of this band, featuring one Dean Russell as vocalist and lyricist, this song deserved wider recognition. Russell’s vocals and the guitar-driven lyrics bring to mind a sort of Canadian fusion of Depeche Mode with the Smiths.

Most unfortunately, Moev and Dean Russell never got the chance to break through into the mainstream, Russell dying of HIV/AIDS in 1994 and the band subsequently splintering. What could have been–But at least we have this.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 13, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[NEWS] Four links about global warming and changing shorelines

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  • Ars Technica recommends five sights on the British coast to see before they are erased by global warming.
  • This Syracuse.com report about the upstate New York town of Sandy Creek, beset by Lake Ontario flooding, is alarming.
  • VICE‘s Kate Lunau notes the serious threat posed by sea level rise to coastal Canadian centres, from Halifax to Vancouver.
  • Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic notes that the US South, already badly off, will be hit hard by global warming.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 30, 2017 at 6:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Five links about cities, from failing subways to changing neighbourhoods to borders

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  • The Globe and Mail‘s Joanna Slater talks about how the subway system of New York City is staggering from catastrophe to catastrophe.
  • The Globe and Mail’s Stephen Quinn argues it is much too late to save Vancouver’s Chinatown from radical redevelopment.
  • The Toronto Star‘s Tess Kalinowski writes about how young buyers are driving a push for laneway housing in Toronto.
  • Bryan Tucker, also in the Toronto Star, also makes the case for laneway housing.
  • The National Post shares a story about an affordable 18th century house on the Québec-Vermont border.

[NEWS] Eight links from around the world

  • Yahoo News shares the story of a cat that visited every national park in the United States, with photos.
  • CBC’s Mike Crawley takes a look at the impact of the Ontario $15 minimum wage, finding it should have little effect on the economy at large.
  • In The Globe and Mail, Tony Keller suggests that Donald Trump’s actions do a great job of promoting China as a responsible superpower.
  • CBC notes research suggesting that global warming will make the heat island effect in cities much worse.
  • It is easy, editor David Shribman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes in The Globe and Mail, to mistake Pittsburgh for Paris.
  • The Toronto Star notes Ariana Grande’s surprise visit to her fans in hospital before tomorrow benefit concert.
  • The Atlantic reports on the problems of post-Communist gentrification in Moscow.
  • The Georgia Straight shares one Vancouver artist’s goodbye to her adopted city, beloved but now too expensive.

[URBAN NOTE] “Wake up, Toronto, to your housing crisis”

Gary Mason wrote Thursday from Victoria for The Globe and Mail about the Toronto affordable housing crisis, contrasting the belated responses of Toronto and Ontario unfavourably to those of his province of residence.

Of all the political U-turns B.C. Premier Christy Clark has undertaken in power, perhaps none was as jarring and unexpected as the one she performed on housing.

For most of 2015, and at least half of the following year, the Premier refused to do anything about rapidly escalating house prices in Metro Vancouver. She maintained that bringing in measures to cool the market might hurt the equity in people’s homes. She denied foreign investors had much to do with the fierce escalation in costs, relying on the faulty, self-serving data from a real-estate industry that wanted the sticker-shock insanity to continue.

And there was also the not-insignificant fact that the B.C. treasury was getting fattened on the provincial tax that exists on home sales – easy money that can become like crack to a government.

But then Ms. Clark and her cabinet came to an uncomfortable realization: The growing public outrage over the fact that the middle-class dreams of owning a home were evaporating by the day for many and might cost the government re-election. So the Premier did what she vowed she wouldn’t and brought in a 15-per-cent foreign buyer’s tax that did precisely what it was intended to – put the brakes on the absurd, and immoral, goings-on in the real estate industry.

Unfortunately, by the time she did, it was too late for thousands.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 24, 2017 at 9:30 pm

[LINK] “B.C. supports feasibility study of high-speed rail line from Portland to Vancouver”

The Globe and Mail‘s Dominika Lirette reports on the support of the British Columbian government for funding a study looking into the feasibility of a high-speed rail route connecting Vancouver with Oregon’s Portland.

British Columbia’s Transportation Minister says the province supports Washington State’s decision to study the feasibility of a high-speed rail line from Portland to Vancouver.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has allotted $1-million (U.S.) from his 2017-19 state budget to examine the costs and benefits of building a system to carry travellers 400 kilometres an hour with stops in Seattle and Bellingham. A report is due in December.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said it’s “far too premature” to talk about a potential financial commitment to a high-speed rail line, but he said the province is interested in the idea.

“The Premier sent a letter to Governor Inslee recently, extending provincial support for the state of Washington’s decision to actually do some due diligence, some analysis on this proposed high-speed rail link, and we certainly support them doing that,” Mr. Stone said.

He noted that that an agreement signed last year between British Columbia and Washington State, known as the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, highlights transportation as a key priority.

The study will examine the design and cost of a high-speed rail system, the potential demand and whether it would be economically viable. A budget document outlining the study says the high-speed rail system, if built, could connect with east-west routes in the state, as well as a similar system, in California.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 16, 2017 at 9:00 pm

[LINK] “B.C. tech sector to get surge of talent fleeing Silicon Valley: insiders”

The Globe and Mail features Mike Huber’s article suggesting that Trump’s existing border controls and the fear of more have triggered an exodus of Silicon Valley talent north, to British Columbia.

British Columbia’s burgeoning tech sector is set to get a big boost from entrepreneurs and their employees fleeing Silicon Valley to dodge U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, industry insiders say.

Vancouver immigration lawyer Richard Kurland said he spent this weekend conducting more than a dozen client consultations with high-level engineers, managers and PhD or master’s students working in the U.S. tech industry. These prospective clients now want to move to Canada after Mr. Trump’s executive order last Friday blocking entry to citizens from seven Muslim countries, he said.

Mr. Kurland, who publishes the Lexbase newsletter on the Canadian immigration system, said his colleagues across Canada are all reporting similar interest.

“I’ve never seen anything like it from the United States. The last time I saw something like this was 1989 China – where you had top minds and top families seeking exit from the turmoil,” he said. “There’s this sense of fear and anxiety because you don’t know who’s next on [Mr. Trump’s] list.”

Further uncertainty was added Monday after several U.S. news agencies reported that the President had drafted another executive order targeting a special class of temporary work permits that technology companies have relied upon to recruit highly skilled engineers into the United States.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 31, 2017 at 4:30 pm