Who Defines “Affordable?”

Vancouver mayor offers $250M of city land for social housing

Gregor Robertson is asking the federal government give $500M in return for affordable housing projects

CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2016 8:11 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 02, 2016 9:29 AM PT



This  seems to be a good offer…and the Feds, if Trudeau is to be believed, should jump at the chance to walk the walk and contribute where it is most needed…that would be Vancouver.
I left years ago because I could see that the City would be unaffordable once I retired…it has become worse than even I expected…why should any more retirees be driven from their home because of the insane real estate exploitation by elites..?
Our ConLite Premier has refused to do anything about it, so why not try this? I don’t agree with many things that have been done in the past under Robertson’s leadership, but this is a great idea that needs to be seriously considered.. we stand to lose everything about Vancouver that once made it a great place to live.

It’s far too late to do anything about those of us who  are life long renters – even here on Vancouver Island, rent is becoming unaffordable, when it can be found at all…and in Victoria  there are already bidding wars happening for real estate..unheard of in the past, all too familiar in  Vancouver..

Whenever possible, foreign investment in real estate should come with added costs and penalties for sitting empty..such  actions  should be considered   at the very least  unscrupulous, since there are so many in need..And ‘reno-victions’ should be illegal…

The biggest problem I see for this sort of  offer is  who decides on the definition of the  term  ‘affordable housing’…affordable to who, and under what circumstances?  Whenever I see a developer touting  their version of the latest so-called ‘affordable’ housing, it is a  cheaply built sardine tin that is decidedly not affordable as I  understand the term..

My imagination  gets a bit out there, and worst-case scenario, the seniors of this culture will be eliminated as surplus to need, and,unless they are wealthy, will be shipped to  someplace  where they are not heard or seen…the poor?  Well,  housed in tiny stacked  tenements and forced into  whatever  cheap labour jobs are going,  servicing  the elites, but pushed out  of site/sight after  hours so no one has to  be aware of them..dystopian, maybe, but  what else  is  feasible, the way things are going?


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A First Step For Government, a Semi-Giant Leap for Labor

Liberal government moves to repeal controversial union laws

Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk meets reporters on Parliament Hill at 10:15 a.m. ET

CBC News Posted: Jan 28, 2016 10:08 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 28, 2016 10:13 AM ET



What Pierre Trudeau did to labor in the past,with his so-called wage and price controls,  has now been somewhat neutralized by his son, Justin, and it makes a big difference to organized labor, in particular.
By stopping such revisionist legal twisting and thrashing, set up as an opening salvo against organized labour by Stephen Harper, the Federal Libs have instantly given themselves a whole bunch of extra support they might otherwise have lacked.
But it isn’t enough…most wages and benefits  need to be increased, or, where they don’t exist,  p[rovided for, and  foreign ownership/corporate control  of businesses needs to be tightened up.

Infrastructure repairs and construction are the real way that the Canadian economy is going to grow and improve…if you are old enough, you can remember that Canada once had one of the highest standards of living in the world..housing was economically available, and working meant that you had a comfortable life. We weren’t serfs in our own country…

Corporate types will instantly start whining about  loss of profits etc (a recent report  showed that they  are sitting on  billions and billions, usually squirreled away in tax shelters…)  That will be amusing, I’ll get the popcorn ready….

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Dirty Dig Done Dirt Cheap….

Flint water crisis: 6 things to know about the toxic taps

Lead-tainted water leads to state of emergency in troubled Michigan city

CBC News Posted: Jan 20, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 20, 2016 5:00 AM ET



Christy Clark and her “Health” minister might want to take note of this issue, because the contaminated soil burial site above Shawnigan Lake is an ‘accident’ waiting to happen…
What confounds most of us in the Cowichan area is why this dirty dirt has to be anywhere near any drinking water supply..there are lots of other places for contaminated soil to go that aren’t near a water supply here on the Island..but of course, the NDP have all but one seat here..could that have anything to do with it?
Gov. Snyder didn’t give a damn about the poor and unemployed who would be exposed to this poison..how is Clark’s ‘solution’ any different?
Oh, yeah, Snyder was informed ahead of time, but did it anyway…well, common sense would tell you that allowing a hill of contaminated crud to be ‘buried’ near any drinking water source is a recipe for disaster, but the BC Lieberals don’t care much what happens here…

Perhaps  it will take  the same sort of  horrors to be  brought down on the  people and wildlife of the Shawnigan Lake area before it is conceded, far too late, that it was  a ‘mistake’ to allow it to happen..

On a personal note,  when I was  looking, last year, to move back to this area, there were lots of vacancies in the Shawnigan Lake area for renters…but  never  even looked..as a fresh water drinker, I was  worried about being  affected by this  problem, and now I hear that the local dogs won’t  drink from the lake..considering  what the average dog does with its mouth, that is a good enough reason for me to avoid the place, and that is a sad thing to have to say..

Ball’s in your  court, Christy…

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A New Deal for Alberta?

Oilpatch worker urges Justin Trudeau to help Alberta in widely shared Facebook post

‘Please start helping our own people through these tough times’

By Andrea Huncar, CBC News Posted: Jan 15, 2016 3:21 PM MT Last Updated: Jan 15, 2016 3:39 PM MT

Could someone please explain to me why it is that Rachel Notley hasn’t even  (publicly) considered  building a refinery  right  there at the oil patch..value added to  the extracted oil without it even leaving the  Province..

Yes, I know that  previous regimes allowed the patch to be sold off to  corporate interests outside the  country..and ?  If they don’t figure out a way to push their pipelines through (and they won’t)  then what  other option do they have?

TransCanada may try suing the USA over their refusal to accept  a pipeline, but will they succeed?  Funny how the US  usually manages to twist those agreements around to suit their needs and in this case, that is a good thing..

Trudeau seems determined to support  a West to East version, sadly, but there is no reason why Notley et al cannot invest in some infrastructure …this would not only create jobs  but added value to the raw product, which is something Canada should have been on board with for the last century..instead we ship our resources out and then buy them back at premium prices..time we got a bit  tougher on foreign  purchasing of our resources, and foreign investment in our industries…with our dollar turning into a peso once again, it’s past time to  start adapting the New Deal of  Roosevelt’s answer to the  dirty 30’s and create our own version for dirty oil…

Yes, ideally, we should just leave it in the ground, but the  sad truth is that the rest of the country isn’t set up for zero  oil  just yet..and, jointly, we will soon be unable to afford  imported oil.  The powers that be keep telling us that  oil remains so high here because we lack refineries..here’s a great opportunity for  Alberta to  add value, and jobs, to it’s economy.  And Trudeau could sweeten the  pot with  tax subsidies and  money to help with the construction of  a system that would create more taxpaying workers, not less..a win – win for everyone…

Whatever…the bottom line is that our own entrenched corporate shills here in BC (the so-called  BC Liberals)  have so far refused to consider pipelines, despite all the saber rattling (Christy Clark isn’t totally stupid, she knows that this is the real  reason she  was elected, and  uses it to maintain her otherwise  shaky power base) so it  might behoove Notley to  at least look into the idea.

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Three Card Monte in LaLaLand

Corus Entertainment is buying Shaw Media in $2.65B deal

Acquisition ‘redefines Corus and Canada’s media landscape,’ president/CEO says

The Canadian Press Posted: Jan 13, 2016 7:20 AM ET


Same circus, same clowns…Canada is once again allowing big business to consolidate still more of the country’s communications and adding more and more power to fewer rich white guys..really, what the heck is the difference again between us and the States? Oh, yeah, we pretend to be kinder, gentler and less violent..anyone else notice how the Right always regroups and throws money around to consolidate its position? So much for freedom of information and the ability to choose..at least in the States, competition is wide open re mobility..
If you read the article carefully, Shaw and Corus are owned by the same family, the Shaws..so they are simply playing a shell game, passing the cash back and forth to rationalize purchasing Wind Mobile…it’s a bit too arcane to figure out unless you are an accountant, but there are probably tax deductions and savings involved…

While everyone who  submits to the rancid bling of  cell phone addiction  is celebrating  ‘another’  company in the picture, remember that  Shaw is already massive..why would they give anyone a deal?  They certainly don’t give us much wiggle room  on other services..and I have been  victim to   old fashioned door to door   Telus  snake oil purveyors  twice in the last month or so, obviously trying to steal business now that  they will be competing with Shaw..they have recently installed  a fibre optic network here in the boonies, and are trying to rope in some new suckers…guess I’ll have to dig up a “No Solicitors” sign  somewhere..will that stop them?

I am looking forward to the  day when we have evolved to the point where we actually start socializing with each other again, and have less time or interest in  hiding behind computers, TV screens and phones…anyone old enough to remember that concept?

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The Working Class can Kiss my…

Condos without down payments could be sold by B.C. developer

Buyers would get a discount on the price, which would become a virutual down payment

CBC News Posted: Jan 12, 2016 9:33 AM PT Last Updated: Jan 12, 2016 9:33 AM PT




What a ridiculous idea..shows the paucity of real concepts to create affordable housing..if those making 69K to 92K haven’t got a hope in the real estate market of today, what hope is there?
Once again, the middle class gets all the breaks, and the working class can continue to try and make do with scare overpriced under-serviced rentals…how is that solving anything? Looks like an extension of  Trudeau’s middle class rescue plan, with  no room at the inn for those less ‘fortunate.’  In  other words with less of a fortune to spend on any form of security in shelter…
We seem to be heading for a US style depression, never mind recession, with our dollar at a decade old low and all our now rotten  eggs in the dirty oil basket…where is that infrastructure spending promised by the politicians? Let’s start with that…

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…Then They Came for Me…

Online comments on news stories: a problem for everyone

Syrian refugee stories on news sites are prompting some backlash in the comments section of some websites

By Bal Brach, CBC News Posted: Jan 10, 2016 8:00 AM PT Last Updated: Jan 10, 2016 8:11 AM PT


I can remember the same thing happening re the Omar Khadr release from Guantanamo..same ugly racist slander, same suppositions of already-disproved guilt, same nasty rhetoric..most often  from HarperCon types..they are happily out of power, but that doesn’t stop their bitter and twisted supporters from Harping on and on about anyone of any sort other than old white male Protestants, preferably wealthy and rightwing…

It’s  difficult to rationalize supporting these bigoted yahoos, but support them we must…if freedom of  speech is to  mean anything at all..there have been  many shouts of hate speech, hate mail, and hate crimes lately..whether we agree or not, it is  a good thing that  authorities are reticent about apply these labels to anything and everything, because if they did, we could be next…I rarely get moderated on any news site, but when I do, it is  usually because  I let my anger get out of hand, and, as frustrating as it can be, it is justified  most of the time.

Whenever anyone anywhere calls for strictures on  the freedom of the press/speech, and  yes, for good or  bad, that includes the comments sections, we must look upon these calls with great care …for the application of censorship is a slippery slope that we could all be  sliding down someday.

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