Sunday, September 30, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 11:14 AM
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:37 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:29 AM
Board of Trade boss suggests small fare increase could provide money for beleaguered businesses
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Diners and shoppers have been reluctant to negotiate around cut-and-cover construction along Cambie St., so Board of Trade executives ventured to the area for lunch this week with Canada Line CEO Jane Bird to show Cambie's open for business.
To get a real feel for Cambie Street, representatives from the Vancouver Board of Trade and the Canada Line should dine inside one of the massive trenches lining the road, says Art Goday.
"I don't know if anyone would want to have lunch on Cambie Street because the noise from the construction is so loud," Goday, the owner of Funhouse Tattoo on Cambie Street, told the Courier Monday.
Last week the Vancouver Board of Trade joined the Canada Line to promote Lunch on the Line, a public relations campaign to encourage the city's business community to eat at restaurants along the beleaguered street. The $2-billion Canada Line project is a rapid transit system under construction to connect the city with Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport.
The cut-and-cover method of tunnelling, used along much of Cambie Street and part of Granville Street, has been highly criticized by businesses owners affected by construction. Since heavy tunnelling began along the main business corridor of Cambie a year ago, almost 40 stores, businesses and restaurants have closed or relocated. Business owners who have survived have unsuccessfully asked for compensation from the city through tax breaks and for low-interest loans from the provincial government. Lunch on the Line launched this week. Today, Vancouver Board of Trade chair Henry Lee and managing director Darcy Rezec, were scheduled to join Jane Bird, chief executive officer of the Canada Line Rapid Transit Project, at Tokyo John Sushi at 3349 Cambie St. for lunch.
Lee said lunching and shopping along the Canada Line immediately injects cash into businesses along the line.
"Right now it's out of sight, out of mind," said Lee. "But it's really not difficult to get to businesses on Cambie. Too many people are focused on the negative and they need to look on the bright side."
But Lee agreed the businesses need financial support.
"I don't like to use the word 'compensated,'" Lee said, "because it's too controversial. But at the Board of Trade we also don't like to sweep anything under the rug, and we all agree these businesses are suffering."
Because the project is a joint effort between a number of partners, such as Vancouver, Richmond, TransLink and InTransit, Lee argued compensation shouldn't come from one partner. He suggested business owners should be jointly supported with money that could be paid back by increasing ride fares on the rapid transit system by three-cents.
He noted the Canada Line estimates it will handle 100,000 rides per day, which works out to more than 30 millions rides per year. Even if that number turns out to be half that, said Lee, at three cents, or even 30 cents, per ride over three years, he estimated enough money would be raised to pay back any amount borrowed.
He said the same goal could be accomplished with "minute" raises to property tax.
"I've crunched the numbers several times and it could work, there are very few merchants along the line," said Lee. "In the meanwhile let's do lunch on the line."
Vancouver Courier 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:14 AM
Friday, September 28, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:05 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:55 AM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:19 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:13 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:07 AM
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 6:45 PM
Posted by David Berner at 9:47 AM
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The underlying theme in the media forelock tugging is that all differences must be accommodated in Canada, land of block voting.
This brings great comfort to the people in Canada who are slicing the labia from ten year old girls in the name of tradition.
It brings great comfort to people like the lovely Surrey couple whom put a hit on their daughter- in -law in India because she failed to meet tribal standards.
Or the guy in Kamloops who murdered his 15 year old daughter in an honour killing because she dated a white guy.
No doubt, those in our midst who still adhere to their cultural edicts calling for the stoning of gay people and adulterers, are praising the bovine inclusiveness doctrine being chanted by the media.
Thanks a lot Bruce.
Posted by David Berner at 11:43 AM
Behind the scenes at construction sites
LetterPublished: Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I have worked in the construction industry for more than 30 years and I've seen a number of destructive changes that led to this current crisis of drug use on construction sites. The most destructive change has been the deunionization of the industry. In the 1970s, building trade unions, with support from employers, maintained some of the best drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs in the country. With de-unionization in the 1980s, employers abandoned these programs, leaving it up to individual workers to get themselves off drugs. Obviously, this hasn't worked.
It's time to return to a more stable construction industry. This requires improved labour laws, more employer and government support for drug/alcohol rehabilitation, and real opportunities for trades training -- as well as better working conditions for everyone in the building trades.
Posted by David Berner at 10:40 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:03 AM
Monday, September 24, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 3:12 PM
Posted by David Berner at 3:02 PM
Posted by David Berner at 2:56 PM
Sunday, September 23, 2007
And Czech in again with us towards the end of the working day.
Posted by David Berner at 8:40 PM
Posted by David Berner at 10:46 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:32 AM
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 12:37 PM
Posted by David Berner at 12:27 PM
Posted by David Berner at 12:18 PM
Posted by David Berner at 12:03 PM
Friday, September 21, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:12 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:08 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:01 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:58 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:47 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:41 AM
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:35 PM
Posted by David Berner at 9:21 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:07 AM
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:25 PM
Media are invited to join Jane Bird, CEO, Canada Line Rapid Transit, Henry Lee, Chairman, The Vancouver Board of Trade and Co-Chair, Spirit of Vancouver and Darcy Rezac, Managing Director, The Vancouver Board of Trade as they announce “Lunch on the Line” week, 11:00 am, Wednesday, September 19 at Tokyo John Sushi in the Cambie Village.
From September 24 – 28, business people are being encouraged to take a client to lunch or treat their staff at a restaurant in the Cambie Village that has been affected by the Canada Line construction.
I have just been forwarded this press release by several members of our media, looking for comment on this proposal from CLCo and the Board of Trade. As usual, none of the businesses knew anything about it, and have not been consulted about the details.
We, the struggling businesses in the Cambie Village are delighted with this latest initiative from Canada Line.....simply if it finally brings to the neighbourhood the very people that have strongly supported this project, and to see for themselves the level of devastation it has caused in the Cambie Village. The conclusion they will come to is that all the project-promoting attempts at mitigation have obviously failed.
They will see that compensation should have been factored in, and was not, and is most certainly the right thing to immediately implement now.
They will see all the empty shops that were once the sole source of income for the families that operated them, who have now been forced out by this project. This token gesture, so late in the game, is irrelevant as a way to save us from bankruptcy, but may demonstrate to those who take the time to come here, a needed awareness of the level of harm this government driven project has caused. And by the way - I don't think that executives at the TD bank or Best Buy have had to re-mortgage their homes to keep their "small businesses" alive as have many merchants in the village. Our losses are life changing, and businesses unsustainable without financial compensation.
This is a Provincial project. The government's precedent being set here is that small businesses are expendable. Look out, businesses on Broadway. You could be next. We were promised a bored tunnel, too.
The right thing to do is compensate this community for the unjust financial burden we have been forced to bear.
It's much more than "lunch" that we all have on the line.
I will gladly publish this on my blog...but certainly you must realize that anything that comes from The Pace Group is an utterly insincere, snow job. The Pace Group is the very worst kind of Public Relations firm, famous for creating exactly these kinds of meaningless public demonstrations that are transparent in their cynicism.
I wish it were otherwise.
Posted by David Berner at 9:19 PM
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:32 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:22 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:12 AM
Monday, September 17, 2007
WHY VANCOUVER’S ECO-DENSITY POLICY IS A FRAUD.By Jonathan Baker
Vancouver's Planner, Mayor and Council – the drum majors for the Development Industry are trying to persuade us that if we only let that Industry do their thing in single family neighbourhoods we will save the Pandas and spotted owls and all the glaciers will come galloping back.
Eco-Density is a copyrighted fraud.It is contrary to the GVRD's Livable Region Plan (LRP) and against common sense.
Environmental Preservation is a primary goal of the LRP which was in preparation for years and adopted in about 1996. One of the four major strategies to achieve this purpose is “to build complete communities.”
The central concept is to build a series of complete town centres. Vancouver is one of those centres. The other others are Coquitlam Town Centre, Downtown New Westminster, Langley Town Centre, Lonsdale (North Vancouver), Maple Ridge Town Centre, Metrotown (Burnaby), Richmond Town Centre and Surrey City Centre. Each of these town centres is expected to supply the housing diversity required so that people who wish to choose a particular housing type near to where they live have it available to them.
It was never a policy that people who want to live within the geographic boundaries of Vancouver ought to be immune from the law of supply and demand. To the contrary the strategy seeks to encourage people to live where they work so as to reduce commuting times. The Demand for housing was intended to be a function of jobs i.e. being able to live close to where you work.
An article by Trevor Boddy in the Vancouver Sun published on August 11, 2005 pointed out that the expansion of housing in Vancouver is at the expense of jobs. In this respect he says that it is becoming a “resort”. Much of the new housing demand results from the fact that people want to live here not to be close to work but because it is cool to do so. That is all very well but it turns the commuting policy on its head if people expect to live in Vancouver and work somewhere else.
Stephen Rees made the following comments about Boddy's article. Boddy's article is in quotes.
"...because of short sighted urban planning, downtown Vancouver may be becoming a fool's paradise. This is because people are coming to live and play here, but not to work.
Director of central area planning Larry Beasley confirmed in a recent interview that no new office tower has started construction or even been proposed for our downtown core in the new century. None. ..."
"According to condo and live-work tower developer Ian Gillespie, there is now a five to one ratio between the economic rate of return per square metre of new condominium apartment built in downtown Vancouver, versus a square metre of new office. ... I mentioned this five to one ratio to a May 26 symposium at New York's Institute of Urban Design, and the assembled developers, realtors, planners and architects could not name another city, anywhere, where the economic return from building condos so eclipses offices."
Boddy blames this on both land use policy - the lack of "dedicated office tower sites where business actually wants them - west of Granvillle" - and municipal taxes - businesses pay five times as much per square metre as residential compared to Toronto at 3.3 and Calgary at 2.7.
Boddy goes on to examine the impact on transportation - noting that the Skytrain plus RAV is essentially radial from downtown, "ridership projections for this latest line predict more people leaving downtown to work in Richmond than coming into the centre". He compares the peninsular of San Francisco (population 788,000) and Vancouver (580,000) "Nearly 900,000 people travel into downtown San Francisco daily, but only one third of this number enter our core (and our figures are essentially flat, growing at a mere one per cent annually ...)"
These comments are right. What the City needs to do is create more places to work in the down town core. Instead it is turning the city over to developers who are only to happy to buy land in single family neighbourhoods and build higher density housing thus eroding the required single family stock, and creating an imbalance in the commuting patterns.
Posted by David Berner at 5:49 PM
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