Saturday, January 3, 2009


It's snowing again.

There are optimists and religionists among you who like to repeat the mantra, "God only gives us what we can handle."


Tell that to people who are tortured or who lose a limb in battle or at work or who lose a child.

Not that I should compare my current misery to such tragedies.


All my coordinates are gone.

The car hasn't seen the inside of my Bat Cave in almost 10 days. It is parked in various snow banks somewhere in a three block radius. Sometimes I just go by to say, "Hello, Little Mazda. how the hell are you doing?"

And it pleads right back to me, "Please, David, brush the snow from my roof and my windows and turn over that engine. If possible run the heater and the defroster for a while."

This morning was the first in over a week that the Globe & Mail actually arrived at my home. I have phoned their fabulous "Customer Care Service" every morning for about eight days now to have my little chat with Electronic Man. He tells me the kinds of things I can say (Like, "This is a delivery problem.") and I respond like the perfect Pavlovian Samoyed that I am. Nobody at Customer Care could tell me when they expected delivery service to resume or what the problem is or why a store 2 blocks away has its paper, but I don't have mine.

Now, rumours on the street have it that our new Mayor, Gregor Robertson is in Mexico at the moment on a holiday.

Is this true?

Why isn't he here, digging and shovelling like the rest of us?

Better yet, why isn't he here leading the clean-up and dig-out?

The same rumours have it that Mayor Robertson has actually instructed the works yard to NOT send out battalions of snowplows and other clean-up equipment.

As the story goes, Robertson feels that all those trucks would add negatively to the city's "carbon footprint."

Is this true? Is it just a rumour started by grumpy NPA folk?

If it is true that Mayor G. is in Mexico and that he has ordered the trucks to not move when businesses already battered by a disastrous economy, have now been completely shell-shocked by weather that leaves most shoppers huddling at home...if this is true, we are really in for a scary three years, kids.

Your comments and confirmations of rumours will be appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Vancouver, oh Vancouver, what a miserable hole you have become. The city is one of the most boring, intellectually devoid place in the world. The land of Bill Boring and CanWest Global (be happy, its the best place in the world don't ya know), where on a daily basis, the inmates vie to see who can be sillier.

Snow doesn't get plowed, the elderly slip and fall, who cares? Not Mayor Greg and his sort sighted troop of nitwits. The elderly don't slip and fall on ice in Mexico, though they might get shot!

Anonymous said...

I drove my family to my sister-in-law's place in Surrey last night. The cul de sac she lives hasn't been plowed either. Perhaps you'd like to direct some heat toward Surrey Mayor Diane Watts, a favorite of yours, while you're at it. Rumours of substandard snow removal are also coming in from residents of other municipalities. It seems that the snow removal system of the entire Metro Vancouver region must be reworked, not just here in Vancouver.

Have the grumpy NPA folk been starting rumours? Consider the NPA meeting you and A.G. Tsakumis have been recently commenting on. Possibly! On "The Bill Good Show" earlier this week, Mike Klassen, promoting the blog, and seemingly a devout NPA supporter, stated on air that no garbage pickup had occurred in the city since Dec. 29. The statement itself was pure rubbish. The garbage here in my part of East Van had been picked up on the scheduled date (Dec. 30), at the usual time (11:30 AM). He also mentioned the other rumoured points you stated. Most listeners who called in to the show felt his statements were pure NPA sour grapes.

And what about the role of the well-paid management at city hall? Aren't they the ones who are supposed to be directly overseeing all of this? Do they really need to have the Mayor tell them what to do?

Craig Y.

Anonymous said...

I'll change tracks and direct some attention toward the paper delivery...

My sister and I used to deliver The Vancouver Sun (back when tweens got their first jobs this way). We managed to deliver in the snow as long as the big trucks delivered the papers to the paper shack (remember those green metal shacks!!!).

We would carry the papers in those bright orange carts and deliver door to door. The orange carts aren't good in snow, so when we had snow, we would carry the papers in a canvas sack.

It was tough going ... but we got the job done and we worked in our own neighbourhoods.

Currently, most major paper delivery is done by adults. These jobs don't pay much, but someone with a car can make between $750 and $1,000 per month with a large route. This is for work everyday for a few early AM hours each day.

The workers probably don't live in close proximity to the neighbourhoods that they deliver.

The problem is - the person who delivers your paper door to door probably hasn't bothered to dig their car out of the snow either!! Even if they did - it would take half a day to deliver door to door - risking life and limb on unshoveled sidewalks (n.b. it seems that residential single occupancy dwellers do NOT have to shovel the city sidewalk outside their homes). If the paper carrier manages to survive the sidewalk - they might slip on the snow and ice encrusted stairs that many homeowners have.

Can you blame them for not delivering the morning paper???? I am sure that the circulation department can't blame them either!

The corner store is usually on a plowed street and their is a different delivery system.

Cripey - the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun and Province are not essential services. We really will live without them for a few days until the weather makes daily delivery safe again.

I noticed, BTW, that the Courier was delivered on schedule the last week or so. Adults and Kids have smaller WALKING routes in their OWN neighbourhoods for this delivery. Just like the major dailies did back in the day...

Linda Yuill

James said...

I feel for your little Mazda, David! Just be sure if you do start it up for a little to clear plenty around the tailpipe, I was living in Victoria in the blizzard of `96 and a gentleman running his engine without clearing the snow around the exhaust caused his car to fill up with carbon monoxide, with tragic results.

Personally I feel that the city has been functioning fairly well with the recent snow dump. I do have the benefit of access to a 4x4, however. With all the recent traffic calming measures in the grandview area I would say that ploughing the sidestreets would be pretty much impossible. Some of these intersections with the forced turns look a little tight for fire trucks, even.

As for Gregor, I am a little surprised. Do I not recall both mayoral candidates being asked "what will you do after being elected?" and Ladner's answer of having a short vacation was jumped on by the visionistas? So I suppose staying on the job just long enough to form a homeless task force with a snappy acronym, toss a city manager overboard and request umpteen studies from city staff was enough to accomplish before skeddadling to a warmer climate.

Not Your Wife said...


I have also not received a Globe & Mail paper for over a week, either. I thought it was me!

However, my PNG carrier was handsomely tipped at Christmas as he continues to find his way to my door with the National Post, the Sun and the Province.

As for the Absent Mayor: as I have told everyone since last spring---the mayor and council members jobs are not only to address big issues like homelessness and crime, but to attend to the minutiae of city life, including potholes, street lamps and, yes, snow.


Anonymous said...

That comment about garbage not being picked up, is true. I live in East Van and the last pick up was on the 29th.

Anonymous said...

For those who whine, relax and put your feet up and have a wine.

Anonymous said...

Has it crossed anyone's minds that Vancouver almost broke a 40-year snowfall record for December, with almost all of it falling in a ten day span?

James, in the midst of writing off the first two weeks of the new government, you forgot to mention the four emergency shelters that Gregor got opened, 3 with an agreement with the province.

And I live in East Van and my garbage was picked up. Maybe, just maybe, could it be that there are different streets in the city? That some are steeper, narrower than others? Could it be?

James said...

To Anon -

Don't think I was writing off two weeks of gov't, I guess I'm still just surprised by the hypocrisy generated on the campaign trail. 2 weeks isn't much time to get anything done, emergency homeless shelters notwithstanding. Gregor gave the impression that he was going to get cracking as soon as elected and scoffed at Ladner's statement he would take a little break before getting to work. Instead Gregor got a little work done then took a break. Same difference!

Not Your Wife said...


The emergency shelters are holes. Go visit Jamie Lee Hamilton's blog for an update. Only people who live in other than the DTES could be so over-the-top-salon-socilaist to think that this is adequate. Out of sight, out of mind?

The fact of the matter is: during cold weather the city has always been able to provide shelter. I am not that impressed with what has been trumpeted as a "triumph", so far. It is one flimsy balsa wood plank in a system that is terribly, terribly broken.

That InSite is still held up as a paragon of virtue and the bright light in this whole mess shows a paucity of imagination or a complete lack of skills to get done that which must be done. Talk to the firefighters at Hall 2 who have to go in and pick up 3 or 4 OD's nearly there nearly every night. What a joke.

I am intrigued by the Mayor's and Rich Coleman's musings on getting the addicted and mentally ill off the street by force, if necessary. Where can I sign the petition????

By definition people who are high and mentally ill are not capable of making an informed choice, so the state MUST intercede. Then maybe we won't watch people accidently set themselves alight or freeze in doorways because they won't go to the aforementioned shelters.

And please, don't tell me it's anyone's right to slowly kill themselves with drugs. Their actions, including property crime, violence (because they are high), and the dangers they pose to themselves and others are noted time and time again. Gathering in the DTES and claiming that they are some sort of noble "community" and shouldn't be tampered with is total bullshit. People are choosing to live this way?? The devil drug has them by the goolies, and they can't shake him...

It's time to break up that 'old gang of mine' and make some serious inroads into dealing with the sickness of the sickest amongst us. Noone should have to turn to turning tricks or hassling people for change to feed their habits.

I won't get started on drug dealers or the middle class who also participate (it's not just the down and outers) in the drug scene. What the hell is wrong with society? What is driving so many to self medicate and cause so much sorrow up and down the line? Your recreational drug use helps feed the corrupt system. If you really want to use drugs, show yourselves, lobby and get the laws changed. But you won't---because you don't really want to see it legalized because "others" won't be able to handle it. And your kids might try it, too.

Vancouver---the Hypocracy Capital of Canada!

Anonymous said...

HaHa My "home town" is Winterpeg. While the residents snuggle warmly in their beds, ready for a long winter nap, during the often 25o below (colder with the wind chill) temperatures, one can hear the reassuring hum of the snowplows clearing the snow (Yes! They do the side streets) - and if you are really fortunate, your friendly neighbour will have done your walkways with his/her snow blower before you've even had your morning coffee. Yes, the terrain is different than Vancouver's, but they have it down pat....

It this wasn't such a pain in the butt it would be humorous. If it is indicative of a weather change - many ploughs and a major plan is in order. 2010 Olympics..... Heh Heh I can only imagine....


Anonymous said...

Why is it that BC politicians, the first thing they do when they get elected, is take a holiday to sunnier climes?

This is sheer nonsense, politicians jobs are here, in BC, to do the publics work. Politicians are the publics conduit to the bureaucracy, sadly to many elected officials believe that being elected means that they can act like little Hitlers and to hell with the public.