Thursday, November 12, 2009


A zero sum game is being played out on the world stage and that mediocre actor, Stephen Harper is in the middle of it all.

Canada needs business.

India needs nuclear power.

Without doing trade with Indian and China, Canada will continue its role as the world's nicest B movie.

India and Pakistan, sworn bordering enemies, both have nuclear weapons.

John Ibbotson has an excellent look at this frightening and very real dilemma in this morning's Globe.

Hail The Taxi!

The news that Tarnsclunk will increase the fare (ever so slightly) on the new Canada Line to YVR can only be a boon for the struggling taxi industry.

Now, if only you could flag a cab down in rush hour...

South Granville Struggles

For those interested in the plight and fortunes of small business in Vancouver, yesterday's cover story in the Courier will be an eye-opener.

So far, 16 businesses in the neighbourhood between the Granville Bridge and West 16th Avenue have closed this year.

High rents and even higher city taxes will do it every time.

Two inevitable consequences follow.

Empty stores and the ultimate arrival of Big Chains, which rob neighbourhoods of any semblance of individuality. Think Robson Strasse of several decades back to Robson today of the Gap, Banana Republic, and Roots . A big yawn if you're not a tourist in a group from Japan.

The Stanley Theatre (Arts Club) continues to be a major and important anchor and draw for the street, and while their work isn't entirely my cup of tea, they are a boon for everybody - actors, singers, directors, musicians, writers, shop owners, audiences and shoppers.

Has anyone considered adding some competition?

Daily Drug Bulletin

1. You must read Mark Hasiuk's wonderfully funny editorial in yesterday's Courier.

Spurred on by the announcement of a "safe" crack smoking room, Hasiuk offers a few original initiatives of his own.

This reminds me of the very large public meeting about 40 years ago when I announced with a straight face that three levels of government had entered into an agreement with Ford Motors of Canada to keep a lot in Steveston fully stocked with new cars. The catch was that the keys would be left in the ignitions and that car thieves were allowed only one theft a day.

At least half the mural stared at me in complete baffled belief.

2. By now you have probably heard or read that former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan has scored more money for his various nutty programs. About half a million. Dollars, that is. His ideas are about seven.

When asked about his continuing plan to give substitute opiates to addicts, Sullivan admitted that he didn't really have a structure or a team or an office but that this would help him nicely survive the cold winter months.

Proud of you, Buddy!