Sunday, May 2, 2010


I saw one of those Captains of Industry wizards on the television news the other day confidently assuring me that, if only I were patient, if only I really understood how things work, I would come in time to love and embrace the HST.

His claim?

Manufacturers - all his pals, I guess - will save money and they will pass the savings on to stupid me and you, the consumers, with lower prices.


How a fool like this can stand up in public and with a straight face utter such a bald-faced lie and fantasy is beyond human understanding.

Of course, we are all familiar with all the prices of things rocketing downwards because the supplier saved a few bucks and wanted to share that with the public.


The HST is a cruel scourge and everyone who opposes it is right to do so.

The silver lining?

It might be the political end of You Know Who.


On Friday afternoon, a friend and I headed over to the tennis courts at Kits Beach to hit a few balls.

Half the courts are asphalt, which is to say, they have no green paint or other surface that might give a truer bounce or allow you to use the balls more than once without having to throw them into the practice bucket because they are now grey and scuffed beyond recognition. The nets are sagging old pieces of dirty string.

The other courts, the ones closer to the beach on the north side, are painted green, but they are not much better.

Moss and grass are breaking through cracks everywhere, the white lines are completely faded, the nets are garbage and the courts slope in several directions at once. "Level" is a condition they've probably never experienced.

Green canvas strung across the fencing might somewhat abate the steady winds coming off the water, but how are we to know?

This is a very public place.

It is in full view and it is an urban disgrace.

So much is babbled on about the "legacy."

Sport B.C. is currently advertising for a new CEO or General Manager.

What good was all of that excitement – what good is a new boss - if we can't attend with some civic pride to the most ordinary accommodations for ordinary citizens who enjoy staying healthy?

I am hardly a wealthy man.

I am basically retired and I live on a very limited income.

But I would be happy to pay a $5 user fee for public tennis courts if it meant that they were put into playing shape and maintained.

The courts at Kits Beach are not the exception. Almost all public courts in Vancouver suffer the same abandonment of care.

In Montreal, public courts are beautifully groomed and ready for action. You pay a small fee to play.

In Toronto, many public courts have been turned over to small local neighbourhood clubs, who collect modest yearly membership fees and maintain the facilities in first class condition. Non-members can use the courts for free in off-prime hours or any time a court is open.

Show us the Olympic legacy on our street corners.

Teary speeches at the Board of Trade won't cut it.

They Should Try Vancouver