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NDP and LNG

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This is going to be uncomfortable for some, but if you voted NDP to "stop fracking" or shut down the LNG trade, then that's an unrealistic expectation and incorrect interpretation of their platform and if you're that person, you have yourself to blame.
The NDP, in fact, has supported LNG. When in power in the 90's, they oversaw a significant expansion of the natural gas industry in the north east. It paid off too; billions of dollars in provincial revenue in support of healthcare and education, roads and highways, etc. Good paying, family supporting careers.
Where the NDP differed significantly from the BC Liberals is where the Campbell/Clark gov't put so many eggs in one basket. Their policy narrative was that LNG would be bigger to BC than oil would be to Alberta. This is the crux of their imaginary trillion dollar Prosperity Fund™ that never materialized.
After destroying 30k private sector jobs in the forest sector because of ill thought out reforms, …

Epiphany: We've all been had (again) by Trudeau

Justin Trudeau is getting a fair amount of ribbing in international and domestic media about his apparent misfire while on his trip to India. What I mean is that images coming out of his official trip show him and his young family dressed in brightly coloured traditional garb in a way that yells out 'cultural appropriation' from the rooftops. And perhaps this was ill advised; he looks ridiculous. But give it three days, almost on cue, liberal supporters trot out images of Stephen Harper also wearing culturally significant garb in the many international travels he had as Prime Minister.

The Liberals are famous for turning an advantage from a mistake. The misfire morphed into trolling, and as if it had been planned all this time, it brought out some very racist backlash against the Liberal Party.

Just when Conservatives were making some inroads into Justin's stubbornly high approval ratings, the inadvertent trolling brought out the darkest elements of conservative outrage, b…

Dear, rest of Canada.

The news headlines are filtering out regarding the NDP's budget tabled the other day in regards to the real estate world we live in. Some are arguing that its unfair. But I would argue that your 'fairness' scale needs some re-calibration before you get to say that with any accuracy.
BC is home to the most perverse distortions in the real estate market in Canada. The market it seems has been turned into a form of commodity trading for folks looking to hold cash, make a quick buck or launder dirty money from abroad. Now, the NDP government proposals will not fix these problems overnight as they're far more complex than a couple of tax code changes, but they're a good first few steps. Other steps I believe will draw in the police, federal tax auditors, etc. But, this is not an area I'm an expert in.
What the NDP has done has put a fee to empty homes being held out of the market, unless you live and work in BC. The NDP is putting a fee to obscene property values t…

BC Liberals conflicted badly

I've been monitoring the reaction of folks in social media regarding the NDP'S first full budget since 2000. Most of the comments so far have been very positive. Some have raised a few technical questions, but overall be sense is that the budget is well received. Except if you're a BC Liberal. Naturally. Above all other predictable comments, the notion of a payroll tax of 1.9% on payrolls above $500,000 to replace the MSP premiums isn't being received well. By some. Taken at face value, the criticism has merits. But the policy is good for a number of reasons.MSP was a tax. Used by government to raise funds for general purposes. True, so is the payroll tax, but to free working folks of this fee they had to pay up front should at least count as a tax cut. Exempting small and micro business with payrolls less than $500k means they've not going to be hit with this new fee. My suggestion would be to index the $500k so that businesses under the threshold could give raise…

How dare BC ask its people their opinion on certain pressing environmental issues. The nerve. Who do they think they are? The government?

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I remember watching the KXL debate unfold in the USA. It was a similar battle in that Big Oil wanted an expanded crude oil pipeline from Alberta's tar-sands to the gulf coast. The idea was sold as a means to wean America of foreign oil and create thousands of jobs. Those were lies. The oil wasn't for domestic consumption, it was for foreign sales. Nothing in the KXL proposal was to expand domestic oil/gas supply. And the jobs? Its true at first that jobs would be created in the short term; for the supplies and the construction of the pipeline. But how many would exist afterwards? 50. Fifty jobs.
The midwest was asked to support a pipeline that put at risk countless streams, rivers, farms, small towns, first nations, and other sensitive habitat. Other than the 50 remaining jobs, the benefit it seems for KXL was for big oil.

So we have a parallel situation in Kinder Morgan. To be clear, there already is a pipeline that sends tarsands crude all the way to Vancouver harbour. This…

Residency requirement is a good idea for real estate purchases

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It's being floated about, the idea to ban foreigners from buying property in BC. I'm not an expert on this, but one thing I do know. A party offering a populist idea that pledges to ban foreigners from [activity] is bound to attract voters with a certain antipathy towards.. foreigners. Maybe that's the intention, maybe it isn't. But are we 100% sure that it's only foreigners cash that's distorted Vancouver's real estate market? Are we 100% certain that domestic or even local investment hasn't played a role in distorting with housing prices in the city? The answer is "no" to both. I don't claim to be an expert on housing, real estate and relevant regulations. But a narrative in BC that seeks to blame the foreigners isn't philosophically far from Trump's attack on #DACA folks. Blame the foreigners, kick 'em out, that will fix our problems. No. It makes us look like an asshole. My 2 bits.

Oprah is great, but not as a presidential candidate

Hear me out for a moment.
First, as far as qualifications go, she towers Trump in every way. She wasn't born into wealth, she had to earn it the hard way. As a black woman, that climb was far steeper than most others had to do. Her challenge is that she's polarizing. Those who like her, love her. Those who dislike her, well you get the picture. To a lesser degree than Hillary Clinton to be sure, but polarizing to be clear. If Democrats nominate Oprah, they validate the narrative told by Republicans that Democrats cater to elite, rich and entitled limousine Liberals. Facts be damned. No mention that Trump, and Romney beforehand were candidates born into wealth and were far more detached from the plight of the average working stiff who's slipping further behind than ever before. But we've well established that we're in a post truth era where facts don't matter, "truth" is told by oft repeated narrative. Democrats need to locate a slate of candidates wh…