Frances Bula header image 4

Entries from February 2014

FOI’d document a revealing look at city hall attitude to information and media

May 31st, 2011 · 25 Comments

My friend Chad Skelton got a copy of the City of Vancouver’s submission to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Commissioner, who had surveyed various public agencies for their opinions about FOI policies. (He had to FOI it, of course.) The submission he got back showed all too clearly what the current administrators think of […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver not as unaffordable as it seems: the data

May 31st, 2011 · 12 Comments

The Urban Futures people have helpfully posted links to the research they’ve been doing on recent house sales, looking at whether prices for houses paid at the high end are skewing perceptions of the rest of the market. When Bob Rennie made his recent speech at the UDI, he was relying on this info. Here […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

NPA gets powerhouse biz guy, BC Lib donor, as chief fundraiser

May 30th, 2011 · 16 Comments

One of the NPA’s better days, as my Sun buddy Jeff Lee noted, with the announcement that Peter Armstrong is heading up the party’s fundraising efforts. (His blog post here.) I heard from a very good source that the NPA was actually trying to get Armstrong to run as the mayoral candidate, but he just […]

[Read more →]

Tags: 2011 Vancouver Civic Election

What do you think is the right price to pay for a home in Vancouver?

May 30th, 2011 · 60 Comments

Lots of howling about the story I wrote on Bob Rennie’s recent analysis, saying that prices paid for the top homes were skewing people’s perception of average housing affordability. Many people assumed he was spouting that off the top of his head, for nefarious reasons of his own and questioned my journalistic credibility for quoting […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Only Richmond businesses offered a break from “hot zone” tax increases

May 30th, 2011 · 12 Comments

The province’s news release last week that Richmond council would get special dispensation to give some of its commercial properties breaks on their taxes caught my eye. For years, Vancouver businesses have complained that they end up getting whacked by soaring assessments and taxes in particular areas where speculators have started bidding up local land […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

VV’s George Chow to leave council; doppelganger Tony Tang to run instead

May 27th, 2011 · 36 Comments

Quirky George Chow has finally made his decision, it appears. He never did phone or email me back to say officially that he’s not running, but the news release about Tony Tang stepping up to take his spot on the Vision slate for the fall election makes it clear. With Tang, Vision seems to have […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Homelessness in Toronto vs Metro Vancouver: 5,086 vs 2,623

May 27th, 2011 · 23 Comments

We love to think homelessness only exists in Vancouver because people read about our gold-plated services, great weather, and free drugs. However, a recent twitter flurry prompted me to look up stats from a couple of other cities. For those who are curious, below is an excerpt from a recent fact sheet on homelessness and […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

The American Hotel: Vancouver’s latest Main Street transformation converts gang hangout to artsy bar

May 26th, 2011 · 12 Comments

Hard to mourn the American Hotel and its bar that died in 2006, unless you were into super-cheap blocks of stolen cheese, cocaine, motorcycle gangs, grunge or all of the above. Its replacement — a cleaned-up hotel with a new izakaya-themed bar below, the Electric Owl — is definitely a step up without going all […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

A first look at some of the Non-Partisan Association candidates

May 26th, 2011 · 16 Comments

The NPA is undoubtedly going to get some new people onto Vancouver city council this November, as Vancouver voters swing away from the big Vision sweep of 2008. But which ones? While some voters will likely vote a straight NPA ticket, others I know will be looking for a mix of councillors who they judge […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Why a mere 1 per cent decrease in homelessness is an accomplishment

May 25th, 2011 · 16 Comments

Since the basic numbers of the homeless count came out yesterday, homelessness workers have been ecstatic about the progress made in the last three years. But various critics and observers have focused on the fact that the homeless numbers are almost the same as three years ago. Their conclusion: No progress. Some of this is […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized