Frances Bula header image 4

The empty-homes tax is done. Well, maybe … except for an exemption to come for “family use”?

November 17th, 2016 · 4 Comments

It was one confusing council meeting at one point Tuesday, as Councillor Kerry Jang made a motion to amend the empty-homes tax, basically asking staff to study new data coming in in 2017 and decide whether there should be some kind of exemption for secondary homes “frequented for family purposes.” Your guess is as good […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

City report says vacancy not fuelling real-estate rise. Let the fighting over data begin!

March 9th, 2016 · 10 Comments

The city’s release of a comprehensive study of 12 years worth of electricity use in 225,000 homes has given the most detailed picture to date, in 20 years of arguing, about what is empty in Vancouver and what isn’t. And it has all gone to prove my newly devised Bula’s theorem: The more data there […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver looks to Washington, Colorado as it becomes first to regulate marijuana stores

April 22nd, 2015 · 6 Comments

Gotta say, I still don’t understand what just happened. There were increasing complaints from the public every month since federal law on medical marijuana changed last April and marijuana dispensaries suddenly bloomed like a thousand flowers in Vancouver. City types kept saying there was nothing they could do because the federal law had created a […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver is already prepared for the new world of sex work

December 23rd, 2013 · 7 Comments

And this is how people in Vancouver (as opposed to everywhere else in the country) viewed the Supreme Court ruling on sex work.  

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Imminent opening of Biltmore transitional housing in Mount Pleasant prompts community debate, promises to choose tenants ‘carefully’

November 27th, 2013 · 13 Comments

There was an announcement earlier this year that the Biltmore (or, what used to be the Biltmore at 12th and Kingsway and has until recently been a Howard Johnson’s) was going to be transformed into “transitional” housing for Vancouver’s homeless. At the time, the only queries I got on Twitter were whether that would affect […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

UFC, yes. Smaller mixed martial arts events in Vancouver, not looking good

July 14th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Chris Parry at the Vancouver Sun wrote about this earlier and I followed up this week to see whether there’s any likelihood that the city’s UFC event would pave the way for future MMA bouts. Apparently not, because any other events would likely be put on by smaller promoters and no one sees a way […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

The future of Vancouver’s downtown decided

April 22nd, 2009 · 32 Comments

While many of you were watching a couple of hockey teams face off on Tuesday night, there were two other teams facing off at city council over an issue that is key to what kind of city people think Vancouver is about: how much housing should be allowed downtown and how much of the downtown […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Believing in the real-estate market the new sin at city hall

February 19th, 2009 · 17 Comments

Another council day, another smackdown of city staff. On the whole, all the councillors tried to play nice and praise city staff yesterday for all their hard work on negotiating the buy-out of the Fortress loan that was announced yesterday. (For more details than I provided, read Rod Mickleburgh’s story in the Globe today here.) […]

[Read more →]

Tags: City Hall Talk

Homeless shelters make a dramatic change to downtown

February 19th, 2009 · 4 Comments

It’s hard to get a read on Vancouver’s homeless situation through either direct observation or statistics. Few of us monitor the streets at night to do a count and what we see in the daytime can often be deceiving. Lots of people who have homes are still out on the streets during the day. Even […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Uncategorized

Vancouver ponders pay, hiring freezes to keep budget in line + Thoughts on manners

February 4th, 2009 · 15 Comments

It looked like it was going to ho-hum day at city council, with councillors Suzanne Anton and Raymond Louie continuing their energetic pillow fighting over the the budget, the Olympic village, the kinds of candies given out for free in the mayor’s office, and so on. But, instead, at the end of the budget presentation, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: City Hall Talk