Best of the Net: New Millionaires, False Creek Ferries, Christy Clark

It's been a few crazy weeks, so I haven't been able to write my Best of the Net lately. But thankfully I was able to find some time on a cold and cloudy Saturday morning to pull a post together. Hope you enjoy!

False Creek Ferries

I really enjoyed reading @Miss604's post on the False Creek Ferries celebrating their 30th anniversary. The photos of brilliant sunshine and blue water are a real boost on such a dreary day! If you want to have a read click here.

Vancouver Creating More Millionaires

Vancouver keeps producing more millionaires each year. Well, at least on paper. Andy Yan is an adjunct professor at UBC and he has posted some very cool graphs on a local website that show how housing prices in Vancouver continue to escalate. He states:

Overall, the number of properties in the single family home districts of thbae City of Vancouver worth over $1,000,000 increased by nearly 10 percent. In 2011, 43 percent (29,161) of properties in SF districts were worth over $1 million. By 2012, 53 percent (35,793) were worth over $1 million. Over 6,600 properties in the Single Family Home districts in the City of Vancouver crossed the $1 million value threshold between 2011 to 2012.

All properties in single family dwelling districts in the City of Vancouver increased by a minimum of $55,000 from 2011 to 2012. 80 percent of properties grew more than $100,000 in this one single year. To place this amount in context, the median household income in the City of Vancouver (based on 2006 Canadian census information adjusted for inflation) was $53,000.

You definitely have to check out this post if you live in (or plan to move to) one of the world's least affordable cities – Vancouver.

If you really want to dive even deeper into the topic of house prices, you may want to check out @PriceTags latest post whereby he links to an interview with Prof. Robert Shiller. The academic from Yale University is predicting suburban home prices may never recover from the recession. Wow.

Unions, Partisan Politics & Membership Dues

@GeoffreyPlant writes a very interesting post about how some of BC's unions are using membership dues to take partisan political shots at their opponents. He argues that not all union members vote the same way, so why should their hard earned money be put toward political causes for a party they don't support.

Plant writes:

The headline news this morning is that the BCTF plans to campaign to unseat the government in the next election.  A timely opportunity to remind ourselves of the extraordinary advantage that unions in British Columbia enjoy when it comes to politics.  Unlike any other organization in our society, a union can compel bargaining unit employees to contribute to support political causes. 
That’s right.  If you are an employee in a workplace that has been organized by a union, you are required by law to pay dues to the union, and the union is permitted by law to use those funds for political advocacy.  To make donations to political parties, take out ads in support of political parties, all of it. This is not just the way the BCTF membership rules work; it’s the way the BC Labour Relations Code works.
So to put this in the context of today’s announcement, thousands of teachers who are members and supporters of the BC Liberal Party woke up today to discover that their union plans to require them to pay for a political campaign against the party and government they support.
In a word, that is outrageous.
Bula Profiles Christy Clark
Over at @FabulaVancouver, Frances Bula wrote a post that referenced her recent profile of Premier Christy Clark in Vancouver Magazine. Here is an excerpt:

My takeaway: Her ability to morph into whatever will appeal to the audience in front of her is still obscuring a clear view of her style as a leader and long-term vision setter.

I know her critics will say she has no style in either of those categories. And yet she’s chosen to pin her hopes on one of the toughest long-term strategies of all — creating jobs. That’s something any economist will tell you is extremely difficult for an individual government to have a large or quick effect on, given the way the world economy works. And she’s pushing and pulling various ministries into line to try to achieve that, which takes a commitment to a faraway goal.

Oddly, she sees herself as steadier than her “predecessor,” as she often refers to Gordon Campbell. She said one of the key difference she sees between the two of them is that she doesn’t develop a new interest every six months.

Mayor's Office Adding More Staff
@SunCivicLee wrote a blog post about the addition of a former Bob Rae campaign director to the West Wing at 12th and Cambie in Vancouver.
It's hard to tell from Lee's post, but it would appear the addition of Liberal Party of Canada operative Braeden Caley is yet another quiet expansion of the Mayor's office staff. No wonder they needed those new costly digs on the 3rd floor!
Former blogger "Vancouver Kid" (a.k.a Kevin Quinlan) has been promoted (without a pay increase) to the new position of Director of Policy and Communications.
From the Twittersphere:
I've also saved up some Tweets that caught my eye over the last few weeks. They all have a certain theme:
COPE activist @SeanAntrim tweets:
Did the Mayor's Affordability Task Force all go see 'The Iron Lady' before deciding on their policy recommendations? It sure looks like it!
CTF bigwig @JordanBateman tweets:
We like to joke that there are 3 ways for young couple to buy home in YVR: 1 rich parents 2 mortgage helping suite 3 grow-op.
@JonBenBak otherwise known as Jonathan Baker tweets:
Hand City Land to developers for affordable housing? Been there. Done that. Check out VLC deal in the 1988-1993. #vanpoli
Hope you enjoyed my latest edition of Best of the Net. Will be back here as soon as time permits.

– Post by Daniel

"What the hell is going on in this city?"
A good week for Commissioner Coupar

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  • Just a fed up Vancouverite

    Are these New Millionaires, the same ones that are deferring paying their property taxes, or who get that helping property grant assessment threshold from the government? When they are not paying up now, they do that in the detriment of the ones who needs it the most. House owns versus the rest… Shame!

  • Higgins

    “New Millionaires, False Creek Ferries, Christy Clark” in one sentence, LMAO, what’s missing from this headline is BC Rail! Too funny!

    • Jim

      Or maybe the headline should have read “New Millionaires, Fast Ferries, Glen Clark”. Now that would be a blast from the past.