Provinces, municipalities key to avoiding housing bubble

Zoning, building codes and construction trade regulations all fall under the jurisdiction of these governments

Provinces, municipalities key to avoiding housing bubbleRecently, the Bank of Canada voiced concerns about the Canadian economy, leading it to slash outlooks on future trends. One of the issues contributing to this pessimistic stance is the condition of housing markets in Canada. Housing construction activity and prices are falling after a long period of price increases that fuelled claims of a…

Navigating the cannabis cultivation question when buying real estate

Ryan DeLuca of the Calgary Real Estate Board talks about what a buyer can ask and what a seller must disclose about pot

Navigating the cannabis cultivation question when buying real estateRyan DeLuca is supervisor of training and compliance, member practice, with the Calgary Real Estate Board. What are the biggest potential impacts to the residential housing market of the legalization of cannabis? DeLuca: For some buyers, cannabis cultivation in a property may affect their ability to secure financing or homeowner’s insurance on that property. Some…

How the Vancouver area can solve its funding woes

Metro Vancouver contains 21 municipalities. If they amalgamated under one government, many benefits would follow

How the Vancouver area can solve its funding woesMunicipalities are the poor step-children among Canada’s levels of government. They are creatures of the province in which they’re located, with no autonomy beyond that extended by that province. Their taxing powers are extremely limited and they rely very heavily on property taxes. The many basic services that cities provide (water and sewer, roads and…

Building strong communities with education, innovation – and craft beer

James and Deborah Fallows hopscotched across America to understand what makes the best of Our Towns thrive

Building strong communities with education, innovation – and craft beerMy son, the thoughtful curator of my must-reads non-fiction list, has done it again. For Christmas, he gave me the American bestseller Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America. The book, published in 2018, was written by award-winning The Atlantic Monthly journalists James and Deborah Fallows. The Fallows have made significant public…

The biggest political story of the year in the Great White North

When Ontario Premier Doug Ford slashed the size of Toronto city council, he involved the judiciary and flirted with a controversial federal law

The biggest political story of the year in the Great White NorthWhat was Canada’s biggest political story of 2018? In my opinion, when all four levels of government were briefly involved in one small area of public policy debate. It started when Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government announced on July 27 that it would decrease the number of city council seats in Toronto from…

Whistler mayor’s bid for energy industry cash just whistling in the wind

Consumers – including tourists visiting Whistler – and petroleum producers are co-conspirators in the emissions game

Whistler mayor’s bid for energy industry cash just whistling in the windA common T-shirt reads: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Whistler, B.C., Mayor Jack Crompton is wearing a neon version these days. Recently, Crompton infamously asked leading energy companies, including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., to ante up a chunk of change to help mitigate impact that Whistler is ostensibly experiencing as a…

Calgarians rebelled against the mother hens

Big forces were at play in the campaign to vote yes to hosting the Olympics. But public distrust was a more powerful force

Calgarians rebelled against the mother hensYou’ve probably already read and heard a lot of so-called experts explaining why the people of Calgary voted against a bid for the 2026 Olympic Games. A lot of the analysis misses the mark. On the surface, it appeared this venture was tailor-made for a city known for its entrepreneurism, can-do spirit and accomplished winter…

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoff

Provinces and municipalities face a bevy of expenses and a web of regulations. And the tax benefits at all levels are questionable

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoffYou might wonder how legislators could lose money by legalizing and taxing an addictive substance. Behold, Canadian officials have outdone themselves with the rollout of recreational cannabis. Provinces and municipalities, many already in financial dire straits, have revealed a bevy of legalization costs. Meanwhile, tax projections suggest relatively slim pickings, given the size of the…

Uber’s utter disrespect for social and business norms

The economic benefits of demolishing a monopoly business practice aren’t worth the environmental and human costs

Uber’s utter disrespect for social and business normsUber is embroiled in public controversy yet again with its Twitter release of an embarrassing dash-cam video of Ottawa Senators players mocking a coach while using the ride-sharing service. The tweet of the private conversation, captured on Oct. 29 when the National Hockey League team was between games in Las Vegas and Arizona, has reportedly…

A bold alternative to pouring money into another Calgary Olympics

Why not pioneer an Alberta climate change caravan resettlement program as part of an emerging new west?

A bold alternative to pouring money into another Calgary Olympics“Back to the future!” This thought echoes in my brain as I contemplate the imminent plebiscite on whether Calgary agrees to the omnibus International Olympic Committee, provincial and federal offers to co-fund the Winter Olympic Games again, along with some $390 million in Calgary municipal taxpayer dollars. While most Calgarians who were part of the…
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