Victoria bust


Victoria, Saturday am. That’s me spouting at right.

At eight degrees in the sunshine on Saturday, Victoria strutted its stuff. This, many locals are convinced, is exactly why desperate cold half-expired Boomers in the burbs of Mississauga and Calgary will flow here in a steady stream, desperate to buy real estate at any cost.

At least that was the argument I got from folks about every five minutes before and after my talk. Given the fact it was snowing like the end of days in suburban Toronto, it made sense. Until you realize nobody’s moving anywhere anymore because they can’t sell their houses. That, combined with a stressed BC economy, bloated riduculous home prices, a forestry industry death spiral and the bankruptcy of California means Victoria real estate values are likely headed for a 30% decline. Oh yeah, and the 2010 Olympics debtfest.

Still lots of people are interested in hearing the message. They filled 700 chairs on a weekend morning, and stood a few rows deep at the back. They lines up, mercifully, to buy copies of my new book afterwards, and then kept me busy for an hour answering questions and signing my name.

“Man,” said the CHEK television reporter afterwards when we did a clip for the new, “that was rock star treatment.” I lowered my shades, signalling my body guards to remove him, but not kill him.

Actually, it had its moments. One vivacious young woman bought a book from the Chapters table set up outside the lecture hall, waited patiently in line, had me inscribe it to her husband, then leaned over, stuck out a blue felt-tip marker, bared her bosom and asked me to autograph it. As the crowd egged me on, I checked to ensure no cameras were present and then did what any financial author would do.

Did I mention these are strange times?


#1 Boffo on 01.31.09 at 8:19 pm

Whodathunkit… Garth had groupies!

Considering the affordability factor… or more accurately, lack of affordablility factor right across the country, but especially in B.C. I just can’t see a rush of Boomers moving to Lotus Land.

#2 HalifaxFamily on 01.31.09 at 8:50 pm

When is your date with Halifax? When and where?

Feb 16. Location TBA. — Garth

#3 Tony on 01.31.09 at 8:51 pm

Hey Garth,

Is that you spouting out your usual drivel “IT’S A DEPRESSION…RUN FOR THE HILLS…But first, buy my book…” or were you setting up your kool-aid table?

What a great country! 700+ people crammed into a room like sheep to listen to your pitch – and then line up to buy a copy of your book. I’m sure you’re loving it – all the way to the bank. God bless you!

Those folks came to a series of financial lectures today to gain opinion and information. Only a nihilist loser would call them sheep. — Garth

#4 $froma$ia on 01.31.09 at 9:02 pm

Nice job on signing the bosom are you offering signing any other private parts? I hope you at least got a lap dance for you and your body guards.

Maybe we’ll see you in Vancouver, I am going to get a Brazilian in preparation for your autograph. :P

I just diverted to White Rock. — Garth

#5 squidly77 on 01.31.09 at 9:08 pm

you cant tell those bubble headed specs and realtors anything in fact they cringe when even a slight contrairian view is presented..i just prefer to poke em in the eye with a sharp stick..this is my case

the self proclaimed housing experts
have proven themselves to be completely wrong and do not understand even the most basics of economics


they understood completely that there was indeed a housing bubble
but chose to keep pimping house prices up and up anyways not caring how much future damage would be inflicted on there clients or the general economy as a whole

pick either scenario and they lose
when people are spending 50% of there pre tax earnings on shelter is it any wonder that they can not support any other industries thus the collapse of the manufacturing
industry and the service industry

#6 Jason on 01.31.09 at 9:15 pm

Hey Garth,

I was one of the few young pple at the presentation this morning in Victoria. I think it’s pretty cool you took the time to come to the island to speak. I love it here, but this place truly is in a bizzare bubble all of its own, and needs to come back to earth a little bit. However, as far as your presentation goes, I didn’t find much substance in it; just a lot of quick news headlines flashed across the screens about how screwed up the world is, accompanied by your energetic, yet mostly empty dialogue. At one point, I think I heard you utter those four famous words: It’s different this time. With respect to Victoria real estate, I hope you’re right.


#7 westcoastrenter on 01.31.09 at 9:19 pm

enjoyed your Victoria presentation and let me assure you that your message was not wasted on just the ‘Victoria is different’ crowd. Victoria is highly overated, but then everything is relative! High costs, high taxes, crummy employment options. I have endured alot of pity for not being willing to buy into this market, so the comments you heard are nothing new to me.

Your chart citing Victoria as some of the most overpriced real estate in the world suggests to me that there is no way prices here will not drop at least 50% – I think you are just trying to curb a rebellion by posting a mere 30% drop.

Anyways, it was great to hear your well-prepared talk, and have a moment to chat with you

#8 nonplused on 01.31.09 at 9:21 pm

I bet the photos of that hit the internet pretty quick!

“Prophet of Doom engenders fanatic end of times followers”!

#9 Central Banker on 01.31.09 at 9:28 pm

Hey Garth, just got back from Victoria Conference Center and thanks a million, YOU ROCK!!!. Now that you’ve had a taste of Lotus land I guess we can see you more in the future. I got an idea, B.C. politics is a mess!!! (hint hint)

Thanks again

#10 Central Banker on 01.31.09 at 9:30 pm

Oh yeah, and I’m not related to Garth


#11 rory on 01.31.09 at 9:31 pm

A little start to Victoria RE stats

#12 dd on 01.31.09 at 9:42 pm

I know a lot of people from Victoria … use to live there.
They do have the “if you build it they will come” frame of mind.

True … the mid to upper island is going through big timber withdrawals. Hayes logging company had been around since 1900 … made it through the 82-83 recession … but not this one.

#13 dd on 01.31.09 at 9:47 pm

#3 Tony

“I’m sure you’re loving it – all the way to the bank. God bless you!”

Ya … thanks Garth. Sold my house in mid summer. Partly because of your last book. Thanks all the way to the bank for me!

#14 Bulls eye on 01.31.09 at 9:47 pm

20 dollars for a book is a great deal.
20 dollars for a book and a free seminar is even a greater deal.

The advice – priceless.

Garth needs to eat and live BTW. Blogging won’t pay the bills. Honest days work.

#15 dd on 01.31.09 at 9:49 pm

#5 squidly77,

Hit the nail on the head.

#16 Finanzkrise on 01.31.09 at 10:06 pm

On the topic of all things BC (and the freightening but not altogether unrealistic parallels to a bankrupt state 1000 km to the south), how safe are deposits in provincial credit unions, relative to selected national chartered banks?

Sure, there may be unlimited deposit insurance on credit union accounts (since Fall 2008), but are the credit unions backstopped solely by the province, or ultimately backstopped by Ottawa?

I just can’t imagine a stable credit outlook for the province after the final 2010 Olympics income statement is tabulated. Not to mention the unravelling of one of the biggest real estate bubbles in North America in the same timeframe, with risky mortgages straining the balance sheets of provincial credit unions.


#17 Swing on 01.31.09 at 10:06 pm

Garth didn’t even blush when she offered the blue marker!

Fitting blog entry title though: “Victoria Bust”.

#18 EW on VI on 01.31.09 at 10:09 pm

Garth – no more signing boobies – you dont know where they have been or who has touched them……

And the anonymity of the internet again reveals the caustic Garth lambbasting (sheepbasting?) #3 Tony.
It seems you dont like his viewpoint because its “contrarion” to yours. Where’s the nice TV Garth we saw on sixty min – oops – the hour?

Squid – you seem particularly acidic this eve. Just to brighten your day, Albertans just bought the place down the road for $990K. Seems some people cant resist a piece of VI. My bet is they dont have a mortgage…….

#19 Brent on 01.31.09 at 10:10 pm

I can’t wait until Fort Mac turns into the worlds most expensive empty trailer park.

#20 squidly77 on 01.31.09 at 10:55 pm

oh but what a trailer park it would be
no bubbles instead hell be called crack-ers
1 liquor store and 1 porn shop per 5 trailers
a prostitute at your front door offering personal discounted services daily (male or female)
and not an RCMP officer in sight (they are always in kings gym anyways)
the 7/11 on franklin always has good chicken when you step outta the oil can on friday night..errr i think it was good at least it tasted good..i think
then a taxi ride home to the towers from somone whos not quite sure what side of the road he supposed to be driving on
and it all comes with -45 degree weather

troubles a brewin in ft mac..

#21 CG on 01.31.09 at 11:10 pm

Can’t wait to hear how your reception goes in Kelowna – we left there for the Cariboo mid 2007, but not before I almost got myself banned from my lunch room at work and a few other places for being pretty emphatic about real estate crashing in the very near future in the Okanagan. Couldn’t believe how mad people would get at me for daring to say such a thing – wow. Told me selling my Okanagan real estate was the stupidest thing I could ever do, I’d be priced out forever and would never get back in. Mmm. I love my much cheaper house in the Cariboo with a whole lot more land and space – and it appears from the way prices are going that I’m not actually priced out of the Okanagan market either – how ’bout that.

#22 squidly77 on 01.31.09 at 11:11 pm

i would challenge anyones claim who tried to defend
ft mac.. i have spent 25+ years working up there and continue to do so i also had a good friend who served a term on the city council up there and he knows all the filth of that city

anyways i re-read my post and thought that i should clarify
the comment of both male and female prostitutes being of service was meant for the ladys so that my post didnt apear biased

the other side must be very secretive in ft mac

#23 Slopetester on 01.31.09 at 11:56 pm

Reuters: Gold Rally Fills Vaults with Bullion as Bank Stimulus Increases. Some highlights from this article: 1. The U.S. Mint suspended sales of American Buffalo 1-ounce gold coins in September after supplies ran out.
2. Investment demand for gold bars may climb 49 percent in the first half of 2009, according to London-based researcher GFMS Ltd.
3. “The government can print endless money, but they cannot increase the supply of gold,” said Michael Pento, chief economist at Delta Global Advisors Inc., who is doubling holdings of the precious metal to 8 percent of his $1.5 billion in assets. “Anything the government cannot replicate by decree, I want to own.”
4. “Gold is the ultimate currency hedge,” said Michael Darda, chief economist at research company MKM Partners LP in Greenwich. “If central banks are going to shovel massive amounts of paper out there, gold will ultimately respond to that.”

#24 Bare Bear on 02.01.09 at 12:34 am

Nice work on the breast signing, Garth!

I am a fan and enjoyed your presentation today in Victoria. I didn’t really see anything new but I am glad you are able to take your brand of dispensing information to new audiences. As I waited in line with my girlfriend to get my book signed a gentleman and his trophy wife were talking with you. I couldn’t really hear what he was saying as he was kind of leaning over you and talking but I did hear what you were saying to him. Finally, I had to say to the guy, “There are only so many ways he can say sell, Dude.” The guy looked a little panicked and I am sure he listened to his Realtor who told him Victoria was different.

#25 patriotz on 02.01.09 at 12:47 am

are the credit unions backstopped solely by the province, or ultimately backstopped by Ottawa?

Only by the province. And remember provincial governments cannot create money out of nothing like the Feds can.

I think it is inevitable that some BC credit unions will fail in the current bust, as they have been heavily involved with construction financing which is uninsured, as opposed to mortgages which are insured by CMHC.

The big question is whether it will just be small ones, which can be absorbed by one of the majors as has happened in the past, or whether a major like Vancity or Coast Capital will fail, which would place a strain on the provincial government itself.

#26 Third Chimp on 02.01.09 at 1:04 am

Garth – this is too good – I’m dropping in the whole thing here.
Wall Street Prayer
I believe in worldwide Ponzi schemes and universal gullibility. I believe that reckless lending can be cured by reckless borrowing and that fraudulent borrowing can be healed by fraudulent lending. I believe that a housing bubble fueled by loose credit can be corrected by easing credit. I believe that each trillion of hallucinated dollars that disappears in a puff of Wall Street smoke then always reappears magically from behind a Treasury Department mirror.

I believe in America’s almighty financial geniuses and monetary officials, who destroy wealth indiscriminately and indefinitely, and whose kingdom shall have no end. It is divine justice that those who cause financial catastrophes are rewarded with public money, while innocent bystanders are punished in their stead. I believe that central banks can print all the money anyone will ever need. I believe that if one stimulus package does not work, the next one surely will.

I believe in the redeeming power of financial complexity. I believe that hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds are righteous to enter into incomprehensible contracts having convoluted ownership and no inherent value. And I believe that opaque, secretive companies which pretend to insure those investments are offering a valuable service, even if this requires the use of public money.

I believe that economic stability and confidence will return when every failing business is bailed out, with no failure too small to be left behind. I believe that all dying institutions shall be consolidated, merging the smaller basket cases with the larger ones. The lion and the lamb shall lie down together in a new spirit of national competitiveness.

I believe that the end of days shall come when there is only one institution left, comprehensively unified, far too big to fail, owning everything and controlling nothing. All shall come and supplicate before its holy ATM machines, for they are subtle and quick to anger. It is in this one true financial institution that I put my faith, truly gigantic, truly bankrupt, amen.
– Club Orlov “Credo in $”

#27 Winnipeg is No Different on 02.01.09 at 1:31 am

Choice quotes from the incoming Winnipeg Realtors President:

It’s Winnipeg’s time to shine, according to 2009 WinnipegREALTORS® president Deborah Goodfellow.

“We’re that ember in the fire that can send a spark across the world,” she said. (Huh?)

She mentioned the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as an example of a project that will ignite Winnipeg’s economy, creating other investment opportunities and spin-offs. (This is a Winnipeg version of the 2010 Olympics multiplier theory.)

“I tend not to listen to reports from California or Edmonton about dramatic declines in the real estate market,” Goodfellow said. (Nor listen to reports from Winnipeg showing average prices down about 10% from peak in May 2008.)

“I’ve been telling clients since October that we are an anomaly in Canadian real estate — we never experience the extreme peaks and valleys of other markets,” she added. (Yeah, up 250%, or so, in 9 years in a low growth city – nothing unusual here.)

“If we’re off this year, it will be modest…Not that prices are expected to fall, we’ll just have more inventory available to consumers.” (But more inventory won’t affect prices?)

“As a fellow from Toronto said, we are an island unto ourself.” (I suppose she can’t detect sarcasm.)

She said when people make a home purchase in the affordable and stable Winnipeg real estate market, “it’s a brick and mortar type of investment that isn’t going to evaporate over time.” (True, for a 15-year time horizon).

Full article here:

You all should check it out, even though most of you aren’t from Winnipeg. It’s a classic example of a real estate board’s unbiased interpretation of local market conditions, replete with anectodal facts and spurious correlations.

#28 average guy on 02.01.09 at 1:31 am

Regarding the blue marker signature…. at which point did you realize he was a cross-dresser???

#29 kc on 02.01.09 at 1:35 am

sorry garth for the length of this post catching up to it from your last entry.

Wealthy renter 2 on 01.31.09 at 2:09 pm KC, you were right about your post – few days ago.
BAC has 1.2trillion dollars in assests, and 39.85trillion dollars worth of derivatives. If that is not insolvency i don’t know what is. I mean we are not talking millions, or billions, we are talking trillions. Geez with all these trillions, we could end poverty for the entire world twice over.

Not sure how Canada will be affected…I’m curious on your opinion? seeing as how the bankers and analyst haven’t dared touch that one?
Thanks for the link on #7

Hi, We could end poverty for the world or my bigger fear is create poverty for the greater world.

My opinion on what could transpire is full of the what ifs… what if citi & BOA goes down and after we learn that CIBC had invested 500B or 1T of off balance sheet dirives… or BMO or scotia.. and the works. following below also is a BOC review (all that i have been able to find) written in 2000 that explains the participaction of Canadian banks. One thing that I have been able to take from reading this paper is how they reported back then that the main bulk of the derives market is with N.Y. and England. Makes 100% clear sence now looking back for how deep the troubles are in Europe today. However, the paper states that canadian banks are/were coming under pressure to join the “party” Information about our exposure(s) are kept from eyes on the net.

Not for 1 minute do I believe that the feds have been truthful with us (the tax paying public) about how sound the Canadian banking system is, just think back to the cash infusions.

the Canadian sub prime (0/40) and the mortgage brokers – the hedge fund managers – the traders in derives and the banking sectors in Canada have done the frog in boiling water a couple times. now they are trying the “ok, place frog into cooler water and lets turn up the heat slower” in other words they all know the game is over and waiting to see WHO blinks first.

No banker is going to come right out and say it…. we screwed up BIG TIME they point the finger at each other waiting for the larger pin to enter the bubble.

My take on the next big pin is when the US goes looking for finances in the bond markets. What scares me more thou is what happens when Harper and Flarety go looking for support in that same market place and the
rest of the world is TAPPED out. I can’t fathom nor follow the money fast enough to understand how countries (that are NOT on any gold standard) print money and feel it can go on for ever.

Currently I am reading a great book called ” empire of debt – the rise of an epic financial crisis ” written late 2005 where they stress how empires over time rise and fall, and go deep into how America got into the state they are in now. Follow the debts and greed of countries who feel control is the best for any/every situation at any cost. The problem boils down to – eventually someone somewhere has to pay that cost. It won’t be in our life time however, at “40” it will be my grandchildren who get to pay for our mistakes and bailouts. What do we leave them? Old people in nursing homes and HUGE bills to pay.

You seem an educated person in your posts and might like to read in your spare time, followed below are 2 great pieces (the bubble that broke the world and the second is a detailed essay written upon that book) read the essay first it may scare you or it may make you want to run and hide.

the bubble that broke the world


BoC report

Thread: Derivative exposure of Canadian banks

#30 combat wombat on 02.01.09 at 1:47 am

Hi Garth,

Great job today, I enjoyed your presentation. I like that the back of my head is in the picture accompanying this post, where do I sign up for my groupies?

I’m curious what you think about the fact that most of the people there today seemed very desperate for financial advice, and were looking to you as a personal financial advisor? Is it like that every time you give a talk?

#31 Another Albertan on 02.01.09 at 2:09 am

All I know from the last 48 hours of weekending is that denial is alive and well in Kitsilano.

#32 bob on 02.01.09 at 2:20 am

I’m a Victorian, didn’t come to the show but bought the book anyway. While the realtors may trumpet the daffodils in March tripe, what they don’t market is the burgeoning homeless population downtown, the B & E rate in the suburbs, the excessive cost of living here for people on fixed incomes, the hassles with getting on and off of the island. If you love cloudy skies from November to May, enjoy perpetual damp (inside as well as outside) then this is the place for you. Developers may flog this place to the unwary, but they just take the money and head to warmer climes. When the boomers hit this place in their dotage, it’s going to be awash with seniors lining up for limited medical services and no access. Provincial debt is due to skyrocket Olympically, so the current gov’t will have no choice but to raise taxes and cut services even more. I’m listing my house asap and have lined up a rental to tide over this collapse.

#33 Investx on 02.01.09 at 3:15 am

Garth, any Toronto seminars?

#34 zoronqueen on 02.01.09 at 3:56 am

Finished Garth’s book sometime last week and took the advise of lowering the asking price of our home and now have an offer. However my husband and family is still asking me not to sell.

Peak –394K
Assessment city 209–335K
Listing Price–299K
Offer 285K

If I accept the offer, minus realtor fees ect. I will be only neting 275K. Even with Garth’s prediction of 20% from last year, my house should be worth around 315K… Should I accept the offer??

#35 zoronqueen on 02.01.09 at 3:57 am

City assessment for 2009–335K

#36 islander on 02.01.09 at 6:19 am

Having moved from Alberta to Victoria several years ago, my perspective is that the people who think Victoria is different or that the whole world will beat a path to this city have rarely ventured off the island.

When we moved here, we took one look at what was on offer for $275K (then approximately the average) and said, “you’ve gotta be kidding, we owned actual land for that price in Alberta, not just some mouldy rat-box on a 60×100 lot.” When we told people we rented, they looked at us like we were syphilitic beggars or cancer patients with a week to live.

On the other hand, people “from away” that we’d meet couldn’t figure out how house prices could be so high, given that nobody seems to have a real job around here, though there is a fat government payroll at all levels.

This city is several decades behind the rest of the western world. Many islanders have never ventured off and no precious little about ROC. And don’t care to learn.

Still, it’s a lot better than Vancouver, which is 100% unlivable for many reasons, not the least of which is traffic congestion.

But to think that Canadians just can wait to live in a rain-soak, grey-skied slice of 1944 England is a fantasy by the locals.

#37 Andrew on 02.01.09 at 8:51 am

Sounds like fun Garth. Two questions:

1. Do you plan on coming to Montreal at some point?

2. Do you think this might be a good time to buy gold?



#38 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 02.01.09 at 8:55 am


Glad to hear you were able to keep them ‘abreast’ of the times! LOL

#39 TS on 02.01.09 at 8:55 am

Garth, my wife and I have seen you speak a couple of times in the past and always enjoyed your fast paced, information crammed presentations. No doubt your current round of talks are being well received…at least by those who have an open mind and can see the logic in what you are saying.

As the old saying goes, “something is only worth what someone is willing to pay”. I noticed in the Toronto Star this weekend that two featured homes sold for well under the asking prices…one was at Kingsway and Islington (a PRIME area in Toronto) and went for $925K…$63K under the asking price. The other one was at Bloor and Runnymede. It was a top-to-bottom high end reno that was listed for $929K and went for $760K…$169 under the asking price.

Even in our small town which is about 85 km outside of Toronto prices are off at least 15% to 20%. Detached 3 bedroom bungalows are now starting to appear in the local paper at under $200K….a price unheard of for many years.

Garth, I think you advice is dead-on. Anyone who is over their heads with their mortgage payments and needs to sell should get out asap. If you are mortgage free or have a very affordable mortgage and you’re willing to look at your home as shelter, and not a sure fire retirement investment… then stay in it and keep your overheads as low as possible.

Realistically it doesn’t look like any substantive economic recovery is likely much before the second half of 2010….or perhaps not even until early 2011.

#40 canuck on 02.01.09 at 8:56 am

Garth, thank you for your autographed copy of your new book. Finished reading it this morning with the exception of five or six pages.

You’re offering sound advice. Just found out we can buy 5g gold bars from ScotiaBank using Scotia’s Visa reward points. Seems there is lots of variation of what these gold bars are worth? Since the points didn’t cost us a dime, we’re seriously considering getting the bars. Points needed to buy one is 24,745. We currently have amassed more than 57,000 points, and are considering getting two, but do need to know what the average worth of these bars is.

#41 Herb on 02.01.09 at 8:56 am

Hope you dedicated the bazoom to her husband too! “Garth was here” would not have been nice.

#42 Scott M. on 02.01.09 at 9:03 am

Too bad Ottawa seems to be the only immune market for now — I guess it’s possible we’re just delayed, but is there any chance you’ll be popping by anyway?

#43 Kash is King on 02.01.09 at 9:03 am

Anybody else notice the new steady stream of CDIC commercials on TV?

Wassup with that?

#44 Amy in the 'Peg on 02.01.09 at 9:31 am

Good for you Garth, you rock star, you!

#45 Apocalypse Now on 02.01.09 at 9:54 am

WE ARE IN THE BEGINNING OF A DEPRESSION: by the time the media and politicians inform you of it it will be too late to do anything except stand in bread lines and pray.


“As you are aware we said the recession started 2 years ago. We were the only publication that did so. A year later we were joined by a few others. This past Wednesday we forecast the beginning of the depression, which will last at least eight years.”

But it can’t happen in Canada, so all my learned (former) friends tell me. Who needs ignoramuses as friends, so they have all been defriended!

#46 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 02.01.09 at 10:00 am

What is more, the “Wall Street” of popular and fevered imagination isn’t coming back anytime soon, if ever. Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch are gone, kaput. Enough bankers have been ruined or fired to sate class resentments for a lifetime. The remaining big two, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, are no longer formally investment banks but are now under the supervisory control of the Federal Reserve. The Wall Street business model is broken, and not at a particularly opportune moment for the economy. WSJ

Mark Carney is a former Goldman Sachs derivative isn’t he?

#47 Ja$on on 02.01.09 at 10:52 am

This posting made my day.

#48 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 02.01.09 at 10:57 am

We watched a most fascinating program on Discovery Channel HD last night about the Naica Crystal Caves.. Considering how little we actually know, and this monumental scientific find I think we should also consider the reality of our oil situation. If Mother Nature creates such humungous crystals, then what else is being created beneath of view?

Regarding oil and its source. When I was a young lad I was told it was the result of dinosaurs, and coal was the result of vegetation. I even have a book my father left me published by Shell Oil that says the same thing.

Now, coal makes sense, but dino oil? Not hardly. Just consider how much oil we have extracted, and still have, and then relate that to how many trillions of dinosaurs it would have taken to produce all of that oil.

However, reality is that oil is most likely (based on science not legends, myths, or Voodo Philosophies) the natural product created continuously by the Earth itself.

Think not? Read these two (of many articles) and then re-think the entire fiasco and fraud that is Peak Oil.

Is the Earth Producing MORE Oil?

Sustainable oil?

Perhaps, we underestimate the ingenuity of the Creator to provide for our needs? Now, the real question is ‘Will we be wise enough to use those provisions in a responsible manner as good stewards of our home?’

Could it be that all the carbon we release is re-absorbed, re-cycled, and made back into more oil and gas? I think the Earth may be far more functional than the surface nuisance we call mankind.

Meanwhile, those lusting after fast profits continue using FUD to extract not more oil, but money from our wallets on the Commodities Exchanges.

BTW, the current BS is the I lived through back in the mid 1970’s when the World was coming to an end then. Lack of regulations have caused the current problems, not lack of oil. It is just the same ignorant scam those without a conscience have been playing all along.

#49 OttawaMike on 02.01.09 at 10:59 am

Here’s a recipe to add to your 2nd update edition of After the Crash:
The article notes Raccoon was added to the 1931 edition of Joy of Cooking. As an added bonus their pelts make nice warm coats…

#50 TomOfMilton on 02.01.09 at 11:03 am

#27 Winnipeg is No Different

Heheheh. Thanks for sharing that. It was quite funny. *snicker*
“…doesn’t understand sarcasm” Heheheheh. I’m going to still be chuckling about that for a while.

#51 dd on 02.01.09 at 11:09 am

#48 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.)

“However, reality is that oil is most likely (based on science not legends, myths, or Voodo Philosophies) the natural product created continuously by the Earth itself.”

Say what you want but the Explorers are not finding the stuff in big big pools anymore. The evidence is in the find. Period.

#52 dd on 02.01.09 at 11:11 am

#37 Andrew

“2. Do you think this might be a good time to buy gold?”

Read a bit of the past articles.

#53 dd on 02.01.09 at 11:13 am

#22 squidly77

Ft Mac will come down … but when oil goes up and salaries go up again … will housing?

#54 VictoriaB&B on 02.01.09 at 11:14 am

>a stressed BC economy, bloated riduculous home prices, a forestry industry death spiral and the bankruptcy of California means Victoria real estate values are likely headed for a 30% decline<

Hi Garth, our neighbours in Washington and Oregon St are not in current dire straights as is California.

Seattle and Portland are each down @ 13%, but it is a fraction compared to Cal’s 40% or 50%.

Many U.S.,foreign and Canadian visitors are booked here right through 2009.

Is it possible the Northwest will not drop as much as you predict?

#55 TomOfMilton on 02.01.09 at 11:14 am


“If I accept the offer, minus realtor fees ect. I will be only neting 275K. Even with Garth’s prediction of 20% from last year, my house should be worth around 315K… Should I accept the offer??”

I think it would depend on your motivation for selling. Do you feel that you have to sell? You could measure that against a signback of a bit more. But if you don’t really want to sell your house…why not just keep it regardless of the value change? How motivated are you to sell is the question I would be asking you and your spouse. Hope this helps.

#56 TomOfMilton on 02.01.09 at 11:15 am

…uh…more importantly I hope Garth answers you.

#57 dd on 02.01.09 at 11:19 am

#34 zoronqueen

Q 1) Why are you selling? Is it an investment?

Q 2) Is it cash positive?

Q3) Can you net a positive return?

Q4) The price is the price. Be aggressive if you want to sell. Look around … lots of RE signs up right?

#58 dd on 02.01.09 at 11:22 am

#45 Apocalypse Now

“… This past Wednesday we forecast the beginning of the depression, which will last at least eight years.”

Thank God it is just a forecast.

#59 Just a Girl on 02.01.09 at 11:25 am

#36 islander, re: Victoria: “But to think that Canadians just can wait to live in a rain-soak, grey-skied slice of 1944 England is a fantasy by the locals.”

Ah, now I know why I like it so much ;) Thanks for a fitting metaphor to go with my morning cup of coffee.

Just a Girl
(enjoying a peaceful, rain soaked, grey skied Sunday morning in Victoria)

#60 dd on 02.01.09 at 11:34 am

Garth in Victoria

Chek News Jan 31 … four minutes in …

#61 RJAG2034 on 02.01.09 at 11:45 am

Good job yesterday. I brought a friend who is an investment advisor and we both enjoyed it. Your message of ‘take control’ has to keep being hammered into peoples skulls.

#62 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 02.01.09 at 11:46 am

Here is how the Conswervatives want to fix the economy.

#63 josh on 02.01.09 at 11:47 am

check out for the up to date gold silver prices, go to there metal store and they have prices including the spot price.
im with garth and think all people should invest in gold and silver, gold is alot easier to get, where as silver seems to take forever to get,

#64 EJ on 02.01.09 at 11:52 am

Every city is delusional about the overall market. At first it was, “It won’t happen in Canada”. Now it’s, “Well, the other markets in Canada are declining, but we’re different, we’re insulated, we’ve got [insert generic, feeble reason here]”

So, somehow, the overall Canadian market declines, but every city claims it’s because of the other cities.

#65 Johnny Five on 02.01.09 at 12:04 pm


The Winnipeg Museum of Human Rights is a draw to the city. Before I begin I wish to say I believe completely in the cause of human rights.

But a Human Rights museum. In Winnipeg. What a sad sad joke. You know THAT was a pet project of (Can’t say clown will eat me) and was supported by tax payers dollars. At least the Olympics in Vancouver will have visitors from around the globe. I sincerely doubt that a single human being has traveled to Winnipeg with the visiting of that museum being their primary purpose. Mind you, I can see future governments making it mandatory to visit it. . .

#66 Future Expatriate on 02.01.09 at 12:24 pm

Bill #48:

I too believe oil may well be abiotic, BUT SEVERE climate change as a result of burning it is the real problem with oil, not supply.

The earth has a self-protective feedback mechanism much like the human body; diet severely and the body fights back. Heat up the earth too much and it tips the scales in the other direction, and for a very long time. The real disaster of climate change may well be another ice age, and recent geological discoveries have shown that this can, and did, occur virtually overnight with one huge superstorm, resulting in mammoths being flash frozen where they stood with undigested buttercups in their bellies.

Whether oil is abiotic or not, we have to stop burning it for fuel and just use it for plastics.

There are also enduring geopolitical reasons for getting off oil as well that won’t be going away for decades.

Sorry Alberta. Realize this is horrific news, but with glaciers extending down to Missouri there won’t be much of a market for your shale oil.

#67 patriotz on 02.01.09 at 12:49 pm

Too bad Ottawa seems to be the only immune market for now

Wait for the high-tech layoffs to work their way through.

But don’t expect any big declines – If Vancouver fell 50% it would still be more expensive. Ottawa prices may be on the high side, but not crazy high.

#68 EW on VI on 02.01.09 at 1:07 pm

So did anybody catch that show “the deals on the Bus?” Takes place in Stockton Calif (ground zero?) where they take a busload of prospective buyers around to look at houses for sale at “half price” or better. Generally these are healthy sized two storey homes (2500-3000 sq ft)
on postage stamp lots. They typically need some touch-
up and have a few missing fixtures. Prices range from just under $300K up. Keep in mind US$, so with current exchange the average would be $400k cdn. Yep, 1/2 price……

The buyers included a 21 year old man, a 40ish single mom, a young family, all licking their chops. One man chirped in ” This will gain $200k in value in a few years”. Hmmm, a positive thinker.

OK so its the oxymoron of reality TV, But it would seem
to add fuel to the arguement that Cdn prices may not be out of line as much as some of us think they are. Price correction? Sure. Meltdown?

In my next post I’ll take a run at Victoria bashing……

#69 Calgary37 on 02.01.09 at 1:09 pm

34 zoronqueen on 02.01.09 at 3:56 am said:

If I accept the offer, minus realtor fees ect. I will be only neting 275K.

I do not know where you live, but the more important question might be, “What are my options with $275,000 in the bank?”

If you are willing to be an active Survivalist when our society collapses, then you should consider moving out into the country to start up a community of survivalists – a new type of Commune.

I have some ideas on how this could be done, but the timing is at least one year too late. Let me know if you or anyone else would like to read the details.

A number of persons have wondered about buying gold. The only reason that you would want to buy a large bar of gold bullion is to use it for (1) as backing for a new monetary system (2) to melt it down to make gold coins – half-ounce and one-ounce coins for after the collapse.

If you have money to invest, then you could try and find some gold coins to buy and take possession of. You will have to pay a premium over the Comex price. The only gold that you should be buying is that which you can touch and feel. No Gold ETFs or Safety Deposit Boxes. You should also purchase a hand gun and learn how to use it.

Now that the Davos meeting of Globalist Elites is over, the main theme seems to be Global Governance. However, the BBC had a panel with Nouriel Roubini and Laura Tyson on it. There were some comments from this panel that I agreed with.

The only way to save the American Banking System is to Nationalize every bank that is technically insolvent. American taxpayer money should only be used to restructure some of the Commercial Banks into a Peoples Bank concept – a return to conservative and staid banking procedures – for a period of up to ten years. However, since many of the Insurance Companies are also in trouble due to toxic investments, they could be merged into the new banking system. These new banks will be able to sell insurance and then invest the money in a more safe manner than the insurance companies did.

All of the toxic derivatives and other problem investments should be sent over to a depository/clearing house/bad bank. Since JP Morgan has the highest amount of toxic paper, they could become this depository and clearing house bank. Most of this toxic paper should just be cancelled out. The remaining paper can be dealt with accordingly in order to return some funds back to the taxpayer.

In addition to this bad investment clearing house bank, one new Investment Bank could be used for American investments and one new Investment Bank could be used for International investments.

However, first, the privately-owned Federal Reserve should be abolished. A new Central Bank owned by the American people will issue a new currency backed by gold and other precious metals. The price of gold could be arbitrarily revalued up to $5000 per ounce for this purpose.

This could also be applied to the Canadian Banking System if necessary.

Power to the People. Let the Revolution Begin.

#70 Nick on 02.01.09 at 1:09 pm

Great speech Garth, I was one of the few 20-somethings there and your talk was a much needed dose of reality for the older folks who were in attendance. I actually thought you toned down your message a bit after the first speaker scared them half to death. :)

#71 Rene on 02.01.09 at 1:28 pm

Re. #27. The real-estate ‘pros’ here in Québec City are spouting the same crap as they are saying in Winnipeg about the RE market being stable and that the market will continue on its current clip.

If I could convince my wife to sell our house, we’d already be renters. It’s not so easy with a baby.

#72 No Fool.... on 02.01.09 at 1:34 pm

Ok, how has nobody even talked about the ~4% DROP in GDP last Q in the U.S. (annualized, of course)….that’s a STAGGERING figure. Also, how have we all conveniently avoided Obama’s comments about never liking NAFTA from the get go….or the protectionist clauses being inserted into the $800 Billion bailout.

Seriously, this could spell disaster for us.
Frig. Look out Calgary.

#73 Paul on 02.01.09 at 1:48 pm


Less then a month ago you predicted -18% in Victoria for 09. Now -30%.??

#74 $froma$ia on 02.01.09 at 1:48 pm

#37-2. Do you think this might be a good time to buy gold?

Andrew, It’s importand to have some gold bullion locked away. 10% of your worth to be safe in all times.

Gold is a measurement of fear in the world also it’s a hedge against inflation.

One of the biggest decisions for my little family when I was laid off was to go out an buy bullion. I bought at $730 U.S.D. :) Oh, it’s also important to add some gold stocks as well.

There you go and Garth is not on the hook nor am I telling you to do anything.

Take charge.

#75 Eduardo on 02.01.09 at 2:01 pm

RE squidly complaining about foreign workers in Fort Mac in the other post. Where were all the unemployed workers from out east last year when there was a massive labour shortage in Alberta? Sitting and collecting their EI, so don’t complaing now. Most people in Fort Mac work hard and don’t complain.

This year (until recently) there was still a labour shortage and there is still a general labout shortage. I see about 5 “we’re hiring” signs all over. Sure it’s not a 60 k a year job but it’s better than unemployment.

All you retards who say the oil boom is over have completely demonstrated their lack of understanding of global economies, inflation, the cost of production, the supply cost.

You have the choice to sit back and collect EI and complain about the handouts you aren’t getting or you could come to Alberta and find work. The choice is yours and those people who choose to sit and collect EI have no right to say terrible Alberta is. Why don’t you come here and earn a paycheck.

#76 Eduardo on 02.01.09 at 2:03 pm

Also, squidly. Lots of those “foreigners” are canadians who have immigrated just like your family and mine did at some point so give me a break and hop off the pro-Canadian bandwagon when you are on your anti-Albertan bandwagon. Who is the real redneck here?

#77 Barb (tpr) on 02.01.09 at 2:13 pm

I will never wash that breast again ;)

#78 JO on 02.01.09 at 2:14 pm

Garth, sounds like there are more open ears out there. Good going with the attendance.

I can’t shake a feeling that we are on the cusp of a spectacular crash phase starting this week. If the Sp500 breaks 820 or so and sticks (Dow 7900 or so), watch out below. Things are looking hairy in both the treasury markets and stock markets. Both fell last week in the US. California is on the verge of bankruptcy and most states are experiencing collapsing tax revenues and huge budget shortfalls at the same time they are going to market asking for huge amounts of money. The treasury market is at risk of a major collapse (long term bonds) as it is draining huge dollars from all other markets including stocks.

I will be looking to make preparations this week.

If we listen to the signs the market has given us so far, no one can rule out the real possibility of this economic/financial crisis being as bad as the 30’s:

1) Worst January ever. We also had the worst inaguration day stock performance ever.
2) Record Debt to GDP ratios in many countries in the US.
3) The initial crash in most commodities has been just as bad, and by some mearsures, worse than the decline in the 30’s.

I still expect new lows sometime in the first half 09, before a huge bear rally in stocks, gold/oil and a temporary improvement in the economy lasting maybe 6-12 months into 2010. Then another deep recession and at least a re-test of any lows made in 2009. If we break and hold the 09 lows at anytime in 2010 onward, buy a cabin in the middle of the forest and live off the land.

It is wise to make some emergency preparations this week coming.

#79 Eduardo on 02.01.09 at 2:17 pm

RE: kc in 29 good post.

#80 Eduardo on 02.01.09 at 2:20 pm

RE 49 I meant to say 5 were hiring on the walk to work.

#81 BigPicture on 02.01.09 at 2:36 pm

Just spoke to a Blenz Coffee shop shift manager in a busy part of downtown vancouver.

Timmy and McDonalds is taking share from the Starbucks and Boutique crowds.

They are feeling the slow down. Manager took a substantial 35% hourly pay cut in order to keep his job.

This is going to get ugly

#82 K on 02.01.09 at 2:52 pm

As well as the overpriced real estate and grey skies. We also live on a fault line. A bit like buying a house at the foot of an airport runway. Has anyone from the east priced earthquake insurance lately ? It aint cheap and has a large deductable. I have sold my house and am now a happy renter. Outta here soon.

#83 Eduardo on 02.01.09 at 3:06 pm

RE: 65 That abiotic earth producing oil argument has been around since the 70s and if that’s the case then great. Regardless, if oil is readily available in deep waters you still need to drill and build to produce it. The cost of that is increasing and 40$ oil does not support deepwater drilling. Go read articles about Brazil’s deepwater finds and the $/bbl they say is required.

It’s not gouging when the major oil companies spend their entire earnings and you produce less oil today than yesterday. That tells me that oil is too cheap.

#84 squidly77 on 02.01.09 at 3:12 pm

RE squidly complaining about foreign workers in Fort Mac in the other post. Where were all the unemployed workers from out east last year when there was a massive labour shortage in Alberta? Sitting and collecting their EI, so don’t complaing now. Most people in Fort Mac work hard and don’t complain.

Also, squidly. Lots of those “foreigners” are canadians who have immigrated just like your family and mine did at some point so give me a break and hop off the pro-Canadian bandwagon when you are on your anti-Albertan bandwagon. Who is the real redneck here?

i am not sure if facts interest you but most of the foreign workers are single persons from India and the Philipines who will work for less money
and i strongly believe that canadians should have priority over them

i am curious to know which plants you have worked at in the ft mac region
massive labor shortage..hardly
more like a lack of workers unwilling to live on a work camp 24/7 and work for sub-standard wages
go back and bury your head into your all knowing newspaper

Upgrader Alley projects toppling like dominoes….

#85 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 02.01.09 at 3:25 pm

Those promoting ownership of gold should read up a tad on the restrictive laws that present serious hazards to ‘ownership’ of gold bullion, if they are planning on dealing through the U.S.A. Do not believe the market parrots, believe reality, and that means KNOWING the laws.

Privacy and Gold Ownership

Executive Order 6102

So, before you think you have found the Golden solution to wealth protection you might want to ask Giant Mine, Con Mine, etc. how the price of this precious metal has gone higher and lower than the world’s most terrifying rollercoaster over the past 30 years.

BTW, both mines closed down when the price dropped to $278 per Troy Ounce because it was barely profitable to continue production. Today’s inflated $900 price is a fart in an economic hurricane. This too shall pass (like gas).

BTW. all precious materials use a restricvted supply principle to uphold an unrealistic pricing structure. Like Dirty Harry said ‘How lucky do you feel?’

#86 Eduardo on 02.01.09 at 3:25 pm

“Also, how have we all conveniently avoided Obama’s comments about never liking NAFTA from the get go….or the protectionist clauses being inserted into the $800 Billion bailout.

Seriously, this could spell disaster for us.
Frig. Look out Calgary.”

No Fool, WAKE UP! Alberta does not have a steel, car industry, or large infrastructure industry. Oil is a global commodity. Do you think they mean American made oil? They are gonna ask the saudis for more oil? Get real.

Do you plan on selling cars worldwide? Wait… you can’t sell the millions in the ports here already.

Before you make comments like “look out Calgary” take a good peak at your own backyard.

#87 squidly77 on 02.01.09 at 3:44 pm

some sunday fun

guaranteed to make you giggle..

#88 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 02.01.09 at 3:59 pm

#65 Future Expatriate on 02.01.09 at 12:24 pm
#82 Eduardo on 02.01.09 at 3:06 pm

Okay, now we are, as George Carlin so beautifully put it ‘A surface nusiance’, and the Earth will do its own thing regardless of how much money, nuclear weapons, or political BS anyone, or any nation has.

Our duty, as stewards, is to learn how to peacefully co-exist with our plant (Not much hope as we cannot even learn to peacefully co-exist with each other because we have been taught to fear anything, or anyone different from our own experience).

We have grown expotentially in technology, but not socially.

Now as to the oil companies. I, for one, would welcome honesty in which they come to we the people and say “Hey, we need to have more profits to assure a sustainable supply of fuels, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Therefore, we are going to have to increase our raw material prices to fund that. We will not keep the prices high, but need to act NOW!’

That would make me feel very comfortable to assist them for my own well being.

That is NOT the case. Exxon-Mobil just recorded their largest quarterly profit ever, and we have suffered economically from their and the other gouging bastards of the oil industry without reason.

All the other rhetoric to me is like the GST rheotoric which was ‘A temporary tax to alleviate our national debt.’ Yeah, experience teaches us to separate BS from viable reason.

The principle of honest communciations has basically vanished from the public interchange. I still hold all to that standard. Then, I am making informed decisions that secures my family’s present and future.

I am now way to old and experienced to believe anything they say without verification by an independent source.

#89 dd on 02.01.09 at 4:14 pm

#62 josh ”

“im with garth and think all people should invest in gold and silver, gold is alot easier to get”

Josh were have you been? Read the past post. Garth is said cash is king … not gold.

#90 Dave on 02.01.09 at 4:15 pm

RE: 65 That abiotic earth producing oil argument has been around since the 70s and if that’s the case then great. Regardless, if oil is readily available in deep waters you still need to drill and build to produce it. The cost of that is increasing and 40$ oil does not support deepwater drilling. Go read articles about Brazil’s deepwater finds and the $/bbl they say is required.

It’s not gouging when the major oil companies spend their entire earnings and you produce less oil today than yesterday. That tells me that oil is too cheap.

finally, someone who did their homework!!

#91 Vancouver_Renter on 02.01.09 at 4:17 pm

#40. The price of a gram of gold (gold-gram or “gg”) is quoted here: Their price is slightly inflated relative to market price, because you are buying the convenience of not having to take delivery of the bullion.

Five grams of gold at goldmoney costs $36.5912/gg x 5 gg = $183. You’re paying 24,745 points for the bar at Scotia. That’s too much. You’d be better off using your Scotia points towards travel, because 24,745 points converts to $247.45 vacation dollars. Then use cash to buy bullion from a gold seller that has smaller fees than Scotia, such as or Gold coins like the Maple Leaf are best because they are instantly recognized, unlike a 3rd party gold bar.

#92 David Bakody on 02.01.09 at 4:29 pm

34 zoronqueen on 02.01.09 at 3:56 am

The point is a) you decide to list your house @
Listing Price–299K
Offer 285K

Forget what was and will be …… the fact is you have an offer at 95.5% of the asking price ….. fees are what they are at any price …. make your move and get on with your life and practice prudence. You will sleep tight at night and your next move will at your time and your choice. Many people my dear lady will be getting no sleep and will have few choices and for that I hope you are grateful. Last Spring I sold a house under the same circumstances and those who had all kinds of advice are sweating bullets now….. ha ha on them.

#93 VictoriaB&B on 02.01.09 at 5:34 pm

The RE peak in the U.S. was mid 2006, we are now in 2009.


If many many homeowners sell their homes, will they rent homes or will they rent condos while waiting for house prices to drop further?
My guess is they will prefer to rent equal size homes to ones they sold.
Are there enough of these homes available for rent, otherwise rents will remain high and perhaps even rise.

Why hasn’t the West Coast dropped as dramatically to this point as compared to Alberta or Ontario?

Why do I see the majority of writers on this board are renters rather than owners?

If I am renting a house, who pays for the emergency generator?

#94 canuck on 02.01.09 at 6:03 pm

Vancouver_Renter, thank you for that information. Have you purchased Maple Leafs coins from either or Wouldn’t buying from them incur courier costs that wouldn’t be applicable from a local ScotiaBank branch? My hubby maintains an account at Scotia and we know many of the personnel at that bank–don’t know anyone at those two internet sources.

#95 George the Third on 02.01.09 at 6:46 pm

I bought your book this weekend and could not put down. Though I don’t think things are going to be as bad as you think they are, I appreciate the good advice you give in money management for difficult times. As well, I think you explanation of how we got into this mess is clear and concise and makes the price of the book worth the expense. Cheers.

#96 Glenn on 02.01.09 at 6:59 pm

If insiders such as Lindsay Williams are to be believed, this whole oil fiasco is little more then a bankers attempt to wage financial war on the OPEC nations. Canada seems to be getting caught in the backwash. Here in America, states gas tax revenue numbers are plummeting and may result in some states going bankrupt…like California? All that was needed was the opening of two oilfields in Northern Russia and Indonesia, and POOF, oil falls through the floor. The point of all this is, and something Garth may not want to touch upon, is that this whole mess did not just happen, it was planned just like the last Great Depression.

#97 Jeannie on 02.01.09 at 7:02 pm

Two years ago we toured Vancouver Island looking for the dream retirement house.
Although it was May, we were thankful that we’d brought our heavy winter coats. I had to buy some cheapo gloves and a scarf…that dam wind goes right through you.
The realtor who showed us around some was amazed that we were amazed at the prices for 70’s style ugly houses.
All of the properties that he showed us were in need of complete renovation, new roofing, new kitchen, etc., What fool would pay $500.000 for a house desperatly in need of renovation? We realized that getting off the island could be an added expense, that ferry is not cheap.
Glad we took the tour though, it definitely helped us make up our mind to move to a warmer climate.

#98 zoronqueen on 02.01.09 at 7:40 pm


Do you feel that you have to sell? Me and my husband disagree on all 3 points but my motivation to sell is : 1) Uncertainty of the future and fear of further price drops 2) Positive cash flow/liquidity, right now like most greater fools we are 0% savings, other than RRSP’s…. 3) Fear of renters not being able to pay if they lose their jobs ect….

Q 1) Why are you selling? Is it an investment? Yes

Q 2) Is it cash positive? Yes

Q3) Can you net a positive return? Yes

Q4) The price is the price. Be aggressive if you want to sell. Look around … lots of RE signs up right? Yes, right now we are listed the lowest, most people 44 listings in the area, have their listing at 335K, 1 at 294K and 284K….

Thanks to all your feedback.

IMO–Alberta will continue to have falling house prices due to 1) job losses 2) less consumer spending 3) less immigration 4) Poor public transportation 5) belief in the govt

#99 Jelly on 02.01.09 at 9:03 pm


I agree we should have some level of comradery in Canada as everyone has families that they need to feed. After all, we do effect each other in our communities, as well as far away ones. I would
certainly want to be living among people that have their needs met instead of living in new ghettos where crime is high and people do not care about each other. I guess I am more sympathetic and thoughtful than some that think only about the small picture.
Due to this slowdown in Calgary, I have heard construction workers say, “All that happened is a bunch of people went back home to Newfoundland like they should have done.”
I found this offensive even though I am Albertan and would have competition in the construction trade.
Easterners have every right to head elsewhere to work and make a living instead of living off of the rest of us.
(UI like many parasites generationally sponge off us all)
As I see it, whomever makes the best product with minimal amount of flaws (in this case houses), then they should be given the job, regardless where they are from. I can’t tell you how many houses in Calgary alone that were built quickly during the boom with inexperienced builders that just did not care. Only those that have excellent skills have jobs in the construction trades now.(not counting management of course, ha ha)
There are going to be a lot of home owners that are going to have trouble with their houses and no one will pick up the pieces, they will be stuck with the bill.
If they bought at the peak, that much worse for them.
Gone are the days of houses that last 100 years and simply get renovated. The materials and poor workmanship of this century will be evident as houses will be junk, long before their time…
Worth half a million dollars?

#100 canadianoil on 02.01.09 at 9:14 pm

I currently reside abroad in South East Asia.
I have followed this blog on a regular basis.
I have not read any positive spin on any place to live in Canada.

Canada is a magnificient country.
Your land in envied from coast to coast.

I have never spoken to a person in Asia who has a dismal view of your nation.

However, any overseas reader of this blog would question why Canadians in Canada have such a dismal view of the state of their country.

There must be one province, city, or town that a person can find solice in these tough economic times?

This financial downturn is global.
It is not just in Ontario or British Columbia.

Selling your home and hiding in the forest will not see you through to financial freedom.

I ask you, any of you to tell the world why you enjoy living in Canada.

Overseas readers of this blog are perplexed.
Canada has abundent natural resources and a relatively small population.

Your residential real estate is inexpensive when compared internationally.

Tell us! Where do you live in Canada and inform us why it is great to live there.

#101 $froma$ia on 02.01.09 at 9:43 pm

#87 DD

Kash is king? Ya but you get little interest on your CA$H, you get more on GOLD.

#102 Accremonium on 02.01.09 at 9:51 pm

#48 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 02.01.09 at 10:57 am

Bill, I do not challenge the premise that the Earth is naturally continually producing more oil. It may well be doing so but at a rate that is not up to the current extraction rates.
Now for your consideration, I once visited Fort Mac and Fort Mackay as a day tourist from our relatives cottage on Lac La Biche. That was ack when the bridge over the Peace River was left uncompleted and called the Bridge to Nowhere! I took a couple of discarded pop cans and cut the tops open with a hacksaw so that we could sample the bitumen in the road’s ditch just South of Fort Mackay. It smells very similar to pine tar. Now I suspect that is the more likely source. Further more, the crude oil pumped from the wells around LLoydminster when it is fractionally distilled in the refinery has a small polymer component next to the solvent which is next to the low grade octane. This is very different from the crude just 45 miles away at Wainwright that is lighter in color [has a blue green tinge] and does not have any significant polymer but does contain varying amounts of parafin wax. Those wells and several other fields in Alta. have a waxing up problem such that they have to have scrapers attached to the pump stem called the sucker rod. So the bottom line is that it is highly likely that there are different sources for how these oils originate. And finally, although it is expensive, there are synthetic oils made these days for lubrication that are far superior to the natural product.
Oh, I nearly forgot, an old American Friend of my Father-inlaw [both are deceased now] was employed on and off most of his working days in N. Dakota, and the Wyoming oil patches. He worked at a great variety of jobs in the drilling and service industry. He recounted that there was a well some where in Wyoming which when the oildwas brought to the surface it reacted with the air to gell and formed a type of rubber like compound. That well was reserved for producing that material as a chemical plant feed stock and the “oil” was kept totally away from air to prevent the reaction with the Oxygen. It was definitely rare and what was in it, I have not heard. One of the practices of the oil companies is to keep everything as secretive as possible. And again I reiterate that there are huge finds of natural gas on Mellville Island, but the likes of Imperious Ah So will deny it until it suits their purpose to reveal it, like when the price is right and they have the MacKensie Valley Pipeline built and need the under sea extension to that Island. It is my point of view that this gas can be extracted very profitably and shipped South in cyogenic ocean going tanker ships that can deliver along the whole Pacific Rim, but who am I to listen to with out 2 or 3 degrees and years of employment in one of those companies. Remember Pierre Trudeau wanted to build cryogenic tanker aircraft to fly it out. Well just remember that one of my cousins died in that Pan Arctic Airline crash at Rae Point in a blinding blizzard circa 1974. One of the causes was a lack of navigational aids! That is 35 years ago, that he left a wife and baby daughter due to government inaction and lack of due process for infrastructure needs. Those crews leaked the news on previous trips out to “civilization” that the supply of gas on that one island was in the order of 100, 300, or maybe as much as 500 years worth of consumption. We are not short of natural gas, only short sighted as to how to deliver it!

#103 Vancouver_Renter on 02.01.09 at 9:56 pm

#92… You have to phone the various suppliers to compare the total price. Scotia has only slightly more expensive handling fees, so it may be worth paying those fees if you can pick bullion up from your local branch and avoid shipping fees.

#95… “Glad we took the tour though, it definitely helped us make up our mind to move to a warmer climate”

Where? Where is that warm place? My wife and I have no idea where we want to live, anymore. I’m sick of spending 1/2+ the year indoors because of never-ending rain, mold, and darkness here in Vancouver. The older I get, the less I can tolerate it. We’re thinking of a radical move away from Canada. Many friends of ours have moved to the US or Australia.

#104 TomOfMilton on 02.01.09 at 10:25 pm

#65 “… The real disaster of climate change may well be another ice age, and recent geological discoveries have shown that this can, and did, occur virtually overnight with one huge superstorm, resulting in mammoths being flash frozen where they stood with undigested buttercups in their bellies.”

What?! What drivel is this? It sounds like sugar induced compiling of multple Hollywood movies and pickings of partial truths of documented things we have heard before. I have watched documentaries where air time is given to some of the very dilusional…but you should filter some of that stuff with a little bit of scepticism..or at least a bit of…nope…scepticism is the word I’m looking for.

#105 nonplused on 02.01.09 at 10:26 pm

#48 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.)

I think you misunderestimate how much scientific inquiry has been done as to the origin of oil.

First, there likely were trillions of dinosaurs over the geological period, but…

Second, oil doesn’t come from dinosaurs but prehistoric sea bed formations. So it’s dead algae and other sea life, much of it microscopic, that is incorporated into the source rock. And the amounts are truly staggering over a long period of time. That’s why most of the major oil producing regions are in areas of the world that were once under water, like most of Alberta and Texas, or still under water like the Gulf Coast.

From there, the process in a period of sedimentation that forms the rock formations that will eventually trap the oil above the cap rock.

The famous dinosaurs you see depicted at the Tyrell Museum actually live quite some time after the reservoirs were formed. The fossils found in the badlands, for example, are not too deep geologically speaking.

At some point, enough sediment piles up on the source rock that the pressure and temperature converts the ancient biomass into oil. Since oil is lighter than water it starts a long slow migration to the surface, with some of it being trapped where the proper formations exist over the source rock.

So yes, the earth likely is still periodically producing more oil. Every 600 million years or so it should make a whole new oil producing region!

There are thousands of oil reservoirs in the world and they all eventually go into production decline. Even after being shut in for years none of them appear to be “filling back up”

The creator did provide for our energy needs. We commonly refer to it as the sun. It’s this big nuclear powered furnace in the sky. But I doubt any creator worth his salt would think that he needed to spend a lot of time seeing to it that there was an infinite amount of SUV fuel provided for his most destructive and ungrateful animal creation. Better to grow infinite amounts of grass for the other animals. Oh wait! The sun does that!

#106 nonplused on 02.01.09 at 10:31 pm

In Calgary you don’t need to write a fancy smancy book to draw on naked women. All you have to do is wait for Stampede week or a cup run by the Flames.

Maybe our market will hold up better!

#107 EW on VI on 02.01.09 at 10:41 pm

95 Jeannie. I think you assumed Victoria was VI. There is about 6 hours of driving to get to the other end! Your $500k will buy you a very nice house outside of Victoria. And the ferry trip? Why leave VI? You can do everything of importance here (university degree, heart surgery,
skiing, boating, diving, hunt/fish/camp, world class
dining, symphony, theatre, ride your harley 12 mo of the
year, golf 12 mo). OK so we had a little snow this year.
After a week it loses its charm. How do people stand the
ROC with snow for 4 months?

Did you know Victoria gets comparable rain in both total precip and raindays to Kingston Ont, and only about 50 days where the temp touches 0 or lower? But yes they do have hefty real estate prices. Try the ROVI!

Now as promised I will try Victoria bashing. I dont live there. Done.

#108 Suzukimum on 02.01.09 at 10:46 pm


Where are you living in South East Asia?

I live in the nation’s capital and I thank the Lord daily that I live in a country that is safe, peaceful, and prosperous. Just compare ourselves to the millions who live in India, Africa, parts of Asia and South America and we will be grateful for what we have been blessed with here.

#109 josh on 02.01.09 at 11:05 pm

#87 DD
Cash is not king if the dollar is worth nothing, what happens if the canadian dollar drops to 60 cents on the usd? Then what, you just lost 20 cents per dollar of buying power. Gold most likey would have gone up,even garth recommends buying gold, its in his new book. Gold has been a standard through out history, I’m not saying gold won’t drop but paper money is only paper not backed by anything, every time the bank of canada sells more bonds for this buy out package is making out dollar worth less and less, there diluting the value of our dollar. Just my 2 cents, :)

#110 Just a Girl on 02.01.09 at 11:43 pm

#101 Vancouver_Renter

I hope you find what you are looking for; the world is your oyster! Chances are, there is someone, somewhere else in the world, who would dearly love your spot :) (though maybe not on this blog, except for real estate expert!)

#111 Jimster on 02.01.09 at 11:51 pm

Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) “Executive Order 6102′

I’d be more concerned the government would expropriate my Pension, RRSPs or Mutual funds.

That does seem the diretion we’re headed.

If govt was to expropriate gold holdings tomorrow it would be relitivley meaningless, punative. It would be a big expensive hassle and there wouldn’t be any profit in it for them. In 1933 alot of people held gold, there had been a depression, so people were holding ‘real money’. Today few hold physical as compared to 1933.

Easiest way to buy gold is to go down to Scotia Plaza, Toronto Mercado Forex desk, on a day when you like the price. All other Scotia bank branchs incure fees and delay.
RYB prices are too high.

#112 Just a Girl on 02.01.09 at 11:54 pm

#95 Jeannie

Around the same time, young colleagues of mine sold their home in Calgary and moved to New Zealand. They said exactly the same thing — homes in dire need of repair, selling for exorbitant prices. For them, a serious change in expectations and lifestyle was in order.

Believe it or not, the husband (a native New Zealander) was more homesick for Canada than his wife, who was born and raised here! They originally planned to spend 5 years in New Zealand, but are coming ‘home’ to Canada early.

Aside from housing reality checks, it is really hard to ‘escape the weather’ — there are weather benefits and disadvantages everywhere. You might escape the cold, but have to deal with BUGS. You might escape the earthquake tremors, but you trade those in for tornados. Or, just go east and deal with air quality issues and humidity.

My point is, maybe most of us could change our expectations a little. I really do think we have it so good in Canada, we are truly spoiled — especially in terms of personal space!

#113 dd on 02.01.09 at 11:59 pm

#107 josh

“Cash is not king if the dollar is worth nothing, what happens if the canadian dollar drops to 60 cents on the usd?”

What if the US buck implodes? What if petro goes up again? What if commodities take off. What if deflation picks up steam and inflation is no where to be seen for years?

Yes invest in gold but only a small portion of your holdings. 15% at max. Gold can lose money too.

Garth didn’t say hold 100% gold…now did he.

Being in 100% of anything is very very dangerous.

#114 dd on 02.02.09 at 12:02 am

#99 $froma$ia

“Kash is king? Ya but you get little interest on your CA$H, you get more on GOLD”

That is right. Not a lot of interest but some. Unless inflation comes on big time or the US banking system or US$ is in the can, I don’t see gold making up a lot of my portfolio. Max 15% holdings … if that.

#115 Just a Girl on 02.02.09 at 12:02 am

To everyone who is actually buying gold … doesn’t it make a hard pillow?

#116 Wealthy renter 2 on 02.02.09 at 12:45 am

KC, thanks for the insight, it is much appreciated! I have bookmarked the links, will make for some good reading tomorrow.

#117 $froma$ia on 02.02.09 at 12:45 am


if the U.S. Buck implodes then they will most likely not continue on as the worlds reserve currency. You might see the Euro come into play.

What I am trying to say is that Gold will be matched with the worlds reserve currency possibly Euro’s if the U.S $ implodes.

BTW, putting gold in your pillow is not recommended.

#118 Wealthy renter 2 on 02.02.09 at 12:51 am

Hey Tony,
Living in your mother’s basement must be so tiring. At 50, don’t you think you are a little old to still be living off your parents? Move out already ….. Or did you miss the boat which would explain why you are still lingering around this blog??

#119 Jeannie on 02.02.09 at 1:30 am

Just a Girl….no arguement here about living in New zealand. If I had to choose, it would be Canada every time. I’d rather freeze in B.C. than die a slow death from boredom in N.Z. Bin there, done that.

Houses there are crap, they’ve never heard of insulation either. Mind you it’s been awhile since I lived there, maybe the times have caught up with them.
Nice people though. High cost of living,and the N.Z.dollar has taken a beating lately.
Australia’s a bit better, housing prices some of the highest in the world…again the quality not up to MOST Canadian standards.
Very limited shopping choices for the ladies, don’t expect the great supermarkets that you take for granted in Canada. Australia…It’s a ‘man’s country’

Ah yes, Canada has it’s good points,if it wasn’t for 7 months of winter.

#120 canuck on 02.02.09 at 1:43 am


I live in Grand Bend, Ontario–a small village adjacent to Lake Huron where water is plentiful. My next door neighbour has a well that we could draw from if the municipal water system breaks down.

Despite the advice in Garth’s book that advocates building bomb-shelters, stocking up with groceries, arming myself to protect my stash–I won’t be doing that. Instead I’d share my bounty. What are bunker-type people thinking? Can they not picture starving families arriving on their doorsteps? Would they not let them have water and enough food to keep them alive? That’s not a world I’d want to live in! Would they sick their large guard dogs on them to drive them away?

I will be growing vegetables and fruits, canning and freezing, the produce from my backyard assisted with a greenhouse, but expect the rest of my neighbours will need help growing theirs which I’d gladly assist.

People are not islands–instead they’re social creatures that need others.

It’s a great community with generous sprinklings of people from all walks of life as well as a broad spectrum of ages. Children particularly thrive in our small, active community. No one turns their back on their neighbour.

We moved away from a large urban city because of impersonality. Collectively, we’ll thrive, isolated, there isn’t much chance of survival.

There’s good information in Garth’s book, but it has to be adapted. My survival is contingent on the rest of my neighbours making it through this crisis.

Would you like to see pictures of where I live and the house that we built with our bare hands–subtracting out less than $5,000 to 3rd party labour. It doesnt’ have a mortgage. Nor do we have credit card debt.

Populations were sold a bill of goods when they took out interest only mortgages–those are owner’s, they’re just renters. Mortgages were devised on the basis of them getting paid. Greed made them think they could own houses without putting any manual labour into them.

You discredit your words with exaggeration. Give me a reference for “the advice in Garth’s book that advocates building bomb-shelters, stocking up with groceries, arming myself to protect my stash,” or I might use my squirrel cannon on you. — Garth

#121 canuck on 02.02.09 at 1:47 am

Oops, please revise,

Populations were sold a bill of goods when they took out interest only mortgages–those are NOT owner’s, they’re just renters.

Human greed is responsible for this mess, and I refuse to turn to it as a solution.

#122 Glenn on 02.02.09 at 2:28 am

Buy gold for use after the depression (where 5 to 10 ounces will buy a home or vehicle, or something in that range). Buy silver for use during the depression (an ounce of silver may buy you a 50 pound bag of grain from your local Hutterite or Amish colony, or fill your gas tank with home brewed ethanol from the local farmer). We can all agree that when the towns we all live in run into a Hurricane Katrina style collapse (and we all know its coming, sooner or later) the dollars we use will default to their intrinsic value…toilet paper.

#123 canadianoil on 02.02.09 at 4:08 am

The safest place in the world…next to Canada.

#124 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 02.02.09 at 8:31 am

#109 Jimster on 02.01.09 at 11:51 pm

Your fear is well founded. The U.S. Government has ‘borrowed’ so much of the Social Security funds that there is a very serious shortage in the till.

Believe me, if my generation, which has paid and funded the SSI system is shortchanged the name Boomer is going to be a helluva lot more related to a nuclear sub, than a baby boom.

Social Security was brought in by FDR, and is a good system, as long as you can keep Congress’s greedy paws out of the till. BTW, here is a good visual example of this subject. Happy Face (note how easily it applies to our own current budget!)

#125 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 02.02.09 at 8:58 am

#100 Accremonium on 02.01.09 at 9:51 pm

Very interesting comment. Thank you. I think there is a viable lesson from what you posted in that what we find at one location is not representative of everywhere.

This is the problem I see with the suits. They lock themselves into a mindset and dismiss alternative products and means. As an engineer I can well relate to how the details make the difference.

During WWII the military manufacturers of southern California dumped tens of thousands of barrels of hazardous waste into the salt water mud flats which is now Mission Bay in San Diego.

Mission Bay was a man made water body created by dredging. The dredging material formed the land. All well and good until the area was chosen for a new muncipal park and the old waste was exposed.

Result: an environmental nightmare where the Trichlorethane/ethylene could not even be measured because the GLC equipment could not be calibrated to that high of level.

The site was emitting Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) gas and it killed a worker. H2S is what makes a well ‘sour’ and it is a very deadly gas.

As I said before, what the general public, and even those involved in science know about this planet is a drop in the ocean compared to what we don’t know. Fortunately, Rumsfeld is not making the inquiries because as he said , ‘There are things we don’t know we don’t know! Duh’oh? Gee, what a brilliant mind he has, eh?

I also think we are going through a period of extreme evolution in our thinking. What my parents, even my brother’s generation knew compared to what we no0w are becomign aware of, was totally misleading.

I am amazed daily at how fast things are being overturned that were firm absolutes. Today we are starting to grasp the system we live in. Regarding the environment pertaining to climate, the really serious issues lie in what is happening to the ocean currents. The land mass contributes, but the oceans literally drive our planet’s weather system.

We know this solidly, yet why is there a floating ocean of plastic waste in the Pacific?

Another case of ‘out of sight = out of mind’ which has been mankind’s legacy for too long.

BTW, here is a great site for fascinating information Space Weather

#126 Zoronqueen on 02.02.09 at 10:58 am

Hello all,

We are still in rainy Vancouver. Too bad I will be missing Garth as leaving on Wed. to head back to Deadmonton.

Anyways the buyers must really want our house as they have contacted our realtor directly and still want to buy at 285K, as I said before the average liisting is 335K, ours is at 299K, city assessment at 336K, we are currently lowest. 2 had sold at similar listing but realtor won’t tell us at what price.

Here is the feedback my husband is getting as to why we shouldn’t sell:
1) Prices will rebound after a year
2) Nobody sells below city assessment
3) We can still be accidental rental property
4) We will lose 40K from last year price

Anyone care to counter argue??

Here’s a link

#127 Charles on 02.02.09 at 11:09 am

#76 Barb (tpr) on 02.01.09 at 2:13 pm



#128 josh on 02.02.09 at 12:20 pm

#111 dd

Not sure where I. said 100%, you might want to look into gold and silver prices during crash years through out history,I don’t recommend 100 percent but I do say more then 15% and I would stay away from ETF’s but what would I know as I’m a red neck albertan pipeliner soon to be out of work either way you make the bed you lay in so the choices are all yours.

#129 canuck on 02.02.09 at 1:13 pm

You discredit your words with exaggeration. Give me a reference for “the advice in Garth’s book that advocates building bomb-shelters, stocking up with groceries, arming myself to protect my stash,” or I might use my squirrel cannon on you. — Garth

Page 125, “Get a weapon and learn to hunt,” page 126, “Get a dog. A real dog, like a German Shepherd or a Rottie. ” Repeated instructions throughout the book for building Bad Day Boxes and Go Bags for families and pets.

Our pet is a designer mongrel breed called
Eski-Poo; miniature American Eskimo, and miniature Poodle. His intelligence level is very high, and priceless as a member of our family. He’d likely enthusiastically lick a robber’s face! :-)

I didn’t condemn your book…said you made some excellent points, and particularly liked the final paragraph on page 126, “Build community support…Most importantly, find others to share your burdens with and to talk with about sweeter times to come.” That philosophy you repeated at the end of the book, page 226.

Overall, your book advocates that people prepare and that’s a good thing. Too bad you’re not willing to accept mild critiques of your book! I did find the book helpful just don’t agree with everything you advocated in it. Agree that critics are a dime a dozen and do work hard to devise plans that we’re able to accept. Thank you for writing the book and ask that you extend to readers their own way of adapting.

You must learn to be more careful. My references to dogs, hunting etc. was contained in a list of actions which is clearly prefaced as aimed at those who believe categorically a new depression is at hand. I have written on this blog repeatedly that I put those odds at 15% to 20%. Surely you know enough not to quote out of context. Let’s leave that for the journalists. — Garth

#130 canuck on 02.02.09 at 1:25 pm

You asked for my opinion and I gave it. I’m not a journalist and didn’t deliberately try to distort what you wrote.

Tone in books are important and in places, yours brings back memories of the 50s where students were instructed to hide under desks. Many people during those times did build bomb shelters in back yards and stocked them with groceries. They also armed themselves. My family didn’t and never will even if a depression happens. I strongly suspect you wouldn’t either, but that’s not clear in your book!

#131 canuck on 02.02.09 at 1:27 pm

My intent was not to distort and I’m not a trained journalist.

#132 VicREBear on 02.02.09 at 5:34 pm

Here are Victoria’s year-over-year sales and price stats, courtesy of Roger, a regular poster and numbers analyst at HouseHuntVictoria:

GV – Greater Victoria
January 2008 shown in ()

MLS Sales – 247 (464) – Down 47%
MLS listings – 3678 (3027) – Up 22%

GV SFH Average – 526.1K (606.4K) – Down 13%
GV SFH Median – 475K (530.2K) – Down 10%
GV SFH Sales – 138 (228) – Down 39%

GV Condo Average – 259.7K (349K) – Down 26%
GV Condo Median – 255K (304.5K) – Down 16%
GV Condo Sales – 62 (125) – Down 50%

GV Town Average – 394K (423.3K) – Down 7%
GV Town Median – 382.5K (393K) – Down 3%
GV Town Sales – 32 (41) Down 22%

13 percent loss on average SFH; 26 percent slide for condos… where’s that Victoria realtor who two years ago said to me, “Well, you’d better buy whatever you can afford, ’cause prices AREN’T COMING DOWN!”


#133 Dwane on 02.03.09 at 1:09 pm

Victoria is a great place. It is quite quiet for a small city. Having bought here in 2002 before the price increase tat seem my value go up 286K(2002) to 615K (2007). I believe the Bank of Canada’s inflation index would put my 286 to about 325K todays dollars. So whether the price is 2 million or 400,000 it is irrelevant to those that live here. We’ve always had a next to nothing interest rate so thats a bit of a non-issue. Although prices will likely fall much further (now average price is about 545k) to the high 300’s or low 400’s its all about the quality of life you want. Although health care is a realistic issue for seniors. If your healthy move up island its cheaper and perhaps a better life style.
FYI I used municipal tax rates for (2007)

#134 canadianoil on 02.03.09 at 9:46 pm

You are correct.
Victoria with children is a great place to be.
I sold Toronto and bought Oak bay, five years ago.
My goodness I feel blessed.