Overdue

east-hastings-alley1

Every time we drive down East Hastings, Dorothy says the same thing. “This is so sad.”

She said it again Wednesday, as we passed the old Carnegie Library, now a drop-in centre for the destitute, its ornate architecture and sculpted dome a counterpoint to the misery below. The sidewalk in front is covered with street dwellers, while fifty feet away, in the alley, dozens more huddle near a dirty blue dumpster. Two cops in a Vancouver Police cruiser in front of us look dispassionately at a woman in a gray sweatshirt shooting up on the pavement.

But, East Hastings is a little different now in the cold March sun, with long sections of buildings which stood for more than a century, razed. The vacant lots sit behind high chain-link, festooned by signs with “opportunity” and “development potential” splashed across them. Hard to know if this is tangible proof attempts to yuppify the city’s worst neighbourhood have failed, or just another pre-emptive pre-Olympic strike to cleanse the streets.

A few blocks away, the condos are so thick they blot out the sun. But looking up into the maze there are scores of units staring blankly back without curtains or occupants. Everyone here is so aware of the collapse of the giant $500-million Ritz project, and now the desperation sales of unsold units in half-built buildings.

Turned out the floor manager in the hotel I spoke at was a Toronto refugee, here for more than a decade. The recession, he confides, is a monster. Hotel business has plunged all across the city. The complex across the road, in the heart of Van’s most fashionable shopping district – Louis Vitton, Hermes — has found it necessary to close off an entire tower as occupancy rates crash.

The group I spoke to was uniformly professional, serious money managers, investment bankers, specialty corporate lawyers and accountants, the kind of folks who regularly flit around the continent on business. The conversations inevitably turned to real estate, as they all do in the Lower Mainland. I don’t think anyone liked the words coming from my lips. The declines here, I said, have just begun. And don’t even think about the aftermath of the 2010 games…

Of course, this is still Vancouver. Wealth abounds. In the few kilometres along Granville from the airport to the harbour it’s tough to find a listing under $1.2 million. The average city price is now $653,000, down 15% from the peak. Sales were up and listings down in February, but the mood on the street seems to have changed. After all, with first-time buyers walking away from condo deals, the fuel is being removed from the local real estate blaze.

And in the country’s most unaffordable city, where the average family long ago realized it could not afford the average home, reality is overdue. Especially now.

While indistinguishable forms huddled behind the library at Main and East Hastings, in Ottawa the Chief Parliament Budget Officer was telling reporters the country will have a deficit of $38 billion this year, another $35 billion next year. Was it just three years ago the surplus was $12 billion? Meanwhile in Montreal, the head of the CBC informed stunned employees 800 of them would soon be without jobs.

I’m sure it was tragic, desperate, devastating news.

Unless you live beside a dumpster.

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For today’s blog, ‘100,000 glimmers,’ go here.

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115 comments ↓

#1 Mark on 03.25.09 at 8:36 pm

Regarding affordability, I just read a very interesting discussion on incomes and affordability in Edmonton since the mid 70’s, and their two housing bubbles.

http://tinyurl.com/cfcjyr

He’s not predicting the soft landing they got last time around

#2 Marc on 03.25.09 at 8:45 pm

I refer to East Hastings as the real street of dreams, if and when I take tourists into downtown. It is the sad reality of what happens when the mentally ill are not looked after. It is the reality of what drug addiction looks like. I have former friends that got hooked on herion, and went down there to sell their ass or what ever else could get them money. Glad I never took that route in my youth, just stuck with the pot and beer. By all means, we should help the people who cannot help themselves. Have better detox facilities for the people who wish to clean themselves from their deadly addiction. Insite is a start, as it helps addicts to use clean needles, practise proper disposal of sharps, and offers counselling service to ones who wish. Sadly the federal government wants it shut down. Without Insite, addicts will be just as plentiful as they are now, so I fail to see how that would be a solution at all. We have tried the do nothing for them approach, and it has gotten us to where we are. Any solutions are better then doing nothing, but who am I to say.

#3 go green on 03.25.09 at 8:45 pm

If I read correctly BC is at least tryin to do something re wind/solar.

In contrast to our govt. Wind-power policy serves NSP’s monopoly – http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1112413.html

#4 MMMM Squirrel on 03.25.09 at 8:59 pm

Looking at the markets today it seems like we have turned a corner. The Dow is up a good chunk off its lows, and while the S&P didnt have a great day.

Here in Kelowna there are line-ups at restaurants, and while there are more For Sale signs this year than last, there are still quite a few ‘SOLD’ signs up around town. A friend of mine who works in commercial construction is busy as always, and the roofer who just finished my house says that business is booming. A couple of the roofing companies I asked to quote for the job said there was no point as they were too busy and would not be able to get to it for a couple of months at least.

Houses here in Kelowna are still ridiculuoulsy unaffordable (as usual), so the promise of that little side benefit didnt materialize.

So………where exactly is the recession, or even the downturn? Seems like folks got themselves a little overwrought about the temporary (this has only been going for 8 months) downturn and tried to turn it into something it wasnt. If what I am seeing on a day-to-day basis is to be beleived, we have weathered this storm just fine.

Or are we living in a dream….waiting for a nightmare that has not arrived yet??

#5 go green on 03.25.09 at 9:02 pm

Garth – I hope you’ll post my previous post on your previous blog posting re the worm, once you’ve checked it out of course.

The worm threat seems real and substantiated, but publishing an internal memo is not wise. — Garth

#6 Bob on 03.25.09 at 9:05 pm

Once in a while, you actually have some beautiful writing, Garth. Not a comment on the despair, etc. Just the way in which you develop your environment. Probably the best writing I’ve seen from you on here and in your books.

#7 null on 03.25.09 at 9:06 pm

If one wants to see what a genocide looks like in person, all they have to do is go to East Hastings.

#8 Da HK Kid on 03.25.09 at 9:07 pm

Garth, have you viewed this? Everyone this is now available on youtube since it’s release on April 15th on DVD!

The Obama Deception HQ Full length version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

#9 go green on 03.25.09 at 9:12 pm

#2 Marc on 03.25.09 at 8:45 pm

We have tried the do nothing for them approach, and it has gotten us to where we are. Any solutions are better then doing nothing, but who am I to say.

Unfortunately, the cons would rather the big corps make profits by building prisons & incarcerating all of them at far greater taxpayers’ expense than prevention/rehabilitation.

#10 Anon on 03.25.09 at 9:14 pm

Which complex has closed an entire tower in downtown Vancouver?

Somebody should tell North Vancouver Citizen Jr, he could make them an offer…..

#11 Rhino on 03.25.09 at 9:37 pm

#2 Marc on 03.25.09 at 8:45 pm

Well said, Bro’

When I lived out there, I was amazed at the dichotomy that was Vancouver. Huge wealth in one area, and next door, East Hastings. North Van with beautiful homes, and downtown houses with 3 families living in them, with lots of “illegal apartments”.

Seemed to me, that lots of folks went out there after ‘The Dream”, and when it did not materialize in Lotusland, there was no where else to go, since “go west” meant drowning in the Pacific. Broken people with broken dreams… trying to forget it all with substance abuse. I got to know some folks in the “subterranean lifestyle” in Vancouver, and was frankly amazed that most Vancouverites either were not aware of its existence, or tried to ignore it.

At least in Van you do not have to worry about freezing to death, like similar folks in Montreal or Toronto, who’s only warmth in winter is sleeping on subway vents. Every big city has some of it, but in Van, it is really “in your face”.

Yet, so many, still push the “I’m o.k. – too bad for you” attitude.

#12 Grumpydawgs on 03.25.09 at 9:50 pm

Garth, the denial is so thick in the Vancouver media you can cut it with a knife. The vacant condos aren’t empty, they’re ‘available, they’re not losing value they’re ‘becoming more affordable’. The condo kings are bailing so fast it’s hard to keep up with the flurry of adverts attesting ‘great new prices’.

It makes you wonder that if the ads were correct and values are going to rebound soon then why are the developers cutting prices and desperatley jumping ship if they could themselves make the big money available just by waiting until the fall.

There are 3 things involved in this artificial euphoria, first the big ad dollars coming in from developers trying desperatley to find the last Greater Fool, second, we have a big spending election coming uo on may 15th and the Liberals don’t want reality news to taint the scene, third, and not least we have Olympic sponsors contract burdened to provide advertising for the ‘big show’.

After these three issues are resolved this town is going to sink fast. The fundamentals of the BC ( Before Collapse) economy are getting worse by the day. The largest financier of basic industry operations and payroll went into bankruptcy today. Forest and marine co is no longer able to fund the daily operations or meet the payroll for 40 BC forest and basic industry co’s. This leaves thousands of workers without a paycheque or food on the table.

EI recipients in the forest industry are for the majority out of EI benefits and there are no other options left for additional thousands of workers.

#13 go green on 03.25.09 at 10:05 pm

I have to share good news. My niece yesterday found out she rec’d a $17K scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to pursue her Masters at Carleton. Carlton had already offered her a scholarship.

I don’t know whether she’ll be able to find a job later, but she does have a passion. She had also thought about pursuing a career in journalism, but that profession, at least in the MSM, seems futile.

#14 Mike Hunt on 03.25.09 at 10:15 pm

I don’t believe how people could NOT think Vancouver was in a massive bubble. Homes priced at $700 000. And that was just a regular 3 bedroom house in a regular area far from downtown. Just be common sense, wouldn’t everyone know this was too much to pay? When I see a cinnamon bun with a $45 price-tag, I don’t buy it. Why? Because it is NOT GOOD VALUE. In order for homes to be $700K, it would mean that teachers, book keepers, police officers, fire fighters, nurses etc. would be making around $125K+ a year. Salaries were no where close. To this day, I don’t know how banks approved this ‘common folk’ for these mortgages and how these ‘common folk’ were able to make the payments. I guess everyone in BC is growing weed in their basements.

#15 POL-CAN on 03.25.09 at 10:37 pm

#8 Da HK Kid

The Obama deception movie was a very good watch. Right up my tin-hat alley. It is truly amazing just who belongs to those big boy clubs and who pulls their strings.

I urge all to take the ~ 2 hours to watch the move but please have an open mind… Think for yourself….

Again that link is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

#16 JO on 03.25.09 at 10:40 pm

Still can’t believe the harmonization BS. Ontario could not have found a better way to help RE keep crashing. Who will buy a new home with 8 % more tax ? I do favour more emphasis on consumption taxes but only with deep cuts in income taxes. The tax system also needs to be simplified – big time. Get rid of all those silly niche credits and deductions, which are nothing but the result of successful political lobbying and misguided intervention in the economy.

Did everyone see the house in Windsor listed for under $ 35K ? Talk about Detroit North.

As I have alluded to before, the risk of a deflationary-induced collapse in long bond prices is increasing by the hour. We should make new highs in long bonds over the next 2-3 months, but fall onward, look out. Imagine what 10 % 5 year mortgages would do the RE market.

Vancouver would easily drop 20 % + in the 12 months following the bond market collapse, which is inevitable.
JO

#17 Bob on 03.25.09 at 10:42 pm

Go green…congrats to your niece! Great school…but you may be right on MSM.

#18 ts harpoon on 03.25.09 at 10:43 pm

East Hastings- Well described; one must pray for those on the streets. Could be me next. Good observation on the missing blinds, couldn’t give a damn because I can’t see myself living in an over-priced predictable space. Never been to Vancouver or Spain for that matter but I have always wanted to wander around Madrid. It’s just that can’t afford it right now.

On our little two block main streets throughout Canada we can spot the same illuminating experiences except for the condo’s; nothing over three stories could block the sun. Alcohol replaces opium. Instead we see exfoliating shingles, dented siding, vinyl cladding covering once rich brick facades of the hair salons, pizza joints, second hand stores and maybe a second hand store for the storefronts that are actually occupied. Somewhere there is a Tim Horton’s that acts as a community centre.

It is well known fact that small town Canada has been dying for some considerable time as the masses ran to the urban centres for better opportunities. But small town Canada looks worse today.

I truly believe our past thirty plus years of comfort, luxury, leisure in Canada over the coming years will become increasingly and intensely worse to look at let alone live in. Just like East Hastings.

Reality has a way of negotiating its terms. I will adhere to my insurance policy and wait for the big “die-off”.

Keep up the good work.

How it might look in North America from a Russian survivor:
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/23259

#19 TheComingDepression on 03.25.09 at 10:44 pm

Many here are NOT in denial. I talk to many all day, at Urban Fare at the Wedgewood hotel, Shangri la, the list goes on. MANY realize we are going into a DEPRESSION. I talk to all sorts of Realtors, Business people and all agree the economy is collapsing. Unless your talking to some hillbilly hicks, yes you may get a different response. I bet I talked to 10 people today, they all said we are screwed..

#20 POL-CAN on 03.25.09 at 10:48 pm

Since I posted about movies… This one is perhaps a preview of what is to come down south… I am sure it has been posted before but here it is again anyway….

The documentary divided into twelve parts tells the story of how debt combined with political corruption impoverished a nation that was once so rich that the expression “Wealthy as an Argentine” was once in common use throughout the world.

When the USA took on trillions in debt starting in the early 1980s, did we enter a Dante’s hell as Argentina did when it took on its debt under a military dictatorship in the 1970s? Is it only a matter of time before US debts lead inexorably to currency crisis, inflation, and political chaos? The story will strike North Americans as uncomfortably familiar.

http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=41130#post41130

#21 sales up? on 03.25.09 at 10:52 pm

Sales were up from Jan to Feb I wonder what they were compaired to last year. I can’t find the canadians figures.
The states reported sales to be up 4.7%
problem- February purchases were up from January’s record low, the sales rate is still down more than 41% from February 2008, when sales were an estimated 572,000.

#22 Heather W on 03.25.09 at 10:53 pm

Tidal wave hits the Fraser Valley

I don’t know if it’s just me, but yesterday and today I’ve felt the arrival of the tidal wave. I live in Abbotsford.

For several months I’ve been sniffing the air and saying “Everybody says there’s a recession here but where is it?” I heard all the news and read the statistics, but it never made a direct hit between my ears yet. Until now.

Yesterday, following a rumour, I went to Petcetera to see if they were closing and if so to buy enough bags of cat food to collect my “Buy 10 bags get one free” promotional offer. I’m afraid the nice, pierced young man there felt embarrassed and awkward as we muddled through trying to find out how many bags I still needed to buy only to discover that the offer has been unilaterally discontinued. I had to buy a bag to find that out – and then he was forbidden by the new store policy to immediately accept its return (I wanted to head to the little pet food store down the way instead). That and the 15% off on everything signs reflect the fact that Petcetera has filed for bankruptcy and it’s going down.

Then I went and picked up a loaf of bread nearby, and on the store bulletin board, instead of the usual baby- and dog-sitting notices, were plastered boats for sale, trucks for sale, advertisements of the man-with-truck-will-do-anything sort….

This evening my significant other came home from helping conduct an interview at the nearby hospital. They were interviewing a nurse from Oregon. The hospital she came from just laid off ONE THOUSAND NURSES. Poor Oregon.

And of course today the CBC is forced to contract into some hopefully recognizable shadow of its former self, and 800 good, talented CBC employees take the combined wisdom of who knows how many years of service and head out into an uncertain future. Poor Canada.

Add to this the stories of friends and friends of friends, and it’s starting to come home to me in a way I could not have imagined a month ago even. This is big and it is bad for lots of ordinary people and it’s going to have a lasting impact.

I’m heading out to get me some solar panels next.

#23 POL-CAN on 03.25.09 at 10:54 pm

Toronto market update…

There are now detached houses available in C1, C2, E1, E2, W1, and W2 at under 600K that would have been asking over 800 K last summer…. These are the ones that are selling….

For those of you that keep saying that prices have not moved….. Please pay more attention to your areas of interest….

#24 subprimenow on 03.25.09 at 10:58 pm

Garth, where are you getting the info re sales up and listings down in Vancouver? YOY listings are up about 35% and sales down about 45%.
Month over month sales up (normal for spring) and listings up a bit but only realtors talk MOM anyway.

#25 ts harpoon on 03.25.09 at 10:59 pm

We’re about done here folks.

Garth said it here first.

“The underlying problem is not the stock market. It is the credit (bond) market – that is, the underlying reality that there is too much debt out there in relationship to GDP, it cannot all be serviced, and as the economy contracts it feeds a vicious spiral where a default produces unemployment which drops both spendable income (and thus income available debt service) AND tax revenues, giving it to the credit market in all orifices. This is “deflationary destruction” and it is inevitable when government pushes off the normal cyclical cleaning out that recessions do, as our government has.”

http://market-ticker.org/archives/898-The-End-Game-Approaches.html

#26 Gord In Vancouver on 03.25.09 at 11:00 pm

#14 Mike Hunt

……….In order for homes to be $700K, it would mean that teachers, book keepers, police officers, fire fighters, nurses etc. would be making around $125K+ a year. Salaries were no where close.

Never underestimate the power of real estate speculation. Those who bought Vancouver real estate between 2005 and early 2008 but didn’t sell better not lose their jobs.

#27 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 03.25.09 at 11:05 pm

If I may…

Last I heard, $150 million has been spent on supporting/rehabing the 5,000.

The $$$ spent hasn’t worked, let alone improve the situation.

The 5000 should be herded and placed in a safe and simple life colony envoironment…It is now proven they cannot be rehabilitated….Yes, like King of Hearts, the movie.

…An RCMP officer told me today that 1/3 of the British Properties are owned by offshore, illegal money, residents…you may now call the North and West Vancouver, West Switzerland…it is all hush hush so would explain why Real Estate $$$ is so pricey.

Yes, I feel very safe…better to live here than say….Keele and Finch.

The legally wealthy and even the illegal ones have to live somewhere…why not Vancouver/Hongcouver…because of its proximity to Asia…the next Financial/Trade/Leisure capital of North America.

#28 Brown Eyed Squirrel on 03.25.09 at 11:17 pm

At least real estate is booming again in Vancouver.

Just like Sacramento turned it around in early 2007.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_oqQI_LytgCE/SFg6S29nifI/AAAAAAAAAto/saUkSrxtWW0/s1600-h/SpringLedge.JPG

#29 Dave in Calgary on 03.25.09 at 11:23 pm

#4 MMMM Squirrel

Over 200,000 jobs lost in the first 2 months of ’09 and you’re wondering where the recession is? And you’re watching bear rallies and listening to your roofer?

Try talking to some of 1000s of engineers laid off in Calgary (even within the EPC world, the number is well over 1000 in Calgary). I am lucky one holding on to my job… my pay-cut starts April 1st… ohhh the irony.

#30 Vankouver on 03.25.09 at 11:25 pm

Dear Go Green – you should know that the Feds are set and ready to cut the SSHRC funding – tell your niece to ensure her’s isn’t taken away in a puff of smoke. I too was a recipient of such an award for my education and they are becoming more scarce by the day. More than ever the GVRD needs research on education, prevention – Garth’s picture and description attests to the very real need. Drugs and prostitution are being “cleaned up” (shifted) to other parts of the city – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody for 2010. Most weekends I see the local prostitutes get dropped off by their pimp (some massive SUV with tinted out windows) to work outside and loiter in the business complex near “900K” homes. As you’ve probably heard, gang violence has become more normal than the Canucks’ winning streak (though I do love those Canucks). Despite being surrounded by the beauty of mother nature, the emptiness, shock, and sadness of humanity becomes clearer as the recession deepens. That being said, I am hopeful this will turn around but, it’s going to take a while.

#31 WakeUp on 03.25.09 at 11:28 pm

I don’t really see housing prices crashing. After a 100+% gain in prices a 10-15% decline isn’t what I would call a crash.

#32 Jim Genac on 03.25.09 at 11:29 pm

Marc refers to Hastings Street as ‘the real street of dreams’. I have always called Hastings the ‘street of absolutely no dreams’. Vancouver is still violently removed from a proper price balance with everyone holding on waiting for the recovery they are sure is just around the corner. Hastings simply exposes another reality, apart from real estate, that Vancouverites are grappling to come to terms with.

#33 wayupnorth on 03.25.09 at 11:34 pm

While we have Vancouver I read something last week far more depressing. Apparently Russia has the worlds biggest drug problem with one in thirty working age adults addicted to heroin from Afganistan. It didnt mention youth but also pointed out that in a country with a negative population growth they admit to more than 1 million and rising aids cases. The worst is that like the Harper government they don’t have any sources of help for these people as a result of a culture of denial and loathing for those who find themselves addicted.

#34 taxpayer like you on 03.25.09 at 11:37 pm

13 Go Green said:

“My niece yesterday found out she rec’d a $17K
scholarship…………I don’t know whether she’ll be able to
find a job later……”

Sorry GG, I enjoy your posts, you seem like a great
person, and I wish your daughter luck, but I am having a
little “trouble” with this. I mean in a very general sense
as I dont know the particulars.

So somebody is paying $17K so your daughter can go to school but might not learn marketable skills or gain
expertise? Now, I’m all for scholarships, and have received bursaries myself, that were provided by
parties that could at least potentially employ me, or
indirectly benefit from my pursuit of a career in that field.

So this is where I get a little befuddled with the education system. It is becoming an end in itself.

Again, sorry, I dont mean to rain on your parade. I’m sure you’re very proud. Please feel free to counter-punch and provide any more details.

#35 john m on 03.25.09 at 11:37 pm

As always great post Garth,i just watched the budget officer on the news…….shocking!his office budget has been cut by i million dollars and the Harper government is doing their best not to provide him with up to date facts…..same old ,same old. We are headed for a depression i think,the only positive news i have seen come from brainwashed individuals with no sense of reality.Our lifestyle and future is deteriorating at an alarming rate.

#36 timbo on 03.25.09 at 11:51 pm

have a listen to this. It makes me feel warm inside knowing the system is fair and just.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102325715

#37 Grumpydawgs on 03.25.09 at 11:59 pm

Mike, you’re right it doesn’t make fundamental sense. We haven’t had a balance of income affordability in vancouver since the late 1960’s when real estate was priced in the range of 3 to 4 times income. It is the norm for buyers to have 80+ percent of thier disposable income supporting a real estate purchase. With personal debt now at 130% of after tax income in BC it is akin to the demise of a pyramid scheme collapsing. There simply isn’t enough people on the planet to keep the bubble aloft.

Currently at the average median price point price/income ratio’s are between 9 and 10 times average incomes. It took the Soviets seventy years of artificial economy to finally bankrupt thier system resulting in total collapse, I think we are at that point in Vancouver real estate where it has taken fourty.

As far as the question of “Is everyone growing weed in thier basement?” The fact is that it has become so prevalent that Firemen,RCMP constables, school teachers and immigrant newbie thugs are all doing it to such an extent that there is no more customers left unless they sell to one another. Hence the desperate drug war for a shinking market share resulting in killings in every neighbourhood.

It’s another pyramid scheme collapsing due to a lack of new parties available to support the dope bubble. The Government sat idly by and watched both the above fiasco’s destroy whole segments of society; ignorance is not bliss in BC.

#38 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 03.26.09 at 12:37 am

“Unless you live beside a dumpster.”

I knew a person who lost his well-paid job due to office politics. Ended up on or around East Hastings. Tough life. I couldn’t handle it.
*****
#8 Da HK Kid at 9:07 pm — Interesting link, but George Orwell would be proud of this doublespeak.

Obama says ‘no’ to a one-world currency, yet . . . — http://tinyurl.com/d7wdlx

“Obama, Geithner and Bernanke yesterday publicly defended the dollar and denounced proposals by China and Russia to supplant the greenback with a new global currency, and yet the very policies of the Obama administration, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve are creating the perfect storm for the dollar’s death and its replacement with a new international reserve currency.”

. . . whereas Geithner (also above) takes a different view in a separate story. — http://tinyurl.com/d76sgg

“. . . saying he would be open to the idea that a different currency could be used to settle world-wide trading accounts. Geithner told the Council on Foreign Relations that he would be “quite open” to abandoning the U.S. dollar as the primary global reserve currency. . . .”

What gives? Who does one believe? Not politicians, that’s fer sure.
——
#4 MMMM Squirrel at 8:59 pm — “. . . are we living in a dream….waiting for a nightmare that has not arrived yet??”

Get the 2010 WO outta the way, with the deficits / debt of most countries increasing that will be time for a major worldwide slowdown / stop-altogether.
*****
It seems that workers’ paycheques (those who still work) are quietly eroding, because of deflation yet with municipal and other taxes increasing (to pay for infrastructure repairs, etc.), as well as food and other staples rising, what are people supposed to base their lives around — in- or deflation? — http://tinyurl.com/dbjtjr

#39 Happy Renter in North Van on 03.26.09 at 1:06 am

If I was a poverty activist in Vancouver, I would round up all the people from the Downtown East Side in 20 buses and have them camp out in Shaughnessy, on South Graville and in West Vancouver. I’d feed these people and provide them shelter and watch the Range Rover drivers squirm… Betcha you’d see solutions created in record time… The reality is I’m just as apathetic as everyone else…

#40 Jake on 03.26.09 at 1:13 am

Here’s the link to Rex Murphy’s take on the US bailouts/ AIG bonus situation in the States. The destruction of that country is intensifying. When the government works for the banks and not for the people, the people suffer.

http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/video/rex_murphy/economy_dramas.html

#41 Mark on 03.26.09 at 1:48 am

And yet our old favourite vancouver Sun has a interesting spin on it…. “Its not unafordable – you’re actually RICH if you own!”

http://www.vancouversun.com/Business/Vancouver+house+prices+make+city+personal+worth/1424169/story.html

#42 Expat on 03.26.09 at 1:51 am

So, as you can surmise from my posting name, I’m and expat living in the US. Recently I was offered a job opportunity at my company’s Victoria office. Making a move back to Canada is something I have wanted to do for a while, this is a good job opportunity, great bunch of people at the office. So for the last few days my wife and I have been scouring MLS and Craig’s List postings, comparing our current affordable lifestyle with what is possible in Vic, and my question is, how the hell does this work for the average family? The options seem to be pay a lot more money than I can afford for something really substandard (resounding no, life is too short), or renting(change in lifestyle, but at least we could possibly live IN Victoria, not an hour commute away in rush hour, which I define as >20 Km). So this is an open question to you folks in Victoria. How, exactly, does this work, is your own quality of living what you really want, can you access the amenities of Victoria or just a suburb and really only drive to Victoria a few weekends a year, and who are these people buying these houses? I make a good living, and these prices are ridiculous, possibly worse than the San Jose Tech Bubble prices, without the tech bubble wages to back them up. Please explain this to me, I just don’t get it. Thanks in advance.

#43 gold bug on 03.26.09 at 1:51 am

I just want to let the bleeding hearts in Vancouver know that you better not be shipping your degenerates over on the ferry when the Olympics roll around. We’ve got enough street losers of our own. And the mood toward them in this city his hostile.

#44 dd on 03.26.09 at 2:06 am

North Vancouver Citizen Jr. is going to be crushed that your talking about his city in this way.

Of course you heard it here first.

#45 dd on 03.26.09 at 2:10 am

#4 MMMM Squirrel

Can’t you hear the cracks in the structure? I know another person today that just got layed off.

Calgary.

#46 David Bakody on 03.26.09 at 9:01 am

East Hastings is so far removed from Atlantic Canada but I am more than sure every city has it’s own East Hastings and the sad part is they will only expand. I once lived in Kitchener and from what I have heard the once thriving manufacturing industries are gonzo. What is wrong the world is looking at the stock markets as a key to correct all this ( this great recession will leave millions in the dark) …. I think many are looking at their own personal investments and not the big picture. Greed will return in abundance, as mentioned yesterday on CBC radio ( interview) that those who lost from the Madoff scandal will be on the front line with a new attitude called supper greed having been duked and now feel they are deserving. Interesting and historic times indeed. As for our southern cousins …. their politicians will not bite the hands that feed them so look for a host of fancy stick handling moves on the political campaign contribution front which of course only invites more corporate corruption. So the saga of greed continues. My personal advice pay down debt save wisely and enjoy life on a modest plate.

#47 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.26.09 at 9:19 am

Having actually been to Vancouver and seen its underbelly in the Gaslight District and other unsavoury areas, I can say it is not the Perfect Nirvana so many think it is, or portray it as being.

There are many hurting human beings but the ‘elite’ ignore such realities. Just like in the movie ‘The Devil Wears Prada!’

Lotusland has many weeds and they will choke the life out the rest!

#48 smwhite on 03.26.09 at 10:00 am

#12 Grumpydawgs

Garth, the denial is so thick in the Vancouver media you can cut it with a knife. The vacant condos aren’t empty, they’re ‘available, they’re not losing value they’re ‘becoming more affordable’. The condo kings are bailing so fast it’s hard to keep up with the flurry of adverts attesting ‘great new prices’.

Oh the art of reading between the lines…

#49 Mike B formerly just Mike on 03.26.09 at 10:07 am

Vancouver… great place to live if you are a quadrillionaire or a junkie… free junk at the clinics.
Now these are the things that the “next financial hub” needs indeed… Yeeeessss you read it hear first. LOL

#50 GaryT on 03.26.09 at 10:22 am

Garth,
Obviously you are in Vancouver. Did you see the news yesterday with the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Association Seminar? All about is now the time to buy with prices down and low mortgage rates? Showing young first time home buyers wondering if now is the time to jump in. I notice they didn’t invite you to speak there. Hmmmm….. I wonder why? The news story then followed up with Ozzie Jurock pumping his book about how to buy real estate in Canada! Amazing! All on Global TV.

Hard to tell who are the bigger propoerty pimps right now – the real estate boards or the reporters trying to save their own condo values. — Garth

#51 Peter @ Canadian Banks on 03.26.09 at 10:25 am

#12 Grumpydawgs on 03.25.09 at 9:50 pm

Garth, the denial is so thick in the Vancouver media you can cut it with a knife. The vacant condos aren’t empty, they’re ‘available, they’re not losing value they’re ‘becoming more affordable’. The condo kings are bailing so fast it’s hard to keep up with the flurry of adverts attesting ‘great new prices’.

Of course they are in denial, but this won’t stop prices from falling. Just look at the US situation – crashing home prices without bottom in sight, and still many homeowners there won’t admit that their precious houses have declined in value…

#52 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 03.26.09 at 10:29 am

#38 Happy Renter in North Van & #46 Bill Muskoka(NAM)

>>>If I was a poverty activist in Vancouver, I would round up all the people from the Downtown East Side in 20 buses and have them camp out in Shaughnessy, on South Graville and in West Vancouver. I’d feed these people and provide them shelter and watch the Range Rover drivers squirm… Betcha you’d see solutions created in record time… <<<

…It is a factoid….$150 million has been spent to support/rehabilitate the 5000 of East Hastings…from Govt thru Poverty activist programs.

It hasn’t worked due likely to the 5000 are non rehabilitatable plus scamming by the rehabilitators.

Hence my opinion of a safe and simple colony for them.

Why not, they jail convicts who require rehabilitation and isolation…the downtrodden are convicts of a different ilk.

…Place the rehabilitated ones in the armed forces, convicts and druggies.

…Its not like the forseeable economy can continue to support our curent system for the downtrodden and convicted…does it….major change is needed…the sooner the better.

#53 BailinginBc on 03.26.09 at 10:37 am

Just found out today that a new commercial building in my area has dropped the prices on its units by 40%. The building has been completed for over a year and is less than half sold. What does this say for the large amount of commercial lots just round the corner where construction is just beginning?

#54 Dave on 03.26.09 at 10:45 am

#19 TheComingDepression on 03.25.09 at 10:44 pm

I bet I talked to 10 people today, they all said we are screwed..

—————————————

were they all in the same bunker as you?

#55 ralph on 03.26.09 at 10:48 am

Conservative MP Mike Wallace said. “We’re in better shape, wouldn’t you agree, than our American friends? Is there a reason that you’ve only showed us the negative?”

This in response to criticism that the economy is in far worse shape than what the federal government has been predicting.

To say that we are better off then the Americans at this point is not really saying much. It still stinks. And the reason it is all negative my friend is because it is. So quit the B.S. Wallace.

#56 Just a Girl on 03.26.09 at 10:52 am

#41 Expat asked how exactly people in Victoria make it work.

If I were to take a guess (and I live/work here part-time), I might venture to say, every home has a suite rented out. Friends of mine are a family of 5, living on one floor of 1200 SF, for the past 17 years. Homeowners repaint and maybe let things go a little longer (that’s why some appear sub-standard). Some homeowners probably had parents or grandparents who passed away and left them a property or an inheritance. Some have had the same government jobs for 20 years and have not taken any risks in work or life, but opted for stability and security. Some have put all their money into their homes, instead of vacations or cars or material things. Camping for summer vacation, you know.

In other words, I see some serious lifestyle choices here, with perhaps a little bit of luck to get one’s foot in the door at all!

#57 Bob Bagina on 03.26.09 at 11:03 am

#41 Expat on 03.26.09 at 1:51 am on Victoria….

IMO it’s not affordable. My wife and I have been watching for about a year now and while prices have come down slightly things are still selling close to or at BC Assessment rates.

I’m not sure who’s buying here, but I’m damn curious to find out. There seems to be a lateral shift happening, as 400K level homes are selling, while condos and apartments are lagging and falling much faster.

We rent a two bedroom for $900, which is on the low end in town. I’ve seen SFH renting for $1500, and that’s within city limits. Unless your living in Bangford (Langford/Colwood or Sooke), everything here is close in proximity.

Sooke housing is falling, as are other small communities up and down the island. Folks who make the Sooke commute (45mins) don’t seem to mind it too much but lament the poor school system that exists out that way (not sure how true that is but I’ve heard people speak of it).

Victoria has lots of old money, and lots of old people with old money which seems to prop up some of the prices. The incidence of low-income families though is on the rise, and Olympic castaways are starting to clog the already crowded streets. The city is trying though, in concert with researchers at UVic and front-line community workers to create a solution.

#58 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.26.09 at 11:10 am

Hard to tell who are the bigger property pimps right now – the real estate boards or the reporters trying to save their own condo values. — Garth

Sounds like the ‘living wall’ in ‘Devil’s Advocate’ where Al Pacino plays the Devil! A wreathing meelee of flesh intertwined in hopelessness.

#59 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.26.09 at 11:14 am

#51 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 03.26.09 at 10:29 am

Why not ship them all to Detroit? They won’t notice any real difference in the housing and then they can learn to work together re-building a neighborhood. Then you and the rest can get on with life, eh?

#60 Dodged-a-Bullit in Alberta on 03.26.09 at 11:18 am

Greetings: I beleive we will see more of this on our side of the border.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aKqkjyYkFN8w&refer=worldwide

#61 Eduardo on 03.26.09 at 11:49 am

What do you guys think of these stats from Calgary:

“For homes priced under $300,000 there is now only a 2.5 month supply of listings. The Absorption Rate by Price Range table has been updated and shows there is a continuing trend towards falling absorption rates. There was a 9 month supply of homes on the market in December. That has fallen to just over a 4 month supply today. ”

“There are 770 fewer(-28%) Vacant Listings on MLS than last year at this time. Vacant listings includes unoccupied homes and new homes which have never been lived in. ”

http://www.findcalgary.ca/listings?pathway=127&pageId=19

Prices up too…

#62 Rhino on 03.26.09 at 11:55 am

One aspect of “affordable” Vancouver…

I met many folks, who would rent an empty house, one typically in ratty conditon that had been purchased by a speculator.

They move in, convert the second floor to one apartment, and have an undergound contractor type build a third apartment in the basement.

So, basically, it took the wages from 3 family/renters to pay for the rent or mortgage. Then, if things got tough, they just moved out, leaving a house behind, with unapproved construction or renovations, illegal apartments, etc., for the tenement-type landlord to deal with.

After all, who is the landlord going to sue? Someone struggling to stay alive? Yeah… right.

A beautiful city, full of people who find it easy to look away.

One thing I never got used to was the hookers working street corners in the ‘Burbs! Pick up a hitchhiker and get a proposition and crotch shot. I just stopped picking up hitchhikers there, which disturbed me somewhat…

Vancouver…

#63 Future Expatriate on 03.26.09 at 11:56 am

#41, Victoria is behind the US a full two years. Some parts of Canada are moving to catch up more quickly, but Victoria, being the insulated time warp provincial little burg it is, will probably be the last to catch up.

And the bottom isn’t fully in for the US market either, with another huge crash coming after the commercial markets reset and tank later this year.

Make your drop dead lowest lowball offers, and soon enough even the greediest of sellers will get the obvious. And then it will be a free-for-all as the desperate lead the greedy in a race to the bottom as quickly as possible to beat the competition and Victoria catches up to the rest of Canada which will have already caught up to Miami, Las Vegas, and Stockton.

It’s a bit like the last voyage of the Titanic. The iceberg has hit; not enough people know it just yet.

#64 jess on 03.26.09 at 12:02 pm

S does not equal I ?

Mr. T. Mr. Dodge is talkin principles and Mr. Geithner is talkin rules…

…”Financial institutions and markets transform the earnings and savings of American workers into the loans that finance a home, a new car or a college education. They exist to allocate savings and investment to their most productive uses.
Our financial system does this better than any other financial system in the world, but our system failed in basic fundamental ways…periodic booms in real estate markets and in credit, followed by busts and contraction.” …bet the house on credit default swaps with no one watching and no credible backing to protect the company or taxpayers from losses must end,” Geithner said in his prepared testimony….

And we need strong and uniform supervision for all financial products marketed to consumers and investors, and tough enforcement of the rules to ensure full accountability for those who violate the public trust.”

#65 RJAG2034 on 03.26.09 at 12:02 pm

#41 Expat on 03.26.09 at 1:51 am on Victoria….

Yup, you’re right, houses are much more expensive here compared to other parts of the country and especially the US. Typical decent house for a family in a good area is ranging from high 400’s to 800’s Just depends on what you need and where you look.

Funny thing though, pretty well every person I talk to wouldnt trade living here for other parts of Canada.

That last comment applies to every person in every part of Canada. I suggest you get on a few planes. — Garth

#66 O'Ryan on 03.26.09 at 12:18 pm

#4-mmm squirrel
What is it you do in Kelowna? Where do your daily travels take you? You must lead a very sheltered life if you get your economic forcasting from a roofer.

My line of work takes me up and down the valley from Lake Country to Peachland every day,and even though I keep my eyes on the road,I can’t ignore the empty commercial properties that line both sides of the highway. For lease/sale commercial and residential signs are increasing daily.
IHA(the health authority)has a 90 day hiring freeze right now and the 3 mills just instituted another one week without pay ‘break’ for their employees.
Please,I could really use some good news,but I don’t want it to come second hand from your roofer.
I crave bona fide economic optimistic news. Reality only please.

#67 east of eden on 03.26.09 at 12:57 pm

go green on 03.25.09 at 9:12 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is BC not a Liberal province?

#68 TrueGritCalgary on 03.26.09 at 1:26 pm

David Bakody on 03.26.09 at 9:01 am said “East Hastings is so far removed from Atlantic Canada but I am more than sure every city has it’s own East Hastings.” David, I used to think like you do about this, until I actually saw East Hastings for myself, and that was 10 years ago (it is now even worse). East Hastings has to be experienced in person to get a true appreciation of what it really is. I have an R.C.M.P. friend who lives in the Vancouver area and when she takes me down by East Hastings, she insist that the car doors are locked and the windows are done up. The peole there look like they have been beaten up and spit out by life. It is like a watching a zombie movie.

#69 Grumpydawgs on 03.26.09 at 1:29 pm

Another day another ‘adjusted’ 654,000 new jobless claims in the US. Canada’s independant budget officer appointed by the Conservatives (now reviled by the same) reported yesterdday that Canada’s GDP had collapsed 8.5% in 90 days. 7500 GM workers take car coupon and 20 grand as a buyout, after tax, thats desperation. 20k isn’t much in an inflationary enviornment where food costs and fuel are screaming up .

Don drummond ( economist for TD Bank) says this morning that this recession is likely to stick around until 2015. And a refreshing quote for those who still doubt the downturn,

“”This recession is probably different than all others … predictions are fewer people will be able to get the same job with the same salary at the end of this,” said Julian Barling, an associate dean at Queen’s School of Business who specializes in workplace aggression and leadership.”

In the recession of the 80’s many never recovered and it came as a shock to some that the paradigm had changed. This time around you’re getting advance notice.

#70 Anton on 03.26.09 at 1:51 pm

Check out the upward spin in this “Report”.

http://edmonton.comfree.ca/stats/stats_JanFeb08.html?PHPSESSID=76c286804a2b8ccd2a71401cc8e24d58

If we remove our failures, our success rate is 80%.

#71 Keith in Calgary on 03.26.09 at 1:53 pm

The loss of 800 CBC employees is not tragic, desperate nor devastating news.

It is reason for celebration as I am a taxpayer.

In other news……..

The UK could not sell their sovereign debt on the open market yesterday with the yields they offered, and since the US is in the same boat, the Bank of Canada will have to raise interest rates to pay for the increases they will have to offer on our own treasuries, since they will not want to be left behind when the UK and the US does so.

Notional interest rates can not go down any further since they are basically at zero, so homeowners who bought in the last 24 months, or who will in the next 24 months are screwed when rates go up and their house prices drop even moreso due to affordability already being dramatically out of whack.

#72 Anton on 03.26.09 at 1:53 pm

There is plenty of houses for sale not currently listed. Just in my crescent alone their are 5 houses for sale, 1 with ComFree, 4 with Realtors but only 2 of these are listed with MLS.

#73 Got A Watch on 03.26.09 at 2:01 pm

I would like to have seen the expressions on Stevie ‘The Economist’ Harper’s and ‘Dim’ Jim Flaherty’s faces when the Budget Officer reported that. Talk about dropping the bomb. That puff of smoke was what remained of their credibility.

ROFL.

The best laid plans of morons.

As I predicted earlier, the Liberals are gaining a lot of support, just by doing nothing. Why do anything, when the Conservative losers can do it for you. I predict a Liberal landslide next Federal election, the way things are going now. It matters not if the Liberals have no policies, all they have to do is smile and wave a lot to win the next election. If you are a Conservative voter, remember Kim Campbell. The public will be angry, and will blame the incumbents, they always do.

In Ontario, the opposite should happen – Dalton ‘The Dip#[email protected]%’ McGuinty will be sent to the woodshed. Of course, with the present losers in the Ontario Conservative Party, Dalton’s greatest political asset, you never know. He might squeak out another win, against all odds. The Conservatives are that incompetent here.

As for the NDP, who cares, they are irrelevant. The Green Party is just a joke.

A pox on all their houses. We are led by the brain-dead, in every Party, at every level.

#74 jess on 03.26.09 at 2:09 pm

while the tents are shut down and the people relocated to the fair grounds is the roller coaster free?

#75 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 03.26.09 at 2:17 pm

#58 Bill-Muskoka (NAM)
#51 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 03.26.09 at 10:29 am

>>Why not ship them all to Detroit? They won’t notice any real difference in the housing and then they can learn to work together re-building a neighborhood.<>I beleive we will see more of this on our side of the border.<<

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aKqkjyYkFN8w&refer=worldwide

jmo, If the recession really deepens, Liberal thinking citizens who are having trouble providing the basics of life for their families will decide easily enough that the downtrodden or convicts will be delt with a reorganized approach.

like i said,,,its just my opinion

#76 Vantown on 03.26.09 at 2:18 pm

For those who are interested or sincerely care about real causes of and solutions to the Vancouver Downtown East Side problem, I think Gabor Maté’s “In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts” should be required reading.

http://www.drgabormate.com/ghosts.php

Addiction usually arises out of abusive and addictive parents and upbringing; it is the result of physical, chemical processes in the brain; and many don’t realize the addictive tendencies in us all.

Proposals like shipping our worst addicts to some penal-like colony betray a total lack of understanding of the problem.

#77 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 03.26.09 at 2:19 pm

I think you mean Flint Michigan or Youngstown Ohio

Or maybe…

#59 Dodged-a-Bullit in Alberta’s posting….

…for whatever reason, the above was edited out of my last posting….

#78 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.26.09 at 2:32 pm

#65 O’Ryan on 03.26.09 at 12:18

” I crave bona fide economic optimistic news. Reality only please.”

Always happy to oblige, while keeping score.

In this, which in future, will seem like a bygone era, we have taken note of bonus deliveries, various tightenings, and bogus quests for favouring PR coverage.

Geithner to Propose Vast Expansion of U.S. Oversight of Financial System

Binyamin Appelbaum & David Cho—Washington Post—Thursday, March 26, 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/25/AR2009032502311.html

Barclays chief pledges to curb bankers’ pay

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iWS1WtW3eLZ5XUJ2QdfZPXx_KAcg

“We fully recognise that banks must review their internal governance systems and remuneration structures to ensure there can be no repeat of the turmoil that has impacted the industry and the wider economy,” he added.

In 2008, a year when Barclays’ share price fell 70 percent, the executive board’s remuneration was a combined 5.06 million pounds, down from 31.42 million pounds in 2007, the annual report showed.

Chief executive John Varley meanwhile saw his total pay plunge to 1.08 million pounds last year from 4.2 million pounds in 2007.”

When I saw those results, viewed in ‘context,’ I was so torn by the momentary sentiment, the tears ALMOST ran down my legs.

#79 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.26.09 at 2:42 pm

#66 east of eden on 03.26.09 at 12:57 pm

In the strictest definition of terms, I realized I could never become a BC Liberal. For one thing, I have never vacationed in Hawaii in the off-chance I would be charged with DUI.

For some of us, our 15 minutes of fame, replete with full frontal and profile photos, will hopefully never materialize.

#80 dd on 03.26.09 at 2:46 pm

#60 Eduardo on

“What do you guys think of these stats from Calgary…Prices up too”

Ya the unemployment rate is up too. Go figure.

#81 highway61 on 03.26.09 at 2:52 pm

60 Eduardo on 03.26.09 at 11:49 am What do you guys think of these stats from Calgary:

“For homes priced under $300,000 there is now only a 2.5 month supply of listings. The Absorption Rate by Price Range table has been updated and shows there is a continuing trend towards falling absorption rates. There was a 9 month supply of homes on the market in December. That has fallen to just over a 4 month supply today. ”

“There are 770 fewer(-28%) Vacant Listings on MLS than last year at this time. Vacant listings includes unoccupied homes and new homes which have never been lived in. ”

http://www.findcalgary.ca/listings?pathway=127&pageId=19

Prices up too…

sound great! real estate prices in calgary will stay where they are for next four months. there will be a slight decrease (3 %, perhaps 5) in september/october. december/january will bring anothere decrease (this time 5 perhaps 7 %).

#82 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.26.09 at 3:18 pm

#95 go green on 03.25.09 at 8:27 pm [ 13% ]

“We used 2903 Kwh = 64 days = $392.19”

Well GG, that’s an outlandish cost.

Even with the anticipated rollup, including HST, we’d be paying $163.68 for 1288 Kwh = 56 days.

Yours = 45.36 Kwh / day = ~$6.13 / day

Ours = 23.00 Kwh / day = ~$2.92 / day

Your property taxes beat us by $ several hundred and our place is only a very small split-level at 1267 ft. sq.

#83 jwk (nee jwkimba) on 03.26.09 at 3:18 pm

#2 13% doesn’t apply to houses less than 400k.

#41 newly married or newly married. Renters or long time owners. The old folks bought in the 60s before vic was hot. They are in no hurry to sell. Everyone else is trading up from earlier purchasers. Very hard for a new comer to break into market.

I re-pated in 2005 from LA to Toronto. Toronto seemed nice after the madness of SoCal in 2001-2005

The 13% tax applies to all servuices surrounding every house – legals, commission, appraisal, mortgage fees etc. The tax itself is added onto teh price of new homes over $400K. Either way, you lose. — Garth

#84 Ally Ally Oxycontin Free on 03.26.09 at 3:36 pm

“While the January’s retail sales numbers look good on the surface, we caution against interpreting this as the beginning of a new upward trend. Indeed, January’s increase is likely just a bounce back from the massive drop recorded in December. And given the headwinds that will continue to mount against Canadian consumers – namely a contraction in employment and income – retail spending in the coming months will likely resume the downtrend that began in the fourth quarter of last year.”

http://www.td.com/economics/comment/dc032009.pdf

#85 dekethegeek on 03.26.09 at 3:46 pm

I remember working at a mental hospital in the late 70’s(yes folks it explains a lot eh?). this was when the Liberal govt started to “downsize the mental hospitals and essnetially boot 90% of the patients out on the streets/ halfway houses.
Gee and how long have we had all these “homeless” wandering around ? The majority of them are mentally ill and either off their medication or now addicts as well as being “former” patients.
Time to reopen the Riverview Hospitals of Canada and see how much money we save. ( instead of spending Billions on the revolving door justice system that arrests,charges,sentences,and releases the same offenders over and over again.) Put them in hospitals where they belong. If their determined to be sane jail them.
No easy solutions in Lotusland.
The best place to by Crack ! Your heard it here first. (my apologies to North Van Jr for plagerising his phrase)

#86 if you don't like it on 03.26.09 at 4:20 pm

Oh those poor hotels!
Here’s an idea, maybe not charging $120+ a night for a simple hotel room!

#87 chuck on 03.26.09 at 4:20 pm

I used to be one of ‘those’ people, addicted and strung out on Hastings. Addition stole many years of my life and I must say that it can happen to anyone. I am a professional.

People who who talk about ‘them’ and how to solve ‘that’ problem have no idea what they’re talking about (including the almighty Garth.. sry). Until you have been there, there no understanding of the real problem, and thus no grasp of a proper solution. Even the language we use around ‘them’ segregates and further polarizes the problem.

Universally, addicts decide to clean up their act on their own terms. There is no way in hell to force an east ender to turning around their life. No matter how many the homeless shelters, recovering houses, safe injection sites or money we throw at the problem….we have been doing this for years with no avail. It’s like society can stop trying to treat the problem externally… even though nothing ever changes. Sounds like a crack addict.

Addicts will change when they are ready. What that means is different for each one, but it can _only_ come from the individual. When an addict is ready enough to do what it takes to clean up, he/she will do just fine. Because they are broken and willing, society will naturally pick them up, and they will likely have a good chance.

Don’t worry Garth, we don’t have to dip into the precious deficit to solve the addiction problem: the best solution is to do nothing. Ignore them. They wont even notice.

chuck

#88 Dan in Victoria on 03.26.09 at 4:29 pm

Post #41 ex pat,Be careful of where you pick to buy…..I do a lot of after hours maintenance work around town, most people have no idea of what is going on early in the mornings in their beautiful little city.We do work where you have to kick the discarded syringes out of the way just to get to the equipment.We have to have 2 guys to do a one man job,one for the work ,and one to guard the tools and equipment,oh yeah don’t forget to lock the truck.They come up to you with their bags full of stolen tools trying to sell them to us probably a hundred bucks worth for ten bucks,”no go away”okay how about five bucks?We were doing some work on Yates street and there was an elderly lady sitting waiting for the bus on a Sunday morning,there were some punks who still hadn’t finished partying from Saturday night hanging around the bus shelter. She was sitting there clutching her purse.I went walking by going to the truck and she looked at me and mouthed the words “help”I stopped and said out loud “Mrs Johnson I haven’t seen you in years”and waved my helper over,The Riff Raff moved off, one big prarrie boy, and myself were not good odds. I had no idea who she was.My helper came over and we started talking to the lady she had been robbed twice in the past year waiting to catch a bus to go to church.Out here in the western communities we just had a drug house across from an elementary school raided,another house in Langford mysteriously burned,another grow op that had overloaded the hydro transformer and caused problems.And this is just what is in the paper.Things are not what they appear to be,my parents live in a good area,my mom said to me the new renters across the street sure have a lot of friends, theres cars coming and going all the time,thank god that one of the neighbours was a retired RCMP offcier and got the drug dealing stopped.My parents had no idea.As to being able to afford a house most have suites that they rent out and both husband and wife work.I live in a nicer older area and I can count 6 houses with suites just by looking out my front door.

#89 rjag2034 on 03.26.09 at 4:40 pm

“Funny thing though, pretty well every person I talk to wouldnt trade living here for other parts of Canada.”

“That last comment applies to every person in every part of Canada. I suggest you get on a few planes. — Garth”

Hehe, true enough. Wasnt knocking other parts of the country (well maybe Sudbury) just relating the fact that while its one of the most expensive parts of Canada to live and raise a family, theres not a lot of out-migration, just the opposite. And no, they’re not all retirees.

And yes, been on a few planes and seen most of the country as well as other parts of the world and I’m so glad that we live in Canada.

#90 Elizabeth from Vancouver on 03.26.09 at 4:48 pm

Gold Bug, the people on the DTEX are not degenerates – they are the result of a “failed system” the provincial & federal govt have not built social housing in 20 years. Riverview displaced 800 mental patients to be absorbed by the community. 60% of the homeless have mental health issues, & surprise, surprise addiction has quadrupled in just 5 years amongst that population. I have been involved in the Homeless Census for the last couple of years and these people are not degenerates. Insite does not provide “junk” or drugs, just a safe injection site were at least 800 people/day come. Onsite next door is a detox and the 2nd floor provides treatment for clients from Insite. The sad part is the 4 month wait list to get into treatment in this province. Harper plans on cutting funding to Insite April 1, even though all the peer reviewed literature from scientists and medical professionals shows the efficacy of this much needs program. There are 60 Insites around the world, Europe has several – they go to treatment immediately. Seattle has one, & Obama plans of softening laws around marijuana because states are going broke imprisoning young people for smoking a harmless weed.

We got rid of our last mayor because he was having the homeless fined for sleeping on the street $100. when we have serious gang crime here related to drugs.

Our new mayor in one month has opened up 4 low barrier shelters for the homeless, not bad, when the political will is there.

#91 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 03.26.09 at 5:10 pm

In the recession of the 80’s many never recovered and it came as a shock to some that the paradigm had changed. This time around you’re getting advance notice.

#68 Grumpydawgs on 03.26.09 at 1:29 pm

Gee, I went through the ’80-’82 recssion and still know I never fully recovered. Knowing the same is happening again is like having a tube of KY-Jelly provided while Bubba drops his drawers…again!

Got to watch the movie ‘Knowing’! I bet it has some great inserts, er, insights!

Seems a few are getting a tad more irritable this go around.
Home of ex-Royal Bank of Scotland chief vandalized

Goodwin earned the nickname “Fred the Shred” for his ruthless cost-cutting at the Clydesdale Bank before joining RBS.

Etu Brutus!

#92 dboy on 03.26.09 at 6:45 pm

There is a direct link to the problems on the DTES and the closing of Riverview and de-institutionalization of mental health patients in the early nineties.

The area is a real blight on Vancouver. I think you get used to it when you live here and it becomes less of a shock.

#93 MaW on 03.26.09 at 6:57 pm

In response to #60 – Calgary stats –

I think we have to wait longer for a return to the trend line for house prices. As the man himself has said, house prices will lag behind all other economic indicators for emotional reasons. I am disappointed it is not happening faster, but I imagine we must move through a great abundance of greater fools. I do have my doubts though. Especially here in Calgary. Additionally, the volume of houses on the market in Calgary has not reflected the flood i was expecting. It feels like winter here still, but it is officially SPRING.

I do not want anyone to suffer any unnecessary hardship during this recession; I just want a return to more realistic pricing of real estate (necessary hardship).

#94 go green on 03.26.09 at 7:14 pm

#66 east of eden on 03.26.09 at 12:57 pm
go green on 03.25.09 at 9:12 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is BC not a Liberal province?

EofE – Only parts of it. BC may have a so called Lib at the helm, but IIRC Stevie, unfortnately, is still PM & I believe fed jails come under fed jurisdiction as well as marijuana & hard drug use. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Personally, I don’t think a toke every now and then leads to hard drug use. I don’t partake now, but I did smoke a toke or 2 in my late 20’s.

#95 Shifty on 03.26.09 at 7:49 pm

I suggest you get on a few planes. — Garth

I still remember those Ontario tomatoes, the cheese and the wild blue berry pies all to die for. Then again I’d have to fly Air Canada and bring my own water – nada.

#96 Glenn on 03.26.09 at 7:49 pm

Has anyone had time to collate the American unemployment numbers and the Canadian unemployment numbers and compare them vs. each nations population? In other words, Canada obviously isnt losing as many jobs as America BUT is Canada losing more jobs PER CAPITA then America?

P.S. I am using Internet Explorer 8 and regretting it. Dont download it, its not ready for prime time yet.

#97 go green on 03.26.09 at 7:59 pm

#56 Bob Bagina on 03.26.09 at 11:03 am

Re Sooke. I have an old girlfriend from Mtl. who lives in Sooke (in a mobile home) & works in Victoria for the prov. govt. She’s told me about the druggies & needles outside of her office building, takes a bus to Victoria and loves the ride. She’s been a single Mom since 78 or so. Unfortunately, her son is a psychitzophrenic & she has gone through unbelievably trying times with him. When I visited them in ’75, living in a rented house on a cherry orchard in Naramata (sp?), her husband was pushing me to smoke grass that he dried in his oven. My girlfriend was really teed off with him. I wasn’t interested. Believe it or not, he taught driver ed at the time. A few years later he died from a car crash IIRC high on hard drugs. My family had grown up with his family when I was a preteen and he came from a good family. His sister who retired last year, left Vancouver & moved to PEI & loves it. Sorry for the long post. I get nostalgic.

#98 go green on 03.26.09 at 8:08 pm

The worm threat seems real and substantiated, but publishing an internal memo is not wise. — Garth

Garth – I didn’t think it was an internal memo. It originated from the feds AFAIK & was then posted on our education network.

#99 POL-CAN on 03.26.09 at 8:27 pm

# 95 Glenn said:

Has anyone had time to collate the American unemployment numbers and the Canadian unemployment numbers and compare them vs. each nations population? In other words, Canada obviously isnt losing as many jobs as America BUT is Canada losing more jobs PER CAPITA then America?

Canadian numbers are worse per capita. If we just multiply our numbers by 10 things do not look good…..

But hey…. It is different here eh?

#100 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 03.26.09 at 8:53 pm

#95 Glenn at 7:49 pm — “P.S. I am using Internet Explorer 8 and regretting it. . . .”

A couple of previews of Windows 7 (replacing Vista) both stated that the OS is still Vista, glossed over with new-fangled gobbledygook and made to look as if it’s a brand new system, which it isn’t.

A number of years ago, I downloaded Firefox (‘net) and Thunderbird (e-mail) and had no trouble since.

When the time comes to get a new PC, I intend to install Linux or Ubuntu first, then have a techie switch all Microjunk off.

IE = Viruses – spyware – malware and more.

#101 taxpayer like you on 03.26.09 at 9:29 pm

Fortuneately I’m only addicted to this website……..

SAY NO TO GARTH!…….

#102 Emigrantos: 5Billion Kanatian Subprime Mortgages on 03.26.09 at 10:26 pm

An estimated $3-billion to $5-billion worth of subprime mortgages are coming up for renewal over the next four years, and the lenders say they can’t renew them because capital has dried up for higher-risk borrowers

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090326.wmortgage0326/BNStory/National/home

#103 Sondra on 03.26.09 at 10:26 pm

The people who end up down in Vancouvers East side on Hastings are from all of Canada. These people come from various backgrounds and mental/drug issues.

It takes a Nation, no, likely a whole continent to fix the downtown eastside problem.
It takes a Nation Nation, no likely a whole continent to fix the drug/gang problem.

The Mayor won’t be able to fix it.
2010 will mask it to some degree.

They hang around Vancouver or if they are lucky go to Kelowna or Victoria. Many are hiding out in Stanley Park, as they don’t trust most people with any authority.

There is not enough political and financial will to come up with a long term social plan to even make a dent in this problem.

#104 Mike B on 03.26.09 at 10:30 pm

Pol Can right you are AGAIN prices in T.O. Are down. Anything above 800k might as well be a mill or more… People just say pass. And some “cheap” junk is selling

He is also correct about the Obama youtube video. Everyone here should watch it… Fascinating and scary. I also recommend the pbs frontline “trillion dollars” even more scary.

And NO Vancouver is not the next leisure/financial centre … You read it here first!!

#105 Din Kay Dau on 03.26.09 at 10:58 pm

Vancouver has always had a big drug problem. The HIV rate is through the roof. Shoot outs at least weekly.

The amount of money it would take to clean up this city would bust it. The burnt out hippies who pushed for drug tolerance in the seventies and eighties are reaping the reward of their effort, that is if early dementia hasn’t caught up to them.

#106 Investx on 03.26.09 at 11:17 pm

“The bottom line is, these people made their payments,” Mr. McGill said in an interview, repeatedly stressing that the number of affected homeowners in Canada – tens of thousands – pales in comparison to the subprime lending crisis in the United States. “It’s not dismal. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed.” fom the Globe & Mail article above:

“The bottom line is, these people made their payments,” Mr. McGill said in an interview, repeatedly stressing that the number of affected homeowners in Canada – tens of thousands – pales in comparison to the subprime lending crisis in the United States. “It’s not dismal. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed.”

#107 Torquemada on 03.26.09 at 11:18 pm

No post from Garth yet.

I hope the Edmonton farmers didn’t do him in once he told them their multiple spec condos aren’t going to make them any money.

#108 dbg on 03.26.09 at 11:38 pm

#19 The Coming Depression

Were those their exact words “screwed” or did you lead them to that when you spewed your negativity on those hill billy hicks. Those poor Urban Fairers.
I guess Garth is a hill billy hick.
Tough luck coming depression maybe the next big bubble and you will get your wish of fiat fiasco and goldfingers rise to power. In the meantime you will have to live with all the hill billy hicks and watch reruns of Austin Powers.
And you can call me Billy.
Cheers to the real world.

#109 Expat on 03.26.09 at 11:42 pm

JAG, Bob, Future ex, and others, thanks for the insights to Victoria, I particularly like the posts with specifics. JAG, I admire your tenacity.

It really comes down to buyer beware, same thing every homeowner and bank should consider. Renting in the best area we can afford has a lot of appeal, the wait to buy until the time is right. I think this will also go a long way to getting off on the right foot in a new area.

#110 Grumpydawgs on 03.26.09 at 11:48 pm

#84 deekthegeek, the Liberal Party of BC didn’t exist as an political entity in the 70’s. It was the Social Credit Party which began to rationalize the hospital system in BC.

It was in fact the NDP which closed the Riverview Mental Hospital and oversaw the demise of all other public treatment facilities in an insane Kafaesque policy shift which was supposed to have created thousands of newly unionized ‘community nurses and social service street teams’ to treat the mentally infirm in the community.

This of course didn’t work when the planning never materialized when the budget began to shift policy to supporting purchasing defunct inefficient wood mills and other gaffe projects. Meanwhile the hospital patients were left to wander the streets and of course forgot to take thier medication.

Don’t think that the DTES is an entire population of mentally ill, there is a resident population of poor, transient and native who gravitate to the streets there. There are many newly homeless men , woman , youth and extra territorial addicts from all over Canada who carry on various types of commerce in that area.

I have personally witnessed a young woman in a decent car hanging half way out of the drivers door into the street having spiked out cold who had two kids in the back seat. She had obviously driven in from the ‘burbs’ for a breakfast fix.

It’s a very complex enviornment.

#111 Future Expatriate on 03.27.09 at 12:00 am

BC Bankruptcies up 47%

Guess the solvent run grow-ops.

#112 Roial1 on 03.27.09 at 1:01 am

#66 east of eden on 03.26.09 at 12:57 pm

go green on 03.25.09 at 9:12 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is BC not a Liberal province?

You stand corrected.

B.C. is NOT a “Liberal” province.

The old Social Credit party STOLE the name.

When they realized that they could never get elected under that name (So-Cred) they jumped into the weak Provincial Liberal party and took it over.
They are just as much liars as the federal Cons. And just about as Con-servative.
The big problem out here is that we do not have any credible opposition. And do not have any sensible middle grounders available to get us out of the wide right/left divide that we find ourselves in.

#113 jwk (nee jwkimba) on 03.27.09 at 10:12 am

#2 13% doesn’t apply to houses less than 400k.

#41 newly married or newly married. Renters or long time owners. The old folks bought in the 60s before vic was hot. They are in no hurry to sell. Everyone else is trading up from earlier purchasers. Very hard for a new comer to break into market.

I re-pated in 2005 from LA to Toronto. Toronto seemed nice after the madness of SoCal in 2001-2005

#114 go green on 03.28.09 at 6:41 pm

Well, I’ve lost my 2 last posts. I may try to repost them tomorrow. I’ve a new lapt this eve.op and keys are different. I want my old one back.

We’re participating in Earth Day (?) tonight – another 30 mins for us. I’ve got my tea lites ready, will cut off all lightes, etc. & will check out the sky. Know there are various tributes happening in my small city this eve. Hope you’ll do the same.

#115 go green on 03.28.09 at 7:08 pm

#111 Roial1 on 03.27.09 at 1:01 am

I’d have to check my post from yesterday. But, I believe I said that parts of BC were cons and parts were libs. Anyway, I’ve got to turn my lights off – its 8:30pm.

Just did.