The meeting


There were three hundred, I’d say. Lions kept bringing out more plastic chairs. After all, it was their hall. And this was a big deal.

The overhead projector shone a fuzzy image on a screen too small for most people to see. Besides, the presenter stood in front of the beam, so all that really showed was a giant outline of his head. But, no matter.

Not only was it the Saturday morning of a long weekend, in a community of just a few thousand people hours away from any city, but most people had paid twenty bucks just to be there. “Can’t hear ya,” was called out a few times from the back when the guy at the front let his mic slip too far from his lips. The crowd was keen to drink every word, restive for knowledge and an agenda.

Because I own some property in the area, and since democracy is a rare sighting, I dropped in for an hour and a half. The issue is a universal one: authorities want to build a bigger road. Cut down trees. Upend things. Raise taxes to pay for it, maybe. Bring change.

Enough residents oppose it, or at least fear it, to fill a hall that is never so. The county radio station’s NewsCruiser was in the parking lot amid the Silverados and F-150s, and so many vehicles clogged both sides of the roadway it looked like the neighbouring Brewers’ Retail might be dammed in.

The speakers were authentic, if melodramatic. Invited local politicians sat quietly like the condemned. The crowd was silent and intense, and I wondered how many had ever been politicized before. Nothing, of course, arouses passion like a road, a zoning change, a cell tower or new factory, that will affect the value of a man’s property.

This may be even more true in a community when it’s acceptable to wear camos on the main street, shoot Canada Geese from your front porch or rip through town on an ATV, no helmet, no license. Real property is real wealth. You protect it with all means necessary, even if it means having your tailbone drill through a plastic chair all morning.

It was a good meeting, by the way. There will be more. The movement will grow or fade. The community will prevail, or be paved. The last outcome is years off. But the moment is now.

I drank, and left renewed.


#1 Dave Nile on 05.16.09 at 10:49 pm

Saw this today on the local news site here in Kelowna:

It lets you get ‘the Inside Track’ on the best deals in real estate.

Now if the local market is doing so well because ‘everyone wants to live here’, why on earth would realtors need to dream up a new way to pry wealth from buyers?

I think things are alot worse than they appear. How long will it be before the charade is dropped and we truly find out how bad the economy has really gotten??

#2 nonplused on 05.16.09 at 10:55 pm

That post could of used some details.

What town?
What is the government doing? Building a bigger road I guess or is it a bypass?
Will houses be bulldozed?
What do the people think?
When is this going to happen?
Who will be affected?
Why does the government think they need to do what ever it is?
How big of a project is it and what does it entail?

If you are going to be a reporter, it’s better to include the 5-W’s and H before the editorial. Not that the MSM cares a hoot, but it is still the best way to communicate.

#3 Calgary_rip_off on 05.16.09 at 11:53 pm


it looks like a local realtor is trying to slant my comments on real estate from last year. Actually anyone would be an idiot to buy now in Calgary as the prices continue their slow decline. And Calgary is worse now. Shootings. Green light cameras. Slow/stupid drivers. Snow in May. Check out the link:

#4 Nostradamus jr. on 05.17.09 at 12:17 am

Gord in Vancouver…

>>>I’m all for free enterprise but see Ontario’s new land transfer tax as a blessing in disguise. Although this tax will increase the price of a home, it’ll reduce the number of homeowners who can barely afford mortgages at today’s rock bottom rates – fewer foreclosures in the future.<<<

…Very true Gord

Garth what do you think of that?

#5 Marc on 05.17.09 at 1:35 am


#6 Davinci on 05.17.09 at 2:16 am

Democracy is 51% voting the for slavery of 49% of the population via taxation. The law says it’s illegal to steel yet our government does it when they force you to pay like a gangster asking for a protection fee.

No matter how you feel about it there is no place a person can go to avoid it, but it was not always this way. I hate it when people point to schools, police and fire as a fruit of income taxes. Thus I expect most here to know that property taxes pays for such services. A choice you make when you decide to live somewhere, income taxes gives you no choice.

The insanity of income taxes does not pass any logical test. It assumes that everyone belongs to the state and any capital produced, a portion of such capital belongs to the state. Thus, a person produces a carrot for consumption must pay income taxes on that capital good, the same applies for creating capital for someone else and receiving a carrots (capital) in return. Yet such a system is accepted as “Normal”. True, insanity.

Well, I have to point out human history is filled with examples of illogical behavior of society that was considered “normal”. I guess this is just one of those times in history where we need to feel serious pain for us to advance.

I look forward to that day.

#7 Heather W on 05.17.09 at 2:29 am

I just got home from a salmon enhancement conference in Maple Ridge near Vancouver. This once rural community, like its neighbours, is being juggernauted by development. The population pressure in the Lower Mainland (all the way to Chilliwack) is driving ongoing growth and even the present depression seems a mere road bump. All the way up the Fraser Valley on both sides of the river, a variant of the town hall meeting Garth describes takes place over and over. Mostly everyone is at everyone’s throats – the “managed development” people (including the streamkeeper types) fighting the “no development” people, who just don’t understand the issue at all. Everybody is tense and angry at each other and nobody is listening and nobody understands the whole issue. Meanwhile wild habitat vanishes and everybody is upset because that’s why they love and value the place they live in, and why they drive long distances to work and etc. etc. Peak oil is coming, and that will smarten things up but at what other costs? Anyway the meeting Garth describes is a far cry from these sorts of meetings, not to mention nobody pays $20 to go!!! But I guess the moral is -be careful what you ask for!

#8 conan on 05.17.09 at 3:27 am

Garth please enlighten me, wtf is CAMOS ?

Thank you

Hint: soldiers wear them. — Garth

#9 Da HK Kid on 05.17.09 at 6:29 am

Let’s hope the town hall meetings start again all over the nation to spread the word of the injustice and fraudulence by the people communities, cities, provinces and the country are supposed to trust.

I just read an article by my main Investment Guru Gary Shilling about the housing spiral in the USA.

With over 2.4M of oversupply in homes, the ONLY solution to find a bottom is to allow immigrants access to these which could clear the almost $500B worth of homes at the current Case-Shiller Top 20 City Avg. Home prices today. These buyers must bring cash or boat loads of downpayment so the banks will take on the mortgage risk during this transition.

They asked Gary, he told them! Will it be supported, likely NEVER!!!! So, you will see another 20% come off the avg price of homes from today by the end of 2010.

Bottom Line, if the Government cannot succeed in putting a bottom under the Residential RE mess, now focused on having to deal with the CC nightmare and the pending Commercial RE market, chasing further into complete meltdown of debt, where do you think we are headed.

If you want to take a real short (translating into long) term view with your capital today, you may want to look at Unemployment, the Housing Market through the summer and where you think the government is coming for its abuse of spending as the TRUE MARKET LEADING INDICATORS!

#10 miketheengineer on 05.17.09 at 7:04 am

EI is a joke…..futher evidence.

The government must wake up to the fact that the country is going down a cliff at break neck speed right now. Thousands more in Ontario hit EI this month, and should push us to the top, as the effect of the Chrysler shut down and the GM shut down due to bankrupcy takes affect. All suppliers to these guys will be forced to shut down.

Once you are outa you job, you get to face the reality of EI, and knowing that NO ONE GIVES A CRAP.

EI is a complete Joke, and the people who run it need to revise it quickly to prevent the SOUP LINES, that are going to form very quickly in Ontario….

#11 Danny on 05.17.09 at 7:40 am

To nonplused:

It looks like Port Rowan where they had a meeting about improving the causeway.

#12 Canned Goods and Buckshot on 05.17.09 at 7:57 am


The town is Port Rowan, Ontario. It is on Lake Erie close to Long Point Provincial Park. Its a very nice little place. The author in previous posts alluded to a RE who pitches mostly cottages and I was fairly sure he was talking about this area.

As to the issues, its Sunday and I have more enjoyable things to do than research to fill in Garth’s blanks.


I’m with you. Your absolutely correct that the internet has broadened people’s access to all kinds of listings. Don’t worry, some people are entrenched in their positions despite lots evidence. RE want 6%, but for people who have a mortgage, that 6% comes out of their equity in the house. When viewed that way people should explore other options.

#13 Darryl on 05.17.09 at 8:41 am

what town is that?

#14 Nostradamus jr. on 05.17.09 at 8:47 am

Mike the Engineer,

…You have been given two wise “Job” suggestions.

1/ Middle East

2/ Canadian Armed Forces

…So what is your problem now?

To my fellow Ontarians…..Garth has balls, he made a choice to stay.

..Since relocating from Toronto to North Vancouver twenty years ago I have suggested that all from the “Centre of the Earth” Province contemplate doing the same, for Economic reasons.

…It is still not too late to do so.

Believe it or not, this very minute, RE prices may be less in similar neighbourhoods in Vancouver than in Toronto.

…I actually predicted this 500 years ago…

#15 ally ally oxycontin free on 05.17.09 at 8:48 am

#10 miketheengineer on 05.17.09 at 7:04 am

“EI is a joke…..futher evidence.”

This entire [ E. I. ] house of cards is now dependent upon whether Harper, Flaherty, Finley, Clement, Baird et al, can escape Ottawa for their vaunted summer break having done absolutely nothing to correct the situation.

I’ve seen no evidence that Harper will relent … with the result they’ll be gang-banged by an increasingly disaffected public. The bobble-head government benches are daily reinforcing the view the current regime is totally incompetent.

Every time a government minister ‘steps out,’ they’re being greeted with palpable disrespect and malice by whole segments of the population.

#16 grandeprairie girl on 05.17.09 at 9:27 am

#9 Da HK Kid

I agree with your idea of Town Hall meetings. Most specifically on doing something in regard to our wonderful gubernment, I mean government. Never mind real estate, they could care less if values fell to zero.
After all our gubernment has added amendments to the National Defense Act post 911 which gives them authority to evacuate any area of this country in the name of ‘national security’, ‘anti-terrorism’ or whatever you’d like to call it. This includes removal of you and yours by force from your home and with no obligation to compensate you for your loss WHATSOEVER.
Therefore I would think WE DON’T OWN ANYTHING. TPTB give us the illusion that we do.
RE is the least of your problems in consideration of what lays ahead.
The war on terror is not a war on terror but a war on our freedoms.
May you all enjoy reading and blogging on sites such as this while it lasts. The days are numbered I believe.
Read here,
And read this,

#17 squidly77 on 05.17.09 at 9:30 am

bob truman is a classic under achiever..he loves to mock people on his site especially renters..students and low income earners and then forbids them from rebuttal
hes an embarrassment to calgary

#18 Just a Carpenter on 05.17.09 at 10:08 am

#1 Dave Nile
Now if the local market is doing so well because ‘everyone wants to live here’, why on earth would realtors need to dream up a new way to pry wealth from buyers?

Of those who are still intent on coming, most have the means and want a specific product. They are after a custom built product not someone else’s ideas. During the recent boom, bubble, or whatever you call it, there were a lot of homes built without proper attention given to design and detail. We see too many unattractive designs with decors by someone whose taste resides only on their tongue. Those homes are now sitting on the market competing for the few active buyers. Thus the gimmicks.

#19 Herb on 05.17.09 at 10:30 am

“All politics are local” – but only after the effects are felt locally.

#20 David Bakody on 05.17.09 at 11:19 am

Truly enjoyed Sunday Edition ….. much was said wrt Reformers and their plan to change Canada ….. Democracy is indeed almost gonzo in Canada a couple of more years and a handful of men will own and run Canadian lives from a back room and the public will never know what hit them ….. even the group that gathered in the Lion’s Den. The new world order is taking shape and the vast majority of people do not even see it coming.

#21 Charles T. on 05.17.09 at 11:21 am

Merrill Tries To Muzzle a Blog

#22 hagbard on 05.17.09 at 11:37 am

I’m renting a place on Lake Erie where you can literally “shoot Canada Geese from your front porch”, but in our case, we’re not the shooters. Since jurisdiction of the lake rests with the Ministry of Natural Resources, we get people wading and boating in just off our beach, 100 feet from our house, blasting at geese and ducks starting before dawn every Fall. Yet another problem with the government owns a resource.

#23 Dan on 05.17.09 at 11:43 am

Who killed Canada?

#24 taxpayer like you on 05.17.09 at 12:14 pm

15 Ally

Not sure what you were intending with your month-old link about GM retirees.

Here’s a rebuttal:

Basically GMs pension shortfalls were its, the unions and
the Ontario government of the early 90s (NDP?) own fault.

As far as the bailout of GM itself, I believe Ottawa had little choice if the US did so. And, if there’s any chance the $$ may help make what is left of GM viable, that may be the better way to ensure that there are any pension benefits left at all.

#25 Fool me once... on 05.17.09 at 12:16 pm

We attended a dinner with friends last night and heard an interesting bit over a lovely bottle (or was it two) of cab.
The couple’s daughter works for the local EI office, where it appears most staff are working incredibly long hours in an attempt to keep up. A futile exercise it seems as the word is they are getting increasingly backlogged. so much so they have been instructed not to answer the phone.
Funny how one doesn’t sense that level of job loss from watching the local news or after a conversation at the water cooler. Indeed, perhaps the should rename the Fraser River to Da Nile.

#26 Charles T. on 05.17.09 at 12:25 pm

Securities Are The Derivatives Beast’s Energy Source

#27 conan on 05.17.09 at 12:26 pm

Garth please enlighten me, wtf is CAMOS ?

Thank you

Hint: soldiers wear them. — Garth

I guess that rules out imported computer monitors from Korea then. That would be a fashion statement wouldnt it?

Hmmm …. Camoflage netting in the latest Europa stylings?

#28 Calgary_rip_off/police_state on 05.17.09 at 1:09 pm


Look at these stats from 2003 at the link below for Calgary. Bob Truman a “realtor” in Calgary is desperately looking for homes to sell. Perhaps people realize what a joke real estate in Calgary is. Totally overpriced. Better to rent-that way you can leave when project green takes over and Alberta goes under-fast forward 100 years and Alberta will be dead-the green revolution will trash the oil industry for good. Its just a matter of time before technology trashes the middle east dependence and oil dependence.

#29 cowgirl kiss on 05.17.09 at 1:24 pm

OK. So more from Calgary.

Just a little thing that I noticed this weekend. Went to IKEA on a Saturday on a long weekend expecting to spend at least 30 minutes in the check out line. The parking lot was full and the store was full of shoppers.
When I went to the checkout, however, people had a few items and many were walking out with nothing.

I waited for about 1 minute to check out and there you are. People but not the madhouse that I expected.

Drive safely everyone and enjoy your weekend!

#30 EcoInsurgent on 05.17.09 at 1:57 pm

AS an Albertan I can think of nothing I’d like to see more than the green movement take over and trash the oil and gas industry for good.

#31 ally ally oxycontin free on 05.17.09 at 2:18 pm

#24 taxpayer like you on 05.17.09 at 12:14 pm

“15 Ally—Not sure what you were intending with your month-old link about GM retirees. Here’s a rebuttal:”

that’s not a rebuttal—the subject was the current shambles in Employment Insurance Entitlement / Administration and the backlog / widespread discontent among the unemployed.

The “context” was the continual disrespect and anger shown to government ministers when they appear in public to make “stimulus” announcements. If the problem continues, and parliament departs for summer break without any action, the government will reap the whirlwind.

“Basically GMs pension shortfalls were its, the unions and the Ontario government of the early 90s (NDP?) own fault.”

Historically, you might be correct about the time pension funding was were given a holiday. I hope you’re not suggesting that post-1992, when the pension funding holiday was declared, nothing should have been done to restore the pension funding to prior levels. What did Harris / Eves / McGuinty do to correct the problem—post 1995, when Harris took the helm?

Clearly, the answer, to this point in time, is nothing. Upon closer examination, we find Janet Ecker, Eves’ finance minister, was trying to strip away employee rights to decide disposition of pension surpluses, in omnibus bill 198.

#32 David on 05.17.09 at 2:43 pm

I am proud of you Garth for being able to sit there that long through all the boring impassioned speeches. I came to the grim conclusion a while back that municipal politics in Canada is a rigged game which always favours the developers and real estate crowd at the expense of everyone else. The realty crowd are organised and have money and interests at stake. These parties of interest have legal counsel on retainer. The aggrieved schmucks, generally speaking, could not organise a simple picnic and those who could, are vilified and dismissed as crackpots. The outcomes for all the coffee shop outrage are predetermined. If the interested parties do not get what they want the first time, bet on them never giving up until they get their way and the opponents are worn out. Democracy is a tiresome impediment to those who really need to have their way right now.

#33 Eduardo on 05.17.09 at 4:04 pm

You guys can knock Bob Truman all you want but at least he backs up his comments with statistics…

Look at the daily stats as well… you’ll see that the Calgary housing market is in fact not decreasing in terms of sales or value. Thanks for the misinformation though.

All you morons who think we’re not going to rely on oil for the foreseeable future don’t deserve to post.

#34 Eduardo on 05.17.09 at 4:07 pm

The dailystats also show the amount of foreclosures, which has decreased since the beginning of the year in both condos and housing. So has the number of vacant/new construction.

Also, where are all the new layoffs in Alberta coming from? Someone please answer this for me.

#35 Grumpydawgs on 05.17.09 at 4:58 pm

#28 I think you should remember the old adage ” when the cats away the mice will play’ when calling for the final demise of the petroleum biz and a happy dance by the greens. There are currently zero technologies available or in practicle development stages which can replace fossil fuels. The current market malaise is not company or sector specific , it is purely a financial issue. The fundamentals have not changed one iota.

The push to recognize Germany as an example fails to note that less than 15% of their power comes from current sources which includes nuclear plants, they are beholden to France and Russia for 85% of their civic and industrial needs. The subsidies on green power are huge and very costly to the taxpayer. !00% energy sufficiency would mean 100% income tax in Germany. That country is not a practical model to follow, it is merely a short term political solution which would not apply here or in the US. Of course China has already stated that their future power needs can only be met by increased dependance on petroleum, coal and nuclear. Those options are also by far the least expensive.

Buying petroleum stocks now is a generation specific opportunity. Buying Uranium and base metals are the ‘wish I would have stocks’ you’ll be talking about having made your fortune in the next five years. The world of business and industry did not go to sleep while the banks had their the hissy fit we have all witnessed occur on the late night news.

This is not trading advice. The stock market has been volitile for hundreds of years. Gamble only what you can afford to lose. But don’t think the luddites are going to march us all into the country side to live like hobbits in the hillside. Common sense and human history indicate otherwise. The green lobby has taken this opportunity of market weakness to attempt to grow their public relations profile, but that is merely a fringe group on the far wall of nation building and global economies. I am long energy as you may surmise. I am also long solar. Both will roar back as economics defray the very public fears of the financial sector.

#36 Nostradamus jr. on 05.17.09 at 7:20 pm

This a.m. the Grouse Grind/BCMC was jammed pack.

…Grizzly bears, wolves, enjoyed a ebrunch on the mountain w/ magnificent views of Vancouver.

During winter, three mountains to ski within say a 10 or 15 minute North Shore drive.

Golf 10 or 11 months of the year in Vancouver.

Only 900K population in Vancouver proper.

Everyone is wealthy with leisure lifestyle.

…Can’t find that in the Centre of the Earth.

#37 Bottoms_Up on 05.17.09 at 7:27 pm

From message #21 above (blogged by the prior chief economist of Merrill lynch):

“We don’t really share the view that the recovery, if and when it comes, will be sustained. We understand the historical record that even in the face of monumental fiscal and monetary easing, it takes a good four years for the economy to work through the aftershocks of a collapse in credit and asset values. While most economists are now waving the pom-poms, we find very few marketmakers who share their enthusiasm.”

And this one: “There is no doubt that the economy is no longer in free-fall, but it is hardly stabilizing, even if the data have improved from deeply negative trends at the turn of the year. There are pundits claiming that because initial jobless claims have managed to come off their recent highs, the end of the recession is in sight. That is a fairy tale, in our opinion.”

#38 squidly77 on 05.17.09 at 7:49 pm

eduardo i have missed you buddy
where you been ?
have a quick read @ albertabubbleblogs new post
your reading far too many newspapers
calgary pounded by rising foreclosures is it 1982 all over again ?

#39 OttawaMike on 05.17.09 at 8:04 pm

Everybody relax, this guy says the recession is officially over:

He’s one of the 7 members of the US. national board of economic analysis, who declare the beginning and end of recession/depressions. What can it all mean?

#40 gold bugger on 05.17.09 at 8:15 pm

DaVinci, excellent essay, well put.

EcoInsurgent, do you have even the slightest clue why Alberta has 3 million inhabitants and Saskatchewan under a million? Do you know why you have a roof over your head and food on the table? Hint: It’s not from hugging trees and smelling flowers.

But excellent job providing the punchline on Garth’s submission. He didn’t commit to one position or another (fer or agin the NIMBYs) but make no mistake, it was a NIMBY story. Sure, he calls it democracy, but it’s NIMBY.

#41 Ken on 05.17.09 at 8:24 pm

Keep your assets in canadian $$$ for a good long while.

#42 WillsDad on 05.17.09 at 8:43 pm

Re: Calgary_Rip_Off

Read up-on how to-use-hyphens-it makes your posts-hard to-read.

#43 Eduardo on 05.17.09 at 10:06 pm


While I acknowledge that the number of foreclosures has risen from an average of 30-50 a month to ~100 a month. I hardly think that 50 extra homes on the market a month in a market of 1500 sales a month is going to tip the scales.

About reading the news… all I do is look at the hard stats and read Garth’s BS, so that’s certainly not the source of my ‘skewed’ opinion.

Show me another source wave of layoffs in Alberta and I’ll say that there’ll be another big downturn.

#44 Eduardo on 05.17.09 at 10:07 pm

Also, I miss you too squidly, but I’ve been busy working. That’s all.

#45 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 05.17.09 at 10:22 pm

#16 grandeprairie girl at 9:27 am — and — #21 Charles T. at 11:21 am

Excellent and informative links.

FWIW, I figure that the links would be connected with the following. After re-reading the link I posted here (re: Cheney taking a run for the presidency in 2012), it is blatantly obvious why Harper called a snap election last year, despite protestations to the contrary.

Whether Harper remains as leader doesn’t matter anymore — could be that he is the set-up person for the next CPC leader, who will align himself with Cheney (should he win) and Mexico’s leader.

Bill C-6 — which replaces the old Bills C-51 and 52 would also be a part of this. What are the chances of these Three Amigos being members of The Bilderberg Group, or NWO? — — which also gives a better idea of how the m$m is run. —

From the first link: “. . . has uncovered Bilderberg’s 2009 agenda, which includes the plan for a global department of health, a global treasury and a shortened depression rather than a longer economic downturn.”
This planet was never designed to be a Utopia, which is why there never, ever will be ‘peace’ here.

However, in case some were taken in by this ‘false flag’ of an economic downturn — this is how the m$m is used — this is where plenty of that lolly went. — — Comment by

“For all the talk about Iran’s threat to the world, only one nation has ever actually used a nuclear weapon against the civilians of another country.

“That nation is the United States.”
#41 Ken at 8:24 pm — Sound advice. Our RRSPs and non-registered plans, all of which are in long-term value and growth Cdn. assets, keep moving ever forward, albeit at a slower pace than previous, but nevertheless there is momentum there.

#46 @Garth 2 on 05.17.09 at 10:54 pm

#3 9 – very interesting article.

However, I did have some concern about the analysis; today’s jobless claim peak sharply resembles that of 1980, after which a brief expansion occured, and then the 1982-83 recession arrived, exceeding the previous peak and taking much longer to resolve.

If that experience can be shown to have parallels to today, it points to a recession of mammoth proportions on the doorstep that will take half a decade to arrest. As it pertains to the blog, real estate will suffer immeasurably in that circumstance.

I’m not big on chart watching without very careful fundamental analysis… this article is definitely not meant for such a purpose; it’s a discussion point expanded to meet a publishing deadline.

Additionally, that the author drew no parallels between the auto sector of 1969-70 and the now dominant financial sector makes me raise an eyebrow…

I’m not a perma-bear at all, quite the contrary actually. But that chart did more to scare me than encourage positive action.

#47 sularezi on 05.17.09 at 11:44 pm

#36 Nostradamus jr. – You’re a just an egocentric idiot.
You’re a just an egocentric idiot. You’re a just an egocentric idiot. You’re a just an egocentric idiot.
I hope you got the message. Plain idiot.

#48 taxpayer like you on 05.18.09 at 12:12 am

Ally 31 replied

“I hope you’re not suggesting that post-1992, when the
pension funding holiday was declared, nothing should
have been done to restore the pension funding to prior

No, not at all. It was those three parties responsibility to look after it. But if they screwed up, dont come running to me (or you, unless youre in Ontario)

I guess we went a bit off topic after 10 Mikes blog on EI.
Mikes link was a good read. But EI is a bit of a misnomer. Its really not like other insurance. Decades ago, many
atlantic workers would work their few weeks (I recall as few as 12) then enjoy EI for the other 40. Worked as an income supplement, not insurance. I see today there are regional differences, but if it was true insurance, you
would according to risk, deductible, previous claims,
coverage etc.

A lot of it comes down to workers – even smart ones like mike – living from paycheque to paycheque. No $$ to
spare, no cash to holdover. I think this is where unions fail their workers in not preparing them for this kind of thing. Unions started out protecting their members from injustices and unfair workplace treatment, but now all we hear is them complaining about the companies and government.

#49 BOOM on 05.18.09 at 12:23 am


I think it’s fairly obvious that Eduardo is Radley/Dustin.

Calgary Police State/Calgary Rip-off:

Take a chill pill, dude.

#50 Guardia Civil Tricornio on 05.18.09 at 1:20 am

New road.
Are you suggesting the people’s agenda is choking off the governments infrastructure spending plans?

#51 Munch on 05.18.09 at 1:43 am

Hi Garth

I know that deep inside you have a tremendous amount of respect for realtors.

It’s just not coming through properly in your writing.

You need to widen the scope of your writing, as I have stated before. It’s a God given talent – don’t waste it.

Fond Regards


#52 confused and a little crazed on 05.18.09 at 5:26 am

#34 educardo,

I heard from the news this weekend from the news channel 26 in BC…Jenny lee sshows stats that Can foreclosure are up 38 % from last year aapprox 35000.

where did you get your info from?

#53 cj on 05.18.09 at 8:35 am

you calgary bashers kill me…..yes RE is expensive, is it going down…NO, just like the rest of the country. Hey, as a renter I’m as surprised as the next guy…but who cares its way cheaper to rent so I’m happy. If your pissed about prices not coming down then you’ve bought into the whole idea that you need to own a house. Rent and be happy, whats the problem? And for those who want to “kill” big oil then you better get ready for a significant reduction in your standard of living. Anyone thinking green is the answer to our problems is simply ignorant.

#54 Herb on 05.18.09 at 8:42 am

… municipal politics in Canada is a rigged game which always favours the developers and real estate crowd at the expense of everyone else.

You’ve done cracked the code with your #32, David. The beauty of municipal politics is that it is transparent: you can determine who profits from which move, what is being done by municipal staff and council for whose benefit. But you can’t do much with that knowledge, because democratic control is tenuous, since people either do not know or do not act on that knowledge because they are not affected directly.

At the provincial and federal levels, politics is much more diffuse and nebulous. You would have to be an insider to find out who is pursuing which interests, what is being pushed for whose benefit. It also is harder to predict intended and unintended consequences, but the effects are much greater. And democratic control is even more tenuous because more voters know even less.

Bring on digital democracy and introduce truth and consequences into the political process.

#55 Keith in Calgary on 05.18.09 at 8:59 am

#39 ottawa Mike….

Those fools at Macleans are also saying the same thing……..saw their latest issue in the rack beside the checkout at Safeway yesterday……I laughed out loud.

#56 Keith in Calgary on 05.18.09 at 9:01 am


You are merely looking at doctored info delivered from thoe who want you to believe.

Open your eyes…..

#57 JO on 05.18.09 at 9:14 am

41 – The CAD $ is on a good run, and likely will continue for at elast a month or thrives when risk appetitie is strong as it is now for a bear rally bounce. I plan to seel off more CAD $ if/when it reaches 90 cents which i think it can in the next month.

When the next, more serious phase of the crisis arrives (fall 2009 ?), having some USD and gold will help deal with the inevitable crash in the CAD $ should another deflationary collapse ensue, which is the most likely scenario. High inflation will eventually be a problem, but all signs point to 2011-2013…once RE stabilizes, unemployment stablizes, and the bond market slaps politicans in the face. In the next deflationary phase, oil should break below $ 25/brl, SP500 into the 400s, and the CAD will easily break below 70. Imagine that. A crashing CAD $ (inflationary pressure) caused by a deflationary event in the USD – current reserve currency of the world.

#58 Finanzkrise on 05.18.09 at 9:32 am

Just got back from a weekend in Kelowna, and can attest to Garth’s summary of the Okanagan from a few weeks back:

1) Very attractive and friendly waitresses. In fact its a generally very friendly place.

2) Apparent one-horse economy (customer service to tourists and incoming rich folks from the east)

3) Badly overbuilt residential and commercial RE, which has marred many a lake vista (I spent a summer in the Okanagan in 2001 before the boom – much has changed)

4) Like much of BC (possibly more so) RE pricing relative to local incomes so far out of touch with reality, and with tourism and luxury properties entering a cyclical downturn, this place may well have further to fall than other small Canadian cities (Ontario rust belt towns having already fallen from glory).

#59 ski goddess on 05.18.09 at 12:26 pm

#9. HK Kid:

It has been the hopeful mantra of greater fools throughout Vancouver & the Lower Mainland that these mythical “rich foreigners” were going to swoop in & pay these ridiculous prices to save them from their killer mortgages.

Where are they supposed to be coming from? Planet Cash?

#60 Munch on 05.18.09 at 12:53 pm

Happy Victoria Day



#61 Investx on 05.18.09 at 1:23 pm

Yesterday I had a small meal that usually costs $7 and change. Price went up to $8.

When was deflation supposed to start?

#62 Punnoval on 05.18.09 at 1:48 pm

Is deflation over due to government stimulus and will it return once the stimulus is over? Unless there is substantial economic restructuring outside the F.I.R.E. economy (finance, insurance, real estate) it seems doubtful. The following gives an extremely gloomy outlook comparing US to Japan:

So the question is: Is the Can Dollar any better than the US dollar? I wish I knew.

#63 Andrew on 05.18.09 at 2:12 pm

Homes in Calgary are selling in a median time of 21 days:

By the way, Squidly, you’re the one who said 22,000 Calgarians are fools.

Bob Truman has the best unbiased realtor’s website in Canada.

#64 Barb the proof reader on 05.18.09 at 2:14 pm


Every once in awhile your local concerns catch my eye, even from out here in Calgary. Of course I visit Ontario often, all my family is there. I spent many summers along the Erie, Ontario and Huron shores, Kingston waterfront, Ottawa lakes, cottages and lodges, canoeing, camping Algonquin.

Waterskiing from friend’s old lakefront cottages near Port Rowan was my teen years.. Around 1972? we spent days filling sand bags and piling them up to save the shoreline road, and cottages, from simply falling forever into the lake. In more recent summers my brother-in-law takes us for drives, to places such as Port Burwell, (“If you can’t have fun in Port Burwell, you can’t have fun”), Sand Hills (I think that’s where the big shoreline cave in was), Port Rowan where they owned historical homes they renovated, and watching re-enactment practice of the war of 1812 at the Backus Mill, and then educational drives along the Long Point Causeway. Interesting history for people to read about, for instance, The Company, the Longpoint company, an example where rich people actually helped save an ecosystem from the ignorant hoards. We are the ignorant hoards of course. My own great-great-great (is it 3 greats or five, I forget) was one who commercially and very profitably logged/raped Ontario 200 years ago, think overlogged just like the rest. He and family were UEL’s who fought for our country, even the skirmishes around the lands you inhabit now..
Often then, as now, conservation was the last thing on some people’s minds.

Now I see you are involved in a modern day skirmish. Please write more about it. While trying to find out more I stumbled on something you wrote two years ago that pulled on my heartstrings..
(Good on you, by the way, but I’m just glad you didn’t get hurt. My husband has the same instinctive, protective reaction when he sees punks doing their dirty deeds…. for instance: selling drugs in our neighbourhood, verbally scooting them away when he really should just be silently taking down plates numbers.)

Those ignorant, savage, vile “Intruders” on your beach 2 years ago, seem no different than the hoards who devasted Long Point 150 years ago…. the following article is long, but once in awhile I read it, because it’s interesting to remind ourselves of what happens when things become a little TOO open to the stampeding Sheeple…. and how hamstrung government protection can be, when held back by the herd’s ignorance…

On the one hand private ownership of waterfront bugs me because only a very few get to enjoy such beauty and grace as nature provides. On the other hand, full public access to the ignorant is brutal and deadly on our fragile ecosystems.

Tell us more sometime about the Causeway fight, propaganda, spin and possible compromises. From an article I read it sounds like there are the usual polarizing forces at work? Who will save and protect the turtles and the wildlife and the ecosystem from ignorance? Where’s the balance between public, private, wildlife, ecosystems, natural changes and preservation? It’s a good war Garth, good on you. People just need to be educated, except they’re usually just too “dammed” lazy to care.

#65 Investor on 05.18.09 at 2:16 pm


Is Dow still going to 4K?

#66 Andrew on 05.18.09 at 2:21 pm

Bob Truman is the one person who stands up to the bullies and their falsehoods on the Alberta Bubble Blog. That’s why squidly hates him.

#67 Got A Watch on 05.18.09 at 2:33 pm

I read the ‘Bill 150 Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009’ on the Ont Gov website, the wording about the “energy audits” or whatever, is pretty vague. No mention that I can see about the “$300 fee”, or who exactly would do this audit, or who exactly is qualified.

“3. (1) A person making an offer to purchase an interest in real property has the right to receive from the person offering to sell the property such information, reports or ratings as are prescribed,

(a) relating to energy consumption and efficiency with respect to a prescribed residence on the property or a class of prescribed residences on the property…

…do not apply where the person making the offer waives, in writing, the provision and receipt of the information, reports or ratings”

The buyer of a property “may waive” this, but not the seller. Which means what, exactly?

So maybe a home seller can just hand over the old Hydro and gas bills, and call it done.???

Anyone can provide some clarity here about what this means?

#68 Eduardo on 05.18.09 at 2:58 pm

I guess the stats could be doctored and I wouldn’t know any better.

I did acknowledge that the amount of foreclosures is up 38% but I don’t think that the number affects the overall market so much… it’s a drop in the bucket.

#69 Shifty on 05.18.09 at 4:54 pm

Well, we decided to sell the lake Ontario beach front cottage in our family since the 50’s. It was a haven from the heat and humidity of Toronto for many decades. Eventually our neighbors sold out and the new crowd moved in and wanted more improvements. The municipality obliged with new roads, water, school buses, plowing the road in winter and many other things necessary these days. Well, taxes went up then went ballistic. Oh well, the memories were good.

#70 GT on 05.18.09 at 4:56 pm

Please help — I’ve searched the entire blog (well, almost): what is MSM?

Main Stream Media. — Garth

#71 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 05.18.09 at 6:54 pm

The link I posted earlier, re: the Bilderberg Group (NWO) pushing for a brief, short-term depression beginning almost immediately (June) during this chaotic period, rather than a long, drawn-out recession has another side to contend with. —

You see, the chaos has grown way beyond their ability to control it, just like a cancer patient who finishes their life-cycle unexpectedly early. They knew the cancer was there, but didn’t know how quickly it had spread.

FWIW, this is a spiritual take-down, not physical which is why humanity will not be able to solve it, no matter what anyone does and it coincides with the karmic pace of time speeding up. I guess we are roughly a quarter to a third of the way through this.

Financial gurus, most of whom are fairly close to the mark on being right are generally ignored by the m$m, which is unfortunate as most sheeple follow the m$m, not the bloggers, and that is where the truth is.

Come 2015 and beyond, there will be a lot of boomers (like myself), trying to flog their McMansions (not us) to pay for their retirement. Trouble is, they lived too high off the hog here and now, without giving a thought to the decreasing population who were supposed to replace us.
These relate to the above. — /\ /\ /\

The last link says “America and her allies”. Are we an ally of America?
2009 US flu deaths: 13,000. Swine flu deaths: 6. Paralyzing Pandemonium Panic Attacks: Priceless! —

Besides, life here is simply a short-term experience. Birth / Life / Death or Beginning / Middle / End. All of it is Much Ado About Nothing!
Not too long ago, I posted a 49-second YouTube clip where Benazir Butto clearly said that ObL had been murdered, and it was after that (and other) interviews when she was taken out by a ‘suicide bomber’.

The truth is already well known — /\

#72 U.S.$fromA$iaComming home= inflation on 05.18.09 at 7:03 pm

Vancouver RE market has really heated up lately.

Garth, tell me WTF is going on here. Are people greedy or just plain dumb?

#73 dbg on 05.18.09 at 7:22 pm

#57 JO

Must be nice ……….to have a crystal ball to see into the future.

How about gold takes a dive as it always does after a run up. Oil at $70 a barrel as the world needs it to operate our fossil fuel economy and the CAD takes a ride with it.

#74 CRO(people against rip offs in calgary) on 05.18.09 at 7:30 pm


You support a market in excess of $200K for a house? Are you insane? The Calgary market IS insane. I pray for a way out of this godforsaken hell hole. The only reason I am here is work. Period. Oil is not a godsend Eduardo. Its just how technology has led to one thing which led to another. Its only a matter of time before Alberta is a ghosttown. What exactly besides oil is here? Prime farmland? Nada. Look at the soil. Its clay. Not exactly topsoil. Look at the conservative view. That sucks too. Look at the traffic and green light cameras=harassment. Again, the only reason is work. I was driving back from the taco bell by the ring road out by Hanson Ranch today. God this city is ooogly. All a person can see is shacks….overpriced zoned incorrectly…shacks. No trees. It sucks!!! And you get to pay $$$$ to own or rent. Its all a waiting game….Waiting to get out. God help the idiots who buy into this mess and their home burns down….from their neighbours kids matches. Bob Truman lists correctly the number of total morons monthly supporting an idiot market. He actually published my comments from last year saying that I said it was now the time to buy…another total moron/idiot from Calgary.

#75 Barb the proof reader on 05.18.09 at 7:34 pm

#16 grandeprairie girl,

Those links are a lot of bull hype from gun-totin’ control freaks trying to make you afraid, so that you’ll fall for their agenda. Shame on you for being so naive.

#76 Nostradamus jr. on 05.18.09 at 8:20 pm

# 62 U.S.$fromA$iaComming home= inflation

>>>Vancouver RE market has really heated up lately.

Garth, tell me WTF is going on here. Are people greedy or just plain dumb?<<<

…Those new GST/PST Taxes recently introduced in Toronto will no doubt spread across Canada.

…Smart money is buying before it comes to your home town.

#47 sularezi

…First get your high school diploma…then we’ll talk.

#77 squidly77 on 05.18.09 at 8:54 pm

Is Dow still going to 4K
i was called a tin foil hat wearing nut when i said it would go down to 10,000 its down 6,000 already and its been down by as much as 7,600 points when it touched 6600
in march

do you think thats all there is and its now over ?
do you think that the financial and equity markets along with housing will quickly go back to normal ?

the dow has a far greater fall lurking in the shadows yet

Bob Truman has the best unbiased realtor’s website in Canada
thats funny

#78 squidly77 on 05.18.09 at 8:57 pm

400 plus foreclosures a month is insignificant ?
4,800 foreclosures a year is also insignificant ?

geez they have only averaged 1200 monthly sales on average so far this year in calgary

#79 Keith in Calgary on 05.18.09 at 9:06 pm

#63 Andrew…….

That current 21 day figure is only for houses that sold. These are houses that may have had relist’s (90% of them in al lprobability) , price reductions or any other number of REIC tricks applied to skew the numbers. You forgot about the other 11,000 dead listings in Calgary. Days on market is a useless stat as it is the one most open to manipulation.

As far as Squiddly saying the 22K peope who bought are idiots, you can add me to that list as well. I agree with him 100% as do other’s I’d imagine.

#80 Andrew on 05.18.09 at 9:10 pm

Squidly said on Jan 15, 2009:

“we are approaching 16 months worth of inventory” …This was said as we were approaching 3 months inventory.

More classic boners from squidly:

“if you cant stand being criticized dont post in a public forum”

“it’s going to be fun to watch this pig unravel.”

“and i laugh in your face”

“thy are gonna lose it all and that makes me smile”

“maybe ill drive a cab or work at Mcdonalds zero education required”

“Screw the suckers!”

“i feel pleasure as they experience pain”

“you will get exactly what you deserve your an idiot”

“the majority of realtors are gay”

“anyone that would pay over $600,000 to live in regal terrace probably needs to be medicated”

“round them up and break there knee caps”

“i say cut his hands and feet off or better yet kill him”

“the church should own everything
the only people to disagree are jews..only because they want it”

“if your a stupid buyer..whos to blame..not the realtor
you are”.

“your a worthless human being”.

This guy is the ringleader of the Alberta Bubble Blog. He has everyone there eating out of his hand and licking his feet.

#81 ts harpoon on 05.18.09 at 9:30 pm


This, from the NYT’s, was too good not to share.

“If there was anybody who should have avoided the mortgage catastrophe, it was I. As an economics reporter for The New York Times, I have been the paper’s chief eyes and ears on the Federal Reserve for the past six years. I watched Alan Greenspan and his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, at close range. I wrote several early-warning articles in 2004 about the spike in go-go mortgages. Before that, I had a hand in covering the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the Russia meltdown in 1998 and the dot-com collapse in 2000. I know a lot about the curveballs that the economy can throw at us.

“But in 2004, I joined millions of otherwise-sane Americans in what we now know was a catastrophic binge on overpriced real estate and reckless mortgages. Nobody duped or hypnotized me.”

#82 EcoInsurgent on 05.18.09 at 9:32 pm

From my observation the poster Squidly is a reliable poster on more than one blog who has good values is pretty much right all the time. That this poster has stalkers is further evidence of just how right they have been.

#83 dbg on 05.18.09 at 9:35 pm

I agree Squidlly likes to create his own story. He/She is relentless in the pursuit of the demise of Alberta real estate. Ya have to wonder why?

Could it be that he/she failed the exam to become a realtor and now has a grudge that he missed the biggest pay day in Alberta.

We can only guess where the anger comes from…….

#84 ts harpoon on 05.18.09 at 9:40 pm

…and for a final adieu, goodnight. Waiting for the frost here in the nation’s capital. Found this piece on New York’s real estate hype machine:

Garth, finished Sheeple last week. Great work, really enjoyed it. When will you run for office again? I would like to offer my time to work for the cause.

#85 squidly77 on 05.18.09 at 9:49 pm

bts morning pep talk

#86 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 05.18.09 at 9:49 pm

#57 JO on at 9:14 am — “. . . the USD – current reserve currency of the world.”

‘Current’ is the highlighted word, as there are numerous changes in the offing, such as the US bond market. Other countries are preparing themselves accordingly. — /\

Bear in mind that China holds of ton of US debt as well. If the Yanks default, care to guess what the fallout would be?
#61 Investx at 1:23 pm — “When was deflation supposed to start?”

Food prices are going through the roof = Inflation.

Material goods / costs are flatlining = Deflation.

As material goods can’t be eaten or drunk, I guess the end result is somewhere around stagflation. Look for the cost of the meal to hit $10 soon!
#62 Punnoval at 1:48 pm — “The following gives an extremely gloomy outlook comparing US to Japan . . .”

Following link views Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation to Japan’s deflation. We’re somewhere in between. —
#77 squidly77 at 8:54 pm — FWIW, I figure that after this complete waste of taxpayers’ money, called the 2010 Winter Olympics is over, within two years the Dow will sit at 1500, the TSX 2500 and NASDAQ less than 500.
For those that like gold and / or commodities. —

#87 rogerscableman on 05.18.09 at 10:09 pm

Look at this two houses

How many greater fools in GTA?

#88 tjmikey on 05.18.09 at 10:18 pm

Andrew, Bob might be a great guy and in your eyes a “great” realtor…The fact is that he is just that, a realtor that relies on 100% commisions to live.

Given all that’s going on around all of us, what exactly is it that you expect him to say?

Don’t buy and head for the hills?

Sit tight and wait this out?

You might be wise to rent for a couple of years?

Yeah right.

Take off the blinders fool.

#89 Eduardo on 05.18.09 at 10:48 pm

Yes I do think 350,000 for a SFH home is justified in Alberta based on affordability. Two AVERAGE incomes of 23 dollars an hour for an AVERAGE single family home = 350,000 based on the 3.5 gross income rule.

Alberta won’t be a ghosttown in my lifetime and I’m 25. I grew up here in a family with parents, uncles and aunts who had nothing to do with oil. So while I agree that it’s the dominant industry it’s not the only one.

As far as the amount of foreclosure being so significant, why aren’t they building up as listings in mls? The Mike Fotiou website tracks them and the number is staying relatively flat and has decreased since the beginning of the year.

If you say that the DOM stat is misleading then so is the listings statistic. The number of listings is way overstated by your logic.

Squidster, I agree that the DOW is going to tank so we can agree on something. Can I ask what you do? I’m open about being an engineer for an oil company.

#90 Andrew on 05.19.09 at 1:46 am

#88 tjmikey

“what exactly is it that you expect him to say?”

Knowing Bob truman, I expect he will give me good, relevant, up-to-date information about the market that I can’t get anywhere else. One thing he won’t say is “it’s a great time to buy.”

Why do you need to call people names? What is it about you that creates such anger?

#91 Andrew on 05.19.09 at 2:46 am

#82 Ecoinsurgent
“Squidly is a reliable poster on more than one blog who has good values is pretty much right all the time.”

Bob truman has the claim to fame of making the most accurate prediction of Calgary prices last year. Better than any economist, bank, squidly, or real estate board.

Meanwhile, squidly’s prediction of $160,000 home prices was off by $257,398 or 161%.

As for squidly’s values, this was posted on the Alberta Bubble Blog by someone in response to squidly’s stalking of Bob Truman:

“If I were Bob Truman, I’d find out who Squibbly is and get a restraining order. Seriously. He shows serious signs of suffering from a pathological obsession.”

#92 grandeprairiegirl on 05.19.09 at 4:27 am

#75 Barb the proof reader

To each his own. I’m entitled to my opinions as you are to your opinions.
Because I read on alternative view sites does not mean I accept them as being the gospel truth. However many different events seem to point in a certain direction, could all just be coincidental though.
Perhaps you have rose coloured glasses for proof reading ?

“There are none so blind as those who will not see”

#93 Calgary_sucks_dot_com on 05.19.09 at 10:45 am


You are THE greaterfool.

#94 tjmikey on 05.19.09 at 11:46 am

Andrew, if I was to call you names you would know it.

I guess “fool” is more a general description of anyone that would follow a RE agent as some form of deciple.

For me, the absolute last person I would listen to in terms of making a real estate decision in ANY market would be a realtor.

As far as I’m concerned they have no choice but to spread market specific propaganda or start waiting tables.

Any salesperson that has to rely on commisions as 100% of their income cannot be trusted in a slow or dead market. Everything in their lives depends on the sale and just about anything will be said and done to close the deal.

Desperation can be scary.

#95 Eduardo on 05.19.09 at 4:49 pm

I’m not THE greater fool because I bought over 3 years ago.

#96 Future Expatriate on 05.19.09 at 8:02 pm

#95- perhaps not greater, but a fool nonetheless. The truly smart folks quit buying five years ago.

#97 Barb the proof reader on 05.22.09 at 4:20 pm

#92 grandeprairiegirl,

Did you ever watch this video with Mel Hurtig: