November 30, 2012



More from the “Imperial Commander” series here.

Vancouver and Cairo: Twin Cities?

November 29, 2012

In Egypt today the Revolution has come up against the new dictatorial decrees of President Morsi.  Only Morsi can decide if anything he does is permissible; no judicial or parliamentary oversight of any kind.  The western press has jumped all over Morsi for hijacking the movement toward democratization.

At yesterday’s Vancouver City Council meeting, Councillor Carr tried to introduce a motion, “Influence of Interim Rezoning Policy for Affordable Housing on Rezoning Decisions.”  Mayor Robertson called the motion out of order and refused debate.  Isn’t this Robertson telling Carr that he, Robertson, is the sole arbiter of what can be discussed at Council?

If not, what’s difference?

And, because it is important in and of itself — as well as illustrating the kind of things that Vision doesn’t want to discuss — here is the full text of Councillor Carr’s motion:

MOVER:  Councillor Adriane Carr
SECONDER:   Councillor George Affleck


1. On October 3, 2012, Vancouver City Council passed the Interim Rezoning Policy that Increases Affordable Housing Choices in Vancouver’s Neighbourhoods;

2. Implementing an interim rezoning policy that “encourages” and “enables” development projects that do not comply with the current Zoning By-law may bias subsequent rezoning processes and rezoning decisions by Council;

3. Council has a duty to act fairly and without bias in the public hearing and rezoning decision-making process.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the General Managers of Legal Services and Planning and Development report back to Mayor and Council before the end of January 2013:

1. Clarifying to what degree and in what potential ways the Interim Rezoning Policy that Increases Affordable Housing Choices in Vancouver’s Neighbourhoods may bias the rezoning and public hearing process, including Council’s decision-making on rezoning applications that come forward under this policy.

2. Whether the Interim Rezoning Policy that Increases Affordable Housing Choices in Vancouver’s Neighbourhoods supercedes the sections of the Zoning By-law  with which it conflicts in terms of providing authority to Council in Council’s rezoning decisions.

This should hardly be incendiary stuff.  However, it does go to the very heart of Vision’s anti-neighbourhood agenda, and so I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised that they don’t want it being discussed in open Council.  Especially if we were in Cairo.

Pedestrian Only Zone!

November 27, 2012

HUSH online magazine has published a piece that argues for sidewalk cycling and segregated bike lanes in Vancouver. It has been picked up on Twitter by the usual pro-bike suspects.  It handles the arguments for segregated bike lanes very well and makes a fine case.  A case I absolutely support.  We should definitely move to build segregated bike lanes across much of the city.

My problem with the article is the encouragement and demand that, in the meanwhile, cyclists should have the right to ride on sidewalks.  Yes, riding on the sidewalk is safer for the cyclist than on an ordinary road.  And, yes, having cyclists riding on the sidewalk is significantly more dangerous for pedestrians, especially seniors.

What would the cyclists say if a group of walkers strolled slowly down a segregated bike lane?  There would be hell to pay.  But it is OK for you to trample us down in our own segregated pedestrian lane?  Why do you think it is more important to protect the lives of cyclists than to protect the lives of pedestrians?

You cannot buy your safety with our bodies!

Buy Nothing Day!

November 23, 2012


Head Down, Pounding Away

November 23, 2012

My ever-loving is away visiting family.  I have taken the opportunity of  her absence and the lashing rain this week, to stay in, to stay glued to my computer, bashing out my December 8th lecture and getting a good handle on the book that will follow. It’s been a lot like batchelor days at college. I’ve managed to keep the household going, with both the cat and I eating well; but the focus has been on writing and there hasn’t been any time for blog posts.

The plan for today is to finalize draft one of the lecture and complete a timed run-through.  Head down and push on!

Today’s Loaf

November 20, 2012


I’m looking forward to this!

Fleet In Fog

November 19, 2012



It’s just that kind of day.