Night Music: Cosas de la Vida

August 6, 2017


Blowing Smoke

August 6, 2017

Man, I am sick of this filthy air!   Because of breathing issues, the smoke and associated particulates have held me essentially housebound for a week. I missed the Dykes on the Drive for the first time ever, and the Powell Street Festival; it is maddening.

We usually have a beautiful view of the North Shore mountains to wake up to every day, but it is as if they have simply disappeared. When I got up in the middle of last night, I could see a few twinkling lights on the mountain and I went back to bed hopeful that the skies would be clear in the morning. But no, just another day of gloom.

Bring on the Fall!

More On Affordable Housing

August 6, 2017

A few days ago I published a list of policy ideas that I believe will help alleviate the housing affordability crisis in Vancouver. I mentioned at the time that  I would probably forget something as I wrote, and I did:

10. Capital Gains Tax:  I would change the regulations on the capital gains tax exemption for principal residence by adding a time component to ensure that speculative flipping became less profitable.  I would suggest that there be no exemption for a resale in the first 12 months of ownership; 25% exemption in year 2; 50% exemption in year 3; and 75% in year 4. The full exemption would apply thereafter.  I would also insist that the time limits only begin when the true beneficial owner of the property proves residency in BC.  Not only would this provide a disincentive for speculative buying, but would reinforce the idea that a home is primarily a home rather than an investment.

Policy #10 also implies a much broader definition of transparency in property ownership, enough at least to identify the genuine beneficial owner.


Hiroshima Day

August 6, 2017

Today we need to remember the fate of Hiroshima and its people, utterly destroyed by an atomic bomb on this day in 1945.

I spent my early life in Europe during the hottest days of the Cold War, worried every single day that these scenes would be repeated in London and Berlin and Moscow. Those concerns abated with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and for 25 years many of us breathed a lot easier. Today, with a US leader seeming to need a war to save his tottering presidency, I have begun to worry once again even as I sit here in beautiful British Columbia.

Let us continue to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and do whatever we can to ensure that such events never happen again.