Conference on Complete Communities

February 8, 2021

Some may recall I wrote about a very interesting discussion on Vancouver for Renters last month. In the same series of events put on by SFU Public Square, the next event is a discussion entitled “Closer To Home: The Case for Complete Neighbourhoods.” Quoting from their website:

“Many of Vancouver’s early-20th-century neighbourhoods include a mix of housing types, shops, schools, parks and more, allowing many residents’ needs to be met close to home. However, the legacy of planning for most neighbourhoods in Vancouver is one of exclusion and displacement based on income, race, ability and other elements of our identities. Today, many would argue that their neighbourhoods are not ‘complete’.”

This leads to numerous questions, including:

“What do neighbourhoods mean to Vancouverites? 

When is a neighbourhood “complete,” and does a more complete neighbourhood actually benefit residents?  

Can we prevent displacement as we accommodate change? 

What is our best thinking about how to meet diverse needs in our neighbourhoods? 

What has Vancouver missed or erased in the way we have planned and constructed our neighbourhoods in the past century, and what lessons from history can be employed to ensure more liveable neighbourhoods in the future? 

Does strengthening individual neighbourhoods strengthen the city overall? “

Once again, the discussion will be helmed by SFU’s Meg Holden and Andy Yan. They have gathered together a diverse collection of speakers.

This ZOOM conference takes place at 6:30pm on 17th February, and registration is made through the website.

Night Music: Sleep Walk

February 8, 2021

In Memory of Pyotr Kropotkin

February 8, 2021

Today is the 100th anniversary of the death of the Russian anarchist and scientist Pyotr Kropotkin.

Kropotkin was a proponent of a decentralised society free from government and based on voluntary associations of self-governing communities and worker-run enterprises. Among other books and articles he wrote the important Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution.

After spending most of his life in exile, he returned to Russia after the Revolution but was disillusioned by the Bolsheviks. He died of pneumonia aged 78.

Poem: Call In The Middle of the Night

February 8, 2021



“You what?”

“You what?”

my voice echoed down the line

like a bedlamite

bouncing off

cushioned walls.



the silence,

the quiet electronic crackles,

hung in the dark night

as if my question had gone,

disappeared down a deep and endless well.


Minutes passed, maybe hours.


In the end, I whispered “I love you”

and put down the receiver

as the bitter sting of nausea overwhelmed my throat.