Morning Buzz: A Changing Vancouver and the Ongoing Teachers Dispute

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Time to put brakes on Vancouver’s growth. City needs to halt expansion that has taken over in order to save the best parts of an urban community. Interesting premise, but is this possible? Some valid points were made but the fundamental flaw in the article is failing to recognize how deep the developers are in with the local politicians. It doesn’t matter which political party it is, they all love developers because developers funnel swaths of cash into the city coffers. There is no way, this will stop. The key is respectful density.

The only way Vancouver real estate prices will tumble is if there is an economic collapse in Asia and the Chinese investor stops investing in Vancouver.  I don’t see a scenario in which the real estate bubble bursts , I know many are hoping it does so they can jump in and buy a home, but don’t count on one. Consider the number of jobs tied to development in this town and what halting construction due to a severe price correction would do to the local economy.

That being said, a small correction of 10 – 15% is definitely possible because wages in this town don’t support home ownership. Let’s say the average detached city home costs $800,000, I know it’s a bit low but for the sake of this example let’s assume it’s 2007 and that the average detached home doesn’t go for a million dollars. If you want to own that home in the city of Vancouver and live comfortably, you need to bring in well over $175,000 (before taxes) in household income.  How many people in this town do you know that make that kind of money? And even a 15% correction is not enough.

The Book Warehouse plans to close its doors forever. Just another cultural blow to Vancouver. It’s been a rough week.

Bill 22 passes and becomes law tomorrow.

Hundreds of teachers who are gathering in Vancouver this weekend for their union’s annual general meeting are expected to huddle privately Sunday to craft a response to a B.C. Liberal bill they despise.

The bill, which will become law by Saturday, orders a six-month cooling-off period in a bitter contract dispute, but teachers have signalled that cooling off is not what they have in mind.

Instead, they’re talking about a campaign of resistance, ranging from provincewide withdrawal from volunteer activities, such as coaching sports teams and helping with drama productions, to a wildcat walkout.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation executive spent long hours this week drafting proposals, which will be endorsed, rejected or amended in private by delegates attending the three-day meeting at the Hyatt Regency and later taken to the union membership for ratification.

Teachers say they must continue their fight against Bill 22 because of the deleterious effect it will have on working and learning conditions.

Private school, even though costly, looks pretty good right about now. Of course the real losers in this dispute are the children, the parents a close second and no matter what the outcome, three years from now the BCTF will still be dissatisfied. It’s time to overhaul the education system and bring it to the year 2012.

Image: @Suitoflights

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